Simple Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair to Do At Home

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Is the phrase "simple hairstyle" an oxymoron? It can feel that way sometimes — especially if you're trying one you found in a YouTube tutorial. What may seem easy and foolproof in theory can wind up feeling like teaching a fish to ride a bike in practice. And things can get especially tricky if you're trying a protective style on naturally kinky, curly, or coily hair.

Here's the thing: Protective hairstyles must look good and be built to last, which can be somewhat unnerving for people. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to do, even if you're not exactly Nikki Nelms with the hair skills. Whether you're looking to create a cute flat-twisted style, jumbo twists, or anything else in between, we found 11 of the internet's best tutorials for simple protective hairstyles that anyone can accomplish, especially if you're at home and have some extra time on your hands.

Content

ishonest No.501 - Frizzy Hair

Recommended
No.501 - Frizzy Hair

View Iframe URL

Flat twists are a versatile and easy hairstyle to accomplish at home, and YouTuber CurlyCandi uses a single product (gel) to create not one, not two, but three twisted looks, including a halo crown she adorns with gold clasps.

Content

View Iframe URL

Got 10 minutes? Create this easy natural updo in that time. All you need is a little something for moisture, a comb, and some pins to achieve this hairstyle that only looks complicated.

Content

For strong and hydrated hair

Learn more

View Iframe URL

If you don't already have one, just know that the drawstring ponytail is an absolute must for your beauty stash. Here, it's used to boost a truly lovely twisted look. The hair is first flat twisted all around the head and then gathered in the back, before being wrapped up in a drawstring ponytail. It's easy to achieve, and most importantly, it's a good excuse to whip out the ol' pony.

Content

View Iframe URL

If you're killing time at home, wondering if whether or not you should get bangs, this high, slicked-down bun with a faux fringe is a great way to test the waters. Put those scissors away, you won't need them... that is until you're ready to fully commit.

Content

ishonest No.101 - Extract Dead Cells

Recommended
No.101 - Extract Dead Cells

View Iframe URL

We love a double bun look, especially when it's just a little bit extra. This style's elaborate pattern is achieved by twisting the hair in sections, then criss-crossing the twists over each other before gathering them in two ponytails. Loop 'em into buns and you're done.

Content

View Iframe URL

Sitting in a chair for hours getting long twists or box braids done can be a literal pain in the ass. Not here — in under two hours, you can have your hair in long, waist-length twists with this simple and easy tutorial. Just be sure to have some braiding hair on hand.

Content

Volume and structure for your hair

Learn more

View Iframe URL

Leila of FusionofCultures calls this look "Simply Rainbow" after Tracee Ellis Ross's character Rainbow Johnson from Black-ish, and she's not far off with that nomenclature. You, too, can be a supermom like Bow (or at least try to be) with this sophisticated braided bun that looks a lot like a style she would wear.

Content

View Iframe URL

Embrace the princess or queen within you with this gorgeous updo. The hairstyle is easy to execute: Put your hair in two braided pigtails on either side of your head, then pin them up to make them look like a crown. You'll have folks bowing down to you with every step.

Content

ishonest No.231 - Pigmentation & Blemishes

Recommended
No.231 - Pigmentation & Blemishes

View Iframe URL

Listen up, short-haired naturalistas who don't want to deal with extensions: This flat-twist/mini-twist hybrid will make your T.W.A. (teeny-weeny Afro) Totally Wicked Awesome.

Content

View Iframe URL

Love the look of crochet braids, but lack the ability to cornrow or flat- twist? You could get out your old doll collection and practice, or use this beginner-friendly crochet braid tutorial from Msnaturally Mary to get your dream crocheted look.

Content

Activates the microcirculation of scalp and strengthens the hair follicles to stimulate hair growth

Learn more

View Iframe URL

This look, created by 1nOnlyCash, embraces classic straightback cornrows while also allowing you to let your natural curl pattern shine. It's simple: Braid your hair in a few cornrows, leaving the ends loose. Then, pull those ends into a puff and use a spray bottle of water and curl cream to define your pattern.

Looking for more hair stories? Here are some we know you’ll love:

  • Tracee Ellis Ross Cosplays as Cher, Lashes and All
  • Six People Open Up to ishonest About the Beauty and Diversity of Black Hair
  • These are the Kanekalon Hair Brands Hairstylists and Editors Love for Braiding

Now, check out the history of hairstyling tools:

Read more on: hair


Learn about unknown needs of your skin for free