Skip to Content

60 Age-Appropriate Protective Hairstyles for Teenage Girls in School!

We all know being a teenager isn’t always easy. It’s a phase that comes with a wild roller coaster of emotions and changes and when you are a black girl with natural hair, things can be even more confusing. With endless hairstyle videos on TikTok, it can be a little difficult to settle on the right hairstyle to wear to school. However, the good news is there are so many beautiful protective hairstyles to choose from and since natural hair is so amazingly versatile, you can try as many looks as possible.

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the best protective styles out there for school and day-to-day wear. Read ahead to find some inspiration.


What is the best hair routine for a teenage girl?

The best haircare routine for a teenage girl will vary slightly depending on her hair type or porosity. However, you should generally try to stick with a consistent routine of washing and conditioning the hair with a shampoo and deep conditioner 1-2 times a month. You will also need to moisturize the hair at least twice a week with a leave-in conditioner or curl refresh spray. After moisturizing, be sure to seal in the moisture with a hair oil or hair butter

When it comes to styling, try to stick with protective or low-manipulation styles that will prevent the hair strands from rubbing across each other and causing tangles and knots. This video by Youtuber, Seun Okimi is a great guide you can learn some extra tips from.

How often should a teenager wash and deep condition her hair?

A teenager should wash and deep condition their hair at least once every two weeks. This will help keep their hair nourished and well moisturized. It will also prevent product buildup and itchiness on the scalp.

Can you use kids’ or adult hair products on teenagers´ natural hair?

It is best to use adult hair products on a teenager’s natural hair. Kid’s hair products are made with the delicate hair strands of children in mind so they may not work as well on a teenager whose hair strands are fully developed.

Are weaves and wigs age-appropriate for teen girls?

Wigs and weaves can be age-appropriate for teenagers. However, they are best for older teens between age 16-18. It is also important not to limit the wigs to only special occasions.

What age can a teen girl start to take care of her own hair without parents being involved?

By age thirteen, your teenager can start caring for her hair without parental involvement. However, this requires you the parent to have properly educated your daughter on all there is to know about natural hair beforehand. You may still need to remind her of a few things on occasion since teenagers can be forgetful and sometimes procrastinate. So if you notice she has not washed her hair or is not taking time to gently handle her hair be sure to let her know and guide her.

How can I encourage my daughter to take responsibility for her own hair?

Encouraging your daughter to take responsibility for her can be a delicate process. There is no right or wrong way to do it. It all depends on a few factors like what kind of relationship you have with your child, how much they have been taught about natural hair, and your disciplinary approach. However, you can try the following tips:

  • Get them the right product for their hair type to make it easy for them to style and care for their hair
  • Encourage them to experiment and try different styles. Teens are naturally curious so this can be motivation for her to want to do her hair.
  • Turn their hair care routine into a bonding session. You can make their wash day special by also joining them and doing your hair. That way they will associate their hair care routine with positive feelings and be encouraged to look forward to it.
  • Always use positive words when describing their hair as that will encourage them to love it and want to get accustomed to styling it.
  • You can try setting clear rules about the need for them to take care of their own hair. Then, offer rewards as incentives to encourage them to take responsibility as you requested. Try not to go overboard with this tip as it it can quickly turn into a bad habit where they only want to do their hair when there is a reward. The goal is simply to motivate them.

In what ways can a parent encourage self-love and hair confidence in their daughter?

One of the best ways to encourage self-love and hair confidence in your daughter is through words of affirmation. Let her know that her hair is beautiful and perfect the way it grows out of her head. You can also try to show her role models with natural hair that she can look up to. Many celebrities like Sky Jackson, Yara Shahidi, Lupita Nyongo, Tracee Ellis Ross and so much more have been known to rock their natural hair. So you can use them as examples for her to feel inspired and see the beauty of natural hair.

Can my child wear afro hairstyles to school?

Your child can definitely wear afro hairstyles to school. The natural hair movement is all about embracing and having fun with our hair in its most natural state. So, feel free to let your daughter rock her fro to school. If your child’s school tries to stop her from wearing her afro hairstyles, then that is blatant discrimination and you may need to take it upon yourself as a parent to stand up for her rights.  Most school dress codes that include policies banning afro hair are unlawful so don’t hesitate to take a stand against that kind of racial discrimination.

Is it okay to bleach and dye my teenager´s hair?

We would not recommend bleaching or dying a teenager’s hair. While it is not inherently bad to do so, a teenager can easily neglect and mishandle their hair and since coloring the hair often leaves it a little weak and fragile, it will be very easy for them to get breakage. 

Additionally, it is just not exactly age-appropriate to make such a big alteration to their hair when they are still young. If you want to color their hair, you can use temporary hair color wax. These require no chemical change to the hair and can easily be washed out.

How can I look cute and pretty for school?

To look cute for school, you need to make sure your hair is neat and put in a hairstyle that suits your hair type. There are so many hairstyles to choose from as you will see in this article. From braids to twists, cornrows, jumbo twists, goddess braids, ponytails and so much more.

The sky is the limit when it comes to styling your natural hair, just find a look that speaks to you and your personal style. You can also style your edges with some edge gel every day before school to keep it stylish and fun. Then follow up with a little lip gloss to accentuate the whole look.


65 Easy Natural Hairstyles For Teenage Black Girls

40 Trendy Natural Hairstyles for 13-Year-Olds in Middle School

35 Beautiful Protective Natural Hairstyles for 12-Year-Old Tween Girls

35 Easy Natural Hairstyles for 11-Year-Old Girls in Grade School

35 Captivating Coi Leray Braids with Curly Ends

These pictures are all sourced online. To be credited for your personal picture, please contact me with the exact picture, and I’ll be sure to credit you. This post also contains affiliate links which means that I earn a small commission if you make a purchase with my link, at no additional cost to you.

1. Single-Strand Twists

Faux twists are a great hairstyle for teens and tweens to wear on busy school days. This hairstyle does not take much time to install, all you have to do is grab some hair thread and wrap it around each section.

What you will need: Hair accessories

natural hairstyle for black teens

2. Simple All-Back Cornrows

Straight-back cornrows are a wonderful choice for high schoolers to wear to school. Use a gel to add a few swirls and swoops to your edges and you will look super stylish.

What you will need: Packs of 99J braiding hair extension

cornrows hairstyle for black teenage girls

3. Unique Fulani Cornrows

Fulani cornrows are a timeless and popular hairstyle amongst black women of all ages. This double bun version is a lovely choice for teens as it lets them put their creativity on display.

What you will need: Packs of #27 braiding extension

cornrows for black girls

4. Auburn Goddess Boho Braids

If you prefer a long-term protective style that your daughter can wear for several weeks, give these goddess braids a try. Make sure the hair is covered with a satin bonnet at night to keep the loose curls from getting tangled.

What you will need: Bundles of #27 braiding extension and #27 ocean wave hair extension

bohemian braids for teenage girls

5. Knee-Length Mini Box Braids

These knee-length mini box braids are an amazing hairstyle for girls in high school. They can let it flow down when going out or put it into a ponytail at school.

long box braids on black girls

6. Top Knot Cornrows

Looking for something elegant and stylish enough to wear to prom? A top knot cornrow look might just be what you need. Include a heart-shaped braid for extra flair.

What you will need: Packs of #27 braiding extension or this 1B/27 Ombre braiding hair

cornrows for black teens

7. Mid-back Auburn Braids

If you are a fan of colored hair, there is no better way to show off your personality than with auburn braids. Opt for a middle part to highlight your face shape.

What you will need: Packs of pre-stretched #30 braiding hair extension

box braids for black girls

8. Shoulder-Length Goddess Braids

Looking for something light and easy to install? Stick with these shoulder-length goddess boho braids. They have just the right amount of volume and bounce to draw some compliments your way.

short boho box braids for teens

9. Curly Bohemian Box Braids

This is another beautiful boho braids hairstyle that is sure to make any teenager look like a goddess. The length is age-appropriate and can be easily put into a bun.

waist length bohemian braids

10. Bob Sisterlocs

If you want a hairstyle that will save you the time and hassle of having long wash days, sister locs will fulfil all your heart’s desires. This is a semi-permanent hairstyle that is not designed to be taken down so make sure you are ready for that level of commitment before getting it done.

tiny locs on black girls

11. Purple Ombre Jumbo Braids

Want to wear purple hair without having to dye your natural hair? Go for an ombre box braid look like this. You can match your hair to your outfit when you’re feeling fancy and even throw on a cute necklace.

What you will need: Packs of ombre purple 26 inch braiding hair

black purple ombre braids on black girl

12. Large Purple Senegalese Twists

This is another fun purple hairstyle that’s perfect for fans of long hair. You’ll need some braiding gel to help smooth down your hair and ensure a seamless blend with the purple braiding hair.

purple yarn twist on black teen

13. Burgundy Butterfly Locs

Butterfly locs are one of the best ways to rock faux locs. They are fun and can be made in different colors like this incredible burgundy look.

What you will need: burgundy soft locs crochet braids

butterfly locs on black girl

14. Jumbo Bubble Braids

There is something so fun and cool about bubble braids that makes them never go out of fashion. This jumbo version is even more stylish with the addition of mini braids in the front.

What you will need: pre-fluffed Marley twists hair or this drawstring ponytail

bubble braids on teenage girls

15. Cascading Goddess Braids with Curly Ends

We simply cannot get enough of the luscious curly look of goddess braids. This is another lovely variation that’s elevated by using perm rods to curl the ends.

box braids with curly end on black women

16. Knotless Box Braids with Beads

Opt for medium-sized knotless braids if you have a tender scalp that cannot withstand extremely heavy braids. You can include some multicolor hair beads to finish off the whole look.

box braids with beads

17. Passion Twists with Green Highlights

These passion twists are a fabulous hairstyle for teenagers in middle school and high school. You can wear it on a special occasion like prom, homecoming, or picture day.

What you will need: green passion twist extension hair

passion twists hairstyle for black girls

18. Twisted Ponytail With Accessories

Pull your hair into a sleek ponytail like this when you are in a rush and need a hairstyle you can make in less than ten minutes. You can wear a personalized name necklace and hair accessories to add a little more flair.

What you will need: Hair clips and Silk scrunchie

jumbo long braids with accessories

19. Bohemian Marley Twists

If you love two-strand twists but want to wear them in a slightly more dramatic fashion, you need to have these boho Marley twists on your to-do list.

passion twists for black girls

20. Cute Bubble Braids

You can never go wrong with a classic bubble braid hairstyle like this one. Style the hair into pigtails and use bubble hair ties to create the bubbles for a fashionable look that will look lovely on anyone.

bubble braids on black girl

21. Simple Kinky Buns

Looking for a low-manipulation hairstyle you can get done at the last minute? Try an elegant double bun like this one. Throw in two face-framing twists in the front and you’re good to go.

double puff natural hairstyle

22. Wavy Silk Press

The great thing about natural hair is that it can be styled in many different ways. If you want to rock straight hair for a little while, you absolutely can. Just blow dry the hair first and then use a curling iron to achieve this wavy silk press.

natural hairstyle for black teens

23. Heart-Shaped Cornrows

These heart-shaped cornrows are a trendy and stunning look that is perfect for older teens in high school. Be sure to curl the ends and style those baby hairs for extra sass.

What you will need: Pack of Red braiding hair

cornrows hairstyle for black teenage girls

24. Short Twists with Head Scarf

Opt for these lovely two-strand twists if you have short hair. You can pair them with a little eyeshadow to elevate your entire outfit.

What you will need: wooden hair beads and bandana

short locs hairstyle on black girls

25. Half Tribal Braids

Want to rock Fulani braids without spending hours in the braiding chair? Try going for a half-braided look like this. You can straighten your natural hair for the back section or simply get a sew-in weave.

fulani braids for teenage girls


50 Braided Hairstyles with Bangs For a Regal Look

50 Attractive Knotless Braids With Beads To Inspire Your Next Style!

40 Fulani/Tribal Hairstyles To Wear This Spring or Summer

Beautiful Invisible Locs Hairstyles for Young Black Girls

26. Long Faux Locs

Faux locs are a very popular hairstyle that always turns out beautifully on black girls. You can opt for a long version like this if you like a touch of drama.

long distressed locs on teenage girl

27. Freestyle Fulani Braids

These lovely Fulani braids have a lot going on but it all ties together to create a stunning look. You get gorgeous curls, elegant patterns and fullness. Who could say no to such a perfect combo?

medium length fulani braids

28. Medium Length Braids with Kinky End

These medium-length braids are an ideal choice for shy teenagers who may prefer more subtle and simple hairstyles. To up the ante, you can add some silver hair cuffs or wear a cute necklace to match.

short box braids with curly end

29. Knee-Length Goddess Bohemian Box Braids

These super long bohemian braids are guaranteed to make you the star attraction of any room. Just pull the front sections into cute pigtails whenever you feel like switching things up.

knee length bohemian braids

30. Waist-Length Box Braids

Looking for a way to make your box braids fun and unique? Add a few colored braids into the mix to make the hair pop.

What you will need: Packs of purple hair, blue hair, and green hair

box braids on black teen girl

31. Short Two-Strand Twists

Two-strand twists are one of the best hairstyles to wear in the winter if you are trying to protect your hair from the harsh winter weather. You can make them with flat twists to keep things interesting.

two strand twist hairstyle on teenage girl

32. Giant Afro Puffs

Sometimes, there is nothing more perfect than your natural afro. With this hairstyle, you will need to consistently moisturize the hair with a leave-in conditioner.

natural curly hair on black teens

33. All-back Stitch Braids

Stitch braids can done in a unique cross-cross look like this for a fun twist on regular straight-back cornrows.

cornrows hairstyle on black teenage girl

34. Invisible Locs with Loc Bang

Invisible locs elevated by cute bangs are the go-to hairstyles you never knew you needed.

locs hairstyle on black girl

35. Wash and Go on medium Length Hair

Want a super cute hairstyle that will let you show off your curls? Go for a cute wash n’ go. You’ll need ample amounts of gel to get your hair super defined.

hairstyle for teenage black girl

36. Auburn Fulani Braids

Your yearbook pictures will turn out beautifully with a regal look like this. Just apply a little hair oil to your scalp to keep it from drying out.

What you will need: Packs of pre-stretched #27 hair and same color wavy hair

cornrow hairstyle for teenage girl

37. Jumbo Copper Boho Braids

If you have been looking for a chance to try red hair, this is your sign to give it a go. Lightly curled copper braids with curly hair extensions added in, what could be more perfect?

What you will need: Packs of pre-stretched #30 braiding hair extension

38. Natural Afro Curls

You may not always have time to do an intricate hairstyle. This afro puff is a lovely hairstyle for those moments. Simply apply some curling cream to enhance the definition of your curls and finish off the look with a little makeup if you are old enough.

natural hairstyle for teenage girl

39. High Bun Stitch Braids

You can wear a braided high bun like this if you want something that will not require too much maintenance.

braids on black girl

40. Updo Natural Curls

This is a beautiful hairstyle for teenagers on a busy schedule. You do not have to do too much with this hairstyle, just replenish your curls with a leave-in spray a few times during the week.

What you will need: Hair clamp

natural curly hair for black girl

41. Ombre Passion Twists

If you like a bold hairstyle with a little more drama, you’re not going to be able to stop taking pictures when you do these ombre passion twists.

What you will need: Packs of T27613# braiding hair

passion twists on black teenage girl

42. Short Bohemian Braids

If you have fine hair, it is best to go for something like these bob-length bohemian braids. They will not require so much hair extensions, so there will be less pressure and heaviness on your scalp.

short box braids on black girl

43. Double Puff with Bangs

Cute double puff can be worn by middle schoolers and high schoolers. Just add a few extra accessories like hair clips to jazz it up.

What you will need: dreadlocks accessories

natural hairstyle for teens

44. Curly Locs

Want a hairstyle that stands out from the crowd? Curly locs are the way to go. Pull a few sections towards your forehead to create stylish bangs.

curly locs hairstyle for black teens

45. Hot Pink Boho Box Braids

Teens who love playing with bright colors in their look will love these hot pink boho braids.

What you will need: Packs of pre-stretched pink hair

pink bohemian box braids on black teenage girl

46. Mid-apart Natural Curly Hair

Braid your hair up with a little mousse to achieve this cute braid out. You can wear this hairstyle for up to a week if you keep it covered with a silk bonnet before going to bed.

natural hairstyle for black girl

47. Straight Back Cornrows

Straight-back cornrows just got a major upgrade with this look and we are loving every bit of it. Finish off the hairstyle with a flower hair accessory and you’ll be obsessed with the final look too.

What you will need: Pack of yellow hair and red braiding hair

all back stitch braids on teenage black girl

48. Afro Curls with Headband

Your afro hair can be stylish and cute without you doing too much to it. Just keep it well moisturized and pair it with a headband.

afro natural hairstyles on black teenage girls

49. #33 Bob Curls

Who knew bob-length hair could have so much sass and drama? Voluminous and elegant, these curly braids will make you the center of attention.

short curly hairst6yle for black girls

50. Two-Strand Twist Out

This is one lovely hairstyle anyone will feel beautiful in. You can incorporate some crotchet hair in the back.

twists out hairstyle

51. Bun Mohawk

If you have very full hair, this bubble braid style mohawk is a lovely way to show off your natural hair. But since we don’t all have this much volume, adding some crotchet hair can really help achieve this look.

updo mohawk on black girls

52. Copper Lemonde Braids

Unleash your inner Beyonce with lemonade braids. Make them in a fun shade of copper to up the ante.

cornrows hairstyle ideas on black girl

53. Short Straight-back Cornrows

For a simple protective style you can wear without any extra restyling, straight back braids should be your go-to. Twist the ends to make it easier to take down when the hair gets old and frizzy.

short braids on black women

54. Black Purple Box Braids

Wear purple braids with a little more drama by making them in this half-and-half black and purple look.

box braids hairstyle on teenagers

55. Fulani Braids with Two-strand Twists

we’ve seen Fulani braids done in many ways already but this two-strand twist variation really gives them a new look. Make this style with a few different shades of braiding hair to show off your personality.

fulani braids hairstyle

56. Accessorized Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a timeless protective style that exudes creativity and style. They are an ideal look for teenagers who do not like to spend hours getting their hair done. Just amp them up with gold hair threads and some hair accessories.

natural hairstyle on teenage girls

57. Kinky Perm Rod Set

These perm rod curls are simply to die for! Whether your hair is short or long, this hairstyle will turn out so cute, you won’t stop admiring yourself.

defined curls perm rod set

58. Mini Box Braids Hairstyle

Mini box braids are a very versatile hairstyle that teens of any age can wear. You can restyle them into a ponytail, loose bun or even wear them with a headband.

mini box braids

59. Short Twist Outs

Twist-outs are a great way to wear your curly hair out and about. You’ll need to use some curl ehancing gel or mousse to get a well-defined look like this.

twist out hairstyle on teenagers


Protective Styles are a wonderful way to allow a teenager’s personality and creativity to shine through their hair. They are very low maintenance and versatile, which is why they are the perfect look to wear to school. No matter your preference, the varied collection of looks from this post has shown that when it comes to protective styles, there is something for everyone. So go ahead, save your favorites, and hurry to your next hair appointment.