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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
12. Large Purple Senegalese Twists
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
34. Invisible Locs with Loc Bang
Invisible locs elevated by cute bangs are the go-to hairstyles you never knew you needed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
50. Two-Strand Twist Out
This is one lovely hairstyle anyone will feel beautiful in. You can incorporate some crotchet hair in the back.
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.
52. Copper Lemonde Braids
Unleash your inner Beyonce with lemonade braids. Make them in a fun shade of copper to up the ante.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
59. Short Twist Outs
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.