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

Are you looking to find unique hairstyles for your 12-year-old tween girl? Do you want something that not only look beautiful but also protects her natural hair? Then look no further.

For many young girls, their naturally textured hair should be embraced. However, constant styling and heat can cause damage, so choosing the right protective styles can prevent this. 

With so many options available, it can be hard to choose the perfect style. This is why this article has compiled 35 delightful natural hairstyles for your 12-year-old daughter. 

Which Hairstyle is Least Damaging to Natural Textured Hair?

Hairstyles that put less stress on the hair and scalp are generally less damaging. Some examples include low manipulation styles like twists, single braids, and buns. 

What Hair Textures Need Protective Styles?

Typically, type 3 and type 4 curly to coily afro textures can benefit from protective styles. As your child is growing up and can be active, having natural hairstyles that limit breakage regularly is ideal. 

Which Protective Style Lasts the Longest?

How long your daughter’s protective hairstyle lasts depends on some factors, including hair type, maintenance, and lifestyle. 

For example, thicker type 3 and 4 hair will benefit from braids or looks with extensions. But these styles can be easily maintained with regular moisturizing and oiling.

Which Hairstyles Can Help Your Daughter’s Hair Grow?

Hairstyles do not directly promote hair growth, but certain protective looks maintain the health of your daughter’s hair, which can lead to stronger hair growth. 

For example, hairstyles that minimize regular pulling and tension on the hair, like box braids or cornrows can reduce hair breakage. 

Additionally, regularly trimming split ends can improve the overall health of your 12-year-old’s hair. A healthy diet and lifestyle also play a role in hair growth.

Can 12-year-olds Try Protective Styles on Themselves?

Yes, 12-year-olds can try protective styles on themselves. As a parent or guardian, it’s your responsibility to teach your child ways to properly care for their hair. 

And as they get older they’ll be able to attempt different styles on their own and embrace the beauty and versatility of their natural texture along the way. 


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1. Cuffed Puffy/Type 4 Pigtails

easy bubble natural hairstyle for 12 years old black girls

If your daughter has long type 4 hair, this pigtail style is ideal to show off that texture. You’ll need plenty of rubber bands and hair cuffs to tie this together.

2. High Bun with Side Bang

top knot hairstyle with bow for brown girls

Transform a high bun by adding a cute side bang and a hair bow, as we see above. Don’t forget to use an edge control gel to slick down flyaways.

3. Jumbo Double Space Buns

double bun with weave for black teenage girls

For girls with longer lengths, these adorable jumbo space buns will look great for school. They can be transformed into high pigtails and last a couple of days.

4. Low Space Bun with Chopsticks

low ninja bun on black girl

A low-space bun is sure to keep your 12-year-old’s hair out of her face. Accessorize it with chopsticks for a more stylish look and slick it with gel to last up to a week.

5. High Pigtails for Type 3 Hair

double ponytail with weave hairstyle for black girls

Loose type 3 curls will look great in high pigtails as we see above. To maintain the curls, your daughter can braid the pigtails before bed and cover them with a silk bonnet.

6. Large Box Twists with Criss-cross Cornrows

jumbo box braids on black girl

Box braids are a common style, but to save time you can try these box twists instead. Add some detail with the cornrows in between each parting and finish with hair cuffs.

7. Two-strand Pigtails with Swirl Partings

protective hairstyle for brown girls

Two-strand twists will look effortless on your 12-year-old, especially if you twist more than one per pigtail and get creative with the parting. These can last up to two weeks.

8.  Jumbo Box Twists

two strand twists on 12 years old black girl

Jumbo box twists are low maintenance and simple to achieve. Complete the look with hair beads and rubber bands on the ends. If you’re using a styling gel it will last a few weeks.

9. Two-strand Twists with Triangle Parting

triangle part braids on black girl

Switch up the parting shape on your daughter’s hair by using triangles. You can create a beautiful layered pattern finished with colorful beads and butterfly clips.

10. 5 Pigtail Two-strand Twists

protective hairstyles for black girls

Using an edge control gel, you can slick your daughter’s hair into as many or little pigtails as she desires. Above we see double two-strand twists that can last a couple of weeks.

11. Versatile Locs with Double Space Buns

bob faux locs for black kids

The next time you’re retwisting your 12-year-old’s locked hair, using a strong hold loc gel you can create high-space buns or even turn them into pigtails.

12. All Back Stitch Braids with Heart Design

heart shape cornrows on black teenage girl

Stitch braids are an excellent protective style that remain neat up to six weeks. Include a heart design and a bun or ponytail for versatility.

13. 3-in-1 Knotless Braid Design

bow braid hairstyle with blue highlights on black kid

A hairstyle perfect for summer is this 3-in-1 detailed heart design followed by a braided Minnie Mouse bow and knotless braids. Make it vibrant with colored hair extensions, thread, and clips.

14. Big and Small Stitch Braids in High Bun

stitch braid with weave for black kids

Take your 12-year-old’s stitch braids to the next level by having big and small braids to create this gorgeous look. End the style in a high bun or high ponytail and it can last up to six weeks.

15. Parted Lemonade Braids

cornrows hairstyle with rainbow beads on black kid

Thanks to Beyoncé, lemonade braids are a popular style. Part the hair into four sections, then add some hair extensions for length. Finish with colorful beads to recreate this.

16. Small Fulani Braids

feed in braids with beads for 12 years old girl

Fulani braids look amazing on type 3 and type 4 natural hair. They’re long-lasting for up to six weeks and can be finalized with wooden beads on the ends.

17. Double Top Knots and Criss-cross Braids

half up half down braids with accessories for black girls

These single braids look extra special with the double top knots. The criss-cross braids are an added touch complete with beads and colored bands.

18. Half Cornrows Half Braids Style

half up half down braid hairstyle for black girls

Your daughter’s cornrows don’t have to be braided completely onto the scalp. You can try these half cornrows and finish with a high bun. The style can live up to six weeks.

19. 3-in-1 Stitch Braids with Side Bang and High Bun

braided bun with weave for black girls

These stitch braids are fun as you have three styles at once for your daughter to enjoy. Slick the baby hairs with edge control gel, lock the side bangs with beads, and add a bow to the bun.

20. Horizontal Stitch Braids with Double Pigtails

side cornrows on black kid

We think your daughter will love these horizontal stitch braids. You can put each stitch braid into a larger braided pigtail and end with colored thread to last up to a month.


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21. 2-in-1 Cornrows and Single Braids

long braid hairstyle for black kids

For a style that’s quick to do, try these large parted cornrows and single braids at the back. Using a styling gel, keep flyaways down to make the style last for two weeks.

22. Fulani Braids with Color

cornrows with highlights for black girls

Adding extensions and the colored thread will make your daughter’s braids more unique. This Fulani style can be maintained for up to six weeks when kept with a silk bonnet at night.

23. Black and Yellow Knotless Braids with High Ponytail

half up half down with accessories for brown kids

Whether it’s the holidays or a birthday celebration, these colorful braids will let your daughter’s hairstyle radiate. Finish with some chopsticks or turn the ponytail into a bun.

24. Bow Design Single Braids

ribbon shape braids with curly end for black girls

These intricate bow braids look beautiful on type 3 and type 4 textures. Complete with box braids, accessories, and a high bow bun to last up to four weeks.

25. Swirl Double Stitch Braid Design into Ponytail

cornrow hairstyle with bow on black girl

This small stitch braid hairstyle is ideal for your daughter who is always on the move. It keeps it out of her face and can be topped off with an adorable bow.

26. Stitch Braided Bun

bun stitch braids on black girl

Using a styling gel, you can tame thick type 4 hair into stitch braids, as we see above. Complete with a high bun or ponytail and this can remain neat for up to six weeks.

27. 2-in-1 Stitch Braids with High Ponytail

half up half down hairstyle for black teenage girl

Choose between small, medium, and large stitch braids to get this look, depending on your daughter’s preference. This style can be slicked with hair mousse to finish.

28. Horizontal Cornrows with Floral Design

braid hairstyle with accessories for 12 years old black girls

Let your daughter’s hair be playful, especially in the summer. It may take a while to braid the middle floral design, but it can last up to six weeks, and be completed with accessories.

29. Short Box Braids

short medium box braid hairstyle for black girls

Box braids can be done using your daughter’s natural hair or with extensions for added thickness and length. Add some gold cuffs on the ends and have these in for a few weeks.

30. Single Braids with Curly Ends

box braid hairstyle with curly end on black girl

These simple single braids can last up to a month. Using some rollers to the ends, create these charming curls.

31. Half Up Half Down Cornrows

half up half down braids with beads for black girls

The top half of your daughter’s cornrows can have a high bun or high ponytail and side bangs. Each braid can have beads on the ends to make it more stylish.

32. Swirly Horizontal Cornrows in Pigtails

cornrows hairstyle with beads for black kids

This style is ideal for school, as you can use matching beads and bows to compliment the hair. The cornrows can last up to three weeks.

33. Detailed Cornrows and Box Braids

half up half down braids with beads for brown kids

Try this creative style on your 12-year-old’s hair. The front braids will frame her face, and the high ponytail can be worn as a bun. Finalize with beads on each single box braid.

34. Diagonal Stitch Braids into Ponytail

fulani hairstyle for black teenagers girl

Instead of straight or horizontal stitch braids, try this diagonal style that leads into a ponytail. Add some single braids at the back with hair extensions for length.

35. Medium Knotless Braids with Curly Ends

waist length box braids with highlights for black girls

These long knotless braids pop with some colored extensions. Ask your daughter to pick her favorite colors and include them. Curl the ends and slick the baby hairs to complete.

Lovely Protective Hairtsyles for Girls!