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30 Stunning Summer Protective Hairstyles for 2024

Summertime is the best time to try different hairstyles because the weather allows you to wear your natural hair out without experiencing much damage.

Aside from the climate benefits, there are also many activities and events that happen in the summer that encourages you to try different hairstyles.

From barbeques, weddings, vacations, and many other celebrations, you actually have a reason to change up your hairstyles more often than usual.

Another benefit of the summer is that you get to show off your hairstyles while outdoors rather than keeping them covered with hats and scarves, which is what normally happens in the winter.

So if you want to wear an afro puff, twist-outs, or roller sets, you don’t have to worry about a hat messing up your hair.

Now, let’s get into recommending different summer hairstyles to try.

But before I do, I’d first like to answer frequently asked questions regarding protective styling your hair in the summer.

Be sure to read till the end because I will be recommending how to take care of each hairstyle so that it lasts longer and your hair can continue to grow.


What are the best protective styles for natural hair? 

When it comes to protective styles, you have to choose the best hairstyle that works for your lifestyle, because one isn’t better than the other.

You may be someone who likes box braids, or elaborate and creative hairstyles like updos and cornrows.

The truth is that one protective hairstyle isn’t better than the other.

Whatever hairstyle you end up choosing, please make sure that the hairstyle isn’t too tight so that you don’t end up with traction alopecia and breakage.

Also be disciplined to take care of your natural hair while it’s in a protective style because it’s easy to forget about the hair you can’t see and feel, especially if you used extensions.

How should I wear my hair in the summer?

Protective styles are great for the summer because it can get very hot and humid.

The extreme heat can make it difficult for your hair to thrive in its natural state, and when it gets too hot, you can feel too lazy and tired to do your hair.

Protective styles can provide a much-needed break while also keeping your hair looking stylish without much manipulation.

As stated earlier, you have to choose the best hairstyle for your lifestyle and preference.

Since the weather is warm and conducive to curly hair, you can wear your hair out more and leave added hair such as extensions for the winter when it’s much colder.

summer natural hairstyles

What styles can I do with natural hair?

The beautiful thing about having naturally thick, kinky curly hair is how versatile it is.

You can get your hair to do so many beautiful things such as braids, twists, and faux locs.

You don’t have to follow the trends when you can set your own trend.

Your fingers are magical when it comes to hairstyling, which means that you can wear whatever hairstyle you want to wear, as long as it looks beautiful to you.

What are the best summer hairstyles for natural hair?

There are several hairstyles to try in the summer that will make you to be a proud naturalista, regardless of your hair type and length.

Remember that the warm weather allows you to show off your hairstyle and you can choose a hairstyle that will match your cute summer outfits.

So if you want to add some color to your hair so that it will compliment all the beautiful summer colors, feel free to go ahead!

Also, make sure you take your time reading this post because I will be recommending hair care tips for each hairstyle so that you can get the most out of your chosen protective style.

When needed, I will also be recommending where to get the products to achieve the hairstyle.


Summer Hairstyles That Doesn’t Require Hair Extensions

These hairstyles are perfect for the summer because you can easily switch between hairstyles every few days, so that you can be fun and playful with your hair during the few weeks of the summer.

1. Teeny Weeny Fro With a Side Part

teeny weeny afro summer hairstyles for TWA

2. Colored Finger Coils on Short Hair

finger coils on twa - summer hairstyles for natural hair

3. Bantu knots

are a style that can be worn in many ways, making them a super versatile look.

You can cover your whole head in these twisted buns for an alternative look.

You can put two buns in front and leave the rest of the hair down for a fresh take on the half up half down look.

Or you can leave them in overnight and take them down for a gorgeous stretched curl style.

These do not require any extra hair (although you can add some if you want some out-of-this-world buns!) but will require elastics to keep them up.

You may not have much fun trying to sleep in these, but you’ll sure have fun looking gorgeous rocking them during the day!

bantu knots on 4c hair

4. Cornrows With Your Natural Hair Without Hair Extensions

These are the easiest and simplest protective style to do, and it’s great.

You don’t even have to add hair to them, but adding hair will give you that look if you want a thicker, long braid.

Cornrows can also be added to other styles, and there are so many ways to style them alone as well.

The most basic style of cornrows is just wearing them straight back.

To make them last longer, add elastics to the ends, so the braids don’t unravel.

cornrows mohawk on 4c hair

5. Halo Braid

halo braid on natural hair

6. Halo Twists

halo twist on natural hair

7. Flat twists

They are also not a protective style, but they are versatile and perfect for the summer.

This style may require some elastics, but other than that, you won’t need anything else besides whatever your preferred styling product is.

This style definitely needs to be touched up or done over as the days go by, but there are so many ways to wear a flat twist.

RELATED POSTS: 40 Easy Flat Twists Ideas on All Natural Hair Lengths

flat twists on natural hair

8. Braid-outs

These are not a protective style but can still be a great style for summer.

After washing your hair, all you have to do is comb it out, and braid it in small braids.

It’s that simple. You can even leave the braids in and wear a cute headwrap or scarf until you’re ready to take them down for a beautiful stretched style.

It requires nothing except some gel or a styling foam, which is completely optional.

You don’t need elastics, but you can add perm rods or Flexi rods to the ends to help them curl.

This is not required, but if you already have them available, why not?

braid out on natural hair - summer hairstyles on 3c hair

9. Twist-outs

They are a low manipulation hairstyle, similar to braid-outs, where you can leave them in and cover with a cute headwrap or scarf, or you can take them down when they dry for a simple stretched style.

They don’t require any tools, but you will need gel or styling foam to get the twists to hold and create a beautiful curl when they are taken down.

twist out on 4c hair

10. Side Part Fro

comb out afro on 4c hair

11. Wash and Go

wash and go on natural hair

summer natural hairstyles

12. Roller Sets

roller set on natural hair

13. Mohawk Bridal Updo

wedding updo on natural hair

14. Twisted Updo on Long 4c Hair

updo on long 4c hair

15. Simple Afro Puff

afro puff on thick 4c natural hair

16. Blownout Bun on 4c Hair with Side Sweep Bangs

4c natural hair in a bun

17. Two-Strand twists

These are a simple style you can do at home, or you can get done at a salon as well.

They look gorgeous with or without added hair and can last as long as box braids if taken care of.

They do require a lot of time and patience if you decide to do them yourself, and adding extra hair to them will make the process longer.

Using gel or a styling foam will help this style hold for longer to last until you have to take them out, which, unfortunately, will not be fun, but they are so worth it! They can be style in ponytails and buns or even simply worn down.

summer protective styles for black women

Summer Hairstyles With Hair Extensions

18. Fulani Braids or Tribal Braids

These are beautiful and elaborate hairstyles that are very popular in the summer because it’s a showy hairstyle that can truly elevate your beauty.

All you need is a few packs of kanekalon braiding hair and accessorize your cornrows with braid rings, cowries, and/or beads.

You can wear Fulani braids to fancy events such as weddings, birthday parties, and other celebrations.

This hairstyle can last between four to eight weeks, depending on how you care for your hair when you go to sleep at night.

So to prolong your hairstyle, be sure to wrap your hair with a satin scarf.

Over time, your hair may start to look dull, so you can apply some scalp oil to keep your scalp healthy and braids looking shiny.

To wash your hair, gently use your finger pads to wash your scalp, or you can wrap your hair with a satin durang and wash your hair underneath with diluted shampoo in the shower so that your cornrows won’t look frizzy and rough afterward.

fulani cornrows on 4c hair

19. Lemonade Braids 

These are cornrow styles that are braided to one side instead of straight back.

They can be worn short or long and look gorgeous either way.

Similar to Fulani braids, you can add charms and beads to this style for some extra flair.

You also can but are not required to add natural or synthetic braiding hair depending on the length you desire. This style of braid was made popular by Beyonce during a music video for her album, Lemonade.

RELATED POSTS: 40 Elegant Lemonade Braids Hairstyles to Inspire your Next Hairstyle

lemonade braids on natural hair

20. Cornrow Wigs

purple cornrow wigs for black women

21. Clip-in hair extensions

natural hair clip-in extensions on 4b hair

22. Headbang Wigs

Kinky Straight Headband Wig for Black women

23. Shoulder Length Bohemian Box braids

These are some of the most popular protective styles and have been around for a long time.

They can be worn short or long, thick or thin; you name it!

Depending on length and thickness, they can take a long time but can last from 1-3 months if taken care of properly.

There are so many styles that can be done with box braids and many colors to add to them.

This style can also require a lot of packs of braiding hair, depending on length and thickness.

shoulder length bohemian box braids

24. Knee Length Knotless Braids

knee length box braids

25. Senegalese Twists

Also known as rope twists which are similar to box braids but are instead twisted.

They also take a long amount of time to create but can last 1-3 months if taken care of properly.

They can also be done up in many different sizes and look gorgeous in long styles or a bob.

Senegalese twists are the perfect style for summer.

You can use either synthetic or natural braiding hair for this style, but using synthetic hair will lessen the risk of the twists unraveling too early.

senegalese twists on natural hair

26. Crochet Braids

crochet braids with marley hair

27. Havana Twists

They can be worn in any length or thickness and look gorgeous no matter how you style them.

The difference between Havana twists and other twist styles is that these are usually thicker.

These twists also require Havana hair, and there are a few ways you can install them, depending on your preference.

Here is one way to twist them:

Chunky havana twists with curly ends

 Marley twists

These are similar to Havana twists, but there is a distinction.

Marley twists are usually thinner, but the Marley hair used to create them makes them heavier than Havana twists.

Here is a complete article on Marley Twists:

28. Passion twists

These are twists that is thicker and more textured than other twists.

They were only created in 2018 but got popular really fast.

They can be worn at any thickness and length and will still look gorgeous.

Passion twists are perfect for those who are going for a more boho and laid-back style for twists.

They can also be crocheted in, which is a much faster way to install them.

They look similar to Senegalese twists, but instead of using braiding hair, you would use curly hair, which gives them that more relaxed look.

Depending on if you decide to crochet them or twist them yourself, the type of hair you need will vary based on what you’re looking for.

waist length passion twists

29. Passion Braids/Distressed Braids/ Butterfly Braids

passion braids on natural hair distressed braids on natural hair butterfly braids with defined edges

30. Faux locs

are a versatile protective style that requires wrapping braiding hair around your natural hair, but the result is phenomenal.

There are many ways to create faux locs, from long and thin, to short and thick, and each just looks perfect.

Faux locs do take a long time due to the hair having to be braided first and then wrapped, but they last a long time and fully protect your natural hair underneath.

Goddess locs

These are different from regular faux locs as they include curly tendrils of hair for a more boho look.

The great thing about this style is that they look great when they’re brand new and even when you’ve had the style in for a while.

They actually look more natural the longer they are in.

or this style and regular faux locs, you will not need as many hair packs as box braids, but you can use a similar style of hair to create locs.

Charms and beads give this a more bohemian, laid-back look.

Shoulder length goddess faux locs

Maintenance Tips

For all of these styles to last and look fresher for longer, the one tool you need for every single style is a silk/satin scarf or bonnet.

Having both is actually a great idea, and I recommend it.

Covering your hair at night when you sleep will keep the style lasting for a good while, especially low manipulation styles, which do not stay up as long as protective styles.

Protective styles can last you a good few months if kept up with and cared for properly.

Once new growth starts to show, the style will start to look less fresh, so it is important to always keep up with its maintenance.

If you can, wash your scalp at least every 1-2 weeks to keep your scalp fresh from product build-up, which can cause the hair to smell and look dirty.

It will, unfortunately, make the hair frizz up faster but keep a toothbrush or edge brush handy to touch up the front of the hair as much as you can. If you find that the hair is frizzing and growing early on in style and you don’t want to touch up your edges, wearing headbands and scarves will cover it, and it will still look good.

Whatever summer style you decide to do, wear it with pride!

summer hairstyles for black ladies