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40 Winter Protective Hairstyles Ideas for Natural Hair – 2021/2022 Edition

(Last Updated On: November 16, 2021)

During the chilly winter months, the last thing we want to worry about is our hair. No more being able to go out with slightly damp hair styled into a wash and go. It’s now time to start thinking of styles that are suitable for the winter.

Luckily for us, protective styles work all year round. As the weather changes, we must switch up our routines to match the environment.

What worked for us in the summer may not work for us in the winter, so we need to start thinking about how we’re going to protect our hair on frigid days. Protective styles make this easy for us and simplify our routines. 

The best thing about our natural hair is that we have so many different styles to choose from, including but not limited to:

  • Cornrows
  • Single Braids
  • Crochet Braids
  • Weave/Wigs
  • Ponytail
  • Bun
  • Clip-Ins

These are just a few of the protective styles that we can do in our hair. We are so incredibly talented when it comes to our hair and highly versatile. We can do any style we set our mind to.

The many gorgeous styles you see in this post are not even close to all of the styles we can do. Just thinking about braids, there are so many styles in that category alone.

Every style might not suit your preference for how you want to wear your hair in the winter, but there is something that will be a perfect winter protective style for you.

Start with this post and continue to look around until you find what you like. These styles are also not limited to certain hair types or curl patterns.

These styles can work on any natural hair and will look gorgeous on anyone. Don’t be afraid to try a style because you think your hair is too thick.

These styles also don’t discriminate when it comes to length, so don’t think your hair is too short for a nice style. Many talented hairstylists with magic fingers can put even the shortest hair into one of these styles. 

Which hairstyles are best for the winter?

The best styles for winter are the styles that require little to no manipulation. Protective styles don’t require much manipulation at all, so they are the best!

Styles like box braids, Senegalese twists, and wigs are great for winter, especially because you can easily wear your warm hats over them without worrying about them ruining the style.

They also can last up to 6 weeks, so that’s less time spent styling your hair during the week. 

Should I wear protective styles in the winter?

Protective styles are honestly perfect for winter. We don’t have to worry about our hair being ruined by the wind, and we’re also protecting our delicate ends simultaneously. Our ends get the most damage when it comes to environmental elements.

They can brush up against harsh fabrics and split. They’re the oldest part of our hair strand, so they don’t have the same health as the hair at the root.

In other words, we must make sure to give our ends some extra special attention. With most, if not all, protective styles, our ends are completely covered, and therefore, they are not likely to get much damage to them at all.

When deciding on a protective style, make sure to research how well it protects your ends. A protective style should also be kind to your edges as well. Styles such as braids and twists should not include the edges.

These styles are too heavy and can pull hair at the root, causing hair loss such as traction alopecia. Some types of damage you just can’t come back from. So always make sure not to have your edges included as part of a protective style. 

Do protective styles help your hair grow?

Protective styles do not help your hair grow. They help you retain length. There is a difference. Our hair is already growing.

Protective styles help retain that growth, and this is because when our hair is the style, we are manipulating it less, which means minor damage.

That is what causes the hair to keep its length and make it seem as if the style is what’s helping our hair grow. It also prevents our hair from breaking off due to split ends which is what is sometimes causing us not to be able to retain length.

Things like heat damage or chemical damage can also slow the growth of our hair, and it’s crucial to moisturize often and deep condition to keep the hair healthy and strong.

Keeping the hair clean will also help retain length as it will reduce product build-up on the scalp that causes growth to slow. So make sure to continue to wash your hair while it’s in a protective style. 

Depending on the style, you don’t have to do anything special to keep the style from getting ruined when you wash it. You should be able to wash your hair the same way you would if you didn’t have the style in. Remember to be gentle and pay attention to what you’re doing so you don’t cause frizz or any hair to unravel. 

Are braids good for the winter?

Braids are honestly one of the best protective styles to have in. They are highly versatile, they can last a long while, and they can be one of the quickest and simplest styles to do.

Braids are suitable for winter as a protective style because as long as you keep them covered while you sleep, you will have to do very little to get ready in the morning.

They are a huge time saver when it comes to styling them, as braids don’t require much upkeep at all. When they start to get frizzy, it’s simply time to take them out. 

1. Braided Bun Updo

This is a perfect example of a style that is low maintenance and does not require daily upkeep. 

@pearlthestylist_

2. Triangle Part Box Braids

Box Braids are a classic and popular style. Switch them up with some triangle parts. 

@houstonbraidstyle

3. Hidden Rainbow Box Braids

You can even switch up your box braids by adding a peek of color underneath. This rainbow idea is stunning. 

@houstonbraidstyle

4. Square Part Box Braids

Of course, you can never go wrong with simple square parts for your box braids. 

@houstonbraidstyle

5. Microlink Extensions in Black

Micro links are a new way to wear extensions, and no one will know they’re extensions except for you. 

6. Half up Half down Bun

This is an excellent style for when you want to wear your hair up and wear it down simultaneously. 

7. Curly Afro 

As long as we show it some attention, wearing our natural hair in its natural state will never go wrong. 

8. Micro links Extensions in Ombre 

Ombre style your micro links and enjoy a colorful new style. 

9. Perm Rod Curls

These types of dramatic curls are best created with perm rods. 

10. Curly Wig

Wigs that match your natural curl types are the best types of wigs. 

11. Bun with Afro

Our hair has a mind of its own and will grow out to the side, creating a beautiful silhouette.

12. Silk Press

We all love a good silk press, but we need to make sure we’re going to a professional to ensure our hair does not incur much damage. 

13. Butterfly Twists

Butterfly Twists are just a step up from the simple box braids styles we’re used to. 

@braidsby_veronica

14. Straight Wig 

With straight wigs, we’re able to curl them or add a subtle wave whenever we want a change. 

@bysharalaurie

15. Curly Bob

Long curly wigs are great, but sometimes a nice bob is what we need to do the trick. 

16. Wavy Ombre Wig 

It’s impressive that there are now so many wigs that match natural curl patterns. 

@curlywavywigs

17. Chunky Twists

Chunky twists aren’t as popular as the smaller twists we usually see, but they work so well with this natural hair type.

18. Pineapple Afro

Pineapples are not only great for protecting our hair at night, but they also make a cute going-out style. 

19. Senegalese Twists

Senegalese twists are just as much of a classic as box braids. 

@duchess.braids

20. Back Length Wavy Wig

Long wavy wigs give off such diva vibes. 

21. Mini Twists

Mini twists are the best of both worlds as they are a cute style that you can leave as is or unravel and create a different type of curl. 

@funky_signature

22. Shoulder Length Wavy Wig 

We don’t see them as often as the long wigs, but shoulder-length wigs are so unappreciated. 

@hellobeautifulhair_

23. Oversized Single braid

A single long braid can keep your hair out of the way and protect it by covering it all.

@keystylist

24. Side Part Wig 

Most popular wigs come in a middle part style, but the side parts are the best. 

@nadulahair

25. Mini Box Braids

No matter what size you want your box braids, they will always look good and polished. 

@pearlthestylist_

26. Curly Blonde Box Braids

They’re not goddess braids, but you can still add a slight curl to your braids for something different. 

@pearlthestylist_

27. Box Braids with Colorful Elastics

Some of us enjoy the simple look but like to stand out once in a while. We can keep the style simple but add some extra unique elements to it. 

@pearlthestylist_

28. Goddess Box Braids

Goddess braids give off a bohemian, laid-back look that is just so pretty. 

@pearlthestylist_

29. Shoulder Length Goddess Box Braids

You can still be a goddess even if your goddess braids are shoulder length.

@pearlthestylist_

30. Goddess Box Braids Bob

Braids look so good in a bob, and we should do it more often. 

@pearlthestylist_

31. Half up Half Down Goddess Box Braids

Goddess braids are so pretty they don’t even need to be styled, but half-up, half-down style can take them to the next level. 

@pearlthestylist_

32. Cornrows with Heart Parts

Straightback braids do not have to be bland! Add some fantastic parts like hearts or other shapes. 

@pearlthestylist_

33. Mini Box Braids with Half Bun 

There’s nothing more satisfying than wrapping your braids into a bun. 

@pearlthestylist_

34. Braided High Bun

A braided bun is one of the best styles for busy naturals who don’t have time to style their hair often. 

@pearlthestylist_

35. Side Braids and Braided Bun

 We can still have fun with the braided bun style by adding side braids and even beads. 

@pearlthestylist_

36. Jumbo Red Cornrows

These are not your ordinary braids!

@precisionbraids901

37. Cornrow Braided Bun 

Straight-back braids can be a little fun, too, with some wavy designs. 

@precisionbraids901

38. Cornrows with Shaped Parts

If you’re going to do a style that needs to last you a while, you can surely make it a lot more fun! 

@precisionbraids901

39. Triangle Part Braided High Bun 

Braided buns can be fun, too, with triangle parts and different-sized braids. 

@precisionbraids901

40. Ombre Large Braids

Straight-back braids can use some pops of color once in a while. 

@precisionbraids901

41. Natural Hair Blow Out 

Heat is not our enemy, and if we take care of it properly, we can blow dry our hair for a stretched look.

@stylequeenbeauty

42. Wash and Go 

There’s no style more simple than a wash and go. 

@stylequeenbeauty

43. Jumbo Twists

Twists that aren’t too small but aren’t too large are just right. 

@stylequeenbeauty

44. Flat Twists

Flat twists are another style that you can leave as is or unravel to create a defined curl. 

@stylequeenbeauty

45. Perm Rods on Dip Dyed Ends

These perm rod curls can also be created with smaller rollers and sitting under the dryer to set them. 

@stylequeenbeauty

46. Ombre Orange Twists

Twists definitely look better when they’re in unique colors. 

@stylequeenbeauty

47. Large Twists

Make sure to twist your hair nicely and tight to keep these from unraveling too early. 

@stylequeenbeauty

48. Curling Iron Curls

These curls are best created using a large barrel curling iron. 

49. Jumbo Twists

Even these jumbo twists need to be twisted tight to avoid unraveling. Stretching the hair also creates this look. 

50. Front Twisted Wig 

We can do so many things with our wigs that sometimes people might not guess we’re wearing one. 

@youngafricana

51. Deep Wave Wig

Deep wave wigs are one of the top wigs that look the best on us. 

@youngafricana

52. Burgundy Wavy Wig 

Adding some color to a wig also looks best on us. 

@youngafricana

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