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February 18, 2021

Top 5 Protective Styles For Transitioning Black Hair

If you’re transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, these five show-stopping styles will carry you through with ease.


You did it! You finally decided to transition from relaxed to natural hair. Gone are the days of relaxers, heat-damaging flat irons, and hot combs. Whether you’ve made a choice to chop or trim the straightened ends over time, you’ve now started the journey of embracing your natural kinks. You may now be asking yourself, “Where do I go from here?” 


Protective Styles For Transitioning Black Hair
Experimenting with transitioning hairstyles allows for fun and creativity.


As someone who has been natural for four years, I spend about 20-30 minutes detangling my locks before styling. Although I love this bonding time with my hair, combing through my kinks and curls can get exhausting, especially during mornings where I’m pressed for time. Do I ever miss finger combing my relaxed strands? Maybe. 


On the bright side, there are so many benefits.  Since I transitioned into the natural life, I’ve found that my hair is now stronger and healthier than ever. There’s one method I have to thank for this, and it’s a style black women have used for years. It has saved me time, helped retain length, and kept my hair moisturized during hot California summers. 


The bottom line… protective styling has changed my life. And to aid my fellow transitioning sisters, I’ve put together five protective hairstyles that pulled me through my early transitioning days…



  • Box Braids/Faux Locs


box braids or faux locs
Box braids or faux locs?


Box braids or faux locs are popular, protective styles with transitioning women, and this is my favorite method. They’re low maintenance, versatile and can last up to three months, depending on your hair texture. Whether you want to wear your hair in a ponytail or half up and half down, you can count on box braids or faux locs to give you the look you most desire. 


This is also one of the best protective styles for going on vacation. Rather than running from every cannonball or splash, you can take comfort knowing that your box braids or locs will protect you from any ounce of water in sight.


Take a soak in the pool without worrying about your hair frizzing up as you keep your luscious tresses tucked away for the next couple of months. I can’t recommend these two styles enough!



  • Wigs/Weaves


Top 5 Protective Styles For Transitioning Black Hair
Wear a straight or curly look without worrying about possible damage with wigs.


As someone who appreciates every curl on top of my head, it’s fun to switch things up. Since I avoid heat on my natural hair,  weaves have given me the opportunity to wear a straight or curly look without worrying about possible damage.


When I want a straight look,I just ask my hairstylist to do a full closure on my hair. A closure is when all of your hair is braided down, tucked away under a wig, and the wig is then sewn down. This style can last up to two months before your hair starts peeking out beneath the lace.


I would recommend this for anyone who wants to rock a straight hair look but prefers not to straighten their own natural hair.


Another alternative is to do a glueless, non-sewn-on wig. You can find these at your neighborhood hair supply. This is an excellent alternative for transitioning women who don’t want to spend two hours in a chair.  Simply place your hair in a wig cap, plop the wig on and seize the day. Huge timesaver! 



  • Feed In Braids


Top 5 Protective Styles For Transitioning Black Hair
Feed In Braids are a simple, yet super protective style works wonders.


This simple yet super protective style works wonders. You can do two cornrows or even five, depending on the type of look you want. 


While this style only lasts up to two weeks, it’s ideal if you’re going away for a week and want a lower maintenance look.  It also adds thickness and length, and you can get them in any color or size of your choice. Nice flexibility!



  • Drawstrings Buns



Drawstrings Buns
Drawstrings buns for that extra volume.


If you’re looking for a protective style that is quick and braidless, drawstring buns and ponytails are the way to go.


Whether you want to wear your hair up or tuck it back, this look will give you mega volume.


Drawstring ponytails come in a variety of textures ranging from straight, coily, curly, or kinky. You can also purchase them in different lengths and 

styles including small, curly, puffs, or even a long, fishtail braid.



  • Bantu Knots


transitioning black hair
Bantu knots for that unique, edgy style.


This is a unique, edgy style that’s easy to maintain, especially when you’re itching for something different. They can be done on any hair length, and there’s an added bonus: when you decide to take them down they unravel into beautiful curls. 


Bantu knots can last up to a week and once you take them down, the curls last up to three days. They don’t require much product and this is a very beginner-friendly hairstyle. 


Which protective look is your favorite?


Alexandra Carmon has written professionally for 8 years now. She comes from writing content for ABC News, CNBC, and Disney. She wants her articles to inspire and help others achieve the goals they desire.




Great Content!!
Visit my blog also, based on Beauty and Health:


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

As a stylist I can attest to any number of these styles! I love the versatility we have with our hair, and I’m glad it is finally being celebrated! Yes!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

The bantu knots are so pretty and the curls after.....Love it!


Love the Bantu knots. Each style is so pretty. The creativity is endless!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I am so happy to see more of these styles in media, print, runway and love when someone is rocking that beautiful natural hair.


Reading this made me miss braiding my hair.


Great artistic take on personalization and creativity!


thank you!!


Love this article! Thanks Lexie, so informative and such beautiful styles.


thank you! :)


I learned so much from this story. Thanks Lexie. So many beautiful, creative styles too. Variety is the spice of life!


thank you! Really enjoyed writing this :)