31 Protective Hairstyles For The Summer, Since There’s Still A Full Month Left
With record-breaking heat and — let’s face it — a depleting ozone layer, this summer has proven itself to be one of epic and sweaty proportions. And while what to do with my hair may be a minuscule concern compared to the current state of the environment, I’ve managed to find a way to focus my energy on both, and I’m surely not alone. And while there are plenty of naturalistas letting their curls run free this season, for others, like myself, that idea is far too overwhelming to bear. So to rectify that, protective hairstyles for the summer are a popular low-maintenance option, since you're tucking hair away and avoiding the inevitable sweat attacks and humidity that can turn any natural strand into pure frizz.
“In the summer, your protective styles last a shorter period of time because you’re simply doing more," Bianca Benvidez, a celebrity and editorial braider, tells TZR. "From going to the beach to going swimming, you're doing all these extra activities that you’re not normally doing during the cooler months. So I make it very clear to my clients to avoid wetting their hair, and to make sure that they're sleeping with a bonnet and scarf."
And though it’s hot as ever outside, Benvidez says that you can find a much needed cool-down in the preparation process of protective styling. The braider, who solely washes her clients' hair with cold-to-lukewarm water, says lowering the water temperature helps keep hair hydrated and prevents unnecessary heat. But that's not all you need to do to keep your natural hair healthy while protected. Brielle Johnson, hair expert and co-owner of Hair Confident Studio in New York City says no matter how low-maintenance your hairstyle may be, you can't forget about scalp health. "It's vital to maintaining healthy hair," she says. "You should mix tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle and spritz your hair and roots every morning."
If you're ready to give your hair a break for the remainder of the summer, keep scrolling for 31 styles, as spotted on some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Gilded Goddess Locs
Actress Nomzamo Mbatha's faux locs radiated under the summer sun on July 5.
Small Senegalese Twists
Braided Top Bun
To recreate this ultra-polished bun like Keri Hilson did on July 23, simply gather your knotless plaits into one uniform braid and neatly wrap it around, pinning the end with large bobby pins.
Small Knotless Braids With Goddess Ends
Jhene Aiko glistened like the star she is while vacationing in Hawaii on July 22. To keep your natural hair healthy underneath your braids, distribute a growth serum across the scalp two to three times a week.
High Braided Ponytail
Bria Murphy, daughter of comedy royalty Eddie Murphy, styled her box braids into a high ponytail for a look that was both effortless and elegant on June 1.
Triple-Stacked Goddess Bun
Pretty Passion Twists
Finger Wave Cornrows
Jewel-Toned Box Braids
Tessa Thompson brought new meaning to Parisian glamour on June 29 with this cobalt green forward-facing chignon look that was styled by celebrity haistylist Nai'vasha Johnson.
Fulani Braids With Wooden Beads
Alicia Keys gave us all a serious flashback to 2001 with these bead-adorned Fulani braids (styled by Johnson) on July 5.
Rih flew the great blue skies on July 1 with these simple auburn straight-back cornrows (topped with a baseball cap to rep her hometown of Barbados).
Faux Locs With Filigree Tubes
Large Cornrows With Metallic String
Cornrow Bun With Small Detail Braids
Sanaa Lathan gave her followers double-angled selfie action to show off this high cornrow bun (which included miniature braid accents) on July 2.
Faux Locs With Coils
On June 10, Tamera Mowry let the wind blow freely through her honey-blonde faux locs that included a variety of accessories including coils, metallic string, and beads.
Waist-Length Passion Twists
Actress Teyonah Parris tossed her glistening passion twists to one side on June 10. Help your passion twists maintain their shine with a light oil like this one from Love Beauty & Planet.
Lavender Box Braids
To recreate Regina King's July 27 lavender updo, simply part the upper half of your hair into three parts, twisting them into a single ponytail.
Chunky Marley Twists
Fan-favorite beauty maven Alissa Ashley showed off her chunky marley twists on July 18 with some serious baby-hair action on full-display.
Loose Braid Tendrils
Give your half-up/half-down 'do some accessorizing by letting two to three braids fall towards your face like Ashley did on July 4.
Platinum Blonde Knotless Braids
"Sun kissed vibez for the summer flex," Jada Pinkett Smith captioned her photo while on a family vacation on June 28. If you plan on hitting the water and want a product to revitalize your braids without any added crunch, try out a serum like this one from Beleza Natural.
Knotless Braid High-Bun
Having trouble securing your braids into one rubber band like Uzo Aduba did at the Orange Is The New Black series finale premiere on June 25? Try thick fabric hair ties for a guaranteed hold that makes creating a tight bun easier than ever.
To achieve this bohemian look like Cynthia Bailey did on July 7, simply grab four to five braids on each side, and secure them on the lower-back of your hair with a simple clip.
To keep your faux locs in tip-top shape like Bailey's, tuck them away at night in an oversized silk bonnet.
Platinum Knotless Braids
Platinum may be the color of the season, but that doesn't mean any dyeing of your natural hair is necessary. Achieve a look like singer DaniLeigh on July 12 by using pre-bleached braiding hair.
Faith Evans tossed her crochet twists into an 80's-inspired half 'do on June 25.
Feed-In Straight Backs
Detroit stylist Shamell Sha'Donna created this immaculate style for Ryan Destiny for Big Sean's Single Again video on July 30.
Auburn Fulani Braids
Sevyn Streeter's auburn Fulani braids were the perfect style for her tropical vacation on July 24.
Feed-In Cornrow Bun With Gold Fringe Hair Pins
Hair accessories had their moment when Christina Milian adorned her bun with long, gold fringe pins at the Hollywood Toy Story 4 premiere on June 21.
Knotless Straight Backs
Karrueche wowed on July 6 with waist-length braids created by celebrity braider Erinn Courtney.
3-Part Half 'Do
Dewanda Wise's July 2 'do looked cool — and likely kept the actress feeling as such, too.