6 Best Protective Styles for Winter

Winter has to be one of the hardest seasons to get through for naturals. From the chilling, dry winds to the freezing flurries, we need to be vigilant when it comes to keeping our hair in good condition. This is the time that is ripe with opportunities for your hair journey to be set back. The chances for breakage and dryness are at their highest and you certainly can’t go outside with a wet twist out – despite how cute you might look with a cold. So, what types of protective styles are best for winter? Here is a list of the top six styles that are perfect for the winter weather.

Prepare Your Hair

Before you go to this list, I do want to preface with a disclaimer: Protective styles are always great however, if your protective styles are too tight, worn for too long, and you neglect regular maintenance, you can experience the same amount of breakage, if not more, from just having your hair exposed to the elements and try. Your hair is still growing and it will tangle. Your hair still needs to be moisturized and wash now and then too, just like your body. With that being said, please make sure to take good care of your hair all year long.

Top 6 Wintertime Styles


Yes, wigs do count as a protective style. Wigs have been used for centuries to keep women’s, and some men’s, hair protected from the elements. They’re great for those of you who are tired of refreshing their quick braids every day and a chance to drastically change up your look without damaging your hair. Many naturals use wigs in their TWA (teeny weeny afro) phase to help them transition a little easier. Another benefit to wigs is that it keeps manipulation low. Manipulation is one of the biggest issues that people with natural hair struggle with. If you can resist touching your hair and only touch your wig, then you’re sure to be close to your hair goals by summertime! However, I do not recommend wigs to the detriment of your natural hair. If you find that the wigs are keeping you from caring for your hair. Continue to wash your hair regularly, refresh those braids, and don’t forget to get your edges trimmed.

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Head Wrap

The headwrap is my favorite style to wear. Headwraps have become increasingly trendy in the last two years, and I’ve been loving the style. There are so many ways to use a head wrap that compensates for long and short hair. It provides a safe way to protect your edges, keeps your head warm, and they’re so cute (I’m wearing one now while writing this because it’s so comfy). One of my favorite aspects of headwraps is that you can adjust how tight they are. You can do that with some, but not all wigs and for that headwraps will always have my heart.

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Crown Braids

The crown braid was the first hairstyle that I wore once I was out of my TWA phase. What I love about the braid is that you can show off your cute edges without even trying. I’ve seen crown braids done with box braids and certain twist styles. Regardless, it’s a professional and elegant style that I can wear on dates, to interviews, or just hanging out with my friends.


A style women have worn almost longer than wigs, the twist is a great style for those that want a protective, low maintenance look that has effortless beauty. Twists are quite easy to wash and you can wash your hair with your twists in if you need to. I recommend untwisting them but if they look good on you and you’re in a rush, then continue to rock them for as long as possible. Another perk to twists that I love is that you have a whole second hairstyle waiting for you! The famous twist out is a great option for those special, wintery weather events like Valentine’s Day or St. Patricks Day.

Ultimate Guide To Mini Twists On Natural Hair


Next, we have cornrows. I don’t wear this hairstyle often, but when I do I always wear it with extensions. Celebrities like Alicia Keyes, Willow Smith, and others have rocked beautiful cornrows with extensions. You can keep these braids in for up to 6 weeks (depending on how well you maintain them) and rock your effortless beauty. Another great perk to cornrows is that many of the styles don’t require you to work on your edges and, if that’s not your strong suit, you may want to consider this style.

Crotchet Braids

Crotchet braids have been popular for as long as I can remember, and I don’t think that they’ll be going anywhere for a long time. For those of you that don’t know, crotchet braids are installed by parting the hair, braiding it into rows, and then crotcheting hair extensions into the braids. Many naturals use hair extensions similar to how their hair would naturally look for these braids, and it looks great and withstands a lot. I wore crochet braids on a trip to Europe that involved a lot of walking, varying temperatures, and dancing, and my hair was always cute – my makeup was a different story.

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Crochet braids for Black women - Protective hairstyles cute NHP Approved
Crochet braids NHP Approved
@southernsophis on IG
Crochet braids natural and weave extensions NHP Approved
@prettyglory_artistry on IG

Those are my top six wintertime styles for naturals. I hope that you enjoyed this article and come back for other great topics in the future. What are some protective styles that you’ve enjoyed? Leave a comment below.

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  1. chelsey wrote:

    thank you so much for this! it was super helpful because i’m a 10th grader haha

    Posted 1.31.21 Reply