The Best Protective Styles for Natural Hair During Winter

If you have natural hair, you know that keeping it healthy and moisturized is a serious taskNo matter the length, most natural hair doesn't always retain moisture, so winter is especially dangerous. Your "wash-n-go" turns into throwing on a hat at the last second to avoid breakage. Protective styles are the way to go, because you want your hair to grow, right? Here are the nine best styles that will have you looking cute AND protecting your ends at the same time!

1. Classic box braids

This is probably the most classic protective style—it transcends age. Lots of naturals have had braids like Brandy since they had long enough hair! Braiding hair is cheap, so there's no need to worry about price. There are so many color options as well, so just seek out a good hair stylist and look through all the different box braid styles before settling. 

2. Beads are the way to go

Take your box braids to the next level and make them extra stylish with beads. No, this is not just for five-year-old girls. Beads and rings are totally back in style and perfect for a long-term protection. 

3. Go crazy with the extensions 

This style can be done and re-done a million ways. Find some curly extensions online or at your local beauty supply store and clip them in! This is perfect for girls with super short natural hair who don't have a lot of options. Clip-ins work on practically every length and are great for a dramatic ponytail or top bun.

4. Locs without the commitment

While this is one of the more expensive styles, it's probably the most stylish. Take the stress out of getting permanent locs on your hair, and have a stylist put faux locs. Like box braids, the color options are endless, and you can keep them in for up to two months! They're extra chic.

5. Crochet away

Crochet styles are the most versatile of any protective style. If you've got cornrows, you can have practically any style at any length using regular braiding hair! Kinky straight looks good on everyone. Cut it, curl it, straighten it all the way down your back. This style is great for DIY, or it can be done by a stylist for a decent price. 

Related: 15 Struggles Every Natural-Haired Girl Knows to Be True

6. Twist it up

Marley twists and flat twists may be seen as a summery look, but they actually work for any season. If you're not a fan of box braids, twists are a great alternative whether you use fake hair or not. If you're feeling extra, you can have these practically touching the floor when you walk.

7. Wigs are so in

Yes, wigs are back for good! This has to be the easiest protective style when it comes to getting ready in the morning. Wigs can be really expensive, but don't knock them just yet. It's way cheaper than buying new hair every time you want a new style. Buy a wig once and reuse it for life! If you want to style it to make it look deceptively real, there are tons of YouTube videos to help a girl out. 

8. Get knotty

Bantu knots are actually two styles in one. Do them yourself at home, and when you take them out, you'll have something similar to wand curls. The best part is that you can mix it up with cornrows, twists, box braids and buns.

9. Or just cover it up

In between styles? Just pop on a cute beanie, or learn how to tie a head wrap. There are so many types that it's hard not to go overboard with infinity scarves and baseball caps. 

No matter what style you pick, make sure to keep your hair moisturized underneath. The winter breakage is real.