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Popular Protective Hairstyles To Wear This Summer

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

Summer is coming soon (maybe not soon enough)! If you close your eyes, you might already be able to smell the freshly cut grass, the sound of waves crashing on a shore, or the sound of your hometown part-time job calling you to what hours you’re available to work after you come home from college. Either way, as you begin mapping out your summer plans and how to keep busy during these upcoming summer months, you are also starting to change your wardrobe, trading in puffer jackets for sleeveless shirts. In the spirit of seasons and wardrobes changing, what better way to start the summer than to change up a hairstyle, too? 

If you’re ready for a change in hairstyles and a break from maintaining your curly hair daily, try one of the most popular protective hairstyles worn during summer. Numerous sources recommend these well-known protective hairstyles for various reasons ranging from practicality to style, and these recommendations do not disappoint. 

Box Braids

Box braids remain a beloved staple when discussing protective hairstyles, and their popularity only skyrockets during the summertime. Not only is the hairstyle incredibly versatile, as one can create an endless array of hairstyles from box braids alone, but it is also famous for holding up pretty well after a dip in the pool or a swim in the ocean, thus making it perfect for summer vacations.  

Knotless braids with curled end

Knotless braids are also a year-round favorite, but knotless braids with bouncy, flowy curled ends capture the whimsical vibe of summer. They also make the braids look extra good when they sway while walking, so you can strut on the beach boardwalk or across a park with friends in style. Just like box braids, knotless braids with curled ends are incredibly versatile, with extensive options in length, color, and hairstyles to play with. 


Cornrows are perfect for hot summer days. As the style protects your hair from the outside world, it also protects your forehead from hair sticking to it on a sweat-inducing day, especially during the pinnacle of summer. Cornrows also allow an opportunity for endless creativity as cornrows can be paired with endless hairstyles and braiding patterns. 

Bantu knots 

Like cornrows, Bantu knots are lifesavers on days so hot that dark pavements directly in the sun are scalding enough to fry eggs. They are even more perfect because most Bantu knot styles do not allow hair to touch your neck, allowing the area to breathe. In addition to keeping hair out of the face, they also function to keep hair tucked away and protected (obviously), but they also produce bouncy curls on demand when untwisted. 

Long Braided Ponytail 

Continuing the trend of keeping hair out of faces, many recommend the long, braided ponytail because of this ability and because of its fashionable look. These ponytails may sound simple; however, they are anything but, as they evoke confidence for all who wear them. Mixed with accessories such as scarves, jewels, and ribbons, they also become a blank canvas to elevate a summer outfit easily. 

Mini Braids (on natural hair) 

For those who desire a hairstyle with no braiding hair, the mini braids on natural hair are a beginner-friendly, cute, protective hairstyle that frames the face beautifully and works on many hair lengths. Also, just like Bantu knots, they unleash hydrated and bouncy curls when unbraided. 

Senegalese twists

It is difficult to precisely describe why Senegalese twists scream summer, especially when they are incredibly popular year-round. Still, the hairstyle remains royalty in the kingdom of popular summer hairstyles, mostly likely for its versatility and rope-like appearance, which never fails to be tantalizing and a nice switch-up to braids. 

Out of these popular protective hairstyles, I hope you feel inspired to try a new style or elevate an already cherished style you love. Overall, remember to love your curly hair and all the fantastic things it offers, including an endless variety of protective hairstyles that fit the exciting summer atmosphere.

Blanly Rodriguez, a dedicated writer for Her Campus, is thrilled to contribute to the magazine. Her enthusiasm is not just about being part of the publication but also about honing her writing skills and delving into compelling topics that resonate with women across all Her Campus campuses. Beyond Her Campus, Blanly is a student at the University of Virginia. In the past, Blanly has written for an international non-profit working to increase foreign aid for countries whose large percentage of citizens live below the poverty line. She has interviewed incredible women warriors such as the founder of Lydia House International, Margo Rees, and the founder of ICAP at Columbia University, Wafaa El-Sadr. She has been writing ever since fifth grade and even wrote an unpublished book she swears will stay locked in the files until the day she dies. When she's not writing, Blanly enjoys walking outside while listening to music, hanging out with friends, and reading. She enjoys reading silly romantic comedies or novels exploring topics on race and gender. Her favorite musicians are Beyoncé and BTS, but she loves listening to all types of music. She says her fatal flaws include spending money on sweet treats and buying album books.