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4 Trendy Protective Braid Hairstyles To Try This Summer

Summer is quickly approaching, which means new adventures in the warm weather are also quickly approaching! And just like Megan Thee Stallion said, it’s time for a Hot Girl Summer, so get ready to make some memories and spend some time in the sun.

As a Black woman, heat and humidity is my natural hair’s worst nightmare, so switching it up with a protective hairstyle is super helpful. Protective styles are hairstyles that protect your hair and minimize damage — especially from heat and environmental factors. Not only do these protective stylings help to prevent breakage and promote hair growth, but they’re also super cute! 

From faux locs and twists to crochet braids and bantu knots, there are so many protective hairstyles to choose from. But don’t worry, because I curated a list of braided styles that will have heads turning during your vacation!

french curl braids

French curl braids are knotless braids that use curly braided hair to create a cute and elegant look perfect for any occasion! They are super easy to do, too. Just braid all the way down until you get to the part where you want the curls to start (most recommend at least four inches of curl) and voilá — french curl braids! The voluminous style has taken over TikTok with suggestions like mixing two or more colors for an ombre look.

Fulani Braids

Next are the Fulani braids, which are one of the most popular styles of braiding. This hairstyle gets its name from the Fulani people in West Africa, where the style originated from. Fulani braids are created with cornrows in the front and box braids in the back. This style has since been modernized in music videos and on red carpets by celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Rihanna. 

Rain Drop Braids

took me 2 days yo braid these😭😭i was skeptical about them at fitst vug then i ended up loving them #hairfypシ #raindropbraids #trendinghairstyles2023 #hairstylesforblackgirls

♬ Sure Thing X Ohh Lala (Remix) – DJ MONA LISA

When I was a child and got my hair braided, I begged my stylist to put beads in my hair. I loved the different sizes and colors, and the sounds they made when I moved was music to my ears! Beads can easily elevate your protective style, and there are so many ways to incorporate them. My favorite right now are these rain drop braids by Nozi on TikTok! The beads she uses look so pretty in the light, too. Her page also has a lot of braided hairstyle tutorials and inspiration!

Bohemian Braids

Last but not least are the extremely popular Bohemian braids! Also known as goddess braids, this hairstyle is composed of curly box braids with curly hair braided into the box braids. The best thing about this protective style is that it’s super versatile! There are so many ways to style these braids (including a forever fan-favorite: the claw clip)!When adding curly hair, try using human hair for a flowing style that looks natural!

As Black people, we use our hair to express ourselves, and with so many different braid sizes and colors, there is so much room for creativity. These braided hairstyles are perfect for the summer and I can’t wait to book my appointment!

Camille Birdsong is a graduate of Hampton University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Leadership Studies. She currently works as an NBC News Associate in New York City. Camille is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Animal Crossing, shopping for the latest finds, or exploring the streets of the city!