Easy, Cute, and Protective Curly Hairstyles to Try


With summer 2021 just around the corner, now’s the time to experiment with hairstyles that fit your lifestyle and hair care routine!

One of the many great things about curly hair is its texture, which allows for versatility in styling! However, due to its fragility and proclivity for dryness, over manipulation or styling may damage or cause breakage to your hair.

So, before we get into the 5 versatile, easy, and cute styles for natural afro hair, check out our other posts on how to take care of your curly hair for optimal health, and the products to use that’ll prep your hair for protective styles!

Style 1: Box Braids

Box braids are a great protective style that require very little maintenance. Box braids are a favorite of naturalistas as they can add length and movement, and can be worn in a variety of styles (e.g. half-up, half-down, ponytail, etc.). 

While box braids do wonders at protecting your hair strands from manipulation and environmental stressors, your edges and scalp still need TLC (Reid)! 

Pro tip: Make sure you’re still shampooing and conditioning regularly, and applying light serums or oils to help with flyaways or frizz!

Style 2: Curly Up-do

For those days when you want to look feminine and pretty, consider rocking a curly up-do. This style accentuates your face and face shape, while keeping hair out of the face. When tying your hair up, make sure to use silk or satin elastics to avoid snagging or tangles! 

Also, invest in a strong-hold gel for your edges, or for a sleek back look. For the ‘fro, apply leave-in conditioner or a styling product to define the curls! 

Style 3: Wash-n-go

The wash-n-go is one of the easiest hairstyles to try if you have curly hair! 

A great wash-n-go starts in the shower. If you opt to shampoo your hair, make sure to use a sulfate-free product, followed up by a rinse-out conditioner. Apply a leave-in conditioner and styling gel to wet or damp hair, making sure to rake in the product through your hair. 


Pro tip: For major volume, let your hair air-dry. For definition, dry your hair with a blow-dryer and a diffuser-attachment.

Style 4: Low-puff

Similar to the up-do, the low-puff style is a great option for those hot summer days when you don’t want any hair in your face. 

With the low-puff, you can get creative with the parting of your hair! For volume and drama, opt for a side part. For a classy and professional look, you can opt for a middle part. 

Since this style is on the simpler-side, don’t be afraid to accessorize with clips, hair ribbons, or silk scarves! 

Style 5: Stretched

When you want to take a break from your curls, opt for stretched hairstyles! Stretching works great for tighter hair types, such as type 3 or type 4 curls. This style increases the ability of your hair strands to accept moisture that might otherwise be blocked or hindered when hair is tightly coiled. Plus, less tangles & knots! 

The most popular way to stretch curly hair is to use heat. To achieve this, part your hair into small sections and apply heat using a blow dryer (preferably one with a comb attachment). Using the tension method, hold your section of hair taut while you direct the heat to the length  of the hair. 

If you want to avoid heat, have no fear! Stretching type 3 or type 4 curly hair can also be done without heat (Moore). 

Check out these popular methods: 

  • Combing your hair thoroughly until hair is fully stretched
  • Using the ‘pineapple method’ to stretch your hair
  • Twist-outs
  • Braid-outs
  • The ‘banding’ method
  • Heatless curlformers