Bye-Bye, Heat Damage; Hello, Protective Styles!

2018 natural hairstyles for black women
2018 natural hairstyles for black women
Screenshot: fashiontrendseeker

The relationship a black woman has with her hair is ever changing.

One day our hair looks flawless; the next day we’re tying our hair down with a scarf to hold down our edges and whatever might be going on in the “kitchen.”


Summer is always a trying time for us because of the humidity, the heat and the hell our hair raises. This is why protective styles are our savior; they save our hair from heat damage and allow us to finally retain length without worrying about the damages of a flat iron.

In case you need a refresher course, here’s a list of protective styles that are perfect for summer:

Box Braids

Box braids
Box braids
Screenshot: Fashion Hair Styles

Box braids are one of my favorite styles and have evolved over time. Remember when people actually wore micros? A mess. Box braids are extremely low-maintenance and will save loads of time in the morning when it comes to getting ready for the day. It’ll take up the majority of one day to get them done, but most are pleased with the outcome, and they last up to a month.


This hairstyle requires a bit of work but will last a few days, depending on how you protect your hair at night. Twist-outs are literally two-strand twists done using damp hair sections of hair and taken out once dry. It creates a defined curly look that imitates the look of natural curls. This style is perfect for girls with heat damage who may struggle to get their natural hair to curl up.



Whether you hate or love wearing weaves, the style isn’t going anywhere. But sew-ins aren’t the only option anymore when it comes to rocking extensions. Wigs are gaining major popularity because you can have a flawless style while your hair is completely protected underneath. I’m no weave connoisseur, but I do know that many are heading to YouTube to figure out how to create their own wigs, because stylists are charging hundreds—even thousands of dollars—on wigs with virgin hair.

Faux Locs

Faux locs are similar in style to box braids but will likely take even longer to install. This has become a trendy hairstyle in the black community as of late. It imitates dreads without the commitment, and for a slightly more feminine touch, some are getting “goddess locs,” which have curly ends.


“Lemonade” Braids

Inspired by the Queen—Queen Bey, of course. This braided style is done with cornrows braided to the side or straight back. Adding a touch of color or some braided designs adds even extra flair to an already cute style perfect for the summer.


All of the above styles are perfect for vacations at the beach or doing activities you wouldn’t usually do with straightened hair, because, be real—who wants to ruin their relaxer after spending hours of getting it perfect?

But even if you’re #TeamNatural, giving your hair a break—while playing with a new look—is never a bad idea. You’ll be good to glow!

Montana Couser is a recent Howard University grad and Philly native.



As I understand it, braids are what black women, and women with black ancestry did during Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) time. He advised to undo them once a month after their menstrual cycle was finished and wash the hair through at the time (there is a full body shower that all women do) and then to re-do the braids for the rest of the month.

I was taught this in a class on menstruation and women’s health in Islam.