Finally, summer is right around the corner and that means it’s time to show off your best protective styles. Sure, you can wear protective styles any other time of the year, but because of the summer heat, most curlies like to tuck their hair away when doing outdoor activities, like traveling, swimming and laying on the beach.
If you’re the queen of braided styles, we’ve gathered more than a dozen for you to send to your stylist to try next.
1. Knotless Braids Bob
This long bob is so popular that stylist @pearlthestylist_ holds classes online and in person just to teach it.
2. Jumbo Knotless Coi Braids
These knotless braids are back with an optional twist of curling the ends.
3.Goddess Box Braids
Box braids are a favorite for many, but this style is great to show off curl definition and versatility.
4. Feed-in Ponytail Braids
Feed-in braids have been one of the biggest braided trends recently. Add a few gold cuffs to spice up your braids effortlessly.
5. Natural Braided Updo
This braided style is great if you’re headed to a special occassion such as a wedding or formal event and still want to rock your natural texture.
6. Side Swept Braids
If you’re looking to keep your curls and get creative, this simply style is for you. Refresh day 4 curls and a few braids on the side of your head and you’re off!
7. Lemonade Braids Ponytail
It’s no secret that last year when Beyonce dropped lemonade she brough back the mini braids she refers to as lemonade braids. This braided ponytail style is beautiful and so precise.
8. Half-up Half-down Feed-in Braids
The feed-in phenomon continues and this style is a great way to utilize hair extensions and incorporate braids.
9. Braided Bob
This nostalgic style is great when you don’t want to deal with the extra weight box braids brings, but gives you the same effect.
10. Double French Braids with Curly Extensions
This is by far one of my favorite styles this Summer. It’s a twist on the classic french braids and adding curly hair extensions to the ends for extra volume.
11. Knotless Box Braids
Don’t make us pick a favorite between jumbo and small knotless braids!
12. Fulani Braids with Cuffs
Fulani braids are usually done with cornrows in the front and box braids in the back, and they’ve made a major comeback recently. Make yours pop with a bold color or gold cuffs.
13. Fulani Braids with Beads
Another way to make your fulani braids shine is with beads, which you can add just at the ends or bring them all the way up like Solange.
14. Single Part Triangle Jumbo Box Braids
It’s all in the detail and these box braids are bangin’. Simply part your braids into triangles for a neat and clean look that stands out.
15. Nubian Braids with Single Rows
If you love small and precise braids, this style is for you. Definitely reminds me of the micro braids.
16. Feed-in Braids
There are a variety of ways to get feed-in braids and this is one of the most popular where it’s a mix of small and big braids feeding into each other.
17. Feed-in Braids and QuickWeave
This heat-free style gives a half-up half-down look with no leave out.
18. Ciara Plaits
The classic plaits always make a comeback and are a quick and easy style to try.
19. Fishtail Braid
When you want to slick back your hair and add some volume this is a great style to try. Add a few bobby pins to make a statement and add hair extenstions to your ponytail for a more dramatic effect.
20. Senegalese Twists
Senegalese twists, also known as rope twists, originated from the West African country of Senegal. I love how this gorgeous, protective style offers a different take on the current braid trend.
21. Braided Design Bun
No matter if you’re looking to add a bit of length or beads to your braids this summer, there is truly a style for everyone. We love the versatility of this style – @pearlthestylist_ does amazing things with braided buns.
How long should I keep my braids in?
One of the biggest questions I always get is, “how long should I keep my braids in before removing them?” The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors like how often you typically wash your hair and your hair type.
Some hair types may not hold a braided style as long as others. Also, some curlies may feel the need to wash their scalps after just a few days with braids.
Be sure to listen to your scalp to know when it’s time to remove the braids and wash. If you begin to see product buildup, an irritated scalp or any sort of damage, that is your cue.
Which style is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated with new hairstyles.