7 Braided Protective Styles to Try Right Now

Braided protective styles are the ultimate solution, giving you low-maintenance slayage while keeping your hair healthy and thriving.

best braid styles
Photo Credit: Braidedbytee on Instagram; Artwork: Joy Adaeze

Hey Queens! We all know the struggle: you gotta look fire, but you also gotta protect your crown (aka your gorgeous hair). Braided protective styles are the ultimate solution, giving you low-maintenance slayage while keeping your hair healthy and thriving. 

[SEE ALSO: Best Spring Haircuts For Textured or Curly Hair Types]

But with endless options, where do you even begin? Don’t worry, sis, we got you. Here are seven braided styles that are perfect for the busy Gen Z queen on the go.

1. Box Braids: The Timeless Classic

Box braids are iconic for a reason. They’re super versatile, last for weeks (with proper care!), and can be customized to any length, thickness, and even with pops of color to match your mood. Feeling a little extra?  Go for jumbo box braids for a statement look, or add braids with hair cuffs or beads for a personalized touch.

2. Fulani Braids: Royalty on Your Head

Fulani braids are a regal take on the classic cornrow style. Originating from the Fula people of West Africa, they incorporate intricate braiding patterns on the sides that meet in the center with a single braid or ponytail. Level up your Fulani braids by adding colorful extensions or braiding them into intricate designs at the crown.

3. Crochet Braids: Endless Possibilities

Crochet braids are perfect for adding length, volume, or even completely changing your hair texture. With this method, pre-braided extensions are crocheted into your cornrows, creating a seamless, natural look. The best part? There are so many styles to choose from. Choose from kinky, straight, or wavy textures, experiment with ombre or highlight colors, or even go for fun patterns like butterfly locs.

4. Passion Twists: Effortless Chic

Passion twists are a low-maintenance dream. These two-strand twists create a voluminous, textured style perfect for those who love a natural look. Plus, they’re super easy to manage—just add a little moisturizer to keep them hydrated and you’re good to go! Passion twists can be worn short or long, and even adorned with beads or hair rings for extra flair.

5. Knotless Braids: Protective and Pain-Free

Knotless braids are a godsend for those with tender scalps. Unlike traditional braids, they use a feed-in technique that avoids putting tension on the roots. This makes them super comfortable to wear and perfect for anyone new to braiding or with sensitive hair.  Knotless braids can be styled in various ways, from box braids to goddess locs, giving you ultimate versatility.

6. Lemonade Braids: Braids with Benefits

Lemonade braids took the internet by storm, and for good reason! Inspired by Beyoncé’s album (yup, Lemonade), this style involves cornrows that feed into intricate designs on the sides. Lemonade braids are not only cute, but they also promote hair growth by keeping the ends tucked away and minimizing breakage.

7. Senegalese Twists: A Stylish Take on Tradition

Senegalese twists are similar to passion twists but use two strands of pre-braided extensions that are twisted together. This method creates a more defined and polished look that lasts for weeks. Senegalese twists are perfect for protective styling during hot summer months or when you just want a low-maintenance style that still makes a statement.

Pro-Tip: No matter which style you choose, remember to take care of your braids! Wash your scalp regularly with a gentle shampoo and deep condition your hair every few weeks. Also, silk or satin scarves are your best friend at night to prevent frizz and maintain moisture.

So there you have it, queens! With these bomb braided styles, you can rock protective hairstyles that are not only low-maintenance but also express your unique personality. Remember, your hair is your crown, so wear with confidence!