5 Protective Updo Hairstyles For Natural Hair

Protective styling is super necessary if you are trying to grow long, natural locks! But a major challenge when you have natural hair is finding the right go-to protective styles that work for you. While there are endless hairstyle options for natural hair out there, not all are created equal or will work for your curly hair type. More importantly, not all protective styles are cute enough to wear outside of the house!

The main goal of protective styling is to limit the damage that environmental stress can cause on your hair. African American hair is thick, dense and can be easily shaped into incredible hairstyles. But because black hair is also dry, brittle and kinky it needs to be handled with special care and styled with moisture retention and damage protection in mind.

Twists, braids and faux locs are all excellent options, but these can get a bit boring with time. One of my favorite types of hairstyles are "updos" - basically when your hair is pulled up and away from the face. Updos styles can be much harder to do with natural hair depending on the length. Women with short natural hair have to deal with shrinkage, which makes the hair appear even shorter than it actually is. But there are still plenty of options to choose from! The great thing about using protective updos is that they keep your hair ends tucked and protected, plus they provide a flawless, elegant look. It doesn’t get better than that!  

I’ve our together a list of our top six protective styling updos for natural hair to keep your look fresh all summer long:

Pineapple Updo


This edgy updo is probably my favorite because it can work well on almost any natural hair type. A pineapple updo is created by simply piling you hair at the front of your head and pulling the rest back. You can do this style with braids or twists to make it even more fun!


Braided Crown Updo


Braided crowns are making a comeback this summer, mainly because they are super easy and quick for any naturalista to do. Also, they can go from informal to formal in just a matter of minutes! Make sure you keep this style under a head wrap or scarf at night so your braids stay together longer.


Dutch Roll Updo


Dutch rolls are excellent for keeping your hair pulled back and under control. This is an easy style to do when you don’t have a lot of time, or if you can’t figure out what to do with your hair that day. This style is very easy on the hair, and can actually help it grow when maintained and styled regularly. Finish this look with your favorite carrier oil and you can use the dutch roll style for any occasion.  

Twisted High Bun Updo


Believe or not, the basic high bun is actually a great protective style option in between weaves and blowouts. Just be careful not to pull your edges back too tight as it can damage your hairline. This style is great because it tucks in your ends and requires no heat and little manipulation. Just use a portion of the hair to create a twist and wrap it around the bun. Simple, classy and chic for summer!

Goddess Braid Updo


Goddess braids take a little more length to create, but the final look is fabulous! And the best part is, they can stay together for weeks if you properly take care for the. There are many variations of goddess braids styles outside of updos, and they work on almost any hair length. With this style you can get creative and make amazing designs for any fancy or not-so-fancy event.

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