Sun-kissed skin, refreshing dips in the pool, and endless barbecues – summer is a time for fun and relaxation. But for those with natural hair, the heat and humidity can wreak havoc on their precious strands. Chlorine, saltwater, and constant styling can lead to dryness, frizz, and breakage. Enter the world of protective hairstyles!

Protective hairstyles are essential for maintaining the health of your hair, especially during the summer. They shield your hair from environmental stressors, reduce breakage, and help retain moisture. But not all protective styles are created equal. Some can be more harmful than beneficial, causing tension, breakage, and other issues. That's why it's crucial to choose styles that are gentle and easy to maintain.

So, what is the least damaging protective hairstyle for summer? In this blog post, we'll discuss various protective hairstyles, highlight the least damaging options, and provide tips on how to care for your hair while wearing these styles. 

Table of Contents

1.Why Protective Hairstyles Matter and How to Choose the Right One

2. Top Least Damaging Protective Hairstyles for Summer

3. Tips for Maintaining Protective Hairstyles

4. Conclusion

Why Protective Hairstyles Matter and How to Choose the Right One

Protective hairstyles become a summer must-have for healthy hair.  Summer sun can be brutal, causing breakage and fading.  Protective styles act like a shield, reducing how much your hair is exposed to these elements.  This keeps your hair from becoming dry and brittle, a common summer struggle.  But the benefits go beyond just defense.  By minimizing manipulation when styling your hair, there's less chance of breakage.  Less breakage translates to more length retention, so your hair can flourish all year long.  The added bonus?  These styles help lock in moisture, keeping your hair hydrated and healthy even when the temperature soars.  So, protective styles offer a win-win for summer hair care: they shield your hair from damage and create an environment that promotes growth.

Top Least Damaging Protective Hairstyles for Summer


Cornrows are a classic protective style that can be simple or intricate. They lie flat on the scalp, making them ideal for wearing under hats or scarves. For the best results:

  • Don't Braid Too Tight: Ensure the braids are snug but not overly tight to prevent scalp damage.
  • Keep Scalp Clean: Regularly wash and moisturize your scalp to prevent buildup.
  • Limit Wearing Time: Avoid keeping cornrows in for too long to prevent matting and breakage.


Buns are a simple yet effective protective style. They keep the ends of your hair tucked away and reduce exposure to the elements. For a healthy bun:

  • Use a Soft Hair Tie: Avoid tight elastics that can cause breakage.
  • Change the Position: Regularly change the position of your bun to avoid stress on one area.

Mini Twists with your own hair is another great option. They are lightweight and put less tension on the scalp compared to braids. To keep twists damage-free:

  • Choose Larger Sections: Larger twists reduce the amount of hair tension.
  • Keep Them Moisturized: Use a light oil or leave-in conditioner regularly.
  • Avoid Over-Manipulation: Refrain from styling your twists too often.

Box Braids

Not our favorite choice due to chemicals found in synthetic fibers (kanekalon I’m lookin at you) but since box braids are a popular choice for many because they are low-maintenance and versatile, here are ways to combat and minimize damage:

  • Ensure Proper Installation: Avoid making the braids too tight.
  • Use Lightweight Hair Extensions:** Heavy extensions can cause tension and breakage.
  • Use Chemically free hair extensions: hair extensions can cause irritation to the scalp due to irritants contained on the hair. Cleaning the hair at home with cold water and vinegar or purchasing already clean hair can help to mitigate that issue. If you just have to have kanekalon.

Tips for Maintaining Protective Hairstyles

To keep your protective styles in the best condition and ensure your hair remains healthy, follow these tips:

  • Moisturize Regularly: Keep your hair and scalp hydrated with a water-based moisturizer or leave-in conditioner.
  • Moisturize Ends: Apply a leave-in conditioner or oil to your ends before tucking them away.
  • Clean Your Scalp: Use a gentle shampoo like, dry shampoo, or scalp cleanser to remove buildup without disturbing the style.
  • Protect at Night: Use a satin or silk scarf or bonnet to reduce friction and retain moisture while you sleep.


Choosing the least damaging protective hairstyle for summer is all about balancing style with hair health. Twists, cornrows, and buns are all excellent option. Box braids are cool too when installed and maintained correctly so don’t come for me. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can enjoy the benefits of protective styles without compromising the health of your hair.

Ready to explore more about protective hairstyles and hair care? Visit our blog and join our community for the latest tips and trends. Share your favorite protective styles and let us know how you keep your hair healthy during the summer!


July 07, 2024 — Peace Olaniran

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