5 Great Summer Protective Style Ideas For Relaxed Hair

Summer is a great time to wear protective styles. During the summer, we tend to spend a lot of time outside and tend to get a little lazy with our hair (confession time!).

Wearing a protective style allows you to keep your hair, especially your ends from damage that can come from styling manipulation, and friction from brushing against your clothes or jewelry. The result of a good protective style is that your hair retains length and moisture coming out even healthier.

Great Summer Protective Style Ideas For Relaxed Hair | A Relaxed Gal(This post includes some affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

When it comes to protective styles, there are two main types
  1. Long-term protective styles are meant to be in the hair for several weeks and tend to cover or protect the whole head of hair.
  2. Short-term protective styles should only be kept in for a couple of days and tend to be focused on protecting the ends versus all the hair.

Protective styling, when done properly, can have some great benefits for your relaxed hair which makes them perfect to do in the summer.
  • You get a break from doing your hair: Long-term protective styles allow you to not have to deal with your hair every single day by styling it. You still do have to do some maintenance but it’s not as much when your hair is out.
  • You can retain length: By doing less manipulation and letting your hair sit for a while your hair is less prone to breakage.

Long-term protective style ideas


These seem to be the most popular type of protective style, especially in the summer. You can get many types of braids such as knotless braids, box braids, crochet braids, and cornrows.


When it comes to twists they typically are talked about for natural hair but they can also be done on relaxed hair as well. From my online research, two-strand twists seem to be the most popular and depending on the length can be styled in many different ways.

Short-term protective style ideas


Buns may seem boring but they don’t have to be. You can switch up your bun position to be high, low, middle. You can do a messy bun or even a braided bun.

Drawstring ponytails

This is probably one of my favorites because not only does it keep my ends protected and moisturized but it also gives me a whole other look. You can check out some different types of drawstring ponytails here.

Braided styles

Braids don’t always have to be a long-term style. There are some braided styles that are considered short-term as they have to be refreshed every few days. You can see a few of them in my blog post 3 Gorgeous Braid Tutorials.

Protective style tips

Do research

Particularly for long-term styles research the style before jumping right in so you understand the upkeep required and whether that type of braid is recommended for your hair type or hair situation.

Take care of your hair

Wearing a protective style doesn’t mean that you can set and forget about your hair. You still need to clean your hair and moisturize it. This is also something to research so you know the best products and techniques for caring for your protective style.

Don’t leave it in for too long

As a reminder long-term protective styles can be kept in for a few weeks while short-term styles should only be kept in for 2-3 days. Longer than that can result in some hair damage from shed hair creating knotting and tangling and even breakage from the constant tension.