Protective Hairstyles for Relaxed Hair

In order to retain the length and health of relaxed hair, it’s important to wear protective hairstyles. Here are many different styles and options for relaxed black hair.

Military Bun/French Knot

The military bun/French knot is tight, clean and simple. You can wear this protective hairstyle day-to-day or at any formal and casual event.

  1. Brush or comb your hair into a ponytail on the crown or nape of your head. Where you want to form the bun is your choice completely.
  2. Wrap a hair tie around your hair 2 to 3 times. Make sure it’s fairly tight and tied close to your head.
  3. Grab the ponytail and neatly twist it from the base all the way to the near end of your hair.
  4. Now tightly wrap the hair around itself while in a twist and tuck in the ends.
  5. Secure the bun with 2 to 3 large bobby pins.
  6. You can add a little bit of hairspray, gel, or pomade to smooth down flyaways.

Phony Ponytail

Phony ponytails are another option for protecting your relaxed hair. You can either purchase a phony ponytail at your local beauty supply store or online. You can also choose to purchase hair tracks and create your own phony ponytail. If you’re going to purchase hair tracks, make sure the texture and color is as close to your relaxed hair as possible.

  1. Comb or brush your relaxed hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head.
  2. Wrap your tracks around the ponytail and secure it with a bobby pin or two.
  3. Take strands from the phony ponytail and wrap it around the base of the ponytail.
  4. This will hide the tracks and allow your phony ponytail to look more natural.
  5. Lightly comb or brush out your phony ponytail so that everything blends.


Braids are very common hairstyles worn in the black community, and are protective options as well. There are many ways you can wear a braid and style it.

Tucked-in French Braid

  1. Comb or brush your relaxed hair away from the face so that it’s tangle-free.
  2. Braid from the middle to the nape of your head, and finish braiding the ponytail.
  3. Apply a moisturizing serum to the ends of your hair.
  4. Roll it up around your forefinger and tuck it underneath the base of your head.
  5. Secure with bobby pins.

Heidi Braids/Milkmaid Braids

  1. Add a little bit of holding/styling cream to your relaxed hair.
  2. Create a straight part from your forehead all the way down to the nape of your head.
  3. Brush or comb the hair on both sides of your head to make sure it’s tangle-free.
  4. Braid each half of your hair into a separate braid.
  5. Wrap the first braid forward and across the top of your head. Secure end with a bobby pin.
  6. Repeat on the second braid tucking the end underneath the first braid. Secure with a bobby pin.
  7. Insert bobby pins throughout the braids until it feels secure.
  8. You can lightly spread each area of the braid with your fingers so that it looks fuller.

There are also other alternatives to protecting your relaxed hair without having to do much to it. You can wear wigs, sew-in weaves, or a stylish scarf. The most important thing to remember when choosing to do any of these styles is to seal and protect your ends.

Picture Sources:

Military Bun/French Knot –


Author: Tashia Wilson

Hello everyone, my name is Tashia. I'm a freelance writer and entrepreneur in the internet marketing world. I enjoy browsing through Black Hair Media's forum during my spare time,among many other things. Hopefully this article was of great use to you.

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  1. Your article choice was very helpful, and the step by step instructions will make it very easy for anyone to try. My personal favorite is the “Tucked-in French Braid”. It’s so elegant and can be worn by someone with relaxed hair as well as someone with natural hair such as myself. In fact I think all the styles that you have featured can be worn by someone like myself who choose to go natural. Great article! Looking forward to your next one ;^)

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  2. Personally I can truly say that it’s a beautiful articles and I certainly will endorse wearing phony ponytail this winter.

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  3. Very beautiful and elegant styles that can be worn on practically any face shape. It is important to care for relaxed hair and these styles are simple enough for anyone to recreate on their own. These styles will not cause breakage and will help keep the hair strengthened and moisturized leading to less breakage and promoting hair growth. Awesome job on this article and great pick on the styles!

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  4. very informative and simple hairstyles to create

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  5. Love the article,its very refreshing to see a article with a different outlook of quick to style hair do… well done.

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  6. Great idea’s, easy to understand. I think I’ll be doing the ponytail, for most of the winter. Great job!

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  7. The styles explained above are simple, creative and fun. The step to step instructions are detailed; making it very easy to try. I think the milkbraid is something different, yet fresh and elegant. Thanks for the great tips.

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  8. Great post. I love those styles espcially the french braids tucked under.

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  9. Great article Tashia! I’ve been searching for ideas to help my friends who have relaxed hair with their search of protective styles. Especially with winter coming, these will be great suggestions! Thanks. 🙂

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  10. I really enjoyed the featured styles, the do it your self instructions were detailed and easy to follow. This also saves me from buying magazines.

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  11. The three different hair styles above were easy to read and the instructions were easy to follow.

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