Best Protective Styles for Natural Hair to Try This Fall

We may still be in the thick of summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to let go of your protective styles. In fact, I personally prefer to have my hair in braids during the colder months. The drop in temperature wreaks nothing but havoc on my hair, leaving it feeling dry and brittle. So to prevent any subsequent breakage, I always make sure to have my hair done. 

But the truth is that not all protective styles are most ideal for fall. Traditional box braids, for example, may not last as long during this time, seeing as any friction from beanies or other hats can create unwanted frizz. 

However, there are still plenty of styles to choose from that are ideal for fall — and the great news is that no matter which ones you decide to go with, they each look great on everyone. 

Click through to see some of the best protective styles to try out for fall. 

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we’re celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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Faux Locs

Faux Locs

Faux locs look great year-round, but I especially love them for fall. This style requires the braiding extensions to be wrapped around your natural hair, leaving it completely protected from harsh, cold temperatures that can cause dryness and breakage. Plus, there are also so many fun ways to wear this style. Model and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Eva Marcille opted to rock multi-toned blonde locs, adorned with various hair rings and accessories, to the 2019 BET Awards. 

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Cornrows 

Cornrows

You truly cannot go wrong with cornrows. I love them for fall because if you’re using your natural hair, they don’t add much too much extra volume, so you can still wear all your favorite autumn hats. Straight backs are also simple to create, go with just about any look — whether formal or casual — and can easily be styled into a cute ponytail or a bun. Tracee Ellis Ross opted for the latter when she attended the Annual Nominees Night for the 2018 Emmys. 

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Marley Twists

Marley Twists

Much like faux locs, Marley twists look even better once they’ve gained a little frizz. But while they don’t completely cover the natural hair, this style is ultra lightweight, allowing for tons of flexibility with zero tension that could lead to possible breakage. Brandy wore these twists to the 27th annual NAACP Theatre Awards in 2018. 

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Knotless Braids

Knotless Braids

Knotless braids have become just as (if not more) popular than traditional box braids, and for good reason. This style requires plaiting your own hair at the base, rather than creating a knot with the extensions at the root, making this a more natural-looking option, whether you use human or synthetic hair. The knotless aspect also creates much less volume at the roots, so you can still comfortably wear all your favorite hoodies, beanies, and fall hats throughout the season. That said, since this is a more natural look, these braids will still look impeccable even if they’re a bit grown out or have gained a little frizz from hat friction.

Rihanna wore beautiful, large dark red knotless braids to her Fenty x Webster Cocktail Pop-up in 2019 — a perfect color for fall. 

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Babe Braids

Babe Braids

If you want to take the natural-looking, knotless style to the next level, babe braids may be exactly what you’re looking for. 

For this style, the roots are braided, while the ends are left out, which makes human hair extensions most ideal to use to achieve the look. Zoë Kravitz has long worn her hair like this, which inspired independent braider The Boho Babe to create her own version of the plaits that are perfect for autumn. 

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