Embracing your natural hair is a beautiful process, but let’s be real: It’s a lot of work, especially in the summer. (Who has time to wait for that twist-out to set when she’s trying to glo’ up poolside?) Fortunately, there’s a solution: protective styling.
“Protective styling” is an umbrella term for hairstyles that can, well, protect your hair from the elements. They can be as simple as a bun, as versatile as two-strand twists, and can offer as much coverage as a weave. Depending on how much of your hair is tucked away, these styles can prevent dryness and breakage, and actually promote hair growth. To put them to the test, two of NYLON’s very own naturalistas tried out protective styles to start their summers off on a hair-healthy note. Click through the gallery to see how they did it.