Protective Hairstyles to Slay Your Beach Vacation

No summer vacation is complete without a trip to the beach. The sound of waves crashing and the relaxing swim can help you get rid of all the stress you went through over the hectic year. The only problem is these trips can do a number on your hair. The sand and sun are not kind to your hair. What if we told you we had the perfect solution for you?

Protective styles will make your beach trips so much easy. Try these Protective Hairstyles to Slay Your Beach Vacation: Braided updo, high ponytail with extensions, box braids, Marley twists, Senegalese twists, Bantu knots, and Top-knot bun. All these styles offer you the protection and comfort that you need to let go of your worries.

It’s not enough to just pick a style though. You still need to care for your hair. This article will give you a comprehensive guide to taking care of your hair.  We will give you the tips and tricks needed to rock the most luscious locs during your vacation. But before everything else, you may be wondering what even makes these protective styles so special.

Why You Need To Rock A Protective Style On Vacation

Why You Need To Rock A Protective Style On Vacation

People tend to neglect their hair on vacation. Don’t do that. Haircare can not be ignored for even the shortest of periods because your hair can lose its healthy look in a second. Protective styles can be an important tool to maintain your hair’s health on vacation. These 5 benefits will prove the significance of protective hairstyles for keeping your locs in good shape during the summer.

1. Offers All-round Protection

This style creates a protective dome around your hair. This keeps all the elements you are exposed to during your trip to the beach. The sand, salty ocean water, and UV rays from the sun are awful for your hair. The most fragile part of your hair is the ends and since protective styles tuck them away, they are protected.

Additionally, they also don’t require much manipulation. They stay in one place undisturbed and so you are also preventing tangling which can lead to breakage. Again, because they stay in one place, they are exposed to less friction and so your hair won’t get fizzy.

2. Improves Hair Health

Because of the aforementioned protective dome, all the nutrients and moisture are locked in your hair. This is great news as your hair needs both of these things to grow. Ensure that you eat a healthy diet and moisturize your hair to add these important elements to your hair. Once they are in place, the protective style will not let them escape.

On top of that, the slight pressure on the scalp due to these styles will greatly improve blood circulation to the follicles and speed up hair growth. However, ensure that this pressure is not too much as that can lead to breakage. 

3. Requires Little Maintenance

Once protective styles are in place, you can pretty much forget about them. They may be a pain to install and that installation has to be done right but from that point on, it is pretty much a cakewalk. As long as you get the right products and create a solid short routine every few weeks, your hair will not require anything else.

In sharp contrast, other styles require a rigorous daily routine and style every time you step out of the house. You are going to save a lot of time not having to get your hair looking just right in front of the mirror. That time can be spent dancing your heart out at the beach.

4. Increase Mobility

If you want to dance, you need to make sure that your hair doesn’t fall over your face each time to try to move. This can be quite annoying and ruin the entire experience. That’s why protective styles are so perfect for parties. You can totally go ham on the dance floor with these styles and not worry about your hair flying all over the place.

Also, protective styles are great for swimming. It not only protects your hair from the water but it also removes the hindrance of free-flowing strands in the water.

5. Looks Fabulous

Last but not least, protective styles will make you look drop-dead gorgeous. They are an easy way to elevate your look. If paired with the right accessories, your fashion sense will be the talk of the town.

We must admit however that not every protective style suits everyone. That’s why it’s good that you have so many options. There’s a protective style for everyone and every hair type. You just need to do your research and be willing to experiment.

How To Prepare Your Hair For The Beach

How To Prepare Your Hair For The Beach

You need to ensure that your hair is as ready for the beach as you are. This means that you need to prepare your locs for your time in the sand.  These 6 tips will help you protect your hair on the beach.

1. Try A Protective Hairstyle

This is what the entire article is about but it’s not a bad idea to bring this up again. Protective styles are a life hack when it comes to keeping your hair safe from the environment and any other challenges.

2. Find A High-Quality Protectant

UV rays can damage your hair. Even though it is often encouraged to spend a little time in the sun, you always need to take the right precautions for a soak in the sun. We know you already know to apply a thick layer of sunscreen but do you know you even need to do something for your hair?

For sun protection, you need to apply the aptly named protectant. These sprays are a protective coating that secures your hair from the harmful rays of the sun. Your hair wasn’t meant for extensive sun exposure so this spray should go right in your beach basket.

3. Avoid Swim Caps

While there is a lot of debate over whether swim caps are good for your hair or not, it is universally agreed that latex one-size-fits-all swim caps are horrible for your hair. The extremely tight fit tugs on your scalp and tear your hair follicles. Even if it fits you just right, the latex material is too rough and causes your hair to get frizzy hair.

The only option you have is to get the perfect fit and a silicon material. This is a fair bit more expensive and can be hard to find. We suggest not going through the hassle and opting for a protective style instead.

4. Prepare A Line Of Products For Post-Beach Care

You need to use good products on your hair after you are done with your day on the beach. This means steering clear of harmful chemicals such as paraben and sulfates. Some essential products for beach vacations include hair serums, oils, leave-in conditioners, and lotions.

You obviously can’t care for your hair without shampoo and conditioner. Carry a clarifying or normalizing shampoo to use right after your dip. Make sure to use a deep conditioning masque to add back the moisture after shampooing your hair.

5. Get The Rights Tools

Many people spring for styling tools such as irons and blow dryers on vacations. That is a bad idea. As you will see later in this article, the only tools you will need to style and care for your hair are wide-tooth combs and accessories such as pins, scrunchies, and flowers.

6. Craft A Good Haircare Routine

Everyone’s hair has different needs. You need to find out what works best for you through experimentation and talking to a stylist if you can. Make sure that you create a routine that accounts for everything and fits your hair perfectly.

For example, people tend to forget about drying time and roam around with soaking-wet hair which is far more fragile. The good thing about protective styles is that they dry fairly quickly after a swim.

7 Protective Hairstyle You Can Wear To The Beach Today

Protective hairstyles have always been go-to beach hairstyles for black girls and there’s a reason why they’ve been able to rely on it for so long. These 7 styles will convince you that there is no better way to keep your hair’s health in check while enjoying your vacation to the fullest.

1. Braided Updo- Perfect For Beach Activities

Braided Updo- Perfect For Beach Activities

A braided updo is a fairly simple protective style. It is exactly what it sounds like. You braid your hair and tie it into an updo. This keeps your hair up and away from your face in a cute lifted style. It is an easy choice for the beach because you can move around as much as you want without pesky strands falling on your face.

Party to your heart’s desire and dance like there’s no tomorrow with this style in place. You can go for many different updo styles as well. The low updo is our favorite option for the beach because it is so easy yet effective. If you want to add a little more flair, you can for fishtail braids or even a boho style. Accessories such as cute pins and flowers will also help elevate the look.

The instructions for doing a braided updo hairstyle will vary depending on the style you choose. Whichever variation you go for, you will need to start by sectioning your hair. Next, you need to follow the required braiding pattern and cross each sectioned strand accordingly. Lastly, you need to tie it into a bun with a hair elastic or pin.

2. High Ponytail with Protective Extensions- Worth The Effort

High Ponytail with Protective Extensions- Worth The Effort

If you are looking for a cute style that will draw a lot of attention, a high ponytail is exactly what you need. This is great for the beach as not only does it look really stylish but it also protects the hair and keeps it away from your face. Just make sure you keep refreshing your ponytail with hydrating products and maintain a good haircare routine that caters to its needs.

If your hair isn’t long enough for this style, there are many different types of protective extensions you can go for. The best option is definitely clip-in extensions as they can be easily removed. Sew-ins and tape-ins are also viable if you are willing to wear this style for a very long time. If you have the option to grow out your natural hair though, that is always your best bet.

The application process will vary slightly depending on the type of extension you use however the basic steps are the same. Start by sectioning your hair into three parts. After that, add the extensions in descending order of length, longest goes at the top. Lastly, carefully tie the ponytail, ensuring that it isn’t obvious that you are wearing extensions.

3. Box Braids- Wear It How You Want

Box Braids- Wear It How You Want

Box braids are one of the most versatile styles out there. The only requirement for a hairstyle to qualify as a box braid is that you use a boxed-off sectioning technique. Box braids will allow you to express your inner fashionista at the beach while keeping your hair completely protected from the elements. Other styles just can’t offer the same level of self-expression.

Because there are so many ways you can wear these styles, not every box braid is right for the beach. It is always a good decision to stick to the simpler styles. We suggest rocking a classic box-braid bun or box-braided ponytail. Avoid the complex ones such as Boho box braids or goddess box braids. If you want something that is bit flashy, beaded box braids will do the trick.

Now, how do you do this boxed-off sectioning technique that makes box braids so unique? It’s fairly simple. You divide the hair into box-shaped four different sections with a wide-tooth comb. The next steps depend entirely on the style you choose. As long as you use this sectioning technique, it is a box braid. Make sure it is well-installed and to fully enjoy beach activities.

4. Marley Twists- The Go-To Twisted Style For The Beach

Marley Twists- The Go-To Twisted Style For The Beach

Named after the Reggae sensation, Bob Marley, this is a style that was born for the beach. Jam to the best reggae music rocking the king’s braids. Like all of the other styles on this list, it also gives your hair adequate protection from the sea, sand, and blazing sun. Just make sure that it is well-moisturized. Otherwise, your perfect look can lose its charm in a matter of minutes.

There are a lot of ways to accessorize this style. Our favorite accessory for this style is beads. Using colored beads gives it a great pop, you can even match your outfit to the colors of your beads. Flowers are not the best option for this style as it is a bit too tightly braided.

In order to get this iconic style, you need to master the twisting technique. This takes a little practice so if you are a novice, going to the stylist isn’t a bad idea. Basically, you need to use a standard braiding technique for each strand but use a twist at the very end to secure it. Again, this twist is hard to get right so we highly recommend professional help for this style.

5.  Senegalese Twists- Versatile and Low Maintenance

Senegalese Twists- Versatile and Low Maintenance

Senegalese Twists come from the proud Nation of Senegal and it has a rich history deeply rooted in African culture. The biggest advantage of this style is its low-maintenance nature. Your hair basically takes care of itself when locked in this style. On top of that, it boosts the growth of your natural hair. Don’t be surprised to see a significant change once you take this style off.

Much like box braids, Senegalese Twists isn’t as much one style as a family of styles that all have one characteristic in common. In this case, the characteristic is a twisting technique that makes your hair look like a rope. Many people tend to lump Marley twists into this category but we like to keep it separate. For the beach, you should go for the Kanekalon or Toyokalon.

The twisting technique is quite similar to the Marley twists but you started twisting a lot earlier, preferably around the second or third braid. For your hair to go through so much twisting, it needs to be quite strong and thick. Fine or straight hair isn’t suited for this style. Also, it is a bit of a strenuous style so give your hair plenty of oil to give it the nutrient to heal properly.

6.  Bantu Knots- Effortless and Chic

Bantu Knots- Effortless and Chic

Bantu Knots are not a common style. This style is also culturally important. Bantu Knots represent pro-blackness and so they are really important to that community. We suggest against trying this style if you don’t belong to that community as that may be construed as cultural appropriation. It is also a symbol of self-love and it is reflected in your hair.

This style is one of the best things you can do for your hair. Maintaining it during humid conditions may be a nightmare: the frizz is crazy. However, you are rewarded with a complete protection system for your hair that locks all nutrients and moisture and improves your hair’s health. Also, it stays in one place, allowing you to move around the beach effortlessly.

Speaking of effortless, the installation is much easier than you’d expect. Start by sectioning your hair into as many sections as you’d like. Each section makes one knot. Next, apply a curling cream and twist a coil at the base. Wrap the rest of your hair around this coil and secure it with a pin. That’s it. You are now rocking one of the most culturally significant hairstyles out there.

7. Top Knot Bun- An Alternative To The Braided Updo

Top Knot Bun- An Alternative To The Braided Updo

If you are not black and don’t want to risk offending people with your hairstyle, this is a very good safe option. The top knot bun gives you all the advantages of a protective style without the chance of committing any cultural appropriation. It keeps your hair hydrated and protected during even the most humid conditions as long as you moisturize and condition it well.

Another benefit of this style is that you can wear it in multiple ways. We are fans of the classic neat top-knot bun as it neatly tucks away your ends and looks super classy. However, you can opt for a voluminous top-knot bun if you are looking for a more expressive style.

This is one of the easiest styles you can go for. Begin with a simple high ponytail. Part the ponytail into two sections and wrap them around each other to form one braid. Finally, wrap this braid around itself and secure it with a pin or hair donut. To go for the voluminous top-knot, just make sure the bottom section of your hair is much larger than the top section, at least 3 times.

Let’s Wrap It Up

There you have it. These 7 styles all bring their unique benefits to the table. If you looking to lift your hair up, the braided up and top knot let you do just that. If you want twists, both Marley and Senegalese are excellent options. If neither style fits your profile, Bantu knots, box braids, and high ponytails are unique styles that you can go for.

There’s a reason why we said that you can wear these protective hairstyles to slay your beach vacation. Embracing these styles will make your whole experience stress-free and let you go wild on your vacation. Just make sure you still stick to your hair care routine. Your hair deserves attention even when you are relaxing. Hair care is all about consistency.

All in all, we believe that these styles are an easy and quick way to simplify your beach vacation hair care without compromising on hair quality. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to let us know. We are always happy to help fellow haircare enthusiasts.

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!

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