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High school is over! You’re done with looking back on things. Now is the time to look onward and what’s a better way to look forward, than to get a new look! Specifically, a new protective hairstyle for college!

I am NOT a hair expert, but after 16 years testing out several protective hairstyles, I can confidently say that I know a thing or two when it comes to black hair. Judging from the title, this is a list of THE 5 best protective hairstyles to wear to college. Towards the end, I’ll even reveal which protective hairstyle I’ll be wearing once I step foot on campus!! Here we go!!


Technically, wearing your hair natural is not a protective hairstyle. However, choosing to go natural and putting those tresses up in a classic bun or an elegant ponytail is. And, if you have a TWA (teeny weeny afro) don’t be ashamed to rock it out. If you got it, flaunt it!
And PLEASE, by all means, refrain from using the hair straighteners or hair dryers. (What’s the point in going natural if you’re applying heat to your hair?) Less is definitely better.



For those of us that just refuse to go natural for whatever reason, crochet braids is the college gal’s best friend!! I recently hopped on the crochet braids trend and TBH I’m in love with it! If you don’t know what it is, crochet braids are hair extensions that are crocheted into your own hair (braided into cornrows) with a latch hook. Apparently, crochet braids have been around for quite some time, but lately they’ve been making a huge come back.

My love for crochet braids is that you can easily change your whole look without having to worry about breakage. I also love the fact that I can easily install crochet braids on my own in under 3 hours for less than $50. I love my ponytails and with crochet braids, I can leave out a part of my natural hair to conceal the beginning and ends of my cornrows. You can definitely keep this protective hairstyle in for up to 8 weeks! Of course, you still have to take care of your natural hair but that’s never been an issue for me. 



This one, I don’t know. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with braids since my first install. When I was in 2nd grade, I was walking around the classroom with my cornrows. Fast forward a couple years later and I was getting micro braids, box braids…you name it, I probably tried it. The thing is, installing cornrows might take 2 hours tops! However, anything other than cornrows, will most likely take up a large part of your day. 

But here’s where I have some love for braids, if you take care of your natural hair and of your braids, they can last up to 12 weeks!

However, we have to go back to hating braids again because they can be expensive! I use to get my braids done for $120 with the hair included.

I haven’t even mentioned the worst part about getting braids! With braids, it usually takes MORE time to undo the braids than to get them installed.


At this point, you’re probably wondering why I even included braids on this list…

Remember when I said that BRAIDS CAN LAST UP TO 12 WEEKS!

12 WEEKS = 3 MONTHS. Nuff said.

Now, I’m kind of cheating here, but I grouped braids and twists together. I’ve had kinky twists on numerous occasions. Similar to braids, there are several types of twists. As far as I know, the more popular twists that I’ve seen are the Marley/Havana twists and the Senegalese Twists. I personally like braids better, but I think it’s easier to undo twists than it is to undo braids.



My aunt actually told me to NOT wear a wig! However, she wasn’t the one who convinced me to not do it. I tried on my sister’s wig to get a feel for it. As much as I liked the ease of just slipping it on and then taking it off, I couldn’t get over the fact that I wouldn’t be able to wear a ponytail. Now, I’ve seen Youtube videos on how to wear a wig in a ponytail, but it seems like it would be too much of a hassle to even try. I guess that makes me the one who convinced myself to not wear a wig.

For those of you that don’t mind, I would definitely consider wearing a wig. If I didn’t like wearing my hair in a ponytail so much, I would’ve purchased a wig the day after I graduated high school. I know that I’m in the minority for my love of ponytails, so if you’re thinking about a protective hairstyle…try a wig.

Another thing that I’d be weary of is how comfortable you would be wearing a wig. There’s a negative stigma associated with wigs that to this day, I believe is just unfounded. If you’re planning on having a college roommate, he/she will probably figure out that you’re wearing a wig. For some of you, it probably wouldn’t even bother you. For others, it might just be a good enough reason to not wear a wig during college. 



Now, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. In my 16 years of experimenting with hairstyles, I’ve never tried dreadlocks. Simply because, I’ve never wanted to try them. Similar to wigs, there’s a negative stigma associated to dreadlocks, only you can’t pretend to NOT have dreadlocks. Depending on the wig, you can pass it off as your natural hair. However, dreadlocks not so much. With dreadlocks, you’re somewhat limited to the type of hairstyles that you can do. And, to add to that, dreadlocks are somewhat permanent. In that, often times, you can’t undo dreadlocks like undoing braids. However, the dreadlocks made its way on the list because you’re going to college. You might get there and realize that you don’t have the time to style your hair or that you just don’t want to style it. 

I did it again, I grouped faux locs with dreadlocks. However, I think faux locs are better than dreadlocks because they can be permanent or not permanent. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of Youtubers wearing the faux locs and they look awesome especially when they’re styled with mini dreadlock beads.


It’s true, I’m wearing my hair natural to college. As much as I love crochet braids, I really want to grow out my natural hair. It’s not very long at the moment and knowing myself, I’ll take better care of my natural hair when it’s NOT in crochet braids or any other style that I listed here. Another reason why I’m choosing to go natural is because I refuse to spend the rest of my life spending $50 or more every eight to twelve weeks for a new hairstyle. Of course, my parents are the ones who are paying for me to get my hair done, but I figured I might as well start trying to grow out my hair in college.

Obviously, choosing to go natural is not for everyone. However, it’s something that I’m more than willing to try especially if it means saving a dollar or two along the way.

So, good luck with finding a protective hairstyle that best suits you!! I hope this post was helpful in spades!

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