Great Protective Styles for College Students with Natural Hair


Let’s be honest: college is stressful. Almost any and every college student could go on a tangent about the nights they didn’t get enough sleep, the seemingly endless hours they’ve spent in class, and the weekends that they had to, regretfully, choose studying over hanging with friends. College is jam-packed with things to do, places to go, assignments to complete, and professors to meet. And for a natural girl who needs to set aside nearly a full 24-hours just for her wash day, any hair time-savers are a must.

I’ve found that when it comes down to it, being natural in college isn’t easy. But what does make things go a little smoother is protective styling. I tend to put my hair into a protective style toward the end of the semester, when things are getting more hectic due to final exams, and I find that I just don’t have time to twist, and twist, and twist, my hair.

Below are some styles that I’ve done in the past: yarn braids, Marley twists, and box braids. There are so many diverse ways that we can do our hair!


I personally love yarn braids because they’re super cost efficient (assuming you install them yourself or have a friend help you). A jumbo roll of Red Heart acrylic yarn is only around $4 and you’ll only need one – maybe 1.5 if you’ve got a lot of hair – to get the job done! The only down side to yarn braids is that they’re much more difficult to remove than your average braids. BUT, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials with tips and tricks that help you to remove them.

Marley twists are probably my favorite protective style of all, because I love that Marley hair is kinky and matches the texture of my own! I also love the fullness of the hair – you can create the ultimate top bun with Marley twists. The only downside of Marley twists is that Marley hair is expensive, and usually runs around $5-7 per pack! When I had my Marley twists done, I needed 6.5 packs! So be forewarned that getting Marley twists might cause a dent in your bank account.

Lastly, box braids are my go-to style if I just want to do something simple with my hair. A pack of Kanekalon hair is pretty cheap – around $2 – and box braids are extremely versatile! I also find that box braids are the best protective style if you plan on working out a lot, as the hair is fairly light weight.

I know, I know, you have a lot of choices, but that’s what makes protective styling so exciting, right?

It’s important that you remember that, while wearing a protective style does save you some hair-time, since you don’t need to style it every morning and re-twist every night, you still need to take care of that hair! Make sure to moisturize daily! (I, personally, use a special spray of conditioner, oils and water that I’ll give you the recipe for in my next post.)

What are your favorite protective styles?




Stacey Taylor aka “The SistahChick” is the CEO of The SistahChick & Co., LLC which is the parent company of Our Natural Kids (website), Sistah Buttah (product), TSC Media (service). I have turned my hobby into my career. Now I am living my dreams of being an entrepreneur and living my best life. Thank you for coming to The Sistah Cafe to read about my journey & adventures!!