best Protective Hairstyles For 4c Hair

15 Gorgeous Protective Hairstyles For 4C Hair

Sahiba Tandon

Updated At  20 Jun 24

Black hair is beautiful and diverse. That’s why it's important to know your hair type so that you know how to best style and take care of it. Hair is categorized into different types and type 4C is a versatile one that is among the most unique types!


What Is Type 4C Hair?

On a scale of the four levels of hair, type 4 hair is the driest and most curly. In one word, they are coily. This hair type is then subdivided into three categories: 4A hair, 4B hair, and 4C hair. Though 4C hair may look shorter because of shrinkage, it can be long as well! 

Silvana Castillo, an experienced hair stylist and founder of The Curl Whisperer, a popular hair salon, says that girls with 4C hair are going on with big-volume hairstyles nowadays! She quotes:-

“What we’re seeing is the younger generation wants their hair to be bold; they want the hair to be big and round, almost like a sun.”

These natural curls should be celebrated but you need to be careful while handling them and for that, the following list of protective hairstyles for 4C hair can inspire you to not only look fashionable but safeguard your hair too! 


Popular Protective Hairstyles For 4C Hair


Box Braids


1. Box Braids

You might have heard about box braids as a top choice for many as protective hairstyles for hair growth but did you know they suited 4C hair in the most beautiful way too? 

For this style, you have to section your hair to form medium-sized squares with either synthetic or real hair extensions. 

For this style, you have to section your hair to form medium-sized squares with either synthetic or real hair extensions that will go on for days!


space buns


2. Space Buns

Space buns are a super fun hairstyle that makes you feel lively and youthful! Similar to its name, it involves parting the hair equally and styling your hair into two “buns” on each side of your head.

bantu knots


3. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are included in the most stylish and protective hairstyles for hair growth because the ‘knots’ are done with only small sections of hair that are near the scalp. You don’t have to worry about maintaining hair moisture in this style because of this closeness, which is important point for hair growth.

Ro Morgan, a celebrity hairstylist, advises not to overdo your Bantu knots. She quotes:

“Try to avoid over-manipulating your hair by not re-twisting daily.”


Crown braid


4. Crown Braid

Quite popular to be suggested as easy protective hairstyles, The milkmaid braid or crown braid, is what it says: it gives an image as if you are wearing a crown! For styling, you need to just braid hair in a circle and wrap it from one side of the head to the other. 

pineapple updo


5. Pineapple Updo

Pineapple Updo helps keep your tightly coiled hair just as it is and reduces hair shrinkage in the long run! To create this look, first gather all of your hair and loosely tie it. This will give you a voluminous look. The stylish and practical hairstyle is called a “pineapple” updo because the hair tied at the very center resembles the popular fruit.

Passion Twists



6. Passion Twists

Passion twists have become popular among girls with black hair looking out for protective hairstyles for short 4C hair. Both human and synthetic hair extensions can be used to create the look. While styling, twist them around with a relaxed hand; remember, they are not as defined as other styles and, thus, are more flexible and lighter to carry and style.

Butterfly Faux Locs Bob_


7. Butterfly Faux Locs Bob

The butterfly faux locs bob is just as stylish of a hairstyle as it sounds intriguing. Have you ever wondered why it is called a "butterfly" faux though? Well, because it is the hairdo that, after it is set, gives a familiar image, like the wings of the said beautiful creature!

You’ll be using two methods here to achieve an amazing look on your curly, wavy hair. That would be a bob haircut (generally reaching 3–4 cm around your neck) and faux locs (synthetic hair). Faux locs with shorter lengths will also reach around your chin length or become slightly shorter or longer than that. 

Long Faux Locs


8. Long Faux Locs

Long faux locs are among the most protective hairstyles for 4C hair. Similar to other faux locs, this is for those gals who want to go for a longer hair length. Simply wrap faux hair into your natural hair and then work on securing it to create long extensions. With a longer hair length, you have more chances to try different looks!

Knotless Braids


9. Knotless Braids

For a modern twist on traditional braiding methods, try the knotless braids! What’s different from the basic braid hairstyle is that knotless braids are done with a feed-in method that, as it goes, blends with your hair.



10. Ponytail

A classic hairstyle that is a favorite for many, whether you have straight, wavy, curly (or super curly) hair, is a ponytail. It doesn't take much time, goes along with any hair length, and, most importantly for you, looks beautiful with 4C hair. 

Senegalese Twists


11. Senegalese Twists

The shape of these Senegalese twists makes them a useful option for protective braid hairstyles, as they save you from hair breakage and environmental damage! They are lighter than other braid styles.

Twists With Bun


12. Twists With Bun

This is a combination of two of the most popular hairstyles: twists and buns. Simply choose a twist style and use the other half of the hair to create a beautiful bun in any position you prefer to recreate this protective look!



13. Cornrows

Cornrows are a famous protective hairstyle for both women and men. They are tightly coiled and can be interpreted in so many ways! Use them with your long or short hair length; add a bun or let it loose; they work with it all.

Top Knot_



14. Top Knot

Top knot is easy and just looks stunning, showing off your beautiful coily, wavy hair. You may think it might not work easily on your hair type but this is actually a favorite as a protective braid hairstyle for 4C hair!

Mini Twists_


15. Mini Twists

Mini twists can take some time to create or install but they add depth to your style! Plus, you don’t have to worry about maintaining hair moisture in this style because of its closeness to the scalp.

These protective hairstyles for 4C hair are highly popular and can be styled according to your preference and hair length. Remember to apply leave-in moisture from time to time for healthy hair!