IG: @yvettecorinne

25 Protective Vacation Hairstyles for Natural Baddies on the Beach

If you’re looking for the perfect protective style for vacation, you’ve come to the right place.

See, we know that dealing with your natural hair can sometimes be a trip. But packing your whole product regimen, plus all of your tools, is not on your itinerary. Because the last thing you want to think about when you’d rather be lying around, is how to lay your hair.

25 Pretty Protective Hairstyles for Vacation This Summer

Whether you’re planning a romantic baecation, a getaway with the girls, or a solo trip, it’s our goal to make sure your vacation is a slaycation, and you remain unbothered.

Of course, protective styles still require maintenance, but you can definitely keep it to a minimum so as not to disrupt your vacation vibes.

1. Tribal Braids Ponytail with Loop Bangs

Black woman in a swimsuit wearing a tribal braids ponytail protective hairstyle with loop bangs
IG: @lelliessantiago

From the lovely looped bangs to the long cornrowed ponytail, this tribal braids look is serving carefree cabana-style slayage.

2. Medium Length Boho Nu Locs

Black woman wearing medium length boho nu locs protective hairstyle and sunglasses
IG: @sheilandinda @spritzhairstudio

We can’t say enough about faux locs and their flexibility for a getaway. They’re hands down one of our fave protective styles for vacation.

3. Small Faux Locs In Classic Bun

Black woman in a swimsuit wearing small faux locs protective hairstyle in a bun

You can wear them pulled back in a bun, when it’s hot and humid, in an updo for a romantic dinner, side-swept for a sexy night out, and the list goes on.

4. Long Copper Faux Locs

Black woman in a bikini wearing thigh length copper faux locs

They’re not only easy to style when you’re on vacation, but they’re easy to DIY before you even depart for your destination.

5. Copper and Platinum Goddess Faux Locs

Black woman in a swimsuit at the beach wearing copper and platinum goddess faux locs

And because of their boho or already distressed appearance, any signs of wear and tear seem intentional, making them only get better with time.

6. Side-Swept Ginger Marley Twists

Black woman in a bikini wearing ginger Marley twists protective hairstyle

Perfect for long walks on the beach, lounging by the pool, island tours and stunting on The Gram, these side-swept ginger Marley twists are the style of our sun-kissed vacation dreams.

7. Marley Twists with Deep Side Part

Black woman in a swimsuit at the beach wearing Marley twists with deep side part
IG: @danielledarlynn

But if we’re keeping it all the way real, Marley twists aren’t the look for you if swimming is on your agenda.

They’re extremely heavy when wet and take forever to dry, so you might want to consider more suitable protective styles if you plan on taking the plunge.

8. Jumbo Straight Back Cornrows with Curly Pieces

Black woman on vacation wearing jumbo straight back cornrows hairstyle with curly pieces

You seriously can’t go wrong with cornrows on vacation. Size, length and color may vary but the slay is nonnegotiable.

9. Half Tribal Cornrows with Curls

Black woman in a swimsuit wearing half tribal braids protective hairstyle

10. Fulani Braids High Ponytail

Swimsuit clad Black woman on beach wearing a Fulani braids ponytail hairstyle

11. Long Cinnamon Cornrows with Middle Part

Black woman in a bikini wearing long cinnamon cornrows with middle part

12. Long Jumbo Rope Twists

Black woman on a boat in her bikini wearing long jumbo rope twists hairstyle

Edgy and exquisite, these long, jumbo rope twists are ideal whether you’re traveling over international waters or just lounging on a yacht in them.

13. Low Bubble Ponytail with Middle Part

Black woman in a bikini wearing a bubble ponytail protective hairstyle

Just the flair you need without all of the fuss, a ponytail hairstyle is perfect for all of your poolside shenanigans.

14. Long Low Ponytail

Black woman on vacation wearing long low ponytail protective hairstyle

15. Two Low Braided Ponytails

Black woman in swimsuit wearing two jumbo pigtails as a protective hairstyle

16. Blonde and Copper Box Braids Ponytail with Curly Ends

Black woman wearing long blonde and copper box braids with curly ends in a ponytail with a scarf headband

No look is probably more versatile or vacation-vibe friendly than box braids.

From knotless to traditional, butt length to a short bob, small to jumbo, curly to blunt ends, black to blonde, deciding which style to go with, will probably be your hardest decision.

17. Jumbo Coi Leray-Inspired Braids

Black woman in wrapped bikini top wearing jumbo Coi Leray braids

18. Large Box Braids Ponytail with Curly Ends

Black woman in a swimsuit wearing large box braided ponytail protective hairstyle with curly ends
IG: @iamlenn

19. Short Box Braids Bob under Straw Hat

Black woman in a swimsuit wearing a short blunt box braided bob and a straw hat

Regardless of which you choose, you can still tuck them under a straw hat for chic sun protection.

20. Honey Blonde Box Braids

Black woman lounging in her bikini wearing long honey blonde box braids, a straw hat and sunglasses

21. Platinum Box Braids in High Jumbo Bun

Black woman with platinum box braids in a high bun hairstyle standing in a pool with floating breakfast

Although box braids aren’t ideal for water activities due to their weight, they can be washed or rinsed after contact with chlorine or salt water, using a diluted clarifying shampoo, without ruining your style. You can also oil your scalp as needed to lock in moisture and maintain your natural hair. And they tend to last way beyond your actual trip.

Like we said, they’re truly the perfect hairstyle for any hiatus.

22. Thigh Length Side-Swept Box Braids

Black woman in a bikini with long side-swept box braids

23. Black Passion Twists with Brown and Copper Highlights

Bikini clad Black woman wearing her natural hair in passion twists protective hairstyle

Let’s not forget adorned twist styles to look picture perfect poolside.

24. Adorned Senegalese Twists

Black woman wearing accessorized Senegalese twists and a straw hat

25. Printed Head Wrap

Bikini clad Black woman wearing head wrap by the pool

When all else fails, opt for a stylish turban or head wrap. With so many pretty prints to choose from, you can match every swimsuit and outfit, yet tie them differently, for a unique look every time.

Just be mindful of the fabric though, as cotton, which is often used, can be extremely drying to your hair.

Back view of Black woman wearing a Soul Cap large swim cap
IG: @soulcapofficial

If you’re serious about swimming but want to keep all water off of your hair do, then investing in a Soul Cap is a must-do. Large enough to accommodate your biggest braided styles, it’s a surefire way to keep your MANE-tenance to a minimum.

And now that you’ve seen what’s possible in protective vacation hairstyles, you’re more than ready to wow around the world!