Beach Hair Styles for Black Girls

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Summertime is here and the beach is calling. It’s time to dig out your favorite swimsuit (or buy a new one), book that bikini wax, stock up on the essentials, like sunscreen and maybe even get your nails done. Have we missed anything? Oh of course, hair! No beach trip is complete without the perfect hairstyle to rock with that tan. Whether it’s Turks and Caicos, Cancun, California or Florida, a baecation, solo trip or getaway with your girls, you’ll want to look stylish as you’re relaxing or swimming in the ocean.

When it comes to beach hair, there are a few things to consider–such as hair drying time, water retention and sun protection–that we don’t always have to think about on a regular day. To keep things simple, we’ve gathered the most gorgeous beach styles for Black girls from across the web and given you some tips for keeping your hair in check.

Box braids

Live out your Black girl mermaid dreams with long, gorgeous box braids on the beach. As a relatively low maintenance protective style, box braids will save you time and energy styling your hair while on vacation. Keep them long and flowy or opt for a pony-tail or cute updo that will take you straight from the beach to the bar. Your natural hair will also be protected from UV sun rays, sand and wind meaning it will remain moisturized and hydrated for longer.

You’ll also not have to pack as many products in your luggage if you are traveling for your beach trip. Essentials for box braid maintenance would be a light moisturizing oil, a hydrating styler, edge control and shampoo and conditioner if you’re planning to wash your hair.

The gallery below will help you choose the perfect style.

Have a look through our box braid maintenance guide to keep them looking intact. If you’re considering installing the box braids yourself, the guide also shows you how to do so.

Two strand twists

Vacations can be expensive so rocking a natural protective style can help you save some coins. You can twist your own hair and even rock a twist out when you take them out. Twists allow you to protect your natural hair from the natural elements you’ll encounter on the beach–wind, humidity, sand and the sun’s rays. The twists also offer that edge of versatility as you can style them into a cute bun, ponytail or half-up-half-down look and even add embellishments like beads or jewels.

Check out how to do your own twists and take care of them while on vacation.

Twists with added hair

If you want a protective twist style with length you could opt for Marley, Senegalese, Havana or even passion twists. Note: the great thing about Marley and Havana twists in particular is that they’re kinkier, offering some leeway for frizz. If you’re in more humid climates and your own hair starts to frizz, it will be less apparent with these twist styles. A win!

This guide will help you select the right kind of hair for your next twist style.

Fulani

Bring out your inner goddess with Fulani braids at the beach.  Also known as tribal braids, this unique and intricate style is the perfect look for those lazy beach days. They’re also relatively easy to maintain and you can add embellishments like beads, jewels or shells to jazz up the style.

This complete guide to Fulani braids will give you the low-down on installation, maintenance and there’s also some inspo.

Straightbacks

Choose this classic, minimal maintenance protective style for your next beach trip. This simple style is convenient for laid-back beach vacations, can last up to two months with proper care (moisturizing your scalp, hydrating the hair shaft and sleeping with a silk scarf) and you can even add beads, gems and jewels to give your all back cornrows  an even more stylish edge. Plus straightbacks don’t take as long to install as other protective styles and you could even do it yourself.

How will you be rocking your straighbacks at the beach?

Check out our protective style guide to keep your look in check and find all the inspo you need here, to spice up your straightback style.

Rocking natural hair

Although rocking your natural hair can require more maintenance and consideration, paired with sun-kissed skin, it’s a match made in heaven. It’s a great choice for a day trip to the beach or a long, sun-soaked weekend. If you’re planning to swim (whether that’s in the sea or pool), having your natural hair out will allow you to give your scalp and ‘fro a good wash and condition, without additional hair getting in the way. Natural hair is also a lot lighter and will dry quicker than hair in protective styles. At night you can pop it up into a pineapple or braid it into two big messy cornrows to keep it stretched.

Check out how these beautiful Black women are rocking their natural tresses on the beach:

Here are some great tips for caring for your natural hair on vacation at the beach.

Accessorize

Accessories can be your best friend on vacation. Straw hats work with any style and offer that crucial UV protection for your hair and skin. Bucket hats, silk scarves and head wraps work just as well for your hair.

Inspiration galore for your next beach vacation.

Crochet hair

Bring some Black girl magic to the beach with crochet braids. This look has grown in popularity over the last few years and is a perfect beach vacation style for many reasons.  Firstly, minimal maintenance. Keeping your crochet style in check doesn’t require too much time and energy. They’re also a great option if you want to mimic your natural hair texture or create a bold new look.

The type of crochet hair you select will determine how long the style will last for. Check out Leah Lavon’s video guide here for a breakdown on the type of crochet hair available and the benefits of each.

Now the hard part–deciding which style to rock:

We also have a comprehensive guide to crochet hair here. 

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect beach look, you’ve got to plan the trip. Where will you be heading this summer?

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Kristen Bingle
Kristen Bingle

I've been natural since 2014. Since then I've been obsessed with watching hair tutorials and learning more about how to keep my hair healthy — and sharing that with others. I'm based in London, work in Marketing and love herbal tea.

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