Sex

The Best Protective Hairstyles for Black Women to Have Sex In

Though it’s entirely possible to fuck in a wig, mine was ruined after two hookups, so I wanted to find other good alternatives.
August 4, 2021, 1:53pm
a couple in bed with a collage of braids in the background
Collage by Cathryn Virginia | Getty Images
Advice on the finer points of having great sex.

At the beginning of this summer, after a year and a half of social isolation and forced celibacy, I decided that my main priorities were to (a) be hot and (b) have tons of sex. At the time, I didn’t realize how my approach to the former would affect the latter. My journey to being the hottest version of myself possible involved a lot of experimentation with my look, and because I’m a Black woman, a major part of that experimentation had to do with my hair. 

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Choosing what hairstyle would be the most effective in helping me reach my goals required delicate math: I needed to balance my need to looking smoking hot with the ability of my hairstyle to hold up during aforementioned tons of sex. As a part of this “new phase of the pandemic, new me” attitude, I decided to switch things up and wear a wig while having sex for the first time. 

Wigs are my white whale. I’ve always admired how versatile and glamorous they look, but never previously had the confidence to wear one in bed. Was I worried about whether my wigs would be able to survive the throes of passion? Of course—I can’t imagine the feeling of having your hair fall off while you’re having sex, but I know I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Still, I felt I owed it to my hot summer self to at least try doing it with my wig on. 

I’m usually able to detach and completely be in the moment when I’m having sex, but, as I learned, it is very difficult to do that when you’re in doggy style and have to keep covertly tugging your wig forward and keep your balance at the same time. It’s similarly humbling to escape to the bathroom in between rounds to check on the damage and see your wig four inches back from where it’s supposed to be. Not to mention: Rolling around in a bed for a few hours is not the way to make your wigs last. Two hookups, and I had to throw my $50 unit in the trash. 

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My best advice for making a wig work for you in the bedroom? Don’t wear one. Have sex in a protective style, or wear it natural instead. More experienced wig wearers might have better advice, but in my experience, wigs offer way too many uncontrollable variables. However, I do have quite a bit of experience with other protective styles in the bedroom. Any hairstyle meant to keep Black women’s natural hair tucked away from overexposure to the elements and manipulation will also hold up to rigorous boning! If you’re trying to let loose, completely lose yourself in the moment, and maybe even get your hair pulled, you’re going to want a hairstyle with some staying power. At the same time, you also want to have a style that makes you feel sexy and confident: Even if you know your hair won’t budge an inch, if you don’t feel hot in your hairstyle, the sex won’t be as fun. 

To help me along on my summer quests, I’ve consulted other Black women about the styles that are best suited to bedroom action. Drawing from my own experiences and their insights, I broke down the pros and cons of protective and natural hairstyles to fuck and be fucked in. With the help of this list, you, too, will be able to get fucked without worrying about your hair going flying (anywhere you don’t want it to, at least). 

Braids

Braids have this effortlessly sexy, ethereal look about them—think Zoë Kravitz or Solange. Without a doubt, box braids or knotless braids are also amazing go-to hairstyles if your intention is to get your back blown out. There’s very little risk of them escaping from your head onto the floor.

The added length makes the whole look that much sexier: “I like to drape the braids over my [titties] like Eve did in the garden,” said Olivia Louis, a 24-year-old server in Dayton, Ohio. Plus, she said, her partners are able to grab and pull her hair without her having to worry about it coming off of her head, messing up the style, or damaging her natural hair. 

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Depending on how long your braids are, they can sometimes get in the way during sex. If you’re on top, your partner might unintentionally get a face full of braids. “I've definitely had some moments on top and kissing where [my partners] were like, ‘OK, OK—all this hair,’ but it’s nothing a ponytail couldn’t take care of,” said Alisha, a 24-year-old film producer who asked that her last name be omitted for her privacy. 

Faux locs

Growing out locs can be a lifelong commitment. For those that want to dip their toe in the loc pool, but have no intention of growing them out themselves, there are always faux locs. Getting faux locs installed usually involves adding extensions to your real hair, and then wrapping even more hair around those extensions.  

Even though faux locs look gorgeous, there are a couple of considerations when it comes to wearing them during sex. Faux locs can often be very heavy on your head—not exactly the easiest style for whipping your hair back and forth in the throes of passion.

If you get them done professionally, they can be very expensive, making you a bit more conscious of making the style last. Depending on how your stylist installed your faux locs, pulling at them can cause the added hair to slip off. So, while the locs will stay on your head, you do run the risk of your partner being left with tufts of (expensive) hair in their hands. 

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“I paid a lot of money for [faux locs], and it took 10 hours [to put them in]... I had to tell my man to not mess up my hair during sex, and [it’s] just horrible to have limitations when being intimate,” said Sarah Perez, a 33-year-old who splits her time between Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic. 

This can mean no hair-pulling or being rough, which sucks if you’re trying to get really freaky. To make faux locs work for you in the bedroom without risking your style, be very specific with your partner. Tell them, “Grab—don’t pull.”

Natural hair 

Obviously, natural hair isn’t a protective style, but even more obvious are the benefits to having sex with your natural hair. For one: With your natural hair, you can definitely be assured that it’ll stay on your head during your entire rendezvous!

If you don’t usually wear your hair natural, you might find a certain kind of intimacy to having sex without a wig or protective style. “It feels like I’m letting my partner in on a secret,” said Alisha, who usually wears her hair in box braids. 

For those that more regularly wear their natural hair, having sex with your twists, puffs, or afro definitely requires the least maintenance and is the least expensive. And natural hair is just as sexy as any other protective style. The downside? Sex hair will usually cause one side or the back of your natural curls to be entirely flat by the end of the sex session. This really can’t be helped, but If you don’t mind, definitely go for it!

And you can always just wear a bonnet or a headscarf! Who among us hasn’t woken up and decided to get some first thing in the morning? There’s never really a good opportunity to slip off your bonnet or untie your headscarf. Honestly, I’m usually so focused on the mission at hand that I couldn’t care less about my sleepwear, and I don’t think my partners do, either. 

Alisha agreed. “Bonnet sex is great! It’s not necessarily a hairstyle, but I've gotten a lot of excitement out of bonnet cheeks,” she said. Because Black women wear bonnets and scarves to protect their natural hair or protective style while they are, there’s zero worry about messing up your hair, leaving you to focus on what you’re doing and how good it feels.

Ultimately, the best style to wear during sex is the one that makes you feel sexy and confident. But for Black women, our hair can be a major part of being able to tap into that confidence—so make it work for you, rather than going with something you won’t feel good in. You’ve got great options, all of which are hot in their own right, so experiment—and if, in the end, you decide you don’t mind if your wig moves around? That’s sexy in its own right, too! You can tie a bandana or head scarf around it so your partner doesn’t see it slip. Or... just say fuck it and consider an askew wig as proof of your incredible sex life.

Follow Chika Ekemezie on Twitter.