Time to trade in your messy work-from-home bun for a sweet summer style that looks effortlessly polished in all kinds of heat and humidity. Don’t get us wrong: the messy bun and messy pony have been our go-tos for ages with good reason. If our DIY attempts go awry, it’s an easy cover-up to say they’re supposed to be messy. After sporting the same tousled ‘do for what seems like years…it’s time for something new. With only a little practice and creativity, you can move up to a style that delivers a lot more oomph. Make 2020 the year you master the art of the braid.
Stick with a sleek tight braid or celebrate your inner mermaid with a fishtail. Stock up on clips and cuffs and anything pearl-covered for accessories that draw attention to your hair art. You’ll never have to worry about a bad hair day when you start braiding with these easy DIY ideas.
French styling gives us major chic vibes and keeps the braid from feeling too young. With this style, everything comes down to plenty of practice, so don’t give up. Here’s how to master the french braid:
- Brush your hair until it’s smooth. If your hair is curly, gently use your fingers to detangle to avoid destroying your curl pattern.
- Use a rat-tail comb or your fingers to section off a triangle of hair from your forehead to the crown of your head.
- Divide the section into three pieces and three-strand braid them.
- Each time you cross the hair over, make sure to incorporate more hair from each side of your head.
- When you reach the ends, tie off the braid with an elastic.
Tuck in just one baby braid on each side of the head for a ’90s throwback, or go for a ‘70s vibe with multiple braids.
- Here’s a pro stylist tip: Saturate the ends of your braids with hairspray and secure them with setting clips that you’ll remove once hairspray is dry.
Accessories take your braids to the next level. Summer is the time to show off your collection of hair bling.
- Use hair ties with charms and baubles for a more playful vibe.
- Weave a scarf or ribbon into your hair—bonus points if the fabric matches your outfit.
- Stack signature clips along the length of your braid. Modern box braids decorated with beads, braid cuffs or metallic thread will turn heads.
Crown braids are elegant with just the right amount of edge to keep your hair off your face with style. The classic crown braid is perfect for weddings or formal events like prom.
- Add some wave to your hair before braiding into a crown. The texture will not only support the style but also will give you a more boho look.
- Start a dutch braid from the front of your head and follow the curve of your head until you arrive back at the start.
- Tuck the end of the braid underneath the crown and secure it with a bobby pin so that it looks like you have one continuous loop of braid around your head—yep, like a crown.
Braided pigtails are a classic, but that doesn’t mean they’re a bore. The easy and practical style has grown up and is anything but childish.
- Go for a smooth and sleek look by tightly braiding your pigtails.
- Add curly bangs to pigtail braids and don’t hesitate to mix different textures. Full and fluffy bangs will take tight and sleek braids to a whole different level.
- If your hair texture is thick and full, opt instead for a pair of loose and chunky french braid pigtails. You’ll want to rely on a flyaway-taming spray in creating this hairstyle.
- After creating two French braids, take things to the next level by tying the ends together with a big bow.
Bubble braids are the ultimate in easy, breezy summer style and creating them looks much harder than it actually is.
- Instead of braiding your hair, simply “bubble” your ponytail.
- Section off the ponytail at similar intervals with thin elastics.
- Tug horizontally on each section to create a bubble.
- Live out your childhood Princess Jasmine fantasies!
Try something new for a heat-free summer.
- Secure box braids into a high ponytail, toss into a low pony or go for a half-up.
- When you can’t decide between large and small braids, fishtail box braids into one massive style for the best of both worlds.