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22 Braided summer hairstyles for every skill level

/ 06.29.2015

Braided hairstyles are essential during the summer months, especially if you have long hair. They keep your hair under control, prevent frizz and lend your tresses a beautiful bohemian vibe. There are many different looks to try, from complicated updos to straightforward side braids, and you can check out some of our favorites below!

1. Tousled low braid

Messy braid
Messy braid

For a no-fuss look that requires minimal effort, try a tousled low braid. It's as easy to style as the finished 'do suggests, and it looks really pretty with or without accessories. You can rock it with textured waves or simply muss it for a subtle bed head look.

Styling tip

After braiding, spritz your hair with plenty of hairspray, then gently pull it out at the sides to loosen it. To further texturize the look, roll the braid between your palms and re-spray it to finish.

2. Braided pomp

Braided pomp
Braided pomp

French braiding can be tricky, and French braiding along the sides of your head can be really difficult until you get the hang of it. When you have the technique down pat, however, you can create all kinds of styles - like this braided pomp! It's definitely a statement look, and a time consuming one at that, but for those of you bold enough to try it, you won't regret it!

Styling tip

To get volume that lasts, spritz your hair with a volumizing mist like Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT High Lift Creation Spray, both before and during backcombing.

3. Asymmetrical braid

Quirky asymmetrical side braid
Quirky asymmetrical side braid

Whether you wear it messy or sleek, an asymmetrical braid will keep your hair under wraps and off the back of your neck, especially if you have really long hair.

Styling tip

Texturize your braid after securing it for a controlled finish. Pull the braid out at the sides, then gently tease a few small pieces loose all the way along. For more texture, use an old toothbrush covered with hairspray.

4. Reverse French braided updo

Reverse French braid updo
Reverse French braid updo

If you're feeling particularly dextrous, a reverse French braided updo is a really interesting look that combines an unlikely braided detail with a very on-trend messy bun. You'll just have to get used to braiding your hair with your head flipped upside down...

Styling tip

Make sure your hair is totally tangle-free before you start braiding. Any knots can cause havoc with a regular French braid, and when you're essentially working backwards, they can be really, really frustrating!

5. Triple French braided updo

Triple French braided updo
Triple French braided updo

For anyone who's up for a challenge, a triple French braided updo is definitely worth the effort! It'll keep long hair up and under control until it's taken out, and it's perfect for anything active you have planned, be it a hike or a yoga class!

Styling tip

Braid your hair when it's still slightly damp for extra grip. You can also spritz your mane with a texturizing product like Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Tousle Waves Spray so that when you shake your hair out at the end of the day, you'll have a headful of beachy waves!

6. Fishtail braided pigtails

Fishtail braids
Fishtail braids

Pigtail braids are fast becoming a surprisingly grownup hairstyle trend, and they look especially good with fishtails! With a low placement and a slightly disheveled finish, they make for a really easy way to wear day two hair.

Styling tip

Tie the hair into two regular pigtails before braiding them to help hold the hair in place more easily while you work on each one.

7. Braided bouffant updo

Braided boufffant updo
Braided boufffant updo

Combining vintage volume with a bohemian braided headband, this bouffant updo is a really interesting look that would make for a truly memorable night out 'do! It's perfect for a hot summer's night as it keeps all of your hair up, and the added volume will make any frizz look deliberate.

Styling tip

Start creating a full-bodied look before you even step out of the shower by using a volume-enhancing shampoo and conditioner combo.

8. Fishtail side braid

Cute fishtail side braid
Cute fishtail side braid

Gathering your hair over one shoulder and fishtail braiding it to the ends is the perfect on-the-go summer hairstyle, whether you're at the beach or just want to change up your workday hairstyle at lunchtime!

Styling tip

Whenever you can, avoid using hair elastics that pull your hair and increase the chance of breakage. Opt instead for fabric ties that are much gentler on your strands.

9. Wet look baby braid

Wet look braid
Wet look braid

If you want a simple braided hairstyle for a night out, or want to make your hair look presentable after a dip in the pool this summer, try a loose style with a single wet look baby braid.

Styling tip

Apply a small amount of gel to slightly damp hair to get a wet look sheen, but take care not to overload your strands or you could end up with a gunky mess.

10. Braided crown

Braided crown
Braided crown

Though it may take some practice to get the look just right, a braided crown is one of the prettiest summer updos we know! It's equal amounts cute and chic, and it looks gorgeous with every outfit imaginable.

Styling tip

Braided crowns tend to work best with dirty hair as the natural oils give the strands more grip, which makes the whole styling process much easier than with clean, slippery strands.

11. Uneven pigtail braids

Pigtail braids
Pigtail braids

With a regular three strand braid, you can create a unique, interesting look by leaving one of the three pieces much smaller than the other two. When worn as pigtail braids, this technique creates playful yet effortlessly cool results.

Styling tip

For a really original look, try weaving a ribbon into the braids!

12. Tousled French braid

Tousled French braid
 Tousled French braid

Do you tend to lean towards tried and true classics when it comes to choosing a hairstyle? If so, this tousled 'do might be perfect for you as it combines this season's must-try textured hair trend with a timeless French braid!

Styling tip

After creating beachy waves with a texturizing spray, gently detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb. This will remove any knots but won't compromise the texture.

13. Braided low ponytail

Braided low ponytail
Braided low ponytail

A low ponytail is a universally chic hairstyle that's as easy to do as it is to wear. When braided, it looks best with a regular three strand technique as this avoids unnecessary fuss to keep the look elegant and understated.

Styling tip

Add shine to your completed hairstyle with a finishing spray like Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Strand Smoother Serum Spray. It will calm any existing frizz, leaving you with glossy tresses.

14. Milkmaid braids

Milkmaid braids
Milkmaid braids

If you're not sold on the idea of pigtails, you can always use them to create an all-up braided headband, aka milkmaid braids. This easy updo keeps all of your hair out of the way, whether you wear it sleek or messy.

Styling tip

When you don't know how to style your hair for a pool party, try this hairstyle after jumping out of the water. If you apply some conditioner before putting your hair up, this 'do will also help keep your strands nourished and hydrated after all the chlorine.

15. Half-up fishtail braids

Half-up fishtail braids
Half-up fishtail braids

Even on the warmest summer days, there are times when you just don't want to put all of your hair up, but you don't want it in your face either. This is where half-up braids come in! These adorable fishtail braids leave the lengths well alone while keeping the hair at the front tied back and out of your way.

Styling tip

If you aren't too keen on fishtail braiding, try a couple of loose three-strand braids instead - they're less fiddly to create and they won't take so long either.

16. Side braid with a headband

Braid with a headband
Braid with a headband

Air drying is definitely the best way to dry your hair during the summer, but waiting isn't always practical. A cute side braid with a headband is a great way to deal with your tresses until they're dry, and if you apply a texturizing spray, you'll end up with easy waves when you shake it out.

Styling tip

Increase the beachiness of the resulting waves by scrunching some matte product like Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Deconstructing Gum through the ends when your hair is completely dry.

17. Braided bun

Braided bun
Braided bun

Some updos look way more complicated than they actually are and a braided bun is definitely one of them. All you need to do is gather your hair up into your go-to summer ponytail, braid the pony, then pin it into a bun. It couldn't be any easier!

Styling tip

Protect your finished bun from any surprise flyaways with a generous veil of hairspray. A brushable product like Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Bold Control Hairspray will keep humidity out and help to tack down any existing wispy strands.

18. Double French braided updo

French braided updo
French braided updo

When you want every last strand taken care of, whether it's crazy hot outside or you just can't deal with your mane, a double French braided updo is the perfect style. As long as you keep the braids fairly tight, it'll stay put until you take it down!

Styling tip

To help you get the hang of this hairstyle, practice on someone else a few times first. This will help you to understand what French braiding is supposed to look and feel like, before you do it on yourself without being able to see exactly what your hands are doing.

19. Braided headband

Braided headband
Braided headband

Another pretty half-up hairstyle, a braided headband is a really cute way to keep your hair out of your face without pulling everything back into a ponytail or topknot.

Styling tip

Secure the ends of the braids with bobby pins so that when you wrap them over your head, you won't have any bulky hair ties to hide.

20. Voluminous side braid

Voluminous side braid
Voluminous side braid

If humidity is an issue, make any unwanted frizz look like it's doing you a favor by styling it into voluminous side braid! Keep it fairly loose and you just can't go wrong with this summer hairstyle.

Styling tip

Use a volume enhancing spray such as Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT High Lift Creation Spray and a fine tooth comb to gently tease any flat areas. This will give you consistent all-over volume for a totally pulled together 'do... even if it all started out by accident.

21. Reverse braided crown

Reverse braided crown
Reverse braided crown

Getting your head, and your fingers, around a regular braided crown can be difficult, so to make things easier, try reversing the look! Instead of French braiding around your hairline, braid your hair into two loose pigtails, then pin them into headband, starting at the back of your head.

Styling tip

Try teaming this hairstyle with a floral accessory or two to create a really bohemian look.

22. Pigtail braids with a headscarf

Headscarf braids
Headscarf braids

Do you know what's better than a great hairstyle with a great accessory? A great hairstyle that IS a great accessory like these headscarf pigtails! As seen at Coachella, it's a gorgeous festival look and ideal for when you want to cover up dirty roots with minimal effort.

Styling tip

If you don't want to make quite such a big style statement, try braiding each pigtail with a colorful ribbon instead.

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