"Just like a classic pair of blue jeans, braids will always be in style,” says hair stylist Brennen Demelo, owner of Brennen Demelo Studio in Toronto. They are a great way to look polished in the summer, while keeping your hair off your neck.
Bonus: if you choose to wear a braid, your hair will set into a wavy kink. “This leaves your second-day hair with that popular beachy texture — without any of the work!”
Here are some simple ways to switch up the classic three-strand braid.
Also see: Sexy summer hair guide: Eight ways to get a celeb-gorgeous mane
The fishtail braid
Style Prep: Using your fingers, rake a texturizing spray through strands for some volume at the roots and extra grip throughout the hair.
Step 1: Collect hair at the back of your head and divide into two (not three, like a traditional braid) equal parts.
Step 2: Take a small section of hair (about one inch) from the outside of the left segment, and cross it over to merge with the inside of the right segment. This means that the right segment of hair will now be thicker than the left.
Step 3: Perform the same step on the other side. Take a small section of hair from the outside of the right segment and cross it over top to join the inside of the left segment. The two sections should be equal again. Continue steps two and three until you reach the end of your hair, and secure braid with an elastic.
Try: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Anytime Volume Refresher, $6
Also see: How to get beachy summer waves
The Katniss braid
Transform this casual day braid into an evening look by twisting the tail into a loose bun and pinning it up in an organic, unstructured way. You can also leave a few loose strands around your face for a soft pretty finish, advises Demelo.
Braid tutorial from John Freida: Here's a detailed pictorial to get this look
Try: Goody Bobby Pins, $5
Also see: Dos and don'ts for a faux summer glow
The milkmaid braid
Pro Tips: This sweet do works best with long hair and also looks great with bangs. Use clear elastics, they practically disappear in your hair.
Step 1: With a middle part, divide your hair into two sections. Secure each side with an elastic band (making pigtails) as close to the base of your ears as possible.
Step 2: Using the basic three-strand technique, braid each pigtail and secure at the end with an elastic.
Step 3: Take one braid and place it over top of your head, in the same place that you would wear a headband. Secure it in place with bobby pins. Do the same with the second braid, tucking the bobby pins into the bottom braid in order to keep most of them hidden.
Try: Goody Crystal Elastics, $4
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