Summer in the South is rough, you guys. It starts early and always overstays its welcome. Because of this, I spend weeks feeling sweaty and sticky, and as much as I love having long hair, I just can’t deal with keeping it loose.
I get bored with just twisting it up in a claw clip or a ponytail, so I try to switch it up with cute updos sometimes. I’m not the type of girl to spend a long time with intricate braids or tons of steps, so the summer updo styles I’m going to share are all pretty quick and easy to achieve!
1. Mohawk Dutch Braid
Once you know the braiding basics, it opens up a whole world of easy, cute hairstyles that keep your hair out of your face. This one took a couple of practice runs, but now it’s one of my favorites!
This site gives a great, written step-by-step tutorial with pictures, and there’s a video too!
It’s helpful to use a little bit of dry shampoo or texture spray on your roots if you want to get a high, badass Viking braid going at the crown of your head. For me, I’ve also found that it’s better to make the braid tighter than you think you want it to be so that you can tease it out to be as much of a mohawk as you want.
If I’m feeling lazy, I don’t even bother braiding the rest of my hair once I reach the nape of my neck. Sometimes I’ll just put it in a ponytail, or other times I’ll divide the remaining hair in half and tie it in a messy knot. Just keep putting bobby pins into the messy knot until it feels secure!
2. Messy Braided Crown
If you have shorter hair, that first style might not work for you. This summer updo, though, is great for all but the very shortest hairstyles.
If you click through to the tutorial, it actually says that this is for short hair. Fortunately, it works for medium and long hair too.
For this style, you only need to know how to do a basic braid. My hair is curly, and that means it’s all different lengths, which is seriously annoying if I’m trying to put my hair up. This casual braided crown is perfect because I can just part my hair down the middle and keep adding pieces to the braid all the way around each side of my head. No wild party curls, and nothing to stick to my lip balm at the most inopportune moment!
You can even use this as a starting point for a more intricate style with different styles of braids or twisted-up pieces of hair. It’s super versatile!
3. Curly Twist Bun
I discovered this hairstyle in my early 20s, and it has been a staple of my summers (and the rest of the year too) ever since. This one works best if you have some wave to your hair, but straight-haired girls could use some texture spray and tousling to get the extra body needed to make this summer updo work.
You can click through the link to view the video or written instructions—there are plenty of pictures that make it easy to follow the directions! I also love that this look is very forgiving. Basically, as long as you have an artfully messy low bun going, you can wrap and twist and pin the upper sections any way that you want.
I like to add cute barrettes or sparkly pins to make the look more fun.
4. Voluminous Top Knot
One of my favorite hairstyles is a HUGE, beautiful top knot. I mean, just scroll through these photos and tell me you’re not envious!
Unfortunately, I don’t have the sheer volume or density of hair needed to pull off the biggest of these buns. (Trust me, even backcombing and Aqua Net couldn’t get me there. I tried.)
If you do have a lot of hair, then your job is easy! You can just start with a high ponytail, a little teasing, and a handful of bobby pins, and you’ll have my dream hair in no time.
If you’re like me, I highly recommend these squishy hair donuts for the ultimate easy, breezy, enormous top knot (or chignon! It works for both.). You just thread your ponytail through the donut hole, tease your hair a little and wrap it around the donut until it’s no longer visible! I usually stick a few pins into the hair+donut combo for security, but that part is optional.
The best part is that the donuts are super lightweight, and you look like you spent a ton of time on an elegant updo!