10 Styles: Hair in the Summer

by Shakilya Lawrence

Photography by Various Artists via pexel.com

The versatility and dynamic qualities of Black women's hair make us incredibly unique, especially when it comes to styling. We can achieve virtually any look we want through a variety of different hairstyles, ranging from wearing our natural tresses to wearing protective styles like wigs, braids, and SO many others. There are several reasons why we may choose a hairstyle, but the weather definitely plays a part in our choice. Many women opt for protective and simple styles during the warmer months since it makes hair maintenance easier.


With the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic keeping us inside, for now, this is the perfect time to try out summer hairstyles in the privacy of our homes. Thankfully with YouTube, IGTV, and other media outlets, hair tutorials are readily at our fingertips giving us the means to be able to learn how to do these styles ourselves.


Here are 10 hairstyles that are perfect in warmer weather, that you can also test out while quarantining.

Braids, braids, braids

This style is a summer go-to for many reasons. Whether your hair is natural or relaxed, it's a style that protects the hair from heat or maintenance damage and gives the hair time to strengthen and grow. The upkeep is also very minimal and there are many different styles you can create once having braids in. The lengths can vary, which is nice if you don't want a lot of hair on your head for the summer. There are also many different styles of braids you can get from cornrows to micro-braids to box braids. Knotless braids have become increasingly more popular as a braiding style in 2019, due to its painless installation, sleekness to the scalp, and appearance.


Twists

Like braids, twists are another popular summer hairstyle. Similar to braids, twists are a versatile protective style for all hair types. However, they are much easier to attempt at-home than braids. This style offers less strain on the scalp than braids and will transition better as your hair continues to grow. Senegalese, Marley, and Havana twists are some of the most common amongst Black women. What separates these kinds of twists is the kind of hair used and the size of the twists. Senegalese twists are usually smaller and sleeker, while Havanas are larger and will closely resemble your hair texture. Another option for more naturally looking twists are Passion twists, which have gained popularity amongst Black women over the past two years. The only downfall to this style is that it will require more maintenance because twists can unravel quicker.


Sleek Ponytail

This hairstyle is one of the easiest to achieve at home and thankfully, won't take too much time to accomplish. Your biggest challenge with this style might honestly be choosing the kind of hair you want to attach to your ponytail! You can opt for a more natural-looking ponytail by using curlier hair or you can use straight hair if you desire a sleeker option. Having the right products to smooth your hair down is important, so invest in gels and oils that will help keep your hair in place.


Faux Locs

This hairstyle has gotten increasingly popular over the last couple of years because like braids and twists, this style is versatile, low maintenance, and offers protection to your natural hair. This style is stunning and allows you to wear locs without the full commitment to the locking process. As your hair grows, the new growth will seamlessly blend into your locs allowing you to wear them for longer than other protective styles. Unfortunately attempting faux locs can be difficult, so watch many tutorials before trying and remain patient during the process.


Headscarves

This is by far the easiest style to achieve and doesn't require much effort. Headscarves protect your hair while also acting as an accessory. You can decide to completely cover your hair with the scarf or you can partially leave some out. Underneath the scarf, you can have any protective style you want but twists, braids, and buns are the most common when completely covering the hair. There are so many different ways to wrap your scarf so you'll always be able to obtain different looks.


Wigs

Despite the heat of summer, wigs are probably still my number one summer hairstyle for numerous reasons. They offer complete coverage and protection of your hair and the options for color, length, and style are endless. Wigs are perfect if you want to give your hair time to grow while having the complete freedom to have any hairstyle you want. Lace front wigs are by far the most popular due to having realistic and seamless airlines, but you can also get U-part wigs if you wanted to use your own hairline. Installation can be tricky, depending on whether or not you want to glue the wig down. Tutorials will be your best friend here for an at-home install or you can always opt for glueless wigs or wigs with clips. The only downfall to wigs is that quality wigs can sometimes be costly. If you haven't worn wigs before in the past, I would do research before purchasing.


Bantu knots

This protective style is pretty popular within the natural community, however, this hairstyle can be done on relaxed and transitioning hair as well. Bantu knots have always been around but it wasn't until recently that Black women began wearing them out in public. While your hair is coiled up in Bantu knots, sadly there isn't much versatility in styling. However, once you take them out, you can expect loose waves that can be styled in whatever way you wish. You can leave them in as long as you like, but your waves will be more defined the longer you leave them in.




Twists/Braid Out

Similarly to Bantu knots, the goal of twist and braid outs is to manipulate the pattern of your hair texture. This also another style that can be attempted on any hair type. Twist outs will produce a tighter curl once taken out, while braid outs will produce more of a wave. There is no real guide to how many you should do, but when first attempting try to make sure they're all around the same size. Unlike with bantu knots, there's versatility in the transition style so you can put the twists/braids themselves into other styles like a bun or half up for example.


Rope Designs

This style is a really cool concept and adds a level of artistry to your hairstyle. Rope designs can be achieved by using a metallic string or yarn to wrap around your hair. These designs typically can be seen on braided styles like box braids, but you can add them to locs or even ponytails. The best thing about this style is that you have free range to create whatever design you want so possibilities are endless.


Pulled-Back/ Half Up, Half Down

This iconic and classic hairstyle is unmatched. It's universal because regardless of hair texture anyone can do this style. By pulling the hair back, it draws more attention to the face by exposing it front and center. It's a style that is incredibly low maintenance, easy to do, and can be for any occasion.


Au Natural/Freeform

Of course, I had to end this list with the most classic hairstyle of them all. This style doesn't require any styling or maintenance and allows us to let our hair be. With social distancing keeping us inside, more women will have to manage their own hair whether you're natural or not. With less pressure to do our hair, we can allow our hair to fro and fall however it may. According to the natural hair advocate and creator of Instagram's kinky, coily comedy community Chante Griffin, this lack of access to hair stylists will cause Black women to go natural during this time, even if it's only temporary.


Another great point Chante discussed was that the appeal of low maintenance natural hairstyles and the necessity of having to do our own hair will spark experimentation for many. Now is the best time to try all the styles we've been curious about because there's no pressure for your hair to look perfect! We have room for trial and error during this period of quarantining. So if you mess up, it's okay. Remain patient and continuing trying and you'll have several summer looks to premiere once we're all able to go outside again.


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