Yaaas, graduation day! Congrats, you finally get to walk down the aisle—and no, not that one just yet, but one where finished final exams are involved and summer fun is literally around the corner. The only fly in your ointment? That mortarboard you have to wear on you head, which, as vlogger Mini Marley so acutely points out, was not made for natural hair (or any other type of hair, for that matter). It can definitely pose a challenge if you’re looking for hairstyles for medium hair to rock during the big day, as it’s just so in the way.
Luckily, Mini Marley (real name: Breanna Chevolleau) gives us a solution to this ever-problem by offering up three different ’dos for whatever look you want to go for on Graduation Day. She showcases these styles on her own natural hair, which has been worn in a twist-out bun. She’s quick to offer variations for different personalities, so whether you’re in for a classically chic style or are willing to experiment with some fashion-forward extensions, these natural-textured hairstyles for medium hair are cute, easy and guarantee all eyes on you, even after—especially after—you throw that cap in the air!
Natural Hairstyles for Medium Hair for Graduation
Look #1: Braided Side Pony
Step 1: Mini Marley touts this style as perfect for the “girly grad” that gives just the right accent peeking out of a cap, and is also a feminine, polished style for afterwards at dinner with your parents and friends. Start by creating a side part on your hairline and another part behind it a few inches down on your head, effectively sectioning off your entire bang area on one side. Smooth up the rest of your hair in a ponytail and secure with a hair tie for the time being.
Step 2: On natural-textured hair, liberally apply a nourishing yet lightweight hair oil (Mini Marley used Nexxus New York Salon Care Oil Infinite Dry Hair Oil) onto strands, focusing on creating a smooth all-around base for the ponytail. Start by rubbing the product between palms and then spread it evenly throughout.
Step 3: Follow up with a shine-imbuing extreme-hold gel. Mini Marley squirts a generous amount (around three toothpaste ribbons) of Suave Professionals Firm Control Sculpting Gel onto her palms and applies it first onto her hairline, and then all around her head. She then uses a toothbrush to fine-tune and further smooth down her baby hair (a.k.a. halo frizzies) and follows this up with a natural-bristled brush to get a super-shiny, even coating of product onto strands. Recreate the look with a similar medium-hold gel such as TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel.
Step 4: Create a simple Dutch braid on this free section, starting at the part line and moving all the way down till the ends, even past the point the plait detaches from your scalp. Remove the original ponytail you had on, apply more gel as necessary for a smooth, super sleek base, and incorporate the braid into a low side pony. Secure with a bobby pin and hair tie, and gel down your edges as desired.
Look #2: Sleek Bun
Step 1: Mini Marley’s take on the “classic grad” look is perfect for girls who want a “simple and timeless” hairstyle for the big day: “Anything with a low ponytail or bun will really help your graduation cap to sit nicely on your head,” she says. Start by applying a humidity-resistant strong-hold gel like Suave Professionals Firm Control Sculpting Gel and brushing it through with a natural-bristled brush, creating a side part as you go.
Step 2: Secure hair into a sleek ponytail just right below your parietal ridge (or skull bump) and slick down any frizzies with a tad more product using a toothbrush. Optional: Tie on a scarf to keep the base neat as it leaves you free to work on your bun.
Step 3: For hairstyles for medium hair and even thick natural hair, it works to spread the ponytail around in a circle before coiling strands around. Otherwise, just twirl hair around itself in a circular ballerina bun and secure with a hair tie around the base of the knot.
Look #3: Braid Extensions
Step 1: The “fashionista grad” can look stunning with some artfully applied synthetic hair extensions, as Mini Marley demonstrates. Pick out a braid that matches your lengths exactly for a truly seamless look.
Step 2: Gather your hair into a medium-height ponytail and attach the faux braid underneath your real ponytail. Secure further as desired with bobby pins under the knot.
Step 3: Split your real (shorter) ponytail into two, and create regular mini-braids on each section until the ends of your natural hair. Secure each end with a hair tie.
Step 4: Proceed to coil these mini-braids around the base of your faux ponytail, camouflaging the seam. Secure all ends with bobby pins.
Which of these natural hairstyles for medium hair are you going to try for grad day?