Tutorial: Summer Braids for Natural Hair

Humidity freaking you out? Keep calm and plait on.

The awesome thing about summer is that not only can we let loose with our beauty looks, it’s also the best time to get creative. The fun summer season is when we can get experimental with our ’dos (color, cut, texture, you name it) since it’s all about that breezy, beachy, #boholife—at least for the next couple of months, that is. It’s also easier to ace how to style natural hair in the summer, since it’s all about sassy updos and braids, and, if you’re so inclined, wearing that texture loud ’n proud.

We rounded up a few of our fave ways of how to style natural hair in braids perfect for the hot, balmy season up ahead. Get ready to whip your hair back and forth!

How to Style Natural Hair in Braids for Summer 2016

Box Braids

how to style natural hair box braids
Keep the frizz from freaking you out with a braided hairstyle.

Box braids are a nifty way for those with afro, curly or kinky hair textures to make their locks look longer and have more manageable heft and dimension. The perfect hot-weather hairstyle (the plait literally stops curly hair from busting out in a frizzy pouf), this widely flattering look can sometimes make the use of hair extensions for an all-out glamorous length. It can also be the basis for many other natural-hair braid styles (as illustrated in the next few looks), or worn on its own for an exotically beautiful—and neater—take on the dreadlock trend.

Bantu Knots

how to style natural hair bantu knot half updo
Half-up bantus (half-uptus?) are the girly-girl’s take on this awesome, unique trend.

This culturally storied hairstyle worn by African communities for centuries past has also gained quite the cheeky reputation in recent years. Being the hairstyle of choice of ’90s electronica party kids and several music icons has enriched the appeal of bantu knots. Maybe it’s the funky way those coils keep hair out of your face during the height of summer (or at an intense rave); maybe it’s just a straight-up way to showcase killer cheekbones. Whatever it is, we’re all about their unique brand of cool.

Top Knot

how to style natural hair top knot
Crowning-glory top knots are fit for modern-day queens.

The trendy top knot gets a 2016 upgrade with the added bonus of box braids. Gathered into a hefty coil on your crown, the look is super interesting, sophisticated and a busy-girl-approved way to look stylish on the go, especially in a hot and sweltering city.

High Pony

how to style natural hair high ponytail
A high pony of box braids is a minimalist (and super on-trend) way to wear texture this 2016.

The look of an edgy high ponytail is elevated further with box braids or dreadlocks. Worn, inverse-pineapple-style, at the top of your end with the ends flowing freely, it’s a street-style favorite not only for its instant swag appeal, but for its ease of wear.

Twist Wrap

how to style natural hair twist wrap
Surefire summer blockbuster: Braid hard, with a vengeance.

A flirty and oh-so-delightfully meta way to wear a wrap on your head is to actually make your hair the wrap (Because yes, not only is it too hot for a real one, it also looks tons cooler this way.). We also like to think of this as the rabbit hole of braids, as the look starts with ropes of box braids plaited into two sets of thicker, three-strand braids, which are then twisted and wrapped headband-style around your head for an drop-dead gorgeous (and Pinstagrammy!) turban effect. We promise that it’s easier than it sounds—and is a definite head-turner!

Any more tips on how to style natural hair in braids for the summer? Do share!