Hairstyle Tutorials: Best Styles for Spring and Summer

Spring: The time of flings, fun, and a lot of time running around in the sun. You obviously want to look your best at this playful time of year -- but with as little time and effort as possible!

We asked some of our favorite celebrity stylists for their top hairstyle tutorials for great, simple -- and hot! -- looks for the steamy season.  

Textured Tail
“Beachy waves can instantly glam up any style when you opt for a textured tail,” says Fernando Salas, renowned master stylist and founder of the White Sands corporation. To create this look, forget typical roller sets and opt for adjustable, no-pull Velcro strips to fashion loosely sculpted curls.

1. To get lift with a slight texture on the ends, start with wet hair and take 2-inch sections of hair. Spritz each section with styling spray, then lay a Velcro strip underneath. Roll the Velcro strip toward your head into a roller. Repeat until all your hair is rolled, using clips to hold in place.

2. Let hair air dry or apply a dryer for roughly 4-5 minutes, allowing the new
desired texture to cool before removing the clips.

3. Take out the clips and Velcro strips, combing the style out if needed
to loosen the waves.

4. Use your hands to gently sweep your tresses up into a ponytail, bringing down layers to frame your face if desired.

5. Spray with a flexible hold hairspray for a shiny, touchable style that lasts.

The High Bun
Variations of the classic bun have been popular with everyone from ballerinas to CEOs. Recently, women have combined the elements of the “messy bun” with the coiffed look of the chignon to create what is known as a high bun. 

“High buns require little time, and they are easy to achieve with your natural hair, braids and extensions, which makes it the perfect style for those hot summer days,” says Mary Malave, owner of Brooklyn-based Salon Malave. Try these tips to create this look:

1. First, smooth your hair and gather it on top of your head (you may find it easiest to bend over and let your hair fall forward).

2. Use some elastic bands to secure your hair into a high ponytail.

3. Twist this ponytail into a knot.

4. Use the bobby pins to secure the knot on top of your head, and you’re
ready to go!

Easy Organic Braids
“Braids have come back with a hot vengeance, making appearances on runways, red carpets and our favorite celebrities,” says Luis Alvarez, international hairstylist, photographer and the cofounder of Aquage. “Achieving a random, organic braid is simple if you have the right products and tricks.”

1. First, prep hair with a volumizing product to ensure it has the grip and lift needed.

2. Next, take a 2-inch horizontal section of hair and divide into three equal strands. Braid down the section until about 4 inches of hair is left at the bottom, placing the outer left strand in the left hand. Slide the other two sections toward the scalp to create a gathered braid.

3. Continue to braid, adding only left sections of hair. Make sure each time you cross over the right side you add a new section of hair from underneath while moving around the circumference of the head.

4. When you reach the left side of the head, add a new section when crossing over the right side only.

5. When complete, deconstruct the braid by pulling pieces out a couple inches, gently and slowly. Finish off with a fine-mist hair spray.

Quick Tips for Beautiful Hair

Whether you’re rushing out the door for an afternoon outside or you’re running from meeting to meeting, hairstyling is often low on the priority list. But even if you don’t have time for a full blowout, you can still look great and have beautiful hair.

Every woman should have a few quick hair tips in her arsenal, says Kristan Serafino, a celebrity hairstylist who’s worked on the tresses of Naomi Watts and Elizabeth Berkley. “Put away your styling tools and embrace your hair’s natural texture with confidence,” she says. Check out these tips for how to bypass your blow-dryer and get beautiful hair fast.

Air-dry Hair in Style
As long as the temperature’s warm enough, air-drying hair is quick and can make you look beautiful. Take these steps to create a pretty, beach-inspired look in a flash:

For straight hair:

  • Part damp hair down the middle and divide into four sections (two on each side). Braid each section and let them air-dry. To speed things up in the a.m., you can shampoo at night and sleep in the braids.
  • Once it’s dry, undo the braids and tousle your hair with your fingers. A tip to combat frizz is to rub a small amount of shine serum between your palms and rake through your hair.

For curly or wavy hair:

  • Apply curl cream to hair, coating from roots to tips. Next, twist pieces of hair around your index finger, leaving them coiled as you slide out your finger.
  • Resist touching your hair again until it’s completely dry, says Serafino. Rustling strands can lift the cuticle (your hair’s outer barrier), which can invite frizz-causing humidity.
  • Once your hair is dry, gently massage your scalp with your fingers to tousle and get lift at the roots.

Embrace Headbands
Hair accessories, especially headbands, take seconds to put in and give instant style. “They keep hair off your face on hot days, and by pulling hair back and taut around your face, it looks smoother and more polished,” says Serafino.

In lieu of a traditional headband, you can also try a scarf knotted at the nape of your neck. (You can even braid three skinny ribbons or scarves together.) Wear the scarf an inch or two back from your hairline. If it shifts around, crisscross two bobby pins over the scarf in an X just behind each ear to secure.

Make Over Your Ponytail
Ponytails are the ultimate go-to when you’re in a rush and need a quick hairstyle, but if you rely on them day after day, it’s easy to get stuck in a style rut. Instead of your usual ponytail, try a more polished version by incorporating a pretty scarf: Pull hair straight back into ponytail. Then, wrap a scarf around the rubber band, knotting underneath the ponytail and letting the ends hang loose. If your hair and scarf are long enough, braid them together by dividing your ponytail into three sections, adding the scarf to two of the sections and braiding as usual.

Get creative with tips like these, and styling your hair quickly and beautifully will be easier than you think!

How to Style Hair Without Heat

You may never be fully dressed without a smile -- and the same goes for great hair. Beautiful tresses are a powerful thing for women, and many of us turn to blow-dryers, straighteners and curling irons every day as the path to a polished look.

However, these hot styling tools can damage healthy hair if they’re used too often. Break out of your heat haze, find your new go-to ‘do (no matter your hair type) and commence a little mane damage control to keep your lovely strands, well…lovely! Here’s how to style hair without heat.

Hair Solutions: Braids, Buns, “Born” (a.k.a. Natural)
Always look to the three B’s: Braids. Buns. Born (and by “born,” we mean natural):

  • Braids: The braid is the new black, figuratively speaking. This ever-versatile style lends a certain boho-chicness to an ensemble, plus it requires little to no effort (and especially no heat!) and can be worn in a variety of ways. Try a messy side braid for a casual look, a crown of plaits for an über-romantic vibe, or a partial side-swept version to tame unruly bangs.
  • Buns: Be it a low chignon or a high topknot, buns are the instant-chic answer to the persistent “what to do with my hair” question. This style beautifully transitions from office to happy hour, is flattering for every hair type, and, to top it off, works best with locks that have a little texture on them (read: not freshly washed or styled). Try gently teasing a high ponytail before twisting your hair up and bobby-pinning it for a fuller look that is special-event worthy without doing any damage.
  • Born: Many women have a bad habit of wanting what they don’t have, especially when it comes to hair. Instead of using heat tools to force your hair to do what it doesn’t do naturally, embrace what Mother Nature gave you -- with a little help from styling products.

“Air-drying, especially if your texture is curly or wavy, is a great way to style without heat,” says Luca Blandi, senior stylist at the Oscar Blandi salon in Manhattan. “A little extra conditioner after a shampoo will make it beautiful.”

Vaso Spirou, owner of Salon Vaso in Miami Beach, Fl., and her team at the salon agree: “Depending on the event -- work or play -- a simple styling product to add wave and movement is all you need for beautiful hair without the heat.”

Undo the Damage
How much heat is too much? Spirou recommends turning to heat styling tools no more than once a week. “Especially in sunny climates, you really want to limit your use to keep your hair healthy. Use an at-home deep conditioning treatment to recharge your strands and bring them back to health.” To get the most out of a conditioning hair mask, cover your strands with the mask, then cover with a shower cap and let your body heat do the work while you do chores for half an hour.

You can also make the styles you achieve with heated tools last longer between washes, says Blandi. Sprinkle your roots with a dry shampoo to keep your hair looking fresh. And, of course, never underestimate the power of a trim. Since your tips show the most wear-and-tear, snipping them off every few months will keep your tresses fresh and healthy.

Use Heat Wisely
When you do use curling irons and straighteners, “look for tools with ionic capabilities and titanium plates, which are less damaging,” says Spirou. Good tools should also have temperature-control options so you can keep the heat on the lowest setting. Lastly, don’t forget to reach for hair prep before heating things up. “A heat-protecting treatment or spray before styling will shield your hair and make it less vulnerable to damage,” says Blandi.

Quick Holiday-Party-Worthy Braids

Braids are back in a big way this year! Far from the schoolgirl look you used to know, braids are a pretty and sophisticated look for office holiday parties and family gatherings alike. Best of all, it doesn’t take much time or coordination to create lovely braided updos.

Try these easy and elegant hairstyle tutorials you can create in just minutes -- leaving you plenty of time to get to the party! For even more ideas, check out our new Pocket Hairstylist  tool and mobile app .

MAIDEN BRAIDS UPDO

Step 1
Divide your hair into two sections (top and bottom), and back comb a little (gently) underneath the top half. Spray with a little hairspray, and smooth over the top with a comb. This will help give you more lift from the front.

Step 2
Divide your hair in half again, this time on both sides (like you’re doing milkmaid braids). Be sure to separate the hair at the nape of your neck to avoid a severe part. Begin braiding the first side.

Step 3
Stop your braid about 4 to 5 inches down and secure with an elastic. Braid the other side, again stopping 4 to 5 inches down.

Step 4
Tug the hair out of the braids a bit for fullness: Put your fingers to your scalp facing upward and lift the hair up a bit at the roots.

Step 5
Criss-cross your braids behind your head. Pull the first braid up and over your ears to the crown of your head. Secure your braid firmly with bobby pins, placing them in towards your scalp in a downward position. (You should only need 4 to 6 pins per braid!) Bring the second braid up to pin, and simply tuck the ends of each braid underneath the other. Secure with more bobby pins.

Step 6
Once both your braids are secured, you may wish to ‘fluff’ up your volume again using your fingertips.

Step 7
Spritz on another coating of hairspray. Take a hand mirror or use a two-way mirror to check the back of your lovely new ’do! If you find your hair to be a little frizzy or unkempt, use a comb to fine-tune the back. 


DUTCH BRAID UPDO

Step 1

First, leave out the front portion of your hair on both sides, securing the pieces out of the way. Brush out the back of your hair, teasing just the top part to give it some volume.

Step 2

Start Dutch braiding the back of your hair (this is similar to a French braid but you braid the pieces under instead of over). When you’re done, secure with an elastic.

Step 3

Pull the braid out a bit to loosen it up. Then roll the braid in toward your head and secure with bobby pins.

Step 4
Take the front pieces of your hair down and divide them in half, so you have four separate pieces. Take the back piece from one side of your head and twist it slightly toward the braid, leaving it loose. Bring the piece over the braid to the other side of your head and pin in place (we’ll deal with the ends in a second). Repeat this step for the back piece on the other side of your head.

Step 5
Using bobby pins, hide the ends of the first two pieces in or underneath your braid. Smooth the second piece of hair from one side of your head out with a brush. Pull it toward the back of your head, twisting it slightly, and tuck it into the last piece you took around from the side. Pin in place.

Step 6
Repeat for the other side. If your front pieces won’t stay in the back, you can leave pieces out in front. Pull the hairstyle out a bit to get the placement you want.


FAUX BRAIDED UPDO

Step 1

Take the front section of hair on the right side of your head and divide it into two equal pieces. Begin twisting the pieces around each other. 

Step 2
Add in the section of hair directly below those first two pieces, incorporating it into the twist. Continue adding sections of hair as you go, twisting across the head until you get to the opposite side. Once you’ve reached the back left side of your head, pin the twist in place with bobby pins, leaving the remaining hair in the twist loose.

Step 4

Repeat this process on the opposite side. Place your second twist directly above and across your first one. Continue twisting the hair until you reach the nape of your neck on your right side. Pin the twist at the nape of your neck to hold it in place.

Step 6

Take a small piece of loose hair from the left side of your head and bring it over into the right twist, rolling it in. This is going to help you change the direction that your twist is going (from right to left). The piece should be diagonally parted, so that when you twist it in, your hair will begin to go in the opposite direction. The goal is to create an S-shape with your hair.

Step 7

Once this twist has made its way back over to the left side of your head, grab all the remaining hair in your other hand. Roll those pieces over each other to create one giant twist. 

Step 8
Take your finger and hook it in the middle of the twist. Twist the hair around your finger to create a big figure eight at the back of the head, then pin it in place. If any pieces fall out, just tuck them up and under the hair, then pin them to secure. Spray the style to set it.

 

3 Special Occasion Hairstyles -- in 10 Minutes or Less!

The holidays are coming up fast, which means your calendar will soon fill up with office parties, dinner invites and other special events. No doubt you’re looking for a new and fun hairstyle to try out for these occasions -- but between shopping, cleaning, decorating and school activities, who has time to spend on a fancy ‘do?

You do! We’ve found three great styles for you that are elegant and take just minutes to put together. All you need are the basics: elastics and a few bobby pins. Wow the crowd with these easy hairstyles -- and find more great styles in our new Pocket Hairstylist tool.

BRAIDED BUN

Step 1

Starting with a side part, gather hair into a medium ponytail. Secure with elastic.

Step 2

Braid the ponytail in a normal braid.

Step 3

Wrap hair clock-wise into a bun. Secure with bobby pins.

EASY LOW TWIST

 

Step 1

Gather the hair above your ears from both sides of your face.

 

Step 2

Twist your hair slightly in the back and secure with a bobby pin, placing the pin vertically so it pins up into your hair.

Step 3

Pull all your hair into a low ponytail and start twisting. Twist the whole ponytail with one hand, then grab the twist halfway down with the index finger of your other hand. Use this finger to loop the ponytail so it snakes around itself.

 

Step 4

Pin in place and spray to secure. If you want some volume at the front, use the handle of a teasing comb or eye shadow brush to lift and loosen your hair.

GRECIAN FLIP

 

Step 1

Place a circular elastic headband around your head, placing it a half-inch or so behind your hair.

 

Step 2

Starting with the hair behind your ears, start tucking your hair into the headband. Use bobby pins to secure sections if needed.

 

Step 3

Work your way around your hair, tucking sections into the headband as you go. Use