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10 Easy Summer Braids

by Martha Adams

For a cute summer hairstyle that takes you from the office to happy hour or the gym to the beach, a cool braid will never let you down. And just when we thought we've seen every braid idea possible, leave it to hair wizards of Pinterest to dream up fresh interpretations to send us on a pinning frenzy. We've highlighted some of our latest favorites below—along with the products that make each possible. Whether you're pinning these 10 amazing styles along with us or you're on the hunt for even more hair inspiration, follow SELF on Pinterest for countless ideas.

The Braid In a Braid

Try incorporating two different styles of braids within the same look. After spritzing hair with volumizing spray like Davines Volu Hair Mist ($34), create a loose French braid at the roots, then blend it into a fishtail all the way to the ends. For a fishtail refresher, check out this how-to from our friends at PopSugar.

The Post-Workout Braid

Give your post-workout hairstyle a twist by incorporating a simple three-strand braid and volume in all the right places. A texturizing dry shampoo like Amika Perk Up ($22) gives your roots a lift while a frizz-fighting hair oil such as Klorane Mango Oil ($16) keeps the ends shiny and smooth.

The Woven Braid

A volumizing hairspray—try Drybar Texas Tea ($26)—gives your hair the grip it needs to keep a six-strand braid in place—and thanks to this helpful video by the Luxy Hair girls, it's a lot easier than it looks.

The Over-the-Shoulder Elsa Braid

A simple French braid might not sound all too exciting, but mega volume and face-framing pieces make this Elsa-Inspired style feel new and totally romantic. After teasing the crown, create a French braid all the way through the ends. Use the end of a rattail comb to tease the crown once again, then slowly and carefully go down the length of the braid slightly tugging out random sections to make the braid look as full as possible. Blast it with a flexible hairspray like Toni & Guy Casual Flexible Hold Hairspray ($13). If it still looks complicated, check out this quick and easy video .

The Braided Crown

We have a feeling this cute, tousled style will be your new go-to look for keeping bangs or short layers out of your face this summer. Create a classic three-strand braid on each side of your head and secure in the back with a thin elastic. Keep the braids in place with a few strategic bobby pins so they don't move around as you're getting #UpNOut throughout the day. Add a small amount of texturizing pomade—we love Aveda Light Elements Texturizing Creme ($24) to the ends to create cool-girl pieciness.

The Baby Braids

This effortless hairstyle is romantic and sporty all at once. Refresh beachy waves with a salt spray like Wella Ocean Spritz ($17). Then incorporate one or two thin braids tucked in between curls to add interest to any half updo.

The Rose Braid

This gorgeous updo is simple in the front, and party in the back. First, rake strands with a styling oil like Marula Light Hair Treatment & Styling Oil ($46) to give hair shine and control. Start by making a Dutch braid from one ear and along the hairline. Once you get to the opposite ear, start curving the braid back towards the side you started on, but this time, only feeding sections of hair to the top part of the braid rather than both sides. Braid all the way down to the ends and secure with a clear elastic. Create a classic three-strand braid with any remaining hair left out of your first braid and also secure with a clear elastic. Twist the second braid you made into a swirly, rose-shaped bun and pin into the place. Lastly, wrap the larger Dutch braid around the bun to finish off the look. Check out this nifty video for a thorough step-by-step. While it's certainly not a beginner's braid, the results are so worth it.

The Milkmaid Braids

A strong center part juxtaposed with wispy, face-framing pieces make this milkmaid hairstyle instantly classic. Separate hair into two sections, create traditional three-strand braids and secure with clear elastics. After taking a minute to admire your Pippi Longstocking look, pull one of the braids over the crown of your head and pin in place. Do the same with the other side and tuck in the ends with bobby pins so they don't stick out. Give it a generous blast of Extra Hold L'Oréal Elnett Hairspray ($11) to lock it in place.

The Ribbon Braid

Since you've already had some practice with milkmaid braids, amp up the style with a texturizing dry shampoo like Sally Hershberger 24K Supreme Stylist Voluminous Dry Shampoo ($32) and a subtle piece of ribbon incorporated within your look. Pastel and neon ribbons are spot-on for your next outdoor concert, while a neutral color like black is more work appropriate.

The Undone French Braid

The coolest braids are textured, loose and not even close to being perfect (unlike you!). Case in point: this haphazard half-up hairstyle which is basically a French braid, but it pulls in pieces from every other section. Scrunch the ends with your hands after spritzing it with a volumizer like Klorane Leave-In Spray with Flax Fiber ($16).

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