Donna Kim-Brand  

You’ve surely heard the phrase or the song (we who can hum the tune do date ourselves!) “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”. It’s rich with the flavor of wacky fun, languishing moments and steamy heat.

Now by heat I could mean summer romance, but I’m actually referring here to how your hair hanging down makes you hot and sweaty. Maybe these cool hot weather hair-do’s will lead to the other?

For short hair, try the slicked back wet look. Whether fresh out of the shower or the pool, brush or comb your wet hair back smoothly and affix it either by using  gel or with a headband. What’s cool about this look is how it can come off as either casual chic or elegant depending on the type of headband or what you’re wearing. Fast, easy-peasy and stands out.

For medium to long hair you have a multitude of options. The sleek wet look also works, though you will need to lift your hair off your neck with ponytails, braids, buns, twists or big barrettes. With long hair you need to be more aware of longer-term effects on your hair. Sometimes your hair can start smelling musty after a few hours in the heat if air can’t get through to dry it out. (So much for that summer romance!) Also, as your hair dries, remember that you will leave ripples or waves depending on whether you had a braid, bun or another fixture. Sometimes this is part of your plan, and it works. Other times you’ll have to fit in another dousing or wash to release those rumpled tresses.

Always a winner is the casually upswept knot, a kind of messy bun at the back or side of your head. Depending on the length of your hair, you will either start with an elastic band and affix the bun with bobby pins or use simple twisting and tucking. Otherwise, just twist and tuck your hair into a little round bun or lengthwise up the back of your head in more of a French twist. You can also create more orderly, elegant buns high on your head, to the side or at the nape of your neck. They can remain simple and smooth, or be dressed up with ribbons, jewels or crystal pins.

Braids are another summer favorite. Try out the Heidi look with a crown of braids. Usually this style starts with two side braids which you then loop up over your head like a headband or twist at the nape of your neck and affix with bobby pins. This is great for windy environments like out boating or biking, or for highly physical activities such as rock-climbing, soccer or workouts.

If you know how to French braid (a skill I never mastered when I had long hair), you can keep your hair off your face in the most divine of ways. Once you have framed your face, lift and pin your dangling braids to the back or side. Practical beauty, always a winner.

In a similar, more bohemian style, is the triple decker twist. Brush your hair back and divide into three sections across the back of your head. Gather and twist each section (with or without an elastic band as needed according to hair length) into mini-buns. The look is messy chic, yet does the job of keeping your neck free of hair and heat.

Finally, depending on hair length and curliness, natural or ‘installed’, you can always simply sweep your locks up into a curl ball. This is essentially a ponytail where the star of the show are your curls in free-fall. Put your ponytail higher on your head for longer hair, lower for shorter hair. The style is fast and fun. And once you remove the elastic band, shake your curls coyly and step on out into the summer sunset, where anything can happen!

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