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Get Your Braid On: Summertime Styles

Beautiful Woman Portrait. Long Brown HairDitch the boring bun and predictable ponytail for a more original, stylish look as the summer heats up. From fishtail twists to bohemian plaits, summer and braids go hand-in-hand.

Show off casual to elegant braid styles that all types of fashionistas wear, from Academy of Art fashion school students to gorgeous models on the runway. Survive summer's hot and humid weather by sweeping your hair off your neck with any of the following eye-catching braids:

Classic Side-Swept Braid

Style your hair in a loose side-swept braid for an afternoon of fun in the sun or a casual lunch affair. To create this classic braid, gather up your hair beneath one ear and braid the hair as a basic three-strand braid. Secure the end of the hair with a small rubber band, elastic band or fun My Kitsch hair tie to stay put. For whimsical flair, accent your braid with a feather headband or pastel flower.

Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid, also known as the herringbone, appears elaborate but it's actually easy to do. Try this simple style at the beach to complement your favorite bikini. Achieve the fishtail by creating a part down the center of the scalp. On each side, twist a one-inch section of hair away from the face. Move down ½-inch and twist another section while gradually combining it with the first section — continue until you’ve reached the nape of the neck. Once both sides are at the neck, pull hair from the right section to add to the left section and vice-versa. Secure the ends with an elastic band.

Braided Crown

Glam up any outfit with the cute and flirty braided crown hairstyle. Create this look by using basic three-strand braids or more complex French braids, depending on your skill level. Begin by separating your hair into two low braided pigtails and secure each side with an elastic band at the ends. Bring one braid up and over the head about an inch back from the hairline and secure with a bobby pin. Repeat on the opposite side, positioning the second braid directly behind the first to create a “crown.”

High Ponytail Braid

A high ponytail braid is an elegant, yet simple variation of the classic high ponytail. Pull your hair back tightly into a ponytail at the crown of your head and securely wrap an elastic band around the ponytail. Take a small section of hair to wrap around the ponytail holder to keep it hidden — tuck the ends underneath. Perform a basic three-strand braid down the length of the hair and secure with an elastic band at the ends. Use your fingers to loosen the braid toward the middle, leaving the end with a tighter braid.

Braided Top Knot

Perfect for hiking and outdoor activities, the braided top knot gets your hair up and out of the way while still looking ultra-cute. Begin by pulling your hair into a tight ponytail at the crown of your scalp and secure it with an elastic band. Braid down the length of the hair with a basic three-stand braid and secure the ends with a second elastic band. Roll the braided ponytail into a bun at the top of the head and secure with bobby pins.

Keep cool and stylish this summer by integrating some of these innovative braid ideas into your everyday hair routine. You'll certainly impress onlookers with your fashionable finesse!

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