15 Effortlessly Cool Hair Ideas to Try This Summer

Because it's hot.

If there's one thing summer is about, it's looking effortlessly cool. Hairstyles that require perfection, upkeep, and maintenance just don't jive with the spirit of the season—save those for the holidays. When it's hot and humid out and each day is charged with the possibility that anything can happen (oh, summer nights), you want a hairstyle that works with your natural wave and texture; something that embraces twists, turns, braids and waves; something that works with flyaways and frizz; and something that can look even better the messier your hair and the longer the days get. For that aim, we rounded up 15 cool looks to pin, try, and tailor to your heart's (and hair's) content this summer. Keep scrolling to see the styles you have to try at least once this season! 

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Getty Images/George Pimentel / Contributor

The messy top knot was made for summer. The wilder your hair is, the better the whole style looks, so you don't have to worry about humidity, frizz, or flyaways.

Twist Me Pretty

A few clear elastics and three minutes max is what you need to pull off this beautifully woven ponytail. Click here for steps to similar looks.

Studded Rose

For shorter hair, this knot is so easy yet totally stunning. It’s the perfect style for showing off your sun-kissed babylights all summer. 

A classic braided ponytail can keep your hair off your shoulders in the summer heat; elevate the style by keeping your hair slicked tight to your head with a center part.

A Beautiful Mess

Great for a variety of hair lengths, this simple style looks great with a traditional braid or fishtail braid. Add some sea salt spray to your natural waves and you have the ultimate summer look.

Summer weddings are invariably sweltering, so this low bun with braided detail is the perfect chic updo for an outdoor event.

Urban Bush Babes

Embrace the spirit of summer with this cool and effortless hairstyle. A side ponytail has never looked better than with big, high-impact braids.

Twist Me Pretty

This braided pretzel bun looks way prettier and more complicated than it is to create— it just takes two minutes! Click here for the full tutorial.

braided hair style


They're not just for Pippi Longstocking anymore—braided pigtails are a quick and easy way to tame your summer strands. Go ahead and place them high on your head for a delightfully late-90s/early-aughts tribute. Does anyone else suddenly want a candy necklace?

Hair Romance

This twist on the topsy tail is a summer favorite and takes only three steps. It even works with curly hair, too.

Treasure and Travels

The simple and effortless half-up knot looks great no matter your hair type or length (save for a pixie cut). All you need is a few pins, and a little spray for extra hold. Click here for full tutorial.

woman with curly hair and scarf


Possibly even lower-effort than the top knot, a chic scarf can make even hair that has been literally piled on top of your head a cute summer moment.


We love the chic-meets-casual look of this low rolled updo that’s perfect for summer date night. Click here for the full tutorial.

Keep your standard half-up-half-down 'do interesting with some braided detail in the upper portion of the hair.

Barefoot Blonde

This braided look gives off a hippie vibe that we love. It’s so quick and easy that we may end up wearing this all summer long.

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