30 Summer Hairstyles That Look Cool (and Keep Your Neck Cool)

Alia Shawkat

Gary Gershoff / Getty Images

If our days spent sweating through September and even October have taught us anything, it's that those high temperatures can remain for quite a while. Even when it's not technically summer, for much of the country, it's still insanely hot out—and we still need hairstyling ideas to keep sweat and fatigue at bay. 

With that in mind, we listed a handful of hairstyling ideas that will help keep you cool during the hottest months of the year (and happen to be easy enough to replicate at home).

Meet the Expert

  • Giovanni Vaccaro is a hairstylist and artistic director of on-demand styling company Glamsquad.
  • Ryan Richman is a celebrity hairstylist splitting his time between New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, and a member of the R+Co Collective.

Keep scrolling for the answers you've been looking for, summer hairstyle-wise.

01 of 30


Eris Baker dutch braids

David Livingston/Getty Images

This hairstyle stays effortless and chic despite the soaring temperatures. While keeping your hair off your neck helps, the true secret is applying dry shampoo to help absorb oil (something many of us struggle with this time of year). It’ll revive second-day strands, give hair extra volume, and remove the sweat-induced shine. Win-win-win.

  • "Before putting your hair up, spritz dry shampoo onto your roots and work it into tips," says Vaccaro.
  • Separate hair into two, equal-sized sections. Beginning at the top of each section, braid hair until you reach the bottom, securing with an elastic.
  • "Mix and match two different types of braids or keep it simple with one," suggests Vaccaro. "Plus, get two looks in one by keeping the braids in overnight for great texture come morning or as a protective style for your natural curls."
02 of 30

Choppy Bob

Rashida Jones bob with bangs

George Pimentel / Getty Images

"Rock a shaggy, short bob," says Vaccaro. "Get rid of the length with a chic, blunt cut."

  • Starting on damp hair, comb hair using a wide-tooth comb, and muss with your fingers.
  • "Let it air-dry and add sea salt spray for a lived-in, natural texture," says Vaccaro.
03 of 30

Up and Accessorized

Janelle Monae

Dan MacMedan / Contributor / Getty Images

"Accessorize your look in a heat-friendly, practical way," Vaccaro explains. "Use cool, modern shapes to twist your hair up and out of the way.”

  • For space buns like Janelle Monáe, split your hair into two sections by creating a middle part.
  • Gather each section one at a time and create a ponytail, securing with an elastic. Wrap the end of the ponytail around the elastic and secure with pins.
  • Now: accessorize. Add in sparkly barrettes, hair stickers, or glitter to amp up the look.
04 of 30

Bun With Ribbon

Margot Robbie

Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty Images

Proof that accessories can make or break a look, a bun with a bow tied into a ribbon is an easy way to change things up.

  • "Twist your hair in your usual topknot (or ponytail if you have shorter hair), but use a decorative scarf or ribbon to conceal the elastic and add a texture or print to your everyday bun," Vaccaro says.
  • "For added volume, use a dry shampoo at the roots," Vaccaro adds.
05 of 30

Tied in a Scarf

Alia Shawkat

Gary Gershoff / Getty Images

"Use your choice of scarf length to wrap your hair completely, or just get it off your neck," recommends Vaccaro. "This style is perfect for second-day hair or when you don't feel like styling it."

  • For this look, start on dry hair (even air-dried hair works, as it shows off natural texture).
  • Take a scarf and wrap it around the hair, tying it in a bow or knot on the top of the head.
06 of 30

Power Ponytail

Shannon Thornton with a high ponytail

Monica Schipper / Stringer / Getty Images

An easy look that still manages to look chic, the power pony works as well for day as it does for night.

  • "Brush all your hair up to the top of your head and tie it tight with an elastic," suggests Vaccaro.
  • Ensure your hair is flat against the head by combing through the tops and sides.
  • "You can even add in extensions for length or fullness to dial up the drama and add a punch of power to your pony.”
07 of 30

Up With a Hat

Tracee Ellis Ross

Jason LaVeris / Contributor / Getty Images

"Throwing on a hat is the easiest way to get hair out of your face and quickly look put together," says Vaccaro.

  • Pull your hair back so it's off your neck, and secure your hat on top.
  • Everything will stay in place if you use a clear elastic and some super-hold gel.
08 of 30


Paz Vega topknot with bangs

Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images 

"I like the nape of the neck and the sides to be fairly tight to create an edgier look with a bit of a facelift as a bonus," says Richman on what the topknot can achieve.

  • Split the hair into two sections at the top of the ears. Tie the front section on the crown of the head or where desired and secure with an elastic.
  • Then, gather the rest of the hair and brush it up to the first ponytail you made and secure into one ponytail. "Sectioning the hair will give you more control over how tight you can make your style," says Richman.
  • "Use your fingertips to gently pull out a few pieces of hair around the face for softness and spray your style, including the ponytail you made, with Bleu by R+Co Lifestyler Volume and Texture Spray ($53) for the perfect airy texture," Richman says.
  • Split your ponytail in two, twist the pieces together and twist the ponytail down into a knot, letting some of the pieces stick out where they may. Use a few pins to secure the knot.
09 of 30

Ponytail With Side Part

Joan Smalls

Jim Spellman / Contributor / Getty Images

A glam take on the standard ponytail, adding a side part takes you straight to an evening look.

  • Create a deep side part using a wide-tooth comb.
  • Pull hair back, slicking it into place and securing it in a low ponytail with an elastic or hair tie.
  • Smooth down the sides with a shine spray or light sweep of pomade.
10 of 30

High Topknot


Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

The topknot is incredibly versatile and can range from casual and easy to sleek and sophisticated (as seen here on Rihanna).

  • Pull hair up and back into a high ponytail, smoothing the hair on the top and sides of the head.
  • Secure with an elastic and wrap the end of the ponytail around the base, securing with pins as you form a tight bun.
  • Spritz the entire look with shine spray.
11 of 30

Accessorized Loose Updo

Gemma Chan loose updo with thin, sparkly headband

Araya Doheny / Getty Images

This is an ideal summer nighttime look, which can go from casual to elegant depending on the style of accessory used.

  • Using a wide-barrel curling iron, create a center part and curl hair all over the head in sections.
  • Once hair is curled, pull the bulk of the hair back into a low chignon.
  • Keep two sections of hair free at the front, to frame the face.
  • Place a headband over the entire look.
12 of 30

Loose Beach Waves

Rose Byrne

Jim Spellman / Getty Images

Those with a bob or lob will benefit from the application of loose beach waves, which lift hair slightly and only look better after some time in the sun or at the beach.

  • Apply a lightweight mousse to dry or slightly damp hair.
  • Begin curling one-inch sections of hair with a 0.75-inch barrel.
  • Spray a hairbrush with flexible-hold hair spray and comb out the curl as soon as it has been removed from the heat.
  • Once all the hair is curled, use your fingers to comb through the waves one last time.
13 of 30

Milkmaid Braid

Lucy Boynton

Francois G. Durand / Getty Images

While milkmaid braids look complicated, they couldn't be easier to achieve and benefit from the texture that comes with day-old hair.

  • Create two braided pigtails on either side of the hair.
  • Pull one braid over the top of your head, pinning it at the bottom, middle and end.
  • Repeat on the other side.
14 of 30


Lupita Nyong'o

Taylor Hill / Getty Images

A pompadour on naturally textured hair is a fresh take on the look.

  • Let hair air-dry naturally, then separate a section at the top, clipping it.
  • Take the hair at the bottom, and braid it about halfway down the hair, pinning the remainder into place.
  • Going back to the top section, unclip the hair and twist it, then pin it into place on top for a pompadour.
15 of 30

Double Braids With Laid Edges

Tessa Thompson

Gregg DeGuire / Getty Images

Tessa Thompson's sweet double plaits get an added flair with her laid edges. It's a protective style for natural hair and keeps hair off your neck, to boot.

  • Part your hair down the middle, then create two even sections of hair.
  • Starting on one side, separate the hair into three sections, braiding by pulling outer sections in to the middle and working all the way down.
  • Secure with elastic.
  • Using a gel and a toothbrush or small comb, lay your edges at your hairline flat, then twist into small waves.
16 of 30

Crown Braid

Ana de Armas crown braid

Tommaso Boddi / WireImage / Getty Images

Similar to a milkmaid braid but slightly more complicated, this look is essentially a sideways French braid that curves around the head.

  • Use a comb to position the front half of the hair forward, so it hangs in front of the face.
  • Taking one section of hair, divide it into three pieces to create the French braid. Cross the right-most strand over the middle strand to make it the new middle strand, adding some hair to the far right strand as you go, then repeating on the left until you reach the end of the hair.
  • Continue around the head, putting as much hair into the French braid as you can, then tying a regular braid with the remaining hair. Pin the regular braid up into the head to create a crown.
17 of 30

Angled Lob

Jourdan Dunn angled lob

Daniele Venturelli / WireImage / Getty Images

This is an incredibly sophisticated look, albeit one that doesn't require much in the way of styling.

  • Beginning on damp hair, use a large round brush as you blow-dry hair, curling the ends inward as you dry.
  • Finish with a spritz of shine spray and run a straightener through on any pieces that aren't fully straight.
18 of 30

Wavy Ponytail

Jamie Chung

Robin Marchant / Getty Images

As easy for day as it is chic for night, a wavy ponytail offers the best of both worlds.

  • Prep hair with foam, letting the product dry in the hair.
  • Pull hair into a ponytail, securing it with an elastic, teasing the root of the hair, and pulling a few strands out to frame the face.
  • Wrap the hair around the barrel of a wide-barrel curling iron, rocking it up and down until all of the loose hair has waves.
  • Run fingers through the end product, to loosen everything up.
19 of 30

Slicked Back With Laid Edges

Yara Shahidi

Steve Granitz / Getty Images

Yara Shahidi proves that even a slicked-back updo can be full of personality.

  • Create a side part, and pull hair back into a ponytail or braid.
  • Apply a product such as Cantu Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel ($4) to edges and use a comb or toothbrush to style them against the forehead, so that they lay in a curl or wave shape.
20 of 30

Half-Up, Half-Down

Nicole Richie half-up, half-down look

JB Lacroix / WireImage / Getty Images

This look is a great style for second- or third-day hair and keeps the bulk of hair out of your face.

  • "Prep your second-day hair with a bit of R+Co BADLANDS Dry Shampoo Paste ($29), focusing at the root," says Richman. "This will give your hair the grit it needs for cool texture and will give you more control while putting your hair up."
  • Pull a top section of hair into a high ponytail, using a brush to smooth the tops and sides.
  • Secure with an elastic, then wrap the ends around the elastic to create a mini bun.
21 of 30

Fishtail Braid

Ciara with fishtail braid

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Another fun braided style, the fishtail braid takes a little bit of practice to perfect, but adds up to so much drama.

  • Pull hair into a low ponytail.
  • Divide the ends into two smaller, equally-sized ponytails.
  • Taking one ponytail, separate a half-inch section of hair from the outside and pull it across the top over to the right.
  • Repeat on the right side, pulling a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the right ponytail across the top and to the left.
  • Repeat the above steps until you reach the bottom and secure the ends with an elastic or hair tie.
22 of 30

Side Part With Curls

Julia Garner

Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

If you have a lob-length haircut, this is an easy way to play around with your part and change up your look.

  • Beginning on towel-dried hair, create a deep side part using a wide comb.
  • Apply a texturizing spray or curl mousse like Oribe Curl Mousse, $39, and allow hair to air-dry (if hair isn't as naturally curly as Julia Garner's, try scrunching it with your fingers while it dries).
23 of 30

Blown-Out Pixie

Jennifer Hudson piecey bangs and pixie

JB Lacroix / WireImage / Getty Images

Amp up the volume in shorter hair by employing a hairdryer for added oomph.

  • Starting on damp hair, use a round brush to style hair while blasting it with a hairdryer, curving hair around the brush as you go.
  • Once dry, spritz a shine spray throughout and use a brush to put hairs perfectly into place.
24 of 30

Side Part With Waves

Zoe Saldana side-parted long wavy hair

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Yes, hair is down for this look, but the side part ensures it stays off the nape of your neck (so it works even at the hottest time of the year).

  • Starting with dry hair, part your hair deeply to either the left or right side, and move all the hair to that side so it falls over one shoulder.
  • Using a wide-barrel curling iron, create waves throughout.
  • Finish with some texture cream throughout.
25 of 30

Loose Bun


Alberto E. Rodriguez / Staff / Getty Images

Think of this tall and loose bun as a funkier version of the topknot.

  • Starting on naturally wavy hair, pull hair into a high ponytail, twisting the end around the base and securing with buns.
  • Once the hair is up, muss with your fingertips, pull a few face-framing strands out, and finish the look with hair spray.
26 of 30

Side Part With Natural Texture

Nathalie Emmanuel 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Those with natural texture can show it off year-round.

  • Allow hair to air-dry, parting the hair to one side before it dries.
  • Apply a flexible but strong hold gel and distribute it through the hair.
  • Brush the product through to distribute.
27 of 30

High Pony With Texture

Freida Pinto high messy ponytail

George Pimentel / Getty Images

A high ponytail is sport-chic and the easiest way to keep hair out of your face in the summertime.

  • Pull hair into a high ponytail, using a hairbrush to smooth the top and sides.
  • Secure the ponytail with an elastic or hair tie, and smooth on some serum to tame flyaways.
  • Spray on a texture spray and add waves with a wide-barrel curling iron, if desired.
28 of 30

Low Bun With Defined Eges

Alicia Keys cornrows and low braided bun

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

This look is as easy as throwing hair into a loose and low bun, but still looks chic enough for an event.

  • Beginning on hair that's already braided or cornrowed, create a ponytail at the base of your neck and secure with an elastic.
  • Loosely wrap the ends of the hair (i.e. the braids) around the elastic.
  • Pin the ends into place and spritz the entire look with shine spray.
  • For a look like Alicia Keys, use a gel and a small comb to define your edges or set into a wave-like shape.
29 of 30

Textured Pixie

Zoe Kravitz

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Those with short hair don't have to worry about their locks as temperatures rise. Still, a couple of tips can ensure your short 'do stays chic even during the summer months.

  • Spray hair with root lift spray, mussing the product into the hair with your fingers.
  • Use a comb to brush down any errant pieces of hair.
30 of 30

Choppy Lob

Getty / Anthony Harvey / Contributor, Gabrielle Union

Getty / Anthony Harvey / Contributor

For this look, try using a hair straightener to get a slight bend in the hair, or to ensure hair stays stick-straight.

  • Spray clean roots with dry shampoo, to add some grit to the hair.
  • Brush hair into a side part, allowing it to air dry for natural texture (and using a straightener on sections, as needed).
  • "To tame any unwanted flyaways try using R+Co MOON LANDING Anti-Humidity Spray ($32) in place of hairspray to help lay down flyaways without a crunchy finish," says Richman.

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