Summer is finally here, and it’s time to get your hair game on point. Between the heat and humidity that comes with the season, we could all use a few simple hairstyles that will keep our hair looking cute in spite of the elements. Thank goodness, then, for stylist John Mouzakis, who is a stylist at Chicago’s Mixed Co. Salon. The hair magician shares six summer hairstyles with Allure, which are oh so stylish and easy to execute on a number of hair textures.
Ain’t nobody got time for daily hair washing and blowouts come summer, so try this look when you’re working with day-old hair, suggests John Mouzakis, stylist at Mixed Co. Salon in Chicago. An added plus: This style can be done on any length or texture.
If your hair is oily, start with dry shampoo, spritzing it on your roots and focusing on the top section of your hair (the piece that will eventually become the top knot). Not only will it absorb oil, but it will also add some nice volume and texture, says Mouzakis. Massage in with your fingertips, then take a section of hair that stretches from temple to temple. Pull it back and twist loosely to form a top knot before pinning in place.
Sure, there’s one school of thought that says it’s best to ditch hot tools until Labor Day, but, realistically, letting your hair air dry can be a recipe for a major frizz-fest, Mouzakis points out. A better bet? Blow-drying with a diffuser, which makes hair look air-dried, without the flyaways.
Prep hair with a little product. Since this is all about working with your natural texture, anyone with straight to slightly wavy hair should use a smoothing cream, while curly girls should opt for a curl-enhancing styler. Work through mid-shaft to ends, then pop on the diffuser attachment to your blow-dryer: “It distributes the air more gently and evenly, essentially just speeding up the natural drying process without completely straightening out the hair,” explains Mouzakis. To coax out any natural waviness or curls, you can also gently scrunch the hair as you dry, he adds.
A great way to jazz up an otherwise basic pony, this take is perfect for anyone with already wavy hair, as long as it’s long enough to pull into ponytail, says Mouzakis. Start by playing up your natural texture with a texturizing product, like the new Alterna Haircare Bamboo Beach Tousled Texture Spray, $22 (sephora.com), to further enhance the messy, undone effect.
Starting at your hairline, back comb all the way around your head: “This adds volume and fullness so that the style doesn’t read as too polished,” notes Mouzakis. Pull your hair back into a ponytail just above the center of the back of your head, then wrap a strand of hair around the elastic if you want to add extra visual interest.
Whether your strands are straight, kinky, or somewhere in between, this is a universally flattering option. Grab a small piece of hair about two inches wide, just above your ear. If your strands are especially thin or fine, mist with a volumizing spray, like Unite Expanda Volume to add fullness, suggests Mouzakis. Loosely braid all the way down — the key word being loosely: “If you braid the hair too tightly, you’ll lose length and won’t be able to wrap it across your head,” he points out. Tie off the end of the braid with an elastic, then lift it across the top of your head, pinning in place behind the opposite ear. Leave the rest of your locks loose, as seen here, or pull them back into a ponytail or puff. Either way, the braid will keep the hair off your face, which is always a plus on hot summer days.
No matter your texture, this is another great choice for day-old hair, which has more grip and grit, ideal for any braided style. (You can also create this pretty plait on freshly-washed hair, just prep it with a mousse to plump up strands from root to tip.)
Part hair to one side, then take a small section from the front and French braid it, keeping it tight to your head and working towards your opposite ear. (So, if you started on the left, braid towards the right.) Then, add more hair with each crossover, gradually expanding and thickening the braid. Once you’ve pulled all your hair into the braid, finish the ends with a traditional three-strand braid or a two-strand fishtail, as seen here on Maria Menounos. You can also leave the ends loose in a ponytail, or if you have shorter hair, roll the ends under and pin them at the nape of your neck, suggests Mouzakis.
Get your long hair off your shoulders (and have people do a double take) with this faux bob. Choice for naturally curly girls, “the texture adds bounce and fullness that blends everything together and makes the bob look more realistic,” notes Mouzakis. Start by prepping hair with a curl-enhancing spray like Aveda Be Curly Curl Enha ncing Hair Spray, $22 (aveda.com) to define your ringlets and keep them frizz-free. Create two low, loose pigtails and secure with a clear elastic. Roll and tuck the length of the hair under itself until you reach the nape of your neck, securing with pins. Repeat on the other pigtail.