When it’s 93 degrees outside and a billion percent humidity, you can guarantee that I’m always about two seconds away from a 2007 Britney Spears shaved-head meltdown. So from May to August, I’m in braids, and I’m all about the styles that get my heavy hair up and off of my neck. My favorite? Double Dutch braids, wrapped and pinned into a bun (as modeled above by our lovely assistant digital editor Maddie Aberman).
And as long as you have a hefty stack of bobby pins nearby, this look is pretty easy to replicate. Here’s how:
1. Using your fingers, make a messy part down the center of your head.
2. Starting on one side of the part, take a two-inch section of hair near your hairline and loosely Dutch-braid it (i.e., cross the pieces of hair under rather than over to make the braid pop out). Continue braiding all the way to the ends, then repeat on the other side. (If your hair is super-slippery and easily unravels, slide a bobby pin through the ends to hold the braid in place while you work on the other side.)
3. Secure the two braids together in a ponytail, then coil the ends into a bun, pinning it in place.
4. Your hair probably doesn’t look anything like the picture yet, but it’s not because we used Photoshop and magic, or that you suck at braiding. It’s because the single most important step in braids—and one that people rarely do—is to mess them up. Pull gently on the edges of the braids to fatten them up and give them a thicker, softer feel. Tug the hair at your crown for added volume, pull at each section of the bun until it widens, and let the baby hairs around your face fly free.
5. Finish with a blast of lightweight hair spray, and go forth into the hot, hot summer day.
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