Summer braids to experiment with all season long

Summer braids are the perfect way to add an extra oomph to any outfit you choose

woman in summer braids pink braids with yellow top on a pink background
(Image credit: Rawpixel/Getty Images)

Whether you're beach-bound, poolside or out on the town, summer braids are the perfect accessory (in addition to those straw bags, of course).

Once you've cleaned and nourished your locks with a hydrating formula, one of the best shampoo bars or your favorite Olaplex shampoo—you'll have the right base to try out one of 2022's most popular summer braids styles.

"The great thing about braids is that they require very little heat or products to complete the look, making them a great choice for easy summer styling," says Gökhan Vayni, hair specialist at Vera Clinic.

Who doesn't appreciate a stunning finish that requires minimal effort, especially in the heat? On a universal note, regardless of the braids you choose, you'll want to make sure your strands stay in place, so opt for a trustworthy styling cream (see below). 


Aveda brilliant™ universal styling creme

RRP: $24.99/£22

A creme formula perfect for medium to coarse hair that seals in moisture, defines texture and adds shine. Apply to dry hair.

"This helps the braid stay shiny and frizz free and holds the shape of the braid and waves when you take them out," says hairstylist, artist and author Cody Renegar.

Ready to check out your new favorite 'dos? Allow the pros to introduce you.

Meet the Expert

  • Gökhan Vayni is a specialist in beard, eyebrow and scar hair transplantation at Vera Clinic
  • Cody Renegar is a licensed cosmetologist and licensed master barber with clientele in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Arkansas.
  • Neil Moodie is a stylist for L'Oréal Pro and Biolage and has just opened Neil Moodie Studio in the UK.
  • Gregory Patterson is a celebrity stylist and DIY expert for Sally Beauty

Summer braids to try in 2022

1. Baby braids

2002 called, and it wants its hairstyle back...but that ain't happening. 

Arguably the hottest look of the moment is the Y2K mini braid resurgence, largely thanks to the Hailey Bieber Coachella braids that took social feeds by storm. The prep time is minimal, yet the teeny, tiny twists pack a big punch.

"The easy hairstyle takes minutes to create, not to mention that you’re also not restricted by length or curl," says Vayni. "Start by creating a middle parting and separating two sections of hair each around an inch wide from the parting to the front hairline. Plait both sections down to the end and secure with a tiny band."

Considering a boho flair à la Bieber? It's easier than you think. 

"Depending on hair texture you don’t even need to use an elastic to secure them," Renegar says.

2. Conditioning braids


♬ About Damn Time - Lizzo

There's a lot to love about conditioning braids. For one, you can opt for whatever style you fancy, just as long as you're using the right product. 

"Much like the Olaplex bun that was trending earlier this year, conditioning your hair before braiding is a great way to nourish as you wear," hairstylist Neil Moodie says of the win-win approach.

Though the multipurpose braids are clever, you'll need to be vigilant when it comes time to hit the shower. 

"After the day, give a great rinsing of your hair and put in a great air dry product to give your hair a day off of heat styling," says Gregory Patterson, celebrity stylist and DIY expert for Sally Beauty.


Luxe Masque Luxe Solutions by ion

RRP: $9.89 (US only)

The combination of custom oils, silk proteins, nutrients and antioxidants keep strands healthy and hydrated.

3. Bubble braids

woman with bubble braids green background

(Image credit: Delmaine Donson/Getty Images)

Like the mini braid, its cousin, the bubble braid, is straight out of middle school. 

Bubble size is subjective, but people typically divide their strands into two sections. From there, they takes elastic bands and wrap them a few inches apart from one another, fluffing out the bubble 

"Although there is no official 'how-to,' the bubble braid is open to being stylized," Kristina Dimoplon, stylist at New York's Live By the Sword Salon, previously told My Imperfect Life. 

"It's one of those 'everything comes back around' fashion moments. The millennium era is coming back," she added. 

Make sure to polish things off with a texture powder to keep the finishing product in place.


SexyHair Big Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder

RRP: $18/£17.56

A powder that instantly liquefies when applied to hair. It helps absorb the product to provide voluminous hair or add texture.

4. Knotless box braids

A unique take on the box braid, the knotless box braid isn't quite as heavy on the scalp, but it still produces the same great effect, according to L'Oréal Paris.

This protective approach will require you to use a feed-in braid technique, which can feel a little daunting. Though there might be some prep work involved, the final product makes the attempt well worth it. 

The video above makes the process a whole lot more simple, whether you're attempting knotless box braids on yourself or someone else.

5. Corn rows


♬ hot ppl r using my sound - aiyanna

"Straight back cornrows are perfect for the summer because you can keep it simple by installing two jumbo braids or adding more depending on your preference," says Antoinette Bullock, natural hair expert for Sally Beauty. "Add some oil to your scalp for shine, protection and hair growth."

Likewise, Bullock's colleague, Bianca Renee, curly hair expert for Sally Beauty, believes cornrows are particularly handy when scorchers are in the forecast. 

"If you want something simple and light to wear for convenience in a humid area, you could do two cornrow braids. Two slicked back cornrows is the fastest braid install option with a slick clean look," she says.


Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum Camille Rose Naturals

RRP: $15.99/£19.95

A healing hair oil that helps avoid thinning and breakage. 

6. Scarf braid


♬ Baby Girl - Disco Lines

Scarves might be too hot for the summer months, but who says you can't put 'em in your strands?

"Secure another elastic about 1/2 inches above the ponytail holding the ponytail at the base," Patterson instructs. "Poke a hole through the two elastics and feed a silk scarf in a beautiful print through about half way. Braid using either a rope braid technique or a three strand braid."

Keep on keepin' on, even if your scarf doesn't match up with the end of your strands. For even more flair, you can opt to wear the braid as a bun when all is said and done. 

7. Pony braid

It's an oldie, but a goodie! 

Pony braids, a new favorite amongst those on #BeautyTok, is a nod to our childhood hairstyle. It's simple, chic and most importantly, a great way to remove the strands from our face when the weather heats up. All that's required is a ponytail and a braid. 

Like most braid options, pony braids allow you to customize things to your liking, but the women on TikTok embracing the trend typically opt for slicking back their hair into a high pony, and from there, doing a simple, three-strand braid. 

Even though it's not a terribly difficult style, you do want to make sure you have the proper products in place so that frizz and humidity don't get the best of your little trip down memory lane. 

""You can give your hair texture and grip by spraying dry shampoo all over the mid-lengths and ends of your hair before braiding," says Vayni. "I recommend applying a hair spray to keep the braids tightly in place, especially if you have fine or very soft hair."


Batiste Dry Shampoo Original Clean & Classic 
$12.68 (2 pack), 2.66 (1 pack) 

Created from a starch-based, no water needed formulation, Batiste sets its sights on the roots and from there removes all of the dirt, oil and buildup that's accumulated in your hair to leave your strands shiny and clean...without a wash. 


Color Wow Cult Favorite Firm + Flexible Hairspray 
$25.40, £18.40

 Color Wow's weightless, rapidly-drying styling spray will keep any hairstyle (and texture!) in place without that sticky, flaky feeling.  

If you'll excuse us, we'll be on our way to the drugstore for elastics and pony tails—you can never be too prepared. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.