You'll Be Seeing These 9 Natural Hairstyles Everywhere This Summer

From full-on 'fros to a variety of pretty protective styles.

Natural Hairstyles for Summer
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Woo, girl. Summer is finally here.

The weather's heating up, and quarantine seems to be cooling down, which means it's time to show up and show out. So if there's been a hairstyle that you've been dying to try — now's the time to give it a whirl.

But with most of us being inside the house for well over a year, it's understandable if you don't even know where to begin when it comes to your summer look. Lucky for you, we've given the subject some thought.

Here, we spoke with Brendnetta Ashley, artist-educator at The Salon by InStyle Inside JCPenney, along with celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union Larry Sims to find out what the hottest natural hairstyles of summer are going to be.

"Overall, all of these are low or no-heat styles, and require styling once a week," Sims shares with InStyle. "Pretty seamless, making [them] easy, on-the-go styles."

All their picks, ahead.

Knotless and Box Braids

Both Sims and Ashley agree that braids aren't going anywhere this summer — in fact, you may actually see them more than ever.

To keep your scalp clean and hydrated while you have your protective style in, reach for Flawless' Scalp Soothing Tonic on wash day, then apply the Kreyol Essence Haitain Black Castor Original Hair Oil directly to your roots while the hair is still damp.

Passion Twists

Passion twists made their grand entrance into the world back in 2019 and haven't left since — and it's pretty easy to see why.

If you're in the mood to really shake things up with your hair, why not use some dyed braiding hair to add a pop of color to your style? Oh, and when wash day comes, feel free to use the Sims- and Ashley-approved product picks above to keep the style looking fresh.

Brushed Out Twist-Outs

Who doesn't love a good twist-out? Easy, versatile, and gives you tons of definition. But both Sims and Ashley agree that just because your style has gotten a bit stale, doesn't mean it's time to pull the plug right away.

Instead, simply brush or pick out your hair to give it some extra volume, then use the Restoring Exotic Oil Treatment from Flawless to add some shine.

VIDEO: 6 Twisted Hairstyle Ideas for Anyone with Natural Hair


Ponytails are a style nearly anyone can achieve because they're pretty easy to do. But for summer, we're ready to take things up a notch.

If you want to dress up your pony this year, take a cue from Alicia Keys by adding on some hair and weaving in a metallic ribbon to create a super long, glimmering work of art. When you're done, Ashley suggests spritzing on the Kenra Shine Spray for added sheen.

Braided Updos

If you're going with the first style we suggested, switch things up from time-to-time with a beautiful updo. For a big impact (and some added height) mimic this look that Sims created for the stunning Laura Harrier.


Whether you've decided to loc your own hair or you're going with the faux variety, this is the ultimate protective style — and a perfect way to play around with color.

Top Knots

Sims is a fan of the simplicity of a top knot. Plus, no one has seen you in over a year, so why not make your face the centerpiece?

To create the look, lightly saturate the hair with Flawless' Detangling Leave-In Conditioner to clear out knots and smooth out strands, then brush the hair up and wrap a hair tie around the base of the ponytail formed at the crown of the head. Next, twist the hair and wrap it around itself to create a tight bun.


You can't go wrong with simple, lived-in beachy waves. And the best part is, this tousled style never looks like bedhead (even if it is).

Depending on your natural texture, you will need to use hot tools to craft the look. So just make sure to give your hair a spritz of the Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Spray from Flawless to avoid any potential damage.


Big, bold, and beautiful, the Afro will never go out of style.

Use Flawless' Hydrating Curl Refresher Spray or the Mizani Style Shifter Coco Dew to hydrate and soften curls and coils before picking them out.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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