13 Super-Sexy Summer Hairstyles You Need to Try
If you ask us, there’s no better season than summer to freshen up your look—and a sexy new hairstyle is the perfect way to start. Need inspiration? Look no further than the red carpet.
Thanks to some helpful hints from Jessica Alba’s hairstylist, we now know our blowouts can remain flawless in peak humidity. Want to look chic without the fuss? Learn how simple it is to recreate Lea Michele’s flirty braid or Rihanna’s carefree curls, with advice from their pros.
Click through our gallery for even more ways to beat the heat in style, along with all the tips you'll need to DIY each look at home.
Rihanna's Side-Parted Curls
Rihanna's carefree ringlets, which appear to have been effortlessly tossed to one side, are just as easy to recreate as the low-key vibe they give off. Her hairstylist Ursula Stephen began by misting a sea salt spray over her strands to bring out her natural texture—if your hair is already curly, we recommend an oil-infused version like Bumble and Bumble's Surf Infusion ($29; bumbleandbumble.com) as traditional salt sprays can be drying. Stephen followed by pulling back one side, then anchored it underneath with a few bobby pins. As a finishing touch, a veil of Motions Light Hold Working Spritz ($4; motionshair.com for locations) added a humidity-proof barrier.
Victoria Beckham's Windswept Updo
Is your already-straightened hair in need of some extra oomph? Follow in the lead of Victoria Beckham, who opted for an easy chignon that was anything but over-coiffed. On her dry strands, the star's hairstylist Ken Paves applied a mist of the You Are Beautiful Volumizing Spray ($14; walmart.com) for extra lift, then smoothed over her layers with a round brush and dryer. After finishing a section, he would wrap each layer around a velcro roller to set, then went over her head with a layer of the You Are Beautiful Flexible Hold Hairspray ($14; walmart.com), which locked in the shape. Once her hair had set, Paves unwound the rollers, then pinned her layers into a bun shape on the crown, allowing a few wispy strands to fall around the face.
Nathalie Emmanuel's Voluminous Ringlets
When you have stunning natural curls like Nathalie Emmanuel's, not much is required to bring out the already-gorgeous texture. Her hairstylist Neeko concentrated a small amount of R+Co's Jackpot Styling Creme ($25; randco.com) around the base, then used wrap lotion on her ends for extra definition. Over areas that needed a little extra love, he used a small 1/4 inch curling iron to impart a structured shape. After a blast of R+Co's Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($29; randco.com) at the roots, and an all-over mist of the Outer Space Hairspray ($29; randco.com), she was ready to hit the red carpet!
Beyonce's High Ponytail
Though Beyonce's I Dream of Jeannie-esque updo, which she wore to the Met Gala, may be a little avant-garde for everyday wear, a sleek, high pony in the spirit of Queen Bey's is an easy way to give an otherwise basic ensemble some high fashion flair. To determine placement, follow the natural line of your cheekbone as you gather your hair at your crown, or aim a little higher if you're unsure. Anchor into place with a hair elastic, then pull out a small section to wrap around the base of the style, tucking the ends into the ponytail holder.
Joan Smalls' Braided Half-Updo
We've all had one of those rushed moments where we're forced to leave the house with wet hair, but with a half-up style like Joan Smalls', you can simply pin it back and let the summer air do the rest. On damp hair, create a precise center part, and run a styling mousse like John Freida's Air Dry Waves Styling Foam ($10; ulta.com) through your lengths. Then, grab two small sections on either side of the head, just above the ear, and begin twisting each into a plait. Pin both braids at the back of your head with bobby pins positioned into an X-shape to finish, and let the arid temps outside act as a natural blow-dryer.
Jennifer Lopez's Sky-High Top Knot
When in doubt, rock a top knot! A summer standard for those of us with long hair, an oversized version placed high on the crown like Jennifer Lopez's keeps your strands out of the way, and can show off the killer neckline of your ensemble. Her hairstylist Juan Carlos Maciques of the Rita Hazan Salon began by working Oribe's Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($37; oribe.com) into damp layers, and blow-dried with a round brush until a full, bouncy appearance was created. He then gathered her hair at the top of her head into a knot, then went back in with a curling iron to create a more exaggerated shape before anchoring it into place with a handful of pins.
Chrissy Teigen's '70s Waves
Thanks to the volume at the ends, a look like Chrissy Teigen's actually works best in the humid air, and requires no touch-ups. Her hairstylist Jenn Atkin drew from the 1970s art deco period in China to create the look, beginning with a deep side part that lined up with the arch of Teigen's brow. She emphasized the star's curls with the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Texturizing Sea Spray ($25; drugstore.com), then went to work placing the retro texture. She wrapped sections of hair in a figure-8 shape around a hairpin, then pressed the Paul Mitchell Neuro Style flat iron ($135; loxabeauty.com) over the shape for about 15 seconds. Once the waves had been set, Atkin brushed through horizontal sections, and used the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Hydrocream Whip ($26; drugstore.com) to create a shiny, contrasting finish on the top and sides. The floral hair clip is optional, though it does add to the island vacation vibe.
Olivia Palermo's Tousled Braid
Just like mixing prints, mixed textures are one way to make a serious style statement. After prepping Palermo's hair with a generous amount of Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Gel ($18; ulta.com), Lacy Redway rough-dried her strands using her fingers to amp up the movement. "I then started a three-strand French braid, and once I go to the middle of the braid, I finished off with a four-strand braid to add a little more pizzazz," she tells us. Redway tied off the style with a clear elastic, and added a few spritzes of Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hairspray ($25; sergenormant.com) for added insurance.
Kim Kardashian's Sleek Low Pony
Lazy girls, unite! The slicked-back low ponytail Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala is a genius way to give your second-day hair a fashion-forward appearance. Though her hairstylist Peter Savic started on clean, blown-out hair, you can simply give yours a quick pass of the flat iron to impart a bone-straight effect. As you pull your hair toward the nape of your neck, apply the Garnier Anti Humidity Hairspray ($3; target.com) to tame flyaways. Savic left out a small section of the star's hair before tying off the style, which he then braided and wrapped around the ponytail holder. A blast of Garnier Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray ($4; target.com) gave her inky sable hue a glassy shine.
Lea Michele's High Braid
Just by rethinking the placement of your plait, that tried-and-true boho braid gets some added sass—take Lea Michele's flirty version. Michele's hairstylist Sarah Potempa formed a soft curl with her Beachwaver iron ($129; sarahpotempa.com), then set the look with Aussie's Sprunch Hairspray ($4; drugstore.com) prior to starting the braid. She then gathered hair into a high ponytail, and began twisting an oversized three-strand plait until reaching the ends. "Pul pieces out of each loop to add texture, and a messy, modern look," she says.
Blake Lively's Retro Waves
Defined, cascading waves like Blake Lively's make for the ultimate girl's night out hairstyle, and as an added bonus, looks just as great the morning after. Even when the humid elements start to take their effect, the look falls beautifully into frizz-free beachy waves. After Lively's layers had been dried smooth, her hairstylist Rod Ortega sectioned off three areas, and wound small sections around the tapered barrel of the T3 Whirl Trio ($230; nordstrom.com). For a uniform appearance, make sure to wrap each curl in the same direction, and once everything has cooled, flip your head over and comb through using a paddle brush. On one side of Lively's head, Ortega French-braided a piece toward the back, pinned it into place, then applied a few spritzes of L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray ($13; target.com)
Jessica Alba's Perfect Blowout
Don't believe the hype—you can rock a perfect blowout in peak humidity, as long as you arm your style accordingly. For Jessica Alba's perfect lob, her hairstylist Davy Newkirk used a dollop of Matrix Biolage Whipped Mousse ($16; ulta.com) to prep her layers before blow-drying them, then ran a flat iron across the ends to lock in the sleek finish. "I tucked in some of the pieces under her hair, and flipped some of them out to give the look a lot of movement," he adds. Newkirk combined the Style Link Shape Switcher paste ($18; ulta.com) with a few drops of the Volume Booster ($20; ulta.com) in his palms, then ran the cocktail through Alba's lengths. One more pass with the dryer and round brush solidified the smooth appearance, and a final veil of the Freeze Fix Hairspray ($16; ulta.com) made the style officially weather-proof.
Darby Stanchfield's Intricate Plaits
Move over, milkmaid braids—while a multi-plait updo is always a standard come summertime, the varied textures of Darby Stanchfield's take on the trend makes the style more Hollywood than Heidi. Hairstylist Bridget Brager applied Bumble and Bumble's Surf Infusion ($29; bumbleandbumble.com) to the actress' second-day strands, then created a center part. "I created a Dutch briad on each side of the head starting at the front parting, braiding down, and following the natural hair line," she says, ending each plait just behind the ear before pulling them apart and dusting with Kevin Murphy's Powder Puff ($30; kevinmurphy.com for locations) to impart a bigger appearance. Four more braids were formed in the back—two fishtails running from the corners of each side toward the nape of the neck, and two regular braids with the remaining hair. Brager followed by pulling and dusting each braid just as she did with the two in the front, and rolled all four together to form a bun shape.