How To Do Your Hair For Every Party This Summer

We thought we were so prepared for the summer party season this year. Outfits were planned and sandals were broken in, but when the time came for the first outdoor bash, we realized we forgot to consider one thing: our hair. Instead of relying on muscle memory and settling for another pony, we chatted with hairstylist Lindsey Williams for three party-ready looks that are mere twists on everyday 'dos.

To get them, all it took were a few extra plaits here, a couple of twists there, and some essentials from Pantene. And, since we're nothing if not helpful, we're showing you all the steps straight ahead. From a hybrid braid that's perfect for that college reunion to a knotted pony that's low-key but cool enough for a casual get-together, these are your answers for every party dress hair code. So, where's our invite?


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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
You're Invited: College Reunion
Hair Code: Go Fish(tail)
When you're meeting up with old college buds you haven't seen in five, even 10, years, you want a hairstyle that's creative and pulled-together. Which means you need this triple braid. Two French braids — one framing your face and the other around the back of your head — meet together for one seriously cool side fishtail.

Alaïa dress, Rebekka Rebekka earrings, THP cuff, Robert Lee Morris Collection cuff.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
To get this triple-braid sitch, start with a deep side-part. You'll use the part as a guide for the Frenchie that wraps around your face.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Spray a generous amount of dry shampoo for better hold and grip as you braid. You want to blast the roots for a bit of volume, but focus on the middle of the shaft and ends since that's where the meat of the braids will be.

Williams also suggests lifting up sections of hair as you spray the dry shampoo, so the product coats every strand instead of just sitting on the topmost layer. When you're all done, just brush out to evenly distribute.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Then, split your hair into two sections — one at the crown, the other at the bottom by your occipital lobe. Twist each section into a bun, so you can work on one braid at a time.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Take down the top half of your hair, and get ready to braid. For this first Frenchie, start with three sections of hair by your part and incorporate more hair as you go. We've got a full breakdown right here if you need.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Once the face-framing braid gets to ear-level, secure with a clear elastic. Then, move on to the braid at the back of your head. If a French braid is too hard here, feel free to do a simple three-strand braid instead.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Surprise, surprise — same thing here. Once the second braid hits your ear, secure with a clear elastic. Then, combine the ends of both braids into a ponytail.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Now, the final braid is super easy. Just split your pony into two, grab a small section of hair from the outside of one section, and cross over to the other section. Repeat on the opposite side, and keep going 'til you get to the ends. Try to keep each section you pull out and cross over the same size — this'll make for a more uniform-looking plait. Here's an easy video tutorial that shows exactly how simple this look is.

Once your fishtail is all set and done, use scissors to snip the elastics holding the two French braids. Then, give the plait a final spritz of dry shampoo for extra texture, and pull apart either side of the braid to add volume.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
This deceivingly intricate braid works with most hair lengths. If your strands are on the shorter side, though, start the two French braids near your temples or even on the side of your head before going into the fishtail. Either way, with this look, you've got a perfect hybrid plait that'll have your old college roomie asking for a how-to.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
You're Invited: Beach Wedding
Hair Code: Sea-Goddess Waves
The last thing you want to sport for a seaside wedding is an overly stylized and product-laden hairstyle. Enter this textured and tousled 'do with major movement that only looks better in the salty air.

T by Alexander Wang dress, Rebekka Rebekka ring, Arme De L'Amour necklace, Rebekka Rebekka earrings.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Start with damp hair. Then, add a big ol' dollop of curling mousse to your strands to coax out any natural waves you may have.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
You want to get the product everywhere, so apply the mousse in sections and work it into your hair super well.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Create a clean middle part, and then aim a hair dryer with a concentrator nozzle down the shaft of your hair for a smooth and sleek look.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Clip away your hair into four sections — two in front of your ears, two behind. Now, get ready to make some waves.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Wrap your hair around the barrel of a 1-inch curling wand, but keep the ends out, like we did here, for more natural-looking waves.

And, don't curl all in the same direction either, says Williams. Wrap the first section of hair away from the face, then curl the next section toward your face. Continue alternating directions as you go. You're aiming for lived-in locks, as opposed to glamorous, beauty-pageant curls.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Once you're done curling your entire head, take two sections from one side of your part and start twisting them around each other like a rope from your hairline back. When the twist hits just below the crown, secure it with a clip; repeat on the other side of your part. Then, just use a clear elastic to tie the ends of both twists together.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Cover the elastic with a pretty hair clip — and yea, why not add another?
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
This style is pretty universal, no matter your hair type or texture. The key is to keep the waves loose and natural, and then let all that salty air do its thing.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
You're Invited: Rooftop Bash
Hair Code: Knot Your Average Pony
For plans as casual as your friend's rooftop shindig that came via text, there's no need to go all out with an intricate 'do. But, that doesn't mean you should whip out a ho-hum ponytail either. Instead, try this knotted take on your everyday style that is a perfect combo of easy and effortless.

Altuzarra top, THP earrings, Robert Lee Morris Collection ring, Robert Lee Morris Collection necklace.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Start with a deep side-part. Use a rattail comb for the easiest way to get a clean part, advises Williams.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Smooth your hair to one side and then split into two even sections.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Take one section, and loop it around the other to create a knot. Pull the ends downward. Don't worry if this step produces a little frizz since your strands are being pushed against each other in opposite directions; that can be easily fixed once the style is set.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Now, pick up a handy clear elastic, and secure the pony right underneath the knot. You can also get fancy by wrapping a small piece of hair around the elastic so you don't see it.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The final step is a quick all-over spritz of volumizing hairspray, so your style holds up in the summer heat.

You can use this step to de-frizz your knot as well. Just aim some hairspray on the knot itself, and use an old toothbrush or comb to smooth the topmost layer of hair.
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Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Et voilà — an updated ponytail that's perfect for low-key drinks and chips at the next rooftop bash. Now, who's ready to party?