5 Ways To Get Creative With Your Natural Hair This Summer

There's more to summer than rooftop rosé and backyard barbecues. Sure, those are some of the most important aspects of a dope summer, but all the special events that come with the warmer months are also an opportunity to get creative when it comes to your hair.

For women with natural hair, the possibilities are pretty endless. You can wear your curls in your signature twist-out for that June wedding you've got on the calendar; rock a wash-and-go that will air-dry within minutes while you're vacationing at the beach; or go for a protective style — like braids, twists, and wigs — that'll cut back styling time, but still keep it cute.

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But there's one caveat: Picking a new style can feel like sifting through a never-ending pool of options. So to help inspire you, we rounded up some natural hairstyles that have been popping up on our Instagram feeds lately. Whether braids are your thing, accessories have piqued your interest, or you're in the market for a drastic haircut, you'll find the coolest summer hair inspo ahead.

Rope Designs



Let's get real: About four weeks into your protective style, you're wanting something different. You can easily remix your style by adding flashy accessories. Instead of the typical gold cuffs (which are still cute), accent your braids with metallic chord.
A simple metallic thread can take a basic bun and make it look ready for a rooftop happy hour.
Swap out metallic chord for a solid color (like white) when you want to coordinate with your summer outfit.

Stationary Hair Accessories



More celebrity stylists are turning to the classroom for inspiration. Nikki Nelms used golden safety pins to decorate a skinny center braid on Yara Shahidi.
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The best part about decorating with stationery supplies? They don't cost a fortune, and you can purchase them at a local supply store. Use this look Vernon François created on DeWanda Wise as inspiration.
For Coachella, celebrity stylist Justine Marjan decked out simple knotless box braids in large gold safety pins that were upgraded with gems and alphabet beads.

Platinum Buzzcuts



If you're considering a more drastic transformation for summer, think about going platinum blonde. The color looks especially striking on a short crop.
For the 2019 BET Awards, Jodie Smith outfitted her pale-blonde buzzcut with a pearl-accented headpiece and we immediately screenshotted her style for inspiration.
You can also enhance your blonde buzzcut by adding a simple (or bold) part while in the barber's chair. Keep in mind, this color is high maintenance: You'll need to touch it up every four weeks or so. But if you get tired of the color, a quick cut will take you back to your natural color.
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Statement Ponytails



A ponytail is a staple style, especially in warmer weather, but it doesn't have to feel lackluster. Pick up a pack of curly braiding hair from the beauty supply store and create a bubble effect, like Rio Sreedharan did for Kerry Washington at the Cannes Lions Film Festival.
You can also take a page out of Janelle Monáe's book, and attach a blunt-cut weave ponytail to your natural hair.
Felicia Leatherwood combined golden chord and a blunt-cut ponytail on Issa Rae to create a look that's both edgy and easy to re-create.

Intricate Braid Patterns



Remember when you begged your mom for those zigzag parts back in elementary school? Well, this summer challenge yourself (or your braider) to create unique and intricate braid patterns that combines curves and crisscrosses.
You aren't limited to swirls and spirals alone. Try layering alternating the direction of straight braids to create a basketweave effect.
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Or, you can go all out and give your cornrows a star-shaped design like this one done by expert braider Guingui, adding the star jewelry to match is optional.
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