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Braids are the perfect summer style. They require minimal time and allow you to keep that blow dryer on the shelf. But achieving the perfect braid is not something that just happens. Fortunately, I’ve done the leg work on this one for you (and me) and got the low-down on these deconstructed up-dos for summer.

Emma Warner is a stylist and colorist at Salon Aniu in Amesbury, owned by Julie Alander. It took just a few minutes of speaking with Emma to realize that she really knows braids, so I asked her why it seems so many people are afraid to rock a braided hairstyle. The trouble, according to Warner, is that “people are often afraid to even play with their hair.” Yes, we’ve likely all mastered the most basic of braids, but it’s hard to wear them and not look and feel like a child (there’s a reason a traditional, simple braid looks so darn cute on little ones after all!).

If you don’t feel you have the confidence to learn a new braid style (and you should, first stop, consult Pinterest for inspiration – thanks Emma!) even the most basic styled braid can take on a grown-up twist with an extra minute of refining. There are “little things you can do to make a braid more messy and edgy,” says Warner, like gently pulling or tugging at the braid after it’s completed to give it a boho twist. Wearing it to the beach? No problem. The wind will take care of a lot of that for you, which will only enhance your undone style throughout the day.



Braids are also useful for unintentionally protecting your color from the sun because the bulk of your hair is hidden. The parts that do stay exposed are face framing, which you very well might be paying for in the form of face framing highlights anyway!

To secure braids, Warner favors clear elastics so the focus is kept on the braid. You can also opt to hide the elastic by twisting a small piece of hair around and through.



With summer, comes humidity, which works against a lot of people in the hair department but Warner says products can really help. Stylists at Salon Aniu use a product line by Kevin Murphy. Warner especially likes the Shimmer Shine and Hair Resort Spray. She recommends applying Shimmer Shine prior to braiding dry hair, and adds that the Hair Resort Spray works wonders when it comes to adding texture, not to mention it smells like a day at the beach.


Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine


There’s little excuse left to be caught wearing that same old ponytail everyday this summer. Practice makes perfect, or unintentionally imperfect as it were! It’s time to mix it up.