16 Summer Updos to Save You From the Heat

16 Summer Updos to Save You From the Heat

Ashley Graham in a messy bun


Let’s face it: Once the temperature steadily hits 80 degrees, minimizing sweat is the name of the game. And that means updos become our preferred method of hairstyling—we want something off our necks, out of the way, and fuss-free. That doesn’t mean we’re haphazardly throwing our precious locks back in a quick messy bun and hoping for the best. On the contrary, we’re pulling out some of our best hairstyles of the year—think tastefully undone buns, slicked-back ponytails, and even a few braids. To prep for those extra-hot summer days, we rounded up 16 of our favorite updos to beat the heat. Scroll on for the ultimate hair inspo.

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Slicked-Back Midi Bun

slicked-back midi bun.


Slicked-back buns are always a good idea, and this knotted wispy style is so fresh and easy for the summer. To recreate, hairstylist at NYC The Team, Sheila Guillermo suggests gathering hair into a ponytail and using a pomade stick to slick back any pesky flyaways, before braiding the hair and securing with an elastic band. Wrap the braid around itself to create a bun, leaving some wispy pieces out at the end.

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90s Messy Updo

Messy bun on Ashley Graham


This ’90s-inspired messy updo is our ideal summer style—out of our way, expertly undone, and ridiculously easy to achieve. Would you believe us if we said all you need is a claw clip?

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Waterfall Pony

Waterfall high ponytail with face-framing pieces.


Place your ponytail higher up on your crown than you usually would to create a waterfall-like effect. Adding some face-framing pieces of hair and braids helps create a natural flow to the look.

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Space Buns

High space buns.


For double the fun, why not play around with space buns this summer? Part the hair in two even sections and run some gel from roots to ends before using a boar bristle brush to create two high pigtails. Wrap each ponytail around itself to create a bun and secure with either pins or an elastic tie.

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Double Twisted Pigtails

two twisted pony tails with curly hair


These double pigtails are to die for. Separate clean hair into four sections, and clip three of them aside. With the fourth section, create a high ponytail and secure before separating another smaller section to wrap around the rest of the hair in the ponytail. Stop about two-thirds of the way down and use a small elastic tie to secure. Back comb the remaining hair to amp up the volume. Repeat on the other three sections.

06 of 16

Braided Ballet Bun

Braided Ballet Bun


We love this braided ballet bun—it's perfect for the beach and nights out alike. Best of all, it's super easy to achieve. Simply gather hair at the crown in a high ponytail and secure, before wrapping your braids around themselves and tugging at the pieces to create a larger bun. Secure with ample bobby pins and elastic ties.

07 of 16

Piece-y Low Chignon

Piece-y low bun.


According to Ayana Johnson, a hairstylist at LuvMe, there are countless ways to achieve this sort of perfectly messy low bun. "The key is simple," she shares, "Practice makes perfect." Meanwhile, Guillermo suggests creating the base by back combing hair and gathering it into a low ponytail. Then, fold individual sections into a bun and use bobby pins to secure.

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Double Braid

Double low braid with face-framing pieces.


For a slicked-back style like this one, you don’t even need to part your hair. Instead, Johnson suggests simply pushing it all back and gliding a wax stick along the roots before gathering hair in a ponytail. Separate the ponytail into two and braid! Pro tip: If you’re lacking in the length department, consider adding a ponytail extension.

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Clipped Hairline

Clipped back short hair.


For those with shorter hair, skip the ponytails and buns and simply use a clip or two to keep hair out of your face and fuss free. To add a little spice, opt for a bold pattern or color.

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Pearls and Curls

Messy high bun with pearl details.


The best part about this updo? It embraces the imperfections—plus, the pearls do a whole lot of heavy lifting. Throw your hair into a messy bun and grab some pearl-studded bobby pins, placing them haphazardly throughout the bun to create an organic design.

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Tousled Top Knot

Messy top bun with curly red hair.


To nail a slicked back look on curlier hair, Johnson suggests gathering hair into a ponytail and using a firm-holding wax stick to push back shorter pieces along the hairline and a rat tail comb to manage edges. Then, simply fold the length of the hair on top of itself and secure with an elastic band, pulling out pieces to create some variation along the bun's edges.

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Big Bun

Big messy high bun with face-framing pieces.


Another messy ’90s updo that’s surprisingly easy to achieve. Guillermo suggests using a claw clip or hair tie to secure a French twist into a high messy bun, leaving out a few face-framing pieces. Secure with bobby pins and finish with a strong hold hairspray. Seriously, it’s that simple.

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Slicked-Back Sock Bun

Low slicked-back sock bun.


The sleek technique is always the same, but the difference here is when it comes to creating that bun. Use a sock bun method or a foam donut-like core to wrap your ponytail around—this will help create that perfectly swirled large bun.

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High-Contrast Slicked Back Ponytail

slicked back pony with curls and volume


According to Johnson, the key to creating that stark contrast between the luscious curly pony and slicked-back base is creating an ultra sleek, perfectly flat front. To do this, she suggests using a rat tail comb to create a sharp, clean middle part and sectioning off a small triangle of hair on both sides at the beginning of the parting line. Clip those two sections away with a sturdy clip and comb the rest of your hair back into a normal ponytail. Once you've slicked back the ponytail as you see fit, it's time to return to those clipped-back pieces. "Release these sections and direct each one sideways to blend with the rest of your hair (not backward, as that will disturb your parting)," she explains. "Apply wax to each section and use an edge brush to blend them in."

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Sweet n Low

Low bun with flowers


"This is so soft and effortless. The idea is a little messy and piece-y, less is more with this look," Guillermo explains. "Add some volume hair powder to the roots. Leave a few pieces out in the front and around the ears then put into a soft low bun. Baby’s breath or any florals are a nice touch to finish the look."

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Braided Ponytail With Body

Voluminous ponytail with a side braid.


To get this look, Guillermo suggests starting with the fishtail braid, and gently pulling the pieces to make it look chunkier. Set aside and use some texturizing wave spray on the rest of the hair and back comb it into a voluminous ponytail. Then simply pin the braid at the base of the ponytail and secure.


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