Whether all up in a knot or in the throes of a heat wave you let your hair down, remember to keep your summer hair styles as breezy and lighthearted as you are this time of year. We culled the runways to select the hottest summer hair trends for a curated, beach-ready collection of looks to create while laying out on your
beach towel. For expert tips to instantly achieve these runway looks, we chatted with Theodore Leaf, celeb coiffeur and chief hair stylist of NBC’s
Fashion Star, about putting a beachy spin on his favourite summer hair trends.

Summer hair styles trend #1: Weatherproof your hair with a fun braid.

Not just for ballet dancers and Anne of Green Gables, braids are a quick and playful way to effortlessly overhaul bored summer locks. “Braids are the perfect summer hair look because they require no heat and you can do them with any hair texture,” says Leaf. For a date night, try the romantic braided updo seen on Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway. Or if you’re hitting the outdoor summer festival circuit, recreate the messy, rope-like plaits from Michael Kors’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.

Summer hair styles trend #2: Get hair that shines—even without the sunlight.

For hair that glistens well into the night, Leaf recommends trying the wet look that was sprinkled throughout many Spring/Summer 2012 runways—like Prada’s slicked-back locks or the soaking and swept back pony tails at Diesel Black Gold. To fake that just-out-of-the-shower dampness: “Steal your guy’s gel and go to town creating a wet look pony tail or even a chignon,” says Leaf. “It’s so easy and so chic!”

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For more haute hair trends to match the hot summer temperatures, read on…

Summer hair styles trend #3: For a bold summer edge, chop it off.

Take your cues from your favourite
pixie-set celebs: “I am loving short hair with a really shaggy edge,” says Leaf. “Think modern rocker rather than polished bob.” For those still clinging to their beloved longer locks? “I love when my clients that have medium-to-long hair embrace their natural, wavy texture,” says Leaf, alluding to the loose, beach-ready waves from Calvin Klein and Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 2012 runways. “It’s so beautiful when I enhance the natural texture with a wave-inducing spray and then
touch up any frizzes with a curling iron.” Perfect for a
summer date night look.

Summer hair styles trend #4: Top off with the season’s hautest look—the top bun.

“The cool thing about the top knot bun is that you can wear it many ways: soft and messy for day, and try sleek and clean (and really high!) for night events,” says Leaf, who created the Bored with Your Hair Top Knot Kit (approx. $19.99, at boredwithyourhair.com), which contains the tools for creating the high-top bun in three DIY steps. For a sea-inspired touch, embellish the look with
pearl hairpins, as seen on Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

Summer hair styles trend #5: Strip down to the bare essentials.

Save the OTT hair styles for when the environmental elements –humidity, UV rays—are more forgiving to exposed locks. Besides, when spending the day by the pool or at a summer BBQ, the last thing you want to worry about is maintaining that
piled-high bouffant. “The best summer hair secret is to really do less than more,” affirms Leaf. “My favorite looks can be created with just a few pins and hairspray. You should be outsidem, not sitting in a bathroom fighting with your hair.” Call it your
au naturel hair care tool kit—let the summer breeze be your comb and the blasting heat, your hair dryer.

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