It’s a sweltering summer morning. Between the frizz-making humidity and your frantic need to “Just get this hair off my face!” you’ve got no energy to try anything complicated. Defeated, you start pulling your hair up into your usual (yawn) messy topknot.
Hold up—before you lob your locks into a bun for the umpteenth day in a row, why not try something a little more inspired?
Blushing Basics blogger Kristie Burnett’s take on the silk-scarf French braid looks as good on the city streets as it does on the sand. Okay, full disclosure: Burnett’s tutorial requires a few braiding techniques, but even non-pros can nail the same effect with her classic braid modification below.
BURNETT’S SUMMERY SCARF BRAID
Step 1: Select your favorite oblong-shaped scarf.
Step 2: To begin, create a deep side part on the right and flip the front third of your hair (about 2-3 inches wide) to the opposite side. Tie the rest in a mid-ponytail at the back. Place the center of the scarf just behind the front section, bringing the ends to the nape of your neck. Instead of knotting the scarf, secure with a small clear elastic, like you would a ponytail.
Step 3: Let down the back hair section and, beginning on the right side of your head, start a waterfall braid (a horizontal variation of the French braid), so you can adjust the orientation. Once the braid reaches the scarf, switch to a traditional three-section braid, incorporating the scarf tails into each of the outer sections of hair as you braid. Secure with a clear elastic.
Step 4: Return to the front section. Create a Dutch braid (the reverse French braid) along your hairline. Slip the end behind your ear and secure with a clear elastic and bobby pin.
MODIFICATION: Pull hair into a low side pony and secure with a hair elastic. Weave your scarf through the elastic so both ends flow freely. Separate the pony into three even sections (for a classic braid) and place the ends of the scarf into each of the outer sections of hair. The center section will be hair only. Braid until you reach the end and secure with a clear elastic. Et voilà!
Really short hair? You can still style it up with a colorful scarf: Lay the center of the scarf two inches behind your hairline. Pull the two sides to the nape of your neck and knot it under your hair. For pixie cuts, try an off-center bow on top instead of a hidden knot for a voluminous and finished look.
Whether you opt for a low-key side braid or the expert waterfall braid, winding a silk scarf through your tresses is the creative shake-up your grooming routine’s been pining for. Your standby topknot just might get jealous…