What the F to Do With Curly Hair in the Summer


hen it comes to styling my hair I am stubbornly and unwaveringly low-maintenance. This is not to imply that I’m a cool, low-maintenance gal, far from it. But if you were to witness my morning routine you would assume that I’m very, um, relaxed. More accurately, I’m lazy.

I have exactly three hairstyle options in my arsenal: down, half-down-half-up, and a very sloppy bun. In the summer, I spend 90% of my time in the very sloppy bun in an attempt to keep my hair off my neck. My hairstyle laziness stands in contrast with the fact that I freely and openly admit that my hair is my one vanity. I love it! I put in a lot of work in an attempt to keep it healthy and thriving, but when it comes to waking up and walking out the door every morning, I suddenly can’t be bothered.

With so many different, fabulous hairstyles out there that I knew I’d never get it together enough to try out myself, I sought the wisdom and guidance of Charde Smith of Joli Beauty. I asked her to walk me through something cute but convenient, and generally plead with her to help me get my life together in a quick and easy fashion. Using just two products: Bumble and Bumble UV Protective Primer and Ouai Rosé hair and body oil, a million bobby pins and some hair ties, she gave me three easy (promise!) summer-friendly hairstyles.

Twist Back (Easiest)

This super easy twist gets your hair completely out of the way, so you can feel that sweet train-approaching-the-station breeze without worrying if it will mess up your side part. Charde also mentioned it as a great style for when you want to give your hair some extra time with your deep conditioner. I was very into how poised it made me look and can be done speedily enough that my arms won’t start to hurt.

How to make it happen:

    • Part the hair off center into two sections
    • Twist each section to the back of your head and secure with bobby pins along the twist
    • Add a hair band at the end of the twist to secure section, repeat on the other side
    • Once done, twist both sections together and then into a bun and pin

The 2018 Faux-Hawk (Still Easy)

“Three buns are better than one”- is a phrase I coined just now, and this hairstyle proves it! Taking my go-to lazy-ass style and repeating it three times over, gave my hair a fun and visually arresting new look. I felt like I could be in the background of a Janelle Monae video and the whole thing takes about five minutes.

The curly faux-hawk was my go-to back when I used to actually go out and about, but this version felt more grown up so I didn’t feel like I was reliving every Saturday night from 2012-2014.

How to make it happen: 

  • Part hair into three sections starting from the top of the head to the back of the neck
  • Put each section into a ponytail with a bristle brush to smooth the base
  • Once you have three buns, style to your liking to give you a faux-hawk look

I was 100% blissed out during this entire process. If you can find someone who will play with your hair in the afternoon, capture them and never let them go.

The Special Occasion (But Still Easy)

“This is the curly girl’s answer to the French Twist,” Charde said. I smiled excitedly even though I was somewhat unsure as to what a French Twist is. It is this and she is right, as Charde is very wise.

Every time I go to a wedding (and I go to a lot of weddings), I promise myself I’m going to do something with my hair. Literally anything that looks different from what I do every single day. I never do and just opt for wearing it down or maybe a twist out if I’m feeling bold, but before the signature cocktails are passed around my curls are back in a bun. This look is everything I’ve been looking for; fancy, easy and shows off my hair, but in a low-key way. Invite me to your wedding! I will look fancy!

How to make it happen: 

  • Part hair into two sections horizontally, going from ear to ear
  • Secure the top half of the hair with a clip
  • Part the lower half of your hair in two sections going from the top of the section to the nape of the neck
  • Starting with the first section, twist hair starting from the nape of the neck to the top of the section leaving the access hair out.
  • Secure the twists using two bobby pins at the top then use a hair tie to secure the section, repeat on the other side
  • Once both twists are secure, take the top section and depending on what side you want to wear your hair, twist the opposite side into the bottom of your loose hair and secure with pins.
  • This is where you take creative control! Style to your liking by twisting and bobby binning into the style of your choice!

What are your favorite it’s-too-hot-to-wear-my-hair-down-but-omg-I-overslept looks?

Hairstyling by Chardé Smith. Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor

Nora Taylor is the Editor of Clever. She can frequently be found knocking things over in the greater New York City area.

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