Lip balm on your braids? Celeb stylists spill summer hair secrets

Summer comes with a legion of hair woes: There’s humidity to tend with (hello, frizz!), chlorine and salt water damaging our strands and sometimes it’s just too darn hot to heat-style… But stylists have a few tricks up their sleeves to solve all our summer hair dilemmas and create gorgeous warm-weather ‘dos. Spoiler: It’s all about the unexpected, like using your lip moisturizer to tighten-up your braids… and finishing a ponytail with a stack of elastics.

Braid a “Heidi” updo in minutes


The one hairstyle that looks as adorable at a summer wedding as it does at the beach? A plaited crown, aka “Heidi braids.” The free-spirited, Alps-inspired ‘do has become a standby for stylist Ashley Streicher, whose celebrity clients include Anne Hathaway and Jessica Paré. “This is my favorite, super-easy way to wear hair for summertime. Totally dresses up a casual summer outfit and is as easy as simply braiding your hair,” she says. 

Start by parting your hair in the center and braiding both sides starting just behind your ears; secure with elastics. Pull the braids apart to make them look thicker and textured — this step is key since you don’t want your plaits to look too perfect. Next, wrap the braids around the top of your head, crossing them just an inch or so from your forehead and securing them with a couple bobby pins while hiding the elastic under the braid. 

Takeaway tip: A touch of lip balm is the surprising finishing touch. “Because it's so dry during this time, instead of applying hairspray to a clean toothbrush to tame flyaways, I recommend blotting the brush in something like Rosebud Salve. It will add some shine to hair and give it a nice ‘drink’ of hydration. It also adds a great scent, like a solid perfume for your hair,” explains Streicher. “Killing a lot of birds with one stone!”

Upgrade your ponytail


Ponytails have come a long way from their tennis-court roots. These days, the style has many chic iterations, and there are even ponytail bars devoted to perfecting the ‘do. Adam Livermore — stylist to hair icons Molly Sims, Meg Ryan, Cher, and Naomi Campbell — has a secret technique for sculpting the ideal pony. 

Takeaway tips: “I know it sounds crazy, but to get a perfectly sleek ponytail, spritz a little volumizing spray, like Oribe Volumista, on your roots all over before you pull your hair up. The spray will give your roots some control and hold so that it’s easier to smooth into a perfect ponytail,” reveals Livermore. Next, spray on a texturizing spray “to make hair less slippery, which makes it easier to cup up” and finish with this ingenious trick: “Sometimes I’ll stack two or three elastics to raise the ponytail further away from the head and give it more bounce.”

Create beach waves... in your bathroom


If you have fine or flat hair, you know how hard it can be to get voluminous, textured waves. Allie Paronelli of Jonathan & George Salon — who tends to the tresses of Amber Heard and Mandy Moore among others — has a solution. 

Takeaway tip: Beach waves are all about starting with more curl than you want to end up with. “Spray each section with a flexible hold hair spray like Oribe Superfine. Wrap sections around a 1/2 inch or 1 inch curling iron. The curls will look Shirley-Temple tight, but once the hair cools down, brush out the curls and you will get loose beach waves. Flip hair to one side to get more volume.”