Weddings! Graduations! Baby showers! We’re so happy to finally fill our calendars with the joyous celebrations of friends and loved ones. The only downside? With most gatherings being held outdoors, summer’s heat, humidity, and wind can turn us and our pretty, party-ready hair into a sweaty mess within seconds of arriving. So we tapped top celebrity hairstylists for the summer’s most gorgeous cuts and updos that not only flatter any face shape and elevate any soiree style, but can withstand the season’s elements so you’re cool and confident all night long. Keep reading for eight beat-the-heat summer hairstyles sported by some of our favorite stars. One of them is perfect for you!
Best for Heart-Shaped Faces: A Cool Crop
A crop that hits above the nape of the neck in back and above the ears in front allows the breeze to blow on the face and neck and keeps sweaty strands from sticking to either, says hairstylist Jonathan Colombini, who’s worked with Geena Davis and Christie Brinkley. The shorter cut also pulls attention away from an angular chin, while sideswept fringe conceals a wider forehead.
What to ask for: A jaw-length crop in back with graduating layers throughout, neatly cut sides, and brow-skimming bangs.
Get the style: Spritz damp hair with a volumizing spray (we like Not Your Mother’s Plump for Joy Thickening Hair Lifter — Buy from Ulta, $7) to prop strands up and off of the scalp for cooling lift. Next, blow-dry one-inch sections of hair with a small round brush until all of hair is dry. Set with hairspray.
Best for Square Faces: A Halo Pony
Pulling the front half of hair up into a high ponytail helps keep the bulk of long locks off of the face to avoid overheating. Plus, the soft waves and angelic style help counteract the harsh angles of a square jawline, says celebrity hairstylist Lee Stafford, who has worked with Naomi Campbell and Victoria Beckham.
What you’ll need: One-inch barrel curling iron, hair tie, bobby pins.
- Step 1: Curl one-inch sections of hair with a curling iron and let cool, then comb through with fingers.
- Step 2: Pull hair from ear to ear into a crown-placed ponytail; secure with an elastic.
- Step 3: Wrap a two-inch section of hair from the tail around the elastic; pin.
Best for Square Faces: A Mod Midi
A one-length cut that hits right below the jaw creates 360 degrees of cool from the neck down. Plus, you can tuck it behind the ears to keep sweat-filled strands off the face. The cut’s rounded silhouette helps offset a strong jawline, says hairstylist Jonathan Colombini. Even better? Strands that are styled straight and sleek reflect light onto hair (so it appears two times thicker) and skin (to blur wrinkles).
What to ask for: A jaw-length cut with slight graduation through the ends (this gives the cut its rounded shape).
Get the style: To keep humidity and frizz at bay, apply a nickel-size amount of a smoothing serum (we like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In, — Buy from Amazon, $6) onto damp hair. Next, blow-dry one-inch sections using a medium-size round brush. Once dry, run a flat iron through all of hair, pulling strands inward toward the ends to create a curve-like bend that emphasizes the cut’s softening shape.
Best for Long Faces: A Wavy Swirl
A wavy bob that hits mid-neck won’t trap heat when worn down, but strands are still long enough to be swept up into a small pony or bun if the mercury begins to rise, says Stafford. Plus, the movement and depth of the cut’s bouncy, face-framing waves and subtle layers create the illusion of a much fuller and shorter face.
What to ask for: A bob that rests just below the chin and has long, sideswept fringe and graduated, choppy layers throughout.
Get the style: Wrap one-inch sections of hair around a one-and-a-half-inch barrel curling iron and alternate the direction curls fall (one section going toward the face and the other section going away from the face) so curls look less contrived. After all of hair is curled and cooled, gently comb through with fingers, then spritz with hairspray to lock in the style.
Best for Long Faces: A Playful Ponytail
Like a portable air conditioner, the swinging motion of a long ponytail as it moves back and forth instantly cools down the back of the neck. Styling in volume at the crown and leaving loose tendrils in the front adds optical width to a more narrow-looking face, says Stafford.
What you’ll need: Teasing comb, hairspray, hair tie, bobby pins.
- Step 1: Back-comb hair throughout the crown and brush it back, then set with hairspray.
- Step 2: Leaving out a one-inch section of on each side of the face in front, smooth hair into a pony that rests above the nape of the neck; secure with an elastic. Gently tug on the hair above the base of the pony to emphasize the beehive-like bump.
- Step 3: Wrap a one-inch section of hair from the pony around the elastic to hide it; pin into place.
Best for Round Faces: A Piecey Pixie
When styled to sit up and off of the scalp, the spiky layers of a textured pixie can create a cooling, vent-like effect for instant relief during a hot day, says hairstylist Daniel Koye, who has worked with Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Williams. “This also gives the shorter ’do a vertical look that pulls the eye up to ‘lengthen’ a round face while tricking the eye into seeing more angular features to counteract its fullness.”
What to ask for: A heavily textured pixie that’s longer and layered on top with short, neat sides.
Get the style: Use a small round brush on one-inch sections of hair and blow-dry, starting at the sides, brushing them down. When working on the top, pull hair up and out from the root to create volume. Once all of hair is dry, work a pea-size amount of pomade (we like Lee Stafford Messed-Up Putty — Buy from Amazon, $19) through hair’s ends on top, using leftover pomade on fingers to smooth any unruly strands on the sides.
Best for Round Faces: A Braided Twist
A lifted bun allows a cooling breeze to skim the scalp from any angle. “And since this style has volume up top, it visually elongates a rounder face as well,” says Koye.
What you’ll need: Teasing comb, hair tie, bobby pins, hairspray.
- Step 1: Make a side part, then tease hair at the crown. Leaving out a two-inch section of hair on each side in front, secure the rest of hair into a low ponytail in back with an elastic.
- Step 2: Split the hair in the tail into three sections, then take each section, split it in half and twist together into a horizontal figure-8 shape; pin against the back of the head. Layer sections so they crisscross.
- Step 3: Rope-twist each section of hair in front away from the face, then pin at the back of the head. Set with hairspray.
Best for Heart-Shaped Faces: A Looped Bun
Sweeping hair into a bun allows the breeze to cool off the face and neck. And one that looks “undone” ensures the style appears intentional if the weather messes it up, says Koye. “Plus, the texture from a teased bun that rests at the back of the crown distracts from a small, sharp chin in front, while loose, sideswept tendrils hide a bigger forehead.
What you’ll need: A blow-dryer, round brush, one-inch curling iron, teasing brush, hair tie, bobby pins, hairspray.
- Step 1: Create a deep side part, then blow-dry two-inch sections of hair using the round brush, lifting strands up and off of the scalp to create even more volume.
- Step 2: Wrap two-inch sections of hair around the curling iron until all of hair is curled. Next, leave out a two-inch section of hair on each side in front, then secure the rest of hair into a high ponytail at the back of the crown.
- Step 3: Back-comb hair in the tail, then fan out the teased strands around the pony’s base. Pin various strands into place for a tousled look. Set with hairspray.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.