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4 Cool AF Braid Hairstyles to Rock This Summer

Waterfall Braid

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1. Smooth and detangle hair and create a center part.
2. On the right side of your head, take a 1-inch section and divide it into three strands. Start by creating a normal, three-strand braid (back over the middle, front over the middle).
3. Start this pattern again, but this time, after you cross the back over the middle, bring in a section of hair from behind this back section, and add it into that strand.
4. When you reach the front, instead of crossing it over, drop it, and pick up a small section of hair right behind it. Cross this over the middle, and repeat this process.
5. When you reach the nape of the neck, continue with a simple three-strand braid, and secure with a clear elastic once you reach the end.
6. Repeat on the other side of your head.

Wear down for a sleek, festival-ready look, or pull back into a ponytail if you're headed to the gym.

(Related: Why It's Important to Protect Your Hair from Air Pollution)

Mixed Braids (Dutch + Fishtail)

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1. Section out a 2-inch parting on each side of your head. Create a Dutch braid on one side (adding hair to the braid as you go).
2. When you reach the crown, switch to a three-strand braid and continue down the strand. Secure with a clear elastic.
3. On the other side, create a Dutch fishtail (again, adding hair to the braid as you go). Switch to a three-strand braid once you reach the crown, and secure the end with an elastic.
4. Curl all the hair using a Beachwaver S1.
5. At the crown, where the two braids meet, pull one of the braids through the other by creating an opening within the braid.
6. Repeat once more a few inches down the strand to create a fun, braided knot.

For a festival-ready vibe, finish by wrapping the braids with colorful string from your local craft store.

5-Strand Braid

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1. Spray a brush with a flexible hairspray and smooth your hair.
2. Section out a horseshoe parting at the top of your head. Take four fingers and wiggle them into this section (this will create five even strands).
3. Take the outermost section on the left side, and bring it under the strand to the right, then over the strand next to that. Repeat this mantra as you work your way across to the right—over, then under, etc.
4. When you reach the other side, add hair from the root to the piece on the outside, and repeat the mantra back in the other direction—over, then under, then over, then under.
5. Continue this weaving pattern until you reach the end of your hair, alternating between the leftmost and rightmost strand.
6. Secure with a clear elastic at the bottom.

(Related: 3 Easy Ponytails That Make Sweaty Hair Happy-Hour Worthy)

Fishtail Bun

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1. Part your hair down the center, from front to back.
2. Section out a 2-inch parting along the front hairline. Create a Dutch fishtail braid (like a fishtail braid but cross the hair under instead of over), adding hair to the braid as you work your way down.
3. Once you reach the end of the strand, secure with a clear elastic.
4. Pancake (gently pinch and pull the fishtail strands to add some texture and volume).
5. Slide the remaining hair through a Wrap Up, and roll upward. Bend the ends of the Wrap Up together to create a bun.
6. Wrap the braid around the bun, then secure with bobby pins.

Another look we love for the gym? This braided ponytail created by Potempa for Lea Michele

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