It’s summer (or will be in t-minus one week)! A/Cs have been turned on. Your neck is getting a bit sweaty when walking down the street/waiting for the subway. Bars and apartments are getting a bit too stuffy for beautiful, long, free-flowing hair cascading down your back. The summer may offer the opportunity to show off the perfect beach hair, but if it’s really humid and you just can’t deal with strands sticking to your skin, why not venture off into the wonderful world of braiding?
When it comes to crafted hairstyles, there are few things more beautiful than an artful braid. You may be thinking, “Well, there’s the normal braid, and then there’s the French braid, and that’s about it, right?” Wrong! Broaden your horizons! Technically, sure, every type of braid is really a variation on a theme (take a few strands of hair, cross them over some others, and then keep going until your fingers bleed, you lose feeling in your arms, or you run out of hair), but there are seemingly endless versions: the standard pigtail braid , the single French braid  (not just for stuffy WASPy girls heading off to play tennis), the French-braided pigtail , cornrows pulled back into an updo , cornrows braided all the way down [36, 68] (add some beads at the end to really get the party started), the twisted braid , the knotted braid  (first introduced to us by the Braid Master—real name: James Pecis—on Bambi Northwood Blyth), the inside-out braid, the milkmaid braid , what we’ve deemed the "Reverse Heidi" Braid, and oh-so-many more. Keep it simple, á la a very young Kate Moss and her face-framing twists , or go. effing. crazy.
We understand your hesitation: braiding may look intimidating, but perhaps with summer Fridays starting and school letting out for the summer, you have a little more time on your hands now. So why not take a few moments, find some inspiration above, watch a YouTube tutorial or two, and braid like there’s no tomorrow (and when tomorrow comes, test out something new)!
 Carmen Kass,  Naomi Campbell,  Penelope Cruz,  Kristine Frøseth, [5, 6] Natasha Poly,  Tanya Smart,  Dasha Popova,  Dorte Limkilde,  Ginta Lapina,  Liu Wen,  Backstage at Viktor & Rolf Fall 2013,  Tyra Banks,  Xiao Wen Ju, [15-21] Kate Moss, [22, 23] Twiggy,  Solange Knowles, [25-29] Aline Weber,  Kate Bosworth,  Backstage at Viktor & Rolf Fall 2013,  Zoe Saldana,  Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh, [34, 35] Lara Stone,  Bo Derek,  Veronica Lake,  Sigrid Agren at Valentino Spring 2013,  Josephine Skriver,  Rihanna,  Rayanne Graff in My So Called Life,  Patti Smith,  Alys Hale,  Azealia Banks, [47-49] Daria Werbowy,  Magdalena Frackowiak,  Julia Stiles in Save The Last Dance,  Joni Mitchell,  Harley Viera Newton,  Hanne Gaby Odiele,  Gwen Stefani, [56-58] Frida Gustavsson,  Fendi Fall 2013,  Edita Vilkeviciute,  Backstage at Valentino Fall 2013,  Backstage at Erin Fetherston Fall 2011, [63, 64] Elle Fanning,  Chanel Iman and Cara Delevingne,  Brigitte Bardot, [67, 68] Beyonce,  Alicia Keys,  Bambi Northwood Blyth,  Megan Fox,  Backstage at Alexander Wang Spring 2010,  Backstage at Kenzo Fall 2011,  Lauryn Hill.