When summer emerges from the last cherished days of spring every year, I hear voices telling me to cut all of my hair off. Since moving to a place with high humidity, the voices almost reached the point of chanting “resistance is futile.”
When I mention the struggle, people often say, “Just put it in a ponytail.”
Let’s get something straight, putting my hair in a ponytail is not a cure-all. My hair still whips around annoyingly at the back of my neck, and sticks to my neck like slimy tentacles. Another problem with ponytails is that if I move around too much, they inevitably loosen or fall out because my hair is too heavy (No, it doesn’t matter how tight I make it).
So put it in a bun, or something, you might be thinking. Well, it’s a nice thought, but my hair has faced a new and formidable enemy in Maryland: humidity. The wet air makes every short strand slither out from my hairline, making me look like…you guessed it, Medusa.
Anyway, for those who have thin hair, perpetual ponytails might be acceptable. For people with thick hair, however, it can be unbearable. So to avoid head and scalp aches this summer, other hair containment ideas were in order.
To keep myself from chopping off my soon-to-be-flowing locks, I experimented with different types of braids. I thought I’d share some of the many braids I attempted.
I apologize for the terrible quality of some of these photos. Most days I only had my phone with me to take pictures.
This is a braided headband look. Just start a french braid from the side of your head. Add chunks of hair like you would for a french braid, but do so from the front only.
Once you get to the back of your head, braid all of your hair into a regular braid and twist it into a bun.
For a braid like the one below, start the braid like you would a normal french braid, but pull small chunks of hair from around your hairline (rather than bringing in chunks that span from the front to the back of your head).
This is a french braid that I attempted to snake side-to-side, and ended in a messy twist.
This was two messy french braids, with the ends pulled up and pinned into a headband shape at the front.
The scarf is to keep all the “flyaways” under control. I had slept on the braids, and it was an especially humid day.
Now that I’ve made it through the summer, I can enjoy my long hair during the fall and winter. Since braiding is a lot easier for me now, I’ll likely incorporate some braids into half-up, half-down looks as well.
I think this is the first summer since high school that I have successfully combated the summer chop compulsion. Has anyone else struggled to fight off the irresistible summer chop when trying to grow their hair out? Do you have any favorite braided hairstyles?