A pour of buttery chardonnay, strappy stilettos, good friends, plenty of laughter and strings of twinkly lights … welcome to warm weather and patio season! And, in the South, we always blow past spring and jump right to the hot and humid summer temps. So for the long-haired ladies, that means limp, frizzy hair, most likely pulled into a ponytail or bun. This year, try something new!

We asked Element Salon owner Jason Facio and his team for some fun summer hair updos. His team of talented stylists walked us through beautiful, easy-to-recreate styles that can play across several events, from work and cocktail parties to spring weddings. Try one of these three styles, complete with step-by-step instructions, for a day at work or dining alfresco with friends.

SB hair off neck


  • Hair type: Works well with wavy, curly or straight
  • Prep: Prefer lived-in hair, 1-3 days from last shampoo, to add grip
  • Tools: Fine-tooth comb, 5-10 bobby pins, styling product and hair spray

With a few minutes prep, you can add sophistication to your everyday ponytail. Think of it as a modern twist on the Brigitte Bardot look … sexy and disheveled. You can add variety by wearing your pony tight and sleek or tall and ultra-tousled, or try adding waves. Element Salon stylist Keith Williams demonstrates how to easily recreate this look at home:

1. Run a styling mousse or gel from roots to ends to prep the hair for a lasting hold. Keith uses Kerastase Elixir Ultime for prep.

2. Then section off the top portion of hair on the crown of your head, and back comb (tease) to create volume. Use a fine-tooth comb and slowly back comb from the middle of the hair shaft to the ends. This will help avoid breakage. Also, when back combing, start with the top layer closest to your forehead, and combine the sections as you work back to keep them from separating when styled. Once the top section is complete, smooth the top layer with the comb to cover the teased section.

The perfect pony | styleblueprint.com
To create volume at the top of the pony, section off the top portion of hair on the crown of your head, and back comb (tease).

3. Now that the top section has volume, gather and use bobby pins to secure hair, where the base of your pony will be. Make sure this top section is smooth and forms an even bump. You can make your top section bump as tall or sleek as you feel comfortable with. Vary it up depending on the look you want.

The Perfect Pony | styleblueprint.com
Gather the hair where the base of your pony will be, and secure it using bobby pins.

4. Take the middle and bottom sections of hair and add them to the top section, forming a ponytail. Secure with a hair tie. Then, wrap a small hair section around the hair tie to cover it and secure with a bobby pin.

The perfect pony | styleblueprint.com

5. To achieve an “I didn’t try too hard” look, use a bobby pin to loosen the hair in the ponytail, pulling hair close to the roots, around the base of the ponytail and around your crown. And bangs can hang loose, curled or secured back with the ponytail.

The perfect pony!
The perfect pony!


  • Hair type: Works best with wavy and curly styles. Straight hair will look choppy in this style, so you may want to curl the ends.
  • Prep: Prefer lived-in hair, 1-2 days from last shampoo
  • Tools: 10-20 bobby pins, styling product and hair spray

Styled your hair for work, and now you want to change it up for cocktails and dinner? That’s easily done with this low, swept-up look by Element Salon stylist Aimee Saunders. It looks difficult, as if you had your hair professionally styled, but after watching Aimee demonstrate, it’s pretty effortless.

1. Start with your hair styled for work or your everyday look. Aimee’s model Keri had her hair curled with two braids created at her temples pulled back for a half up and down look.

The hot-weather hair twist.
Start with your hair styled as you’d wear it to work or for everyday.

2. Create two stacked ponytails on the side opposite your part. So if you part your hair on the right, create a pony with your top hair section on the left side. Then gather a second ponytail with the bottom section of your hair underneath the first ponytail, still on the left side. Wrap the elastic one inch from your head, then separate hair and pull tight to move the elastic up for a messy, tousled look.

A great summer twist.
Create two stacked ponies on the side opposite your part.

3. Now you will create the “updo” of this look. Separate out small sections of your pony. Twist each section around, and use a bobby pin to tuck around the base of the pony. Use different sizes of hair sections to vary up the look. The bobby pin placement should be halfway down the hair section, so that the ends stick out for a messy look. If the hair is straight when twisted and pinned, the result will be piecey and edgy. Curl the ends to soften the look.

A fun summer twist for hair.
Separate out small sections of your pony. Twist each section around, and use a bobby pin to tuck around the base of the pony.

4. Aimee used Kerastase Carre Lissant style sheets (they look like dryer sheets) to smooth down loose strands and flyaways, and Shu Uemura Essence Assolue to add shine.

A tousled yet elegant summer twist!
A tousled, yet elegant, summer twist!


  • Hair type: Works well with wavy, curly, or straight
  • Prep: none needed, perfect to start the day with dry or wet hair
  • Tools: Fine-tooth comb, 5-10 bobby pins, styling product and hair spray

Love the fishtail braid? Stylist Brynn Boyd shared with us the next standout plait that’s sure to wow your everyday. This style is our trendiest of the group, so if you see yourself on the forefront of new styles, this look is for you.

1. First, start with a deep side part on your normal part side. Creating your part right above the arch of your eyebrow gives it the perfect asymmetric framing for your face.

2. Start a French braid at the base of your part, keeping the braid tight. You will plait the hair into a side braid incorporating all hair strands. If you part your hair on the left, you will braid the right side, incorporating hair slowly from the left.

Fun summer hair styles to get hair off your neck. | styleblueprint.com

3. Incorporate larger sections as you go, pulling from the middle of your hair, working the opposite hair from your part into the braid. Keep adding hair from the opposite side of your part.

Fun summer hair styles | styleblueprint.com

4. Tuck and pin loose strands at the nape of your neck to incorporate all of your hair. If your hair is layered, you may have more hair to pin.

Fun summer hairstyles.
Loosen the braid by pulling the sections sideways for a messy, lived-in look.

5. Wrap in a small elastic. Now that the braid is complete, loosen it by pulling the sections sideways for a messy, lived-in look. Mussing your braid makes it more modern and sexy.

Fun summer hair styles
The modern milkmaid, complete!

We hope these fun styles from the pros at Element Salon inspire you to “think outside the bun.” With just a few minutes of prep and practice, you can enjoy an off-the-neck style that’s easy breezy!

Julia Shults, author of today’s article, is a marketing guru, freelance writer, mama of two and native Nashvillian. You can follow her culinary adventures at fivedishesnashville.com.

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