Summer Hair Challenge and Mermaid Braids

Mermaid Braid by Aly Christine

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Summer is here! Can you believe that? I for one, am particularly amped up for this summer. So many opportunities for summer hair and makeup looks. This morning I was reading a post by Amber Fillerup on her blog Barefoot Blonde about a hair challenge she is doing this summer. This girl is HAIR GOALS. I’m pretty sure watching her youtube videos and seeing her posts on Instagram were the original inspiration for me to go blonde again. She is the queen of braids and personally I think braids are much more noticeable on highlighted hair.

Okay, back to the challenge. Basically in the hopes of maintaining the health of her freshly chopped locks, Amber has decided to go without any heat styling for two months this summer! For some of you this may be no big news, but for me it would be a game changer. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t heat style my hair every day. I do however blow dry my hair each time I wash it [which as you know is once or twice a week] and occasionally will curl it with a wand.

Why I’m Ditching Hot Tools

I would say my hair is relatively healthy given that I am naturally a brunette and lighten my hair every eight to ten weeks. However, I do feel like especially throughout the summer months, my hair would greatly benefit from ditching the heat. On top of the health benefits, this challenge will also get me out of a hair rut!! I am excited to see how creative I can get with styling my hair when I don’t have my hair dryer or curling wand to fall back on. One tip Amber mentioned was the use of braids!! [Obvi lol] She also gave a list of tips on how to achieve the healthiest hair. If you are on a journey to repair damaged hair due to coloring or heat styling then definitely check out Amber’s post linked here.

Mermaid Hair Inspiration

Mermaid Braid by Aly Christine

This past week my best friend since sixth grade came into town to visit for her birthday. Her name is Myra and she has the most long curly hair you can imagine…she is basically a land mermaid. For this trip she flat ironed her hair straight which she rarely does. As I was sitting across from her one day on a little coffee date I suddenly had the urge to braid her hair. It was a compulsion really haha. Thankfully, she tends to let me do what I want and was willing to be my guinea pig.

Earlier this month I saw an Instagram post by @theconfessionsofahairstylist where she showed a quick tutorial on a mermaid braid. It was magical and totally inspired me. I was so thankful to have Myra be my model and had so much fun attempting to replicate this intricate mermaid “Tangled” -esque braid. I cannot wait to dabble into the world of braids and creative styling while I attempt this no-heat summer challenge.

The Road to a Mermaid Braid

Mermaid Braid by Aly Christine

It is crazy to see how you can make the most full and intricate braid starting from a  simple three strand braid.

After securing the three strand braid in the middle, I took large chunks from each side and curled them back towards the braid. I then tucked them into a section of the braid. For a more detailed explanation check out The Confessions of a Hairstylist’s youtube.

Once I continued curling and tucking I had a pretty intricate neat braid as you can see on the left image below. However, I prefer a more un done and effortless looking style so I took my fingers and pinched out each twist. I then pancaked out the inner braid which gave us the look on the right. I think both are pretty and it really depends on your personal taste.

Mermaid Braid by Aly Christine

An important detail is that I also pulled out a few thin strands around the face and neckline to soften the braid and make it look more lived in. To me this was the perfect final touch!

Mermaid Braid by Aly Christine

Now it’s Your Turn!

Being inspired by this gorgeous mermaid braid was the perfect kickoff to this summer hair challenge! You could easily pull off this style without a curler and I’m tempted to try it on my short hair too and see how it comes out. Are you going to try and challenge yourself to avoid heat tools this summer? I think it is the ideal time to give your hair a break and embrace your natural texture and style. Let me know your thoughts on this challenge in the comments below.

Until our next beauty adventure!!

xoxo Aly

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