A Textured No-Braid Summer Braid

Ah, summer! The season of braids and sunburns! Ironically, I went on vacation to Greece for a week and didn’t get sunburned once, but came home, had one picnic outside and now my shoulders are a lovely shade of lobster!

I was just so much more prepared to burn on holiday that I was really careful with sunblock, but I wasn’t as cautious with my own local sunshine. Oh well, I won’t make that mistake again … until next summer. Sunburn aside, it’s also the season of the braid.

Or in the case of this look, the no-braid, braid! This style is perfect if you struggle to do braided hairstyles. All you need for this look is a handful of hair elastics.Step one: Make two small ponytails near the top of your head; you want them to be stacked more like ponytails rather than side by side like pigtails.

Step two: Split the top ponytail in half, then take the lower ponytail and bring it through the split ponytail. Hold or pin the bottom ponytail to the top of your head.

Step three: Take a small elastic and tie the two split sides of your first ponytail together.

Step four: Now take your new top ponytail, split it in two sections and add some hair to both sections. Take the lower ponytail, bring it up through the split section and pin or hold it out of the way. Tie off the split sections.

Step five: Keep repeating this process until you get to the nape of your neck. There tie everything off in one big ponytail.

Step six: Pancake each section of hair for a fuller look; now the no-braid (or pull-through braid) starts to look more like a thick braid. You can leave the style here, as a big faux-braid into a ponytail or add a second texture to your look. Step seven: Tie a clear elastic partway down your ponytail. Split the section of hair above where you tied off your elastic and pull the ponytail up and through that split. Pull tight.

Step eight: Tie another clear elastic closer to the end of your braid, split the section of hair above where you tied off your elastic, and again pull the ponytail up and through the split. Pull tight. This gives you a nice almost faux-fishtail braid texture.That’s it! It’s a little tricky to describe the process, but hopefully the pictures make things a little bit clearer. Both faux-braids are really easy once you get the hang of them and I love all the textures you get in this look.

I think I want to play more with the faux-fishtail texture at the end more next time; maybe make a faux-fishtail ponytail … And this is what it looks like from the front/side. A perfect hairstyle to beat the heat—just don’t forget that sunscreen, my friends! Cheers, Rebecca.

Looking for more hair tutorials? Check out our most popular hair tutorials of all time!

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess Presets for Lightroom
  • I love all of these hair tutorials! I have fine (but a lot of) hair (so it is hot) that is cut into a bob, and wonder if there are any fun braids that could be done with that length! It’d be neat to see ideas!

    • I actually had a bob last fall and did a few different updos/hairstyles with that length, so I do have a few tutorials handy for you! These two styles were done with my hair at a bob length:
      And from having that length, I can say these ones will also work:
      -https://abeautifulmess.com/2017/06/easy-wedding-hair-a-triple-braided-updo.html (this is great for shorter hair!)
      -https://abeautifulmess.com/2017/02/easy-messy-up-do-for-shorter-hair.html (no braids, but a good updo to get your hair away on hot days)
      There’s also some half-up braided styles that work for shorter hair, but these are updos/braids that get all of your hair up and away since I know that is the trickier thing when your hair is a bit shorter. 🙂

  • I need to practice my braid (and faux braid!) game for Bali… it’s so warm there you really need up-dos that keep you feeling cool. This would be perfect!


  • I’m normally super bad at hair tutorial but I nailed this one. THANK YOU <3

  • Braids!!! It has been so hot lately I’ve only been wearing me head on top of my head, and I think I could really benefit from some easy hair styles to keep it interesting.

    P.S. I love Julie’s idea of doing a video!


  • It looks so beautiful as always, and as always I wish for longer hair haha 😀

  • I love your hair tutorials, HOWEVER, would you consider adding a video? I just can’t follow the written directions and get very confused. 🙁

  • Can’t wait to try this. It’s gorgeous with your hair color. Should look good with blond hair too, with all the color variations.

  • This is such a sweet idea, and looks relatively easy to do! This looks perfect for keeping my hair out of my face in this horrible summer heat while still looking chic.

  • These hair tutorials always make me wish I had long hair again! (Plus red hair plus shiny hair plus…. okay, it’s cool. I’m just going to be happy with my hair, but this is gorgeous!)

  • I’ve always been a noob at braiding, so this is perfect for me. Who knew a no-braid braid existed? Thank you so much!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Oh my goodness, this is so adorable. And that hair color is gorgeous!


  • Love this look. You are lucky you didn’t burn in Greece! The sun is so powerful down that way. I got so sunburnt when I when in May.


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