Independence Day ‘Dos: Splitting Hairs with Ryan Nickulas

Hi sugars! It's just about time to don that stars-and-stripes bikini, throw on your trusty denim cut-offs, and hit up the beach, boardwalk, or BBQ! No matter what you've got planned this holiday weekend (or, if you’re looking forward to a blissful three days of relaxing) one thing’s for sure—you don’t want to waste a minute of obligation-free time tackling your tresses! I’ve got the scoop to help you spend more time frolicking and having fun in the sun…rather than being stuck sweltering under the blow dryer for hours.

Let's start with these crucial ‘Dos:  Braids, Buns, Ponys, and Pompadours! 

These styles are your strands ‘ survival essentials this season. If you’ve got layers that are at least shoulder-grazing and driving you insane, stick with braids, buns, or ponys. If you’re a short hair gal, you can still sport baby braids and hip pompadours. 

Rihanna fishtail braid; Jason Wu Spring 2011 RTW low ponytail

Rihanna's fishtail braid; Jason Wu Spring 2011 RTW low ponytail; images:, IMAXtree

Braid Brigade: From the runways to the red carpet to Main Street, there’s a reason braids continue their reign as one of the most popular trends around—they’re easy to DIY and have the added bonus of creating that coveted boho-babe texture. Bored with the seen-everywhere side braid? Try a fresh take with a fishtail version. RiRi rocked her ruby-red locks wearing one at a recent concert in Germany. If it’s good enough for the queen of tress-setting cool, what are you waiting for when you can score the hip vibe instantly? If you’re still bored with the braid, try a braided headband across the crown—it’ll keep sweaty strands away from your fabulous face. 

Hot Buns: Next, let’s discuss the bun. Is there anything more perfect for just about any style personality? Whether you prefer a classic ballerina bun for its smooth, polish feel or opt for a trendy topknot with downtown-girl edge, the bun is super-simple to style on your own and keeps loose tendrils away from your neck. Best of all, it exposes the nape and shoulders, creating an instantly slimming and universally flattering effect. 

low ponytail at BCBG Spring RTW and Ginnifer Goodwin's pompadour

Low ponytail at BCBG Spring RTW and Ginnifer Goodwin's pompadour; images: IMAXtree, Apega/

Posh Ponys & Pompadours: Try one, or better yet, both, of these looks. They’re great sun-friendly, practically effortless options that can be updated in tons of ways. Tress them up for a glam effect with a fun, flirty pompadour top (also great for sweeping hair off the face) or try an easy-breezy low pony for a casual feel.

And now for the Don’ts: Bangs & Backs, or rather, Bacne, which we want to avoid at all costs.

If you’ve got fun fringe, now’s the time to clip ‘em back. Steamy temps paired with forehead-smothering bangs lead to oil which translates to icky, greasy strands and possibly even pimples. Also keep in my mind that as the thermometer rises, breakouts erupt even quicker when they’re covered by or masked by heavy hair. Working out, swimming in the ocean or even sporting your favorite sleeveless frock with long, tumbling locks is a definite DON’T. This weekend’s the perfect opportunity to strut your sultry stuff in a chic, sexy sweep or slicked-back style!