The Best Hair Looks of Summer, According to Celeb Stylist Ted Gibson

Summer is once again upon us, bringing with it lazy days spent at the beach and, of course, our old nemeses heat and humidity. But unlike past seasons, this year’s trends are all about embracing your hair’s natural texture, so the hours you may have spent perfecting a painstaking pin-straight blowout can now be enjoyed doing literally anything else. We caught up with celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson, the man behind some of Hollywood’s best-tressed ladies like Elizabeth Banks and Lupita Nyong’o, to get the skinny on your summer strands.

What’s In, What’s Out?


Kate Mara flaunting her pixie perfection and Janelle Monáe rocking an undercut

Kate Mara flaunting her pixie perfection and Janelle Monáe rocking an undercut; Images: Getty

For the hottest months of the year, short hair still reigns supreme. “Hair is definitely on the shorter side this summer,” Gibson testifies. “The trend is above the shoulder, so you want lobs, graduated bobs, longer pixies and undercuts.”

For the New York-based stylist, the idea is making sure that your hairstyle is an extension of your look. “Fashion and hair kind of dictate each other,” he explains. “The designer is designing for that type of hair — for the girl who will go to H&M, to Prada and to Zara and Gucci and put it all together to create her own individual style, which is kind of hot.”

Now’s the Time to Go Au Naturel

Delicate hair accessories at Bottega Veneta Spring 2015 and Sienna Miller boasting boho braids; Image: Imaxtree and Getty

Delicate headbands at Bottega Veneta Spring 2015 and Sienna Miller boasts boho braids; Image: Imaxtree and Getty

Even with shorter hair, Gibson says it’s easy to style it with its natural texture, whether that’s curly, wavy or somewhere in between. “If you have curlier hair, use the right products to enhance it,” he says. “You don’t need an extreme blowout and curling iron to change the texture.”

He recommends keeping a few key products in your beauty arsenal to tame your mane, including a lightweight oil, a cream shine product, hairspray, a powder and a dry shampoo (like L’Oréal Professionnel Fresh Dust).

Up, Up and Away

Jessica Szohr takes her hairstyle to new heights (and lows) and a model's textured topknot at the Nanette Lepore Spring 2015 show

Jessica Szohr takes her hairstyle to new heights (and lows) and a model’s textured topknot at the Nanette Lepore Spring 2015 show; Images: Getty and Imaxtree

Ladies, it’s time to retire the messy braid. To keep shorter styles out of your way, the celeb stylist is all about accessorizing and recommends headbands and hair accessories that upgrade you from the basic elastic. Another big trend for summer is giving a twist to the classic top knot. “I’m really loving half up, half down top knots,” he admits. “Knots in general are super hot for guys and girls and if you have a knot that’s a little half up, half down.”

They’ve been spotted on fashion It girls like Sienna Miller and Kate Mara on the red carpet and have made appearances on the runway at shows like Zero + Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone and Thakoon.

Wear the Rainbow

The Best Summer Hairstyles (and Colors) of 2015, According to Celeb Stylist Ted Gibson

Jessica Alba’s beautiful bronde shade; Image: Getty

When your hairstyle is all about being low maintenance, Gibson says it’s good to have some fun with color. “Girls are taking more risk,” he says, noting many of his clients, including Hilary Duff, have taken the plunge with turquoise, pink, coral, lavender and rose gold.

For those who want to stick with more traditional colors, bronde (the multifaceted hair color of celebs like Gisele Bündchen and Jessica Alba that combines blonde, brunette and caramel colors) is still having a moment. “It’s a way to have something different, so it’s not completely blonde and not completely brown,” Gibson says. “It’s definitely not ombre — that starkness of dark, dark, dark to light makes my eyes bleed.”

The Bottom Line


Alexa Chung proudly sporting her distinctive mane; Image: Getty

The wave of self-expression and individuality is still going strong, so it’s all about a style that makes you look and feel your best, Gibson says. “In the 70s, everyone had straight hair, 80s it was everyone had to have a perm, in the 90s, everyone wanted grunge. Now, we’re able to see our own trends. It’s important to know what the trends are, but not be a slave to them.”

And he’s not wishing for the individuality trend to become old hat anytime soon. “I think it’s great,” he says. “Why work so hard when you have beautiful texture, why put yourself through all that heat and turmoil?” We couldn’t agree more.