It's finally time to say "girl, bye" to winter as we embrace the bright, sizzling hot touch of summer that we've all been craving something fierce. And with the summer heat approaching comes the need to throw up that glorious hair of ours into some seriously killer viking inspired braids.
There has always been something that has drawn me to the irrevocably badass warrior women of our culture. Perhaps it's the fact that their strength rivals that which is typically associated with men, that they hold the awe and respect of all those around them, or simply that they kick some serious ass.
My first introduction to the world of warrior women was through Xena: Warrior Princess . When I was a young girl growing up in the good ol' '90s, I used to look forward to every Sunday afternoon when I would run upstairs to my grandfather's bedroom where he had his very own TV, sprawl out on his giant king-size bed, and feel the shivers and tingles that would run up my spine as the intro to Xena would fire up. I looked up to women like Xena and Gabrielle, and I thank them for giving me my very first feminist perspective of the world.
Today, badass women of war continue to take over the world, whether it's Daenerys Targaryen, Khaleesi and "Mother of Dragons" from Game of Thrones , or the fierce (and fabulous, might I add) Lagertha, Earl Ingstad and "Shield Maiden" from Vikings . Aside from being strong, fierce, independent women who have the respect from their people and rule alongside dudes (a personal feminist wet dream of mine), these two share something else in common: some pretty killer braided hairstyles.
With women like Daenerys and Lagertha ruling on behalf of women everywhere on TV these days, it's no wonder that their fierce and fabulous sense of style has transformed into our very own. Let's be honest: What woman doesn't want to walk around feeling like a strong, sexy Shield Maiden? This summer, be prepared to see some pretty intricate, killer viking braid hairstyles being rocked everywhere — and I'm not talking your average fishtail braid, here. So let's have a look at nine swoon worthy viking-inspired braids that are perfect for summer:
1. The Shield Maiden Braid
With a little bit of teasing at the top of the head, paired with the tight, closely-braided braids running along the side of the scalp all thrown into a ponytail, this braid screams Shield Maiden realness.
2. The Viking-Khaleesi Braid
This braid absolutely screams viking, but is also reminiscent of the Khaleesi braid rocked oh-so-often by Daenerys Targaryen (in the earlier seasons of GoT). What a beautiful marriage these two inspirations make together, creating a truly gorgeous hairstyle that's perfect for any viking queen.
3. The Undercut Halo Braid
Short hair? No problem! Viking-inspired braids are for humans of all hair lengths. This halo-like braid works perfectly for those of you who work a shorter, sassy haircut. Paired with a shaved undercut, this braided hairstyle will rock any raid.
4. The Braid Of A Different Color
Because the pastel-colored hair trend is still very much a thing this summer, why not combine the ethereal unicorn-like glory with the robust, edgy look of a viking braid? The combination results in some serious magical fierceness. Onward, viking unicorn!
5. The Textured Braid
This braid takes the traditional viking inspiration and makes it a little softer by adding a delicate crimped texture along with big, voluminous curls to the 'do. This kind of braid would be absolutely perfect for prom and totally dreamy for a wedding.
6. The Half-Head Braid
You love braids, but you also love the bounce and freedom of lose hair. Why not have it both ways? By braiding along only one side of your scalp and then pinning it back, you get a little viking flare to your hairstyle without having to braid your entire head.
7. The Viking Princess Braid
This braid is very similar to the Shield Maiden braid, only the braids at the side of the scalp are done a lot looser and bigger, and the ponytail is wavy and teased, resulting in a softer look — perfect for a viking princess.
8. The Man Braid
Viking-inspired hair isn't just for women, you guys. In fact, braids have now become a unisex-hairstyle (move over, man bun!) and it's really refreshing (not to mention um, amazing?!) to see men equally embracing the viking-inspired look.
9. The Braid Of Youth
If you have kids, these viking braids are the perfect summer hairdo to give your little ones. Not only will it keep their hair out of the way and away from their faces (which is key for all summer-like shenanigans) but it'll also show off a fierce sense of style in your little viking warrior-to-be.
And for those of you wondering how you can get a fiercely braided hairstyle for yourself, take a look at this video featuring Jennie Readman, hairstylist for the hit show Vikings , and she'll show you how to get that Shield Maiden look for yourself:
Images: Vikings/History Channel; lynnie1909 (2), cass_meister2, orangelilyhairandbodystudio, atelierkd, samvillahair, taylor_lamb_hair, bash_evans, kaceyluvi/Instagram; Vikings/Facebook