Nina Dobrev Covers 'SELF' With The Perfect Summer Sidebraid, And Here's How You Can Take It From Day To Night

Summer is pretty much here and the hot, muggy weather means that long-haired girls have to find ways to stay cool and keep their locks off their perspiring necks. Enter Nina Dobrev's SELF cover, featuring a perfect summer side braid. If you were looking for a chic way to do a messy, effortless summer 'do, Dobrev's June 2015 cover image does the trick.

The now-former Vampire Diaries star looks summer perfect in her majorly short and colorblocked swimsuit x dress mashup, as well, but it's the braid that steals all of the attention. With the loose pieces hanging around her face and the tight wind of the braid itself, she gives off the aura of someone who has been hanging outside on a hot day, not caring about anything but enjoying her time off. Now that she's left the series, the actress will have plenty of that.

The perfectly imperfect braid is easy for you to copy, simply by waking up, shaking out your hair, spritzing with some sea salt texturizing spray — I am partial to Toni & Guy's version — to add even more roughness and fragrance, and then start wrapping the three sections of hair into a braid like you normally would and go about your day.

It's going to be too hot to fuss with your hair, so this easy-to-do braid will be a hot weather life saver come July. But the braid is best suited for daytime. What about the night? Oh, trust me, this look can be transformed.

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And the good news is this: When you shake out the braid after a day in the heat, doing whatever activities you may engage in while protecting your skin with sunscreen, you will have this type of bedhead, with beachy waves for a night out. So it's a very versatile style that can be transformed at night for a date, a hang with the girls, a bonfire beach get together, whatever.

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You know, as cray as this sounds, the sweat you might deal with during the day will also add a little texture to the post-braid shakeout and waves, as well. I notice that when I am outside at all-day music festivals like Warped Tour. I do the two side braids and when I shake them out later, the sweat of the day was like instant texturizer. Gross? No way! It's a free styling product.

I avoid updos but do braids in summer out of necessity. I am going to try the Nina Dobrev side braid at my first outdoor event.

Images: SELF (1); Getty (2)