The NaturallyCurly team is packing our bags, planning our looks, and loading up on humidity-fighting products as we head to Essence Fest 2023 in New Orleans! Come get your photo taken at the NaturallyCurly booth, the Curly Experience, at BeautyCon. We’ll be hosting product giveaways, expert consultations, braiding competitions, styling touch ups and everything you need to look and feel your best at festival. And you won’t want to miss Texture On the Runway where NaturallyCurly will take the stage with Mielle Organics Founder Monique Rodriguez and Celebrity Stylist Tater Pazon to pay homage to the iconic hairstyles of hip hop.

If, like us, you’re looking for your next hairstyle for the summer and festival season, we’ve got you covered. Here are the creative looks we’re loving right now whether you’re booking time with a stylist, have a DIY spirit, love to go bold or prefer to go minimal – there’s something here for everyone.

1. Long Ponytail Braid

18 Summer Hairstyle Ideas to Try at Essence Fest

A long ponytail braid like Jorja Smith’s may be just the accessory you need to complete your Festival look. 

Check out: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Heading To Essence Fest

2. Box Braids

18 Summer Hairstyle Ideas to Try at Essence Fest
Image: @_mila.xo_

Box braids are the most popular style of summer 2023 – and there are countless ways to style them and make them your own.

3. Two Toned Box Braids

18 Summer Hairstyle Ideas to Try at Essence Fest
Image: @bluehairguru

Can’t commit to one hair color? The two toned hair color trend is for you. This style works best with a dramatic contrast between the two shades, so have fun with it!

4. Money Piece

@alchemy_salon LAURA 💎 Refreshing her iconic blonde money pieces! #alchemysalon #melbourne #curlyhair #moneypiecehighlights ♬ Push Up (Original Mix) – Creeds

You don’t have to dye all of your hair to make a bold impact. This low-maintenance hair color trend involves face framing hair dye known as “money pieces.” It’s giving us all the early-aughts nostalgia.

Find out how to achieve a stunning money piece on curly hair.

5. Money Piece with fantasy colors

@offbeatlookofficial I was craving a new hair color so I decided to do a pastel pink and purple curly moneypiece inspired look which is perfect for the Spring! I used the @revlon Colorsilk Digitones dye in the colors Pastel Lavender and Pastel Pink to achieve this look and am so happy with how well it came out 🥰 #RevlonPartner #RevlonDigitones #MakeYourMove #ad #RevlonPartner ♬ original sound – Camille

You can also experiment with fantasy colors to create your money piece. Customize this trend to fit your own personal style.

6. Heart Part

If you’re looking for a creative way to dress up your braids this summer, consider the heart part! Braider @pearlthestylist__ created this heart part with large boho knotless braids ❤️.

7. Heart Knotless Braids

Giving hearts a little extra love, we’re amazed by @braidbarldn‘s attention to detail with these long knotless braids. 

8. Double Ponytail Braids

Why stop at one when you can have two? Double the drama with two long ponytail braids.

9. Marley Twists

If you have the patience to do it yourself, check out Priscilla’s Marley Twist tutorial. But don’t let the short and snappy edit fool you, this admittedly takes her about 7 hours so set the time aside before your trip.

10. Blonde Marley Twists

And if you love Marley Twists, you can also play with color by going blonde.

11. Bubble Braid

If you’re short on time or patience, here’s a less time-intensive styling option: consider a bubble braid!

12. 2 Bubble Braids

Another simple bubble braid look you can create at home. Watch Jasmine Brown aka @jasmeannnn‘s tutorial for how to get the look here. 

13. Elastic Bands with Fulani Braids

We love this intricate pattern that transitions into Fulani braids, which you can get with or without extensions.

14. Rainbow Box Braids

Packing your suitcase full of color? This look is for you.

15. Half Up Half Down with Flat Twists

Here’s a festive style for the minimalists at heart – @curlbellaa‘s silver hoops give just the right glint to her curls.

16. Bantu Knots with a Metallic Twist

If jewelry is your statement-maker, here’s another creative way to twist metals into your look. 

17. 90’s Nostalgia

We’re feeling all the butterfly clip 90’s nostalgia with this simple style by @hermela. This is an easy way to show off your juicy curls while keeping your hair out of your face in the NOLA heat. 

18. Layered Headwraps

Looking for a way to give your headwrap more height and volume? Try layering one on top of the other like this.

18 Summer Hairstyle Ideas to Try at Essence Fest
Image: @fanmdjanm

See you at Essence Fest!

We’ll see you at Essence Fest 2023! Come check out the NaturallyCurly booth, the Curly Experience, at BeautyCon all weekend, and watch Texture On the Runway on Saturday, July 1 at 3:20pm.

And even if you won’t be in attendance, you can join us virtually on Instagram by following @naturallycurly where we’ll be going live from the event. 

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