20 Lake Day Hairstyles That’ll Make You Want to Dive Right In

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As the sun climbs higher and the days grow longer, there’s only one place we want to be: lounging lakeside, soaking up those summer vibes. But let’s face it, figuring out what to do with your hair can be a real beach (or should we say, lake?). You want a style that’s not only water-resistant but also Instagram-worthy for those impromptu lake selfies. 

Say goodbye to soggy, tangled locks and hello to 20 effortlessly chic lake day hairstyles that’ll have you feeling like a lakeside goddess. Whether you’re paddling in a kayak, lounging on a float, or sipping rosé on the dock, these styles are designed to withstand everything from rogue splashes to that post-swim shake. 

Sun, Sand, and Seriously Cute Hair: 20 Must-Try Lake Day Hairstyles

1. Messy Bun

Let’s start with the queen of carefree hair: the messy bun. This style is your go-to for those lazy lake days when you want to look effortlessly cool. Just twist your hair into a loose bun and secure it with a scrunchie or claw clip. The beauty? The messier, the better! Let those flyaways frame your face for that I just rolled out of bed looking at this fabulous vibe. Plus, it keeps your hair off your neck, perfect for those scorching summer days.

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2. Braided Pigtails

Channel your inner Lara Croft with braided pigtails. Divide your hair into two sections, braid each side, and secure with clear elastics. This style is not just adorable; it’s also practical. Braids keep your hair tangle-free during water activities, and the pigtails add a playful, flirty touch. Whether you’re kayaking or playing beach volleyball, these braids will stay put and look cute doing it.

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3. Slicked-Back Ponytail

For a look that screams I’m here to slay and swim, try the slicked-back ponytail. Apply a smoothing hair gel or pomade and brush your hair straight back into a low ponytail. For extra oomph, wrap a small section of hair around the elastic. This sleek style not only keeps hair off your face but also gives you that fashion-forward, model-off-duty look. It’s perfect for transitioning from lakeside lounging to sunset cocktails.

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4. Bandana Headband

Embrace your inner Rosie the Riveter with a bandana headband. Simply fold a bandana into a headband shape and tie it at the nape of your neck. Not only does it keep flyaways at bay, but it also adds a retro, pinup girl vibe to your lake day look. Choose a bold pattern or color to make a statement. It’s the perfect accessory for those oops, I forgot to wash my hair days.

5. Beachy Waves

Let’s be real: lake hair and beachy waves are a match made in summer heaven. Spritz damp hair with a salt spray and scrunch with your fingers as it air dries. The result? Effortless, tousled waves that look like you’ve just emerged from a mermaid lagoon. This style gets better with each dip in the lake, making it ideal for those who love to swim and sunbathe in equal measure.

6. Half-Up Top Knot

Can’t decide between wearing your hair up or down? The half-up top knot is your answer. Gather the top half of your hair into a small bun on top of your head, leaving the bottom half down. It’s cute, casual, and keeps hair out of your face while you’re snacking on lakeside picnic treats. Plus, it works with all hair textures and lengths. Win-win!

7. Milkmaid Braids

Step aside, flower crowns. Milkmaid braids are the new boho queen of lake days. Create two braids starting at your forehead and wrap them around your head, securing at the nape of your neck. This style looks like you’ve just stepped out of a Renaissance painting, especially when paired with a flowy swimsuit coverup. It’s secure enough for a paddleboarding session and chic enough for sunset s’mores.

8. Bubble Ponytail

Add a playful twist to your basic ponytail with the bubble ponytail. After securing your hair in a high pony, divide it into sections and secure each with clear elastics, leaving a bit of space between each bubble. This style is whimsical, eye-catching, and perfect for those with longer hair. It’s like wearing a string of pearls, but with your own hair!

9. Headwrap

For days when you want to go full-on glamor, opt for a headwrap. Tie a colorful scarf or head wrap around your head, covering your forehead and ears. Not only does it keep every strand in place, but it also adds a touch of vintage Hollywood glam to your lake day. Choose a bold print to make a statement or a solid color to match your swimsuit. Either way, you’ll look like you’re on a private yacht in the French Riviera.

10. Fishtail Braid

Take your braid game up a notch with a fishtail braid. Create this intricate-looking braid down one side of your head for a unique, boho-chic look. The best part? It looks complicated but is surprisingly easy to master. Let the braid hang loose for a relaxed vibe. It’s perfect for those lake days that turn into bonfires and stargazing sessions.

11. Wet Look

Channel your inner Kim K with the wet look. Apply a generous amount of gel or pomade and brush your hair straight back or down. This sleek, high-fashion style looks like you’ve just emerged from the lake, even if you’re just lounging on the dock. Pair it with oversized sunnies and a bold lip for that model-off-duty vibe.

12. Bandana with Bun

For a natural, cute look that keeps hair off your face, try a simple bandana wrapped around a bun. It looks effortlessly chic, like you just casually did your hair while discussing your latest beach read.

13. Natural Waves

When spending a day at the lake, sometimes the best approach is to work with your hair’s natural texture rather than fighting against the elements. If you have naturally wavy hair, a lake day is the perfect opportunity to let your waves shine.

14. Bandana Headband Wrap

Combine two trends in one with the bandana bun. Tie a bandana around your head, covering your forehead like a headband. Then, gather your hair into a messy bun on top of your head and secure it with the bandana ends. It’s part retro, part boho, and all parts perfect for a day on the lake. Plus, the bandana doubles as a sweatband during those intense paddleboard yoga sessions.

15. Halo Braid

Feel like lake royalty with a halo braid. Create a crown braid by braiding a section of hair from your forehead around to the other side. Secure ends with bobby pins. This ethereal style looks like you should be frolicking in a field of wildflowers, but it’s also practical for lake days. It keeps all your hair off your neck and face, making it ideal for hot, humid days.

16. Scrunched Waves

Embrace your natural texture with scrunched waves. Scrunch damp hair with your fingers while applying a curl-enhancing mousse. Let air dry for natural, tousled waves that look like you’ve been kissed by the lake breeze. This style is a godsend for those with naturally wavy or curly hair. It’s low-effort, high-impact, and gets better with each dip in the water.

17. Bandana Half Up Ponytail

Give your classic ponytail a trendy upgrade with the bandana half up ponytail. Gather your hair into a high half up ponytail and secure it with the bandana ends. It’s sporty, chic, and perfect for lazy lake days. Whether you’re lounging in the sand, or chilling on the boat, this style keeps hair in check while adding a pop of color.

18. Braided Pigtails

Take your pigtails from playground to lakeside chic with braided pigtails. Create two pigtails and braid each one from the top, securing with clear elastics. This style is youthful but not childish, especially when paired with a cute one-piece or high-waisted bikini. It’s great for swimming laps or just floating on your unicorn pool float.

19. Headband Braid

Combine the ease of a headband with the style of a braid in the headband braid. Braid a section of hair from your forehead back to your ear and secure with bobby pins. This boho-inspired look keeps your face clear for applying (and reapplying) sunscreen. It’s also a great way to control those baby hairs that always seem to escape during water activities.

20. Messy Topknot

End our list with the ultimate chill-girl style: the messy topknot. Gather your hair into a high, messy bun on top of your head. Secure with a scrunchie and let some pieces fall out for a relaxed vibe. This style says, I’m here to relax and maybe finish this novel. It’s perfect for those lazy afternoons when you’re more interested in your lakeside nap than your hair.

Lake Hair Questions Answered

What’s the best hairstyle for swimming in the lake?

I usually go for braids or a slicked-back ponytail. These styles keep hair secure and minimize tangles, so you can focus on perfecting your cannonball without worrying about a hair disaster afterward.

How do I keep my hairstyle intact while wearing a hat or visor?

Opt for low buns, braids, or ponytails that sit at the nape of your neck. These styles won’t interfere with your hat and will still look cute when you take it off for that midday dip.

Can I use regular hair products for these lake day styles?

Stick to water-resistant or waterproof products like texturizing sprays, gels, or pomades. Also, look for products with UV protection to shield your hair from sun damage. Save your leave-in conditioners for post-lake pampering.

What if my hair gets frizzy from lake water?

Embrace the frizz with styles like messy buns or scrunched waves. Alternatively, use a headwrap or bandana to tame flyaways. Remember, a little frizz just adds to that carefree, lake day charm!

How do I transition my lake hair to evening looks?

Easy! Many of these styles, like the slicked-back ponytail or fishtail braid, can go from day to night. For a quick upgrade, add some cute hair accessories or switch your messy bun to a sleek top knot. Just add some earrings, and you’re ready for lakeside s’mores or that cute waterfront restaurant.

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