We are well in the throes of summer and your invites to poolside parties and beach bonfires are probably starting to pile up. Unlike fancy shmancy cocktail parties, which have pretty clear guidelines when it comes to makeup and hair, summer events can be a bit tricky as there are multiple elements to take into consideration, in particular water, sand and a strong ocean breeze. These factors can make keeping your perfectly coiffed hair in check rather difficult, and the last thing you want to do is fuss with your mane all day and night. To help you solve this conundrum, we have four beach- and pool-appropriate hairstyles that will make you the belle of any summer bash!

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1. The Top Knot. If you’re a water baby, this style is a no-brainer. Piled neatly and securely atop your head, the top knot takes all of five minutes and is pool-friendly because it stays in place and out of your way. It’s also super-chic and works with both a sundress and bikini. Like we said, no-brainer!

2. The Braided Crown. If you want a “do” with a feminine twist, this is the way to go. The beauty of the braided crown is that it has a more fancy look to it, so it’s perfect for a romantic beach date or pool-side soiree.

3.The Fishtail Braid. This look has the practicality and ease of a basic braid with a slightly hipper edge. Quick tip: After a swim, put your hair into a side fishtail braid and allow it to air dry. Unravel the braid and, voilá, you’ve got yourself some lovely, luscious waves!

4. The Sleek Pony. While not as fancy as the fishtail or beach waves, the sleek pony is an easy option for splashing around in the pool or frolicking on the beach. Work a little gel (we recommend Matrix Biolage Styling Gelée) into the hair on the top-half of your head before gathering it into an elastic band — this will keep it sleek. If you want to mix it up (and if your hair is long enough), braid the pony for a little added pizazz!

What’s your go-to beach/poolside hairstyle? Give us the deets in the comments below!

Photo: thinkstock