Forget what the naysayers tell you — the perfect poolside hairstyle isn’t a myth. Sure, striking a balance between looking cute, staying cool, and protecting your hair from the water itself isn’t exactly easy, but it can certainly be done — just look at Kerry Washington’s cornrow updo, a sultry, summery hairstyle of epic proportions. In a series of new photos posted to Instagram, Washington posed by the pool draped in delicate gold chains at her neck and wrists, an itty-bitty green-and-white bikini, and a high-swept ballerina bun that showed off her braids’ tiny gold accent charms. The beauty of Washington’s fun-in-the-sun moment is just how coordinated, put-together, and sophisticated she looks even just for a day in the backyard — but then again, dropping a stunning look in the most casual setting is kind of her signature move.
Washington’s had her hip-length cornrows in for a few weeks now, a change-up from the voluminous natural curls she wore the last time she posted a photo of herself at the pool (a spot-on Elle Woods tribute for buddy Reese Witherspoon’s birthday). The new braids feature an infusion of summer-perfect golden blonde highlights and stop just above her waist to allow the ends to flow freely. It’s the hidden details, though, that take the hairstyle to the next level.
Washington’s long been a fan of adorning her braids with beads and tiny, elegant metal wires and cuffs — here, a few gold pieces appear down the lengths, catching the sun and matching her Aurate New York jewelry. The cuffs are so simple, but they add all sorts of shine, dimension, and eye-grabbing detail to Washington’s braids. She loves a gilded accent any time of year, adding intricate, hair-safe crisscrossed wiring to her cinnamon brown braids around the 2021 holidays and, prior to that, placed some boho-glam wooden beads on her ends for what might be the ultimate summertime date night look.
If you think about, Washington is actually the reigning queen of small accessories that make a major difference — just check out her endlessly-creative manicures. For her day by the pool, it looks like she’s still wearing the bronze-tinged nail art that made headlines just a few weeks ago. Summer’s always seemed like Washington’s favorite time of year (her lush backyard and pool seems like paradise), and she’s ushering it in with serious style.