No matter what you’ve got going on in your life, sometimes you just don’t have time for a full blowout and styling session. But that doesn’t mean your hair needs to be sequestered into a messy bun: With the right tips, you can be coiffed and ready in three minutes flat… no wash or hot tools required.
To help you make the most out of those days when you’ve only got a small window to dedicate to your hair, we asked Courtney Resch, hairstylist and founder of Ashen Salon in La Jolla, CA, to share her go-to styles—all of which you can complete in less than the time it takes to listen to a single morning pump-up song.
1. Low braided bun or side bun
“This is my go-to,” says Resch. “It looks so much more complex than it actually is, and it takes three minutes or less.”
- Start with hair parted and down, and prep your scalp with a generous application of dry shampoo—”The more the better,” says Resch. This will add grit to your hair, which will help lock it in place all day long.
- Pull your strands back into a low or side ponytail (depending on where you want the bun to sit), and secure it with a hair tie or elastic.
- Braid the ponytail, and secure it at the end with a second elastic.
- Use your fingers to pull the braid apart, which will loosen it and make it look wider. “The easiest way to add volume and texture to the braid, even for fine hair, is to pull the outermost strands and create almost a bubble effect,” says Resch.
- Coil the braid into a bun, and use bobby pins to secure it to your head.
2. Sleek, braided high bun
“This style has the benefit of looking really sleek and polished while using the dirtiness of your hair to your advantage,” says Resch. “This is great for those with oilier or dirtier hair to get strands out of your face and still look chic.”
- Flip your head upside down, and secure it tight into your hand at the crown of your head (or wherever you want the bun to sit).
- Flip your head back up, and with your hair still in your hands, use hairspray on the top of your head and use a teasing brush or comb to smooth hair into place (in this case, more is more!). This will give the final look a sleek, slicked-back, ultra-polished effect.
- Secure your hair into a ponytail with an elastic, then braid the lengths.
- Wrap the braid into a bun, coiling it around the elastic at your crown, and secure it with another elastic.
3. Front Twist
“With this one, it’s a twist that looks a bit like a braid, so it’s perfect for those who struggle with braiding,” says Resch. What’s more? “It’s even faster to pull off, and gets the hair out of your face.”
- Start with your hair down and parted however you’d like. With a side part, Resch recommends doing a single twist on the fuller side of your head, and with a middle part, you can create coils on either side.
- Take a two-inch section at the front of your head and twist it tightly away from your face. You can keep this single section, or add more pieces to the twist depending on how thick you’d like it to look. Stop twisting above your ear.
- Secure with a bobby pin. “Open it like a V with the ends toward your face so it lays flat against your head,” says Resch.
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