With Valentine's Day on the horizon, the go-to hair look of choice tends to be voluminous, bedhead waves, but factors like being short on time, mastering the curling iron motions, or just wanting a change to the standard often leave us looking for alternative options. Whether you have reservations at a fancy hotspot with the bae or are hitting the town with your girls, a well-placed hair accessory adds an extra element to your look, and allows you to go easy on the rest of the styling process.
We teamed up with designer and all around hair accessory star Colette Malouf, who created three easy styles to take you from day to date night in five minutes flat, and spilled her pro beauty hacks on how to achieve each look sans teasing or product. Even better, Malouf has a special treat in store exclusively for InStyle readers: Today through Feb. 14, you can get an additional 15 percent off of your entire order, including the just-launched spring pieces featured in the below tutorials---just be sure to enter the code INSTYLE15 at checkout. Keep reading to see how to get each hair look, then head over to colettemalouf.com to shop your favorite!
1. A ponytail tends to be an everyday, basic look that most can master, but thanks to the addition of two Woven Pearl Wire Combs ($122 each; colettemalouf.com) and some height at the top, the easy to achieve style proves to be anything but:
Start by gathering your hair into a tight, low ponytail that sits at the nape of your neck, and tie off with an elastic. Then, take a section of hair at the very center of the style, and begin pulling it out to create a faux pompadour. "I only pull from the center of the ponytail," Malouf says. "You still want to keep the sides tight, but keep the volume in the center."
Take your first wire comb and insert it from the bottom, just below the volume, and repeat on the other side with your second comb. "You want the comb to hug the shape of your head," she adds. "Leave hair framing the face, but not big chunks. If you have layers, it makes the style more sensual to have a few wisps framing the face."
2. When working with a statement headband like Malouf's Rhinestone and Pearl X Headstrap ($375; colettemalouf.com), you don't to do very much to accentuate an already-gorgeous piece---especially one that literally puts the X in XOXO:
Start with your hair parted as you normally do, then take the X (or focal point of your hair piece) and line it up with the division. "Start the tie of the velvet ribbon away from your head so that your hair doesn't get caught," advises Malouf. Once you've tied off the accessory, take a section of hair on the side of your head, begin twisting it inward, and tuck it into the band. Repeat on the opposite side.
"Once you've twisted and tucked each side under the ribbon, take some hair at the center of the head, give it a pinch, and a little lift," Malouf says. "Because the band is stretchy, it has some resistance when you pull it in, so it creates a little volume."
3. This style may be similar to a top knot, but the finished result is much more unexpected:
In what Malouf has dubbed a "serpent twist," the style begins in a similar fashion to your traditional chignon. "Brush your hair up toward your crow so that it all goes in the same direction, then twist the length around itself," she says. "Once you have the knot, take it and bend it up toward the head."
With the knot flipped upwards, the shape should resemble a figure 8. Insert a pin like the Metal and Pearl Hairpin ($158; colettemalouf.com) and insert it at the place where your thumb is holding the twist.
"Think of knitting when inserting the pin---connect it to the hair of your scalp, through the bend, and across the twist to your head," Malouf adds. "You have to knit the pin in rather than just sticking it in." When done correctly, the style should hold up all night, no hairspray required.