10 Ways to Style Hair Quickly
Slick It Back
Slept through your iPhone alarm? Now's the time to embrace the wet look. Comb in a leave-in conditioner from root to tip (try Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In conditioner, $4; walgreens.com) and pull hair into a tight pony. "It dries superslick and sexy on every hair type," says L.A. stylist Jenny Cho.
Master This Simple Tool
Every girl wants an easy little bun that looks totally pulled together and takes less than five minutes to style—which is why we're obsessed with this ingenious new bun-styling pin from Oscar Blandi ($12; folica.com). Simply push it up through the side of a bun, then flip it over, pressing the tips down through the other side. And voila! You've got a gorgeous swept-up chignon (and you still have time to hit Starbucks).
Turn your head upside down. Loosely blow-dry using fingers until hair is 80 percent dry, then clip the top layers up and out of the way. Working in chunky 3- or 4-inch sections, hold a round brush flush to your scalp, pointing the dryer (we like Conair Infiniti Pro hair dryer, $35; folica.com) directly at your roots and sweeping it left and right for 20 seconds. "To smooth your ends, drag your brush downward for the last five seconds," says stylist Sean Gallagher of the Sally Hershberger Salon in N.Y.C. Now, knock yourself out on the top layers (see trick No. 4).
... Or Just Polish Your Halo
Instead of meticulously styling your entire head (which can take as long as an hour for some of us!), focus your perfectionist instincts on the top layer only like Emma Roberts did here. "It's what people see first, so concentrate on those layers even if you're not short on time," says L.A. hairstylist Marcus Francis.
Accessorize Like a Champ
If you're still trying to work that blowout from last Saturday night, relax. A skinny headband—and a messy updo—can take not-so-clean hair into a whole new stylish realm. "Hair accessories say ' I made an effort, but not too much,' " says L.A. stylist Lona Vigi. No accessories on hand? Mine your jewelry box. Refashion a necklace into a headband (just pin it in place), or add a sparkly brooch to the side of an updo. Insta-chic!
Trick Out Your Ponytail
Hide your humble elastic with something a bit unexpected. At Jason Wu, hairstylist Odile Gilbert wrapped plastic tape around the bands that secured swingy, stick-straight ponytails. "Electric tape from the hardware store works too. Just wrap pieces around your elastic," she says. "It gives structure and sex appeal." A strip of leather made temple-high ponytails at Hervé Léger edgy yet sophisticated. Try MJ Trim 3MM leather cord *$3/yard; mjtrim.com).
Sean Gallagher says most women take way too long with the curling iron. "Spiraling the hair from root to ends looks too precious and prom-like," he says. Instead, wrap just the midsection of your strands around a vertical curling iron (like one of Hot Tools' Professional Spring Curling Irons, $33-$45; folica.com). Hold for 30 seconds and pull the rod down to release. Create as many or as few coils as you like—just make certain you break them up with your fingers. "It's a look with an easy, ultra-natural vibe," Gallagher says.
Invest in the Future
A semipermanent at-home smoothing treatment takes about 30 minutes, but the time-saving benefits you get later are tenfold. Select a formaldehyde-free version and follow the instructions to a tee. "The more carefully you apply, the longer the results will last," says Vigi. "It's life-changing for women with thick, textured hair."
Rejuvonal Brazilian Keratin Clarifying Shampoo ($16; rejuvonal.com)
Be a Tease
Skip the shampoo, fine, but don't leave the house with your hair looking like a skullcap. To revive volume, tease hair at the crown, vigorously move the brush up and down, then lightly comb hair smooth over the teased section. "If you have a long face, make sure you also do the sides to avoid a Mohawk effect," says Lona Vigi. We love Spornette Little Wonder Brush ($6; ulta.com).
Ride the Wave
Thick, wavy hair? Great news: Once your strands are good and dirty, you are just a few spritzes away from fall's undone "urban wave" look. Start by misting the entire head-roots, shafts, and ends—-with a dry shampoo (try Batiste Dry Shampoo Hint of Color, $9; ulta.com), then coat immediately with a generous layer of hairspray. "That locks the powder onto the strands and gives you this instant, moldable volume," says Jenny Cho. Then twist hair into small sections and walk out the door. Shake out strands to remove any residue when you get to work, scrunch crown, and hello, hottie!