If you’re anything like me, you tend to wake up and throw your hair into a messy bun. It’s pretty much par for the course, most days. Although some days when I have to go out and meet people I might consider putting in a bit more effort and actually try to style my hair. Some days, when I happen to glance my image in the mirror, I wish I had more time or energy to do something nice with my hair.
So here are nine ways to style your hair that are quick and easy so that we as mothers can move beyond the basic messy bun, braid and ponytail.
Oh before we begin, you should know two things about me. One, I suck at styling my hair, the one difficult thing I can do is a French braid on myself, and I am very proud of that. The other thing is that I tried out these different hairstyles. I even did a few of them while my son was climbing up my legs, so they are definitely doable with a kid in tow.
The first easy hairstyle is the faux bob. There are a bunch of different ways to do it, but I like this one the best. The things you will need for this one are a hair elastic, which as a messy bun pro you should have at least a few lying around, and two bobby pins (yeah that’s right, even my unruly hair stayed in with just two bobby pins).
If you watch the video of the pro doing it, he’ll tell you to use a lot of other things, but since I’m not a hair expert, I don’t have any of those things lying around my house—some days I’m surprised there’s a brush, so I tried it with the elastic and bobby pins. It’s not as pretty, but it works and it’s a nice change from the bun. Basically, you loosely braid your hair and tie it with an elastic. Then flip the braid under itself and pin it to the nape of your neck.
Voila. A new hair style. And yes, I did play with my son with my hair like this. I think it worked out pretty well.
This is definitely a step up from the messy bun. In the video Abby Smith actually does a Dutch Braid, but since a Dutch Braid is a French Braid in reverse, it’s pretty simple to switch between the two. For this bun, you’re going to start French braiding at the nape of your neck and go up to the top of your head. Then you tie that off with a ponytail so that if you have to adjust the bun later on in the day, you won’t have to redo the braid.
Pure genius, and I would never have thought of that if Smith didn’t suggest it. Then you can use your fall back messy bun, or you can jazz it up a bit with a hair donut. I decided to steal one of my husband’s matchless socks and make a sock donut to use.
The video recommends that you use two socks to give your bun volume, but my hair is super thick so one sock makes it the perfect size—besides, how would I explain stealing two socks from my husband when the point was to take one without a match. Finally, if you find that you can’t stand bending over to do the braid part, I normally braid from my forehead back to where the bun is going to be.
I love this braid by Kassinka. You start with a flip ponytail on the side of your head that uses only the top layer and your bangs. Then you’ll do a bit of a fishtail braid, and through in another flip ponytail with more of your hair. Repeat, until all of your hair is in a fishtail braid.
Then you loosen the braid to hide the hair elastics. It sounds and looks pretty complicated, but once you’ve got it, it’s super easy. I tend to do this when I want to go out and feel a bit classier. It really works well with my unruly waves and ringlets.
If you can make your hair into a ponytail, then you can do this one. There are exactly three steps: make a ponytail on the top of your head, make one lower down on your head, and then fluff the two ponytails to disguise the fact that there are two of them. The double ponytail will make your hair look longer and fuller.
For this one you’ll make three ponytails in a row down the back of your hair. Then you’ll flip the top one, and add the tail to the second ponytail. Then you’ll flip the second and add that tail to the third ponytail. Finally you’ll flip the final ponytail and you’re all done.
For the twisty bun, you’re going to make two pigtails on the back of your head. Then you’ll twist the pigtails. Finally you’ll pin the twists to the opposite pigtail. As the site points out the closer the pigtails are to each other, the more your hair will look like it’s in a bun, and the farther you put the pigtails from each other will allow you to see the twists more clearly.
For the flip bun, or chignon, you’re going to start by putting your hair in a low ponytail and flipping it. Then you can tease the tail for extra volume, or skip that step and simply bring the tail up and flip it again. This time don’t pull it all the way through. Instead pin the extra hair behind the bun. It you want to jazz this hairstyle up even more you can even put flowers or fancy clips in it and you’re all set.
Another way to make this chignon fancier is to put some jewelled pins in your hair or a jewelled clip above the bun.
This braid is also known as the Katniss Everdeen braid. While I’ve never actually seen the movie, my younger cousin thought it was super cool that I styled my hair like Katniss. It’s not exactly the same, but you start by picking up three strands of hair on one side of your part.
Then start French braiding around your head; if I start braiding on my right, I tend to pick up all of the strands by the time I’ve reached my left ear. Then you finish off the braid and you’re done.
Here are a few final tips for help you out. First of all, if you’re worried that your bobby pins are forever going to be falling out, you can always spray them with hairspray before you put them into your hair to help them stay in place better. Also, hair is easier to style if it hasn’t been washed that day—clearly nature understands that showering daily is one of the struggles of motherhood.