It used to seem like I had endless amounts of time to get all dolled up for different things, like parties, dancing and baby showers, but now? What I wouldn’t give to have a whole afternoon to get ready.
These days, on the rare occasions when I actually do have something to get dressed up for, it seems like I’m always rushing. I’m lucky to have enough time to fill in my brows, let alone do something special with my hair.
Still, even when I am rushing, running ragged and far behind, the last thing I want to do with my ‘do is just throw on a hat and call it a day (although I am totally guilty of doing exactly that more than a few times).
When all I can swing is 5-10 minutes on hair, I’ll shoot for one of these three quick party hairstyles. Each one is light on muss and fuss, and can be done with styling products from the drugstore.
First things first: the prep work.
This stuff is güd
Assuming a shower isn’t completely off the table, I like to start with one, and lately I’ve been bringing two products by güd from Burt’s Bees with me.
If I had my druthers, I’d always air dry my hair, but sometimes that’s not an option. Hair dryers do speed up the process, and when I’m going to use one, I try to work in a heat protecting product, like the new Suave Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner ($3.49), to protect against heat styling damage.
When I can’t squeeze in a shower at all, well, that’s when I turn to dry shampoo. Definitely not ideal, but the good ones do freshen my ‘do and give some lift to my roots. I really like Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo. It’s designed for all hair types and costs just $3.49.
With the prep work done, it’s time to pick our hairstyle!
1. Retro in a rush
I’ve been wearing my hair a lot like this lately. I call it my “Ode to Mad Men,” and it’s kind of a rushed take on an old-school beehive.
I start by parting my bangs to the side, but if you don’t have bangs, just take about a two-inch chunk of hair in that same area, and part it to the side. Then, to get the look of long side-swept bangs, secure the chunk in place with bobby pins, like the Styling Essentials Bobby Pins by Conair ($1.39).
Next, I put my hair into a low ponytail secured with an elastic ponytail holder in a color that matches my mane. I like Goody Ouchless Gentle Hair Elastics, 1) because a pack of 27 costs just $3.99, and 2) they don’t break my strands when I pull them out.
To build some height at my crown, I grab a pencil (here, I’m actually using an eyeliner), stick it into the roots up there, and then gently pull up to loosen the style and create some height.
I don’t usually worry about it looking too neat, because with this style, I kind of like how it looks a little undone.
Sometimes, trying to build height at the crown loosens the ponytail too much, so if need be, I’ll tighten it again (pulling at the ends with both hands). Then, I smooth down the sides and secure them with a few bobby pins.
This way, the sleek sides sort of contrast with the messy mop on top.
Lastly, to give the look some legs, I use an extra hold hairspray like L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong ($6.99).
2. The height of hurrying
This next hairdo is a nod to my awkward teen years, aka the late ’80s. I’ve actually been seeing this high pouf and low ponytail make a bit of a comeback lately. I like to wear this one when I’m also wearing clothes with an edge.
Like the retro style, it starts at the bangs. I section some off again, and put the rest in a ponytail.
To get some good height at the front, I spray the roots at my bangs with a firm hold hairspray, and then hold the hair up with one hand as I set it with a hairdryer to lock it in place.
Then, to create the pouf! — I flip my bangs toward the back of my head, and secure the ends with bobby pins.
When I know I’m going to be out of the house for a while, I go a step further, bringing along a travel-sized bottle of hairspray, like TRESemme’s Tres Two Extra Hold ($1.29 for a tiny 2-ounce bottle). Just in case my bangs need extra help later that day.
3. Quick bling
This last style is my last-ditch fallback when I haven’t got a minute to spare. It’s the easiest of these, but I think it still looks presentable.
Start with a low ponytail, and then slip on an embellished headband, like this faux pearl one by Conair ($5.99).
It’s not a super chic or sassy look, but it’ll do in a pinch; hopefully the headband at least makes it look like I made an effort, ya know?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
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