Beauty Wednesday: Quick, Easy Hairstyles How-To

Easy Hairstyles How-To | CorporetteNeed some easy hairstyles for those crazy mornings before work? Today’s guest poster, Lindsey A. Frederick, gives a tutorial on five different quick styles that take only 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Lindsey, a communications manager and freelance writer in the D.C. metro area (who loves to look great with minimal effort), blogs about lifestyle, career, and communication at, and you can follow her @la_Frederick or on Facebook. Thanks for the tips, Lindsey, and welcome to Corporette!

I am an overachieving chick, who for the most part, likes to maintain a polished look at work. But I have a few things going against me: mornings are not my friend and I have the kind of wavy hair that’s not cute — just poufy — so drying and styling my hair is the most time-consuming part of my morning routine.

Between exercising, packing a lunch, and making sure my daily schedule is in order (OK, and probably hitting snooze a few too many times), some days it’s all can do to get out the door on time. For the days I’m low on time but still want to be high on fashion, I use these 5-minute hair cheats:

5-Min5-Minute Curls - Easy Hairstyles | Corporetteute Curls
Time: 5 minutes
You’ll need: a hair tie and curling iron

  1. Pull your hair into a high ponytail.
  2. Section your hair into 4 pieces.
  3. Curl sections using hot rollers or a curling iron.
  4. Let hair cool before gently releasing the ponytail and running your fingers through your curls. Voila!
Low Hair Knot - Easy Hairstyles | CorporetteLow Hair Knot
Time: 2 minutes
You’ll need: 2–4 bobby pins

  1. Section your hair into two pieces at the base of your scalp.
  2. Tie sections in a knot.
  3. Twist and wrap the remaining ends counter clockwise.
  4. Pin in place.
Bouffant - Easy Hairstyles | CorporetteBouffant
Time: 2 minutes
You’ll need: 1–2 bobby pins

  1. Section the front part of your hair from your forehead to mid-scalp.
  2. Hold 2–3 inches from scalp and twist once or twice.
  3. Pouf hair forward.
  4. Pin in place.
30-Second Pouf Bun - Easy Hairstyles | Corporette30-Second Bun
Time: 30 seconds
You’ll need: a hair tie and a bobby pin

  1. Pull hair into a high ponytail.
  2. Split hair behind elastic and loop the end of your ponytail (about an inch) through the opening.
  3. Tighten ponytail and spread the hair to form a pouf bun.
  4. Pin in place.
    *Combine this look with the Bouffant.
Hair Wrap Ponytail - Easy Hairstyles | CorporetteHair-Wrap Ponytail
Time: 30 seconds
You’ll need: a hair tie and a bobby pin

  1. Pull hair into a mid ponytail.
  2. Section about an inch of hair from the rest of the ponytail.
  3. Wrap section to cover elastic.
  4. Pin in place.
    *Combine this look with the Bouffant.

Bonus Cheats Don’t have time to wash your hair? No problem!

  • Fresh Bangs. If you have bangs, pull your hair back and wash and dry only your bangs for a fresh-look.
  • Lazy-Girl Waves. Wash your hair the night before and wrap damp hair in a bun for easy waves the next morning.

(How-to photos: Lindsey A. Frederick. Also pictured: DIY Bobby Pin Organizer, originally uploaded to Flickr by Hey Paul Studios.)

Readers, what are your top hair cheats and your quickest ‘do?


  1. It sounds like I have very similar hair. I am going to have to try some of these, especially on those rainy/hot/humid days where no amount of product and styling can keep the poof down and natural waves from coming back out.

    Even though I don’t have bangs, I use the “fresh bangs” trick on the front part of my hair around my face that gets the greasiest instead of dry shampooing sometimes.

  2. Bouffant, really? :

    A little ridiculous for a corporate office, no?

    • +1 big time.

      Minus the low knot or bun I wouldn’t wear any of these styles to the office.

      The big curls look very outdated to me- unless you’re purposefully going retro with red lipstick and then cute- but not for the office. And the high ponytail looks too young and “girlish.”

      Cute & easy styles for the weekend but I can’t see styling my hair like this for work.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Bouffants always make me think of Snookie or the compound on Big Love. I don’t think either association is great…which is to say, I also don’t love bouffants, but I know some people do, so more power to them, I guess?

      • I think the bouffant can look professional as long as it’s not nearly as poofy as pictured. I do mine with a little tiny poof, just so it doesn’t look slicked back and frames my face somewhat. That’s my go-to for the dreaded “OMG I slept through my alarm and need to be out of here in 5 minutes”.

    • Probably YMMV depending on the office. I’d wear any of these in a heartbeat for work.

      • Very true, I look young so I shy away from styles that can be interpreted as trendy or young.

      • I think YMMV depending your head/hair as well. I have been known to do a small bump right at the hairline, just to give some volume and shape. So a smaller version of what is pictured above, but the same idea.

        • Philanthropy Girl :

          +1 I often give myself a little bit of lift in the front because just a pony tail doesn’t flatter my face nearly as well. It also looks a bit more polished for me, because it helps hide my incessant fly-aways.

  3. Anonymous :

    I would love some equivalent tips from women who are black. I have relaxed hair, and it is a constant battle.

    • PrettyLawBelle :

      I am black with relaxed hair and I literally, just after reading this post, did the low hair knot in my hair. Try it!

  4. Miz Swizz :

    I have coarse, curly, layered hair that currently barely touches the tops of my shoulders. Any good tips for styling it in updos? It makes such a sad little ponytail that I can’t imagine attempting a bun.

    • My hair is coarse, curly and longer, but I’m a big fan of what I think of as the lazy woman twist. Basically gather hair at the nape of your neck like you are doing a low ponytail, then twist and pull up against your scalp. Secure with something like this : Add bobby pins if necessary.

    • My roommate has crazy curly hair just at her shoulders too and when she’s needed an updo style, she puts it in a ponytail and then uses bobby pins to just pin it flat to the back of her head. Because of the natural curls, it looks a little more done-up. Might work for you?

  5. uncool, dude. uncool.

  6. Am I the only person that has a heck of a time with “pin in place”? Not sure if it is my thick, fine hair or just a lack of skills, but the only things I’ve found that keep my hair “in place” are elastics, a Velcro-textured bun assist I bought years ago, and clips with springs & jaws!

    • It only sometimes sort of works for me. I’ve probably tried the ponytail with hair wrapped around the elastic a few hundred times, over the past 20 or more years, and never once gotten it to last more than a few minutes.

    • Ciao, pues :

      how is your hair both thick and fine? i thought these terms were opposed to one another. (not trying to be snarky, just truly confused. have i been using the wrong terms all my life?)

      • Anonymous :

        I also have thick and fine hair. Thick vs. thin refers to the overall amount of hair you have; fine vs. coarse refers to the size of each individual hair strand. Thus, it’s possible to have thick hair because you have tons of it, and have each hair strand be small in diameter.

      • Curly Sue :

        She probably means she has a large quantity of fine hair. That’s similar to my hair texture — the spin pin is your friend!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Totally agree with the spin pin recommendation! I have a ton of fine hair and have never been able to master “pin into place,” but I can get a very tidy bun to stay securely with spin pins.

      • My stylist has described my hair as thick and fine as well. For me personally, it means that each of the individual hairs is fine, but that I have an unbelievable amount of them!

      • You can have a lot of individual hairs (thick hair) or not very many (thin?). Each individual strand can then be fine or coarse. So I am guessing the poster has a lot of hair that on an individual basis is very thin.

      • Ciao, pues :

        Thanks for clarifying!

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      I have to buy salon grade bobby pins – the regular pins from the drug store just don’t cut it in my thick and coarse hair. If my stylist would use them for a wedding updo, they’ll work.

    • “Pin in place” is next to impossible for my thick, wavy hair too. Typically I use elastics, roller pins/huge bobby pins, or what I affectionately refer to as ‘the claw’:

      Often the claw digs into my scalp and I usually break them within 6 months, but they give me a nice neat twist while they last.

  7. It’s comments like these that make me seriously reevaluate whether I should waste my time reading the comments on this site. What crawled up your @$$ this morning to make you think that’s okay, even behind a cloak of anonymity?

    • Ironically, the comment this was in response to has mysteriously disappeared.

      And for the record, I wear the “high ponytail” to my office 4 days a week.

  8. Alanna of Trebond :

    I would check out small things blog for much more helpful tips — she is the first person who has helped me do anything with my hair. Having a video is much more helpful than just images.

  9. rheostaticsfan :

    Any place we can go to see the pictures a bit larger? I’m interested in the 30 second bun but cannot quite make it out…

    • Same here! I kept clicking on the images hoping they’d expand bigger. I want to see details so I could try them out.

  10. BankrAtty :

    I sort of hate the tone of this post.

  11. Admittedly, I work in IT as a consultant in Sweden, so the culture is a bit different. Some of my clients are lawyers and big corporate firms, though. I got so tired of dealing with the way, curly hair. No matter what I did with it, it either didn’t work or didn’t flatter. During a Project from Hell this winter, I remember that I had always wanted to shave my head. I ended up taking the leap (keep it trimmed at about 5-10 mm) and have been very positively surprises by the general reactions (no one really seems to care), how much neater and more professional I feel as well as the incredible ease of care!

    I know it’s not for everybody, but I love it.

  12. Currently I’m suffering through a terrible haircut. Too short to do any of these. It looks awful. Ugh. Any commiseration?

    • I am currently having a too-short (very curly) moment myself, as I grow out a haircut that essentially broke my part (as in, I can’t get my hair to part correctly anymore). It’s finally grown out long enough to go into a scarf -turned-headband with a few side pieces pulled out to frame my face. I work in a very casual industry, so it might not work for you.

  13. I am a huge fan of the sock bun. And in real estate, it’s a fine look. I do it wet so it’s slick lookin and very neat – not poofy. I’d have used it in both of my law offices too (regional office of largish firm and government).

  14. Great post! I get so tired of styling my hair the same way every morning, and will definitely try out these new ideas – good stuff here! Thanks!

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