If you’ve ever struggled to recreate a particularly eye-catching braid or been forced to settle for a haphazard bun when your ambitious blow-drying plans don’t quite make it to fruition, you’ll know how difficult hair can be to deal with. If you’re not deft of hand and free of time, accomplishing something that even vaguely resembles a “look” can be not much more than a pipe dream. We assure you, doing your hair doesn’t have to be hard—that’s why these easy dummy proof hairstyles exist. Ric Pipino, celebrity hairstylist and Global Creative VP of Alterna Haircare, showed us the ropes behind scoring five different looks that anyone can master. Add them to your beauty arsenal ASAP.
Start by working your favorite texturizing spray through damp hair to create a voluminous base for the body of the ponytail. “You want hold and texture, not softness [for this style],” Pipino emphasized. Give the hair a rough blow-dry with a round brush with lots of volume at the root. If you have bangs or shorter front layers, dry them forward and to the side with the round brush for lift and a side-swept look. Use your hands or a soft boar bristle brush to smooth the hair out when you pull it back into a high ponytail and, using a hairband, wrap the pony as tightly as possible. “For an evening style, you could also go really flat,” Pipino says—and for an extra polished look, go ahead and wrap a section of hair around the hairband to conceal it.
Teased Side Part
Work a volumizing spray into damp hair before blow-drying section by section for volume, using a round brush to give the hair a gentle curl. Follow by curling each section with a large-barrel iron for a loose curl—says Pipino, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.” Use a comb or your fingers to create a deep, low part, and create one single barrel curl over the ear on the shorter side. Curl four or five large sections in back, and for the longer front area that acts as the “bang,” curl the front away from the face and the other sections going straight down. Spritz a bit of a light-hold hairspray on a soft brush and run it through the hair to loosen the curl and impart natural hold. Warm a nourishing styling cream like Alterna Caviar CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction between your hands and smooth it through the hair to give the waves a piecey effect. “Once the texture is in the hair,” Pipino says, “just add a bit of back-combing at the crown with a brush” for optimal volume.
The side braid is an extension of the teased side part—simply follow the same instructions, then braid the heavier side of your part behind your ear. Leave it soft and loose in the front for a sexy, carefree vibe.
Half Up Twist
On dry hair, start by back-combing at the crown, then use a curling iron from the mid lengths to ends to create a loose wave that reads more like natural texture. Take two sections of hair, one from over the side of each ear, and twist them backward toward the crown. Tie the two sections together into a simple knot in the back and use bobby pins to keep the style in place for what Pipino calls a “soft, twisted finish.”
Before creating your bun, use a large-barrel curling iron on dry hair to create soft, subtle texture. Pull all of your hair up to the crown of your head, as you would a ponytail, and tie in place with a hairband. Wrap the lengths of your hair around the base of the ponytail, and once you’ve reached the ends, secure the bun with bobby pins or longer French pins to keep errant strands in place. Finish off with a mist of hairspray. For a more natural, mussed-up finish, Pipino recommends loosening select pieces and using your hands to scrunch up the bun for a little bit of messy texture.
Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard
Hair: Ric Pipino
Makeup: Neil Scibelli
Model: Ivory Rose, Major Models
Features Director: Samantha Lim