33 easy styles for long hair that take the stress out of getting ready

Written by Morgan Fargo

Allow me to present the easy hairstyles I’m wearing (and coveting) on repeat right now.

If there’s one thing I don’t love in this world, it’s gatekeeping – especially when it comes to hair, beauty and skincare routines. Often I find myself scrolling Instagram and TikTok, baffled at how put-together and effortless the people on my feeds look, and the thing I find my eye drawn to most is the chic, low-key hairstyles that form the cherry on top of the entire aesthetic. 

So, in the spirit of not gatekeeping but inspiring a new weekday or weekend hairstyle, allow me to present the easy hairstyles for long hair I’m cycling through this autumn. They don’t require masses of time or the octopus-like skill of a professional hairdresser, so just take a few moments to scroll through, save your faves and revisit when the pull for something new strikes again. 

  1. 1.

    Claw clip

    If it feels like you can’t move for claw-clip hairstyles these days, you’re not alone – the “off duty” clip has returned in a major way. Quick to use, with big cool-girl energy, it scrapes the hair away from the face in a timelessly chic way. 

  2. 2.

    Silk scarf

    Part aesthetic, part protection, a silk or satin scarf creates a physical barrier between the hair and pesky hair-ravaging weather. 

  3. 3.

    Low pony

    A fashion-set go-to, the low ponytail is sleek and minimalist, opening the face and the neck for statement sunglasses, earrings and high-necked outfits.

  4. 4.

    Soft hairband

    Soft, comfortable and easy to wear, slide-on headbands have been picking up a steady adult fan base over the last couple of years. If you struggle with hair volume, look for a soft band that isn’t too tight (it’ll emphasise the scrape-back at the front) and a volumising hair spray or powder to fluff up the hair around the crown. 

  5. 5.

    Slicked back bun

    An easy way to disguise a hair mask or leave-in treatment (it’s sometimes referred to as the ’Olaplex bun’) the slicked-back bun took hold in the eye of the pandemic and isn’t going anywhere soon.

  1. 6.

    Oversized scrunchie

    A soft, oversized statement, scrunchies are a takes seconds way to dress “up” without doing much. 

  2. 7.

    Side parting

    A decades-long classic, the deep side-part creates volume and movement around the face, à la 90s supermodels.

  3. 8.

    Mid-ponytail

    The goldilocks of ponytails, a mid-pony combines volume, projection and flip with pared-back simplicity.

  4. 9.

    Side plait

    One of the quickest ways to create gentle, crimped waves, a side plait is an easy hairstyle to help air-dry the hair into the style you want or just keep it out of your face. 

  5. 10.

    90s ponytail

    The higher the better for the 90s high pony: smooth down flyaways and shorter bits of hair with cream, gel or hairspray and a small brush – a toothbrush works just as well as anything else.

  1. 11.

    Baby braids

    Made popular by celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Zoë Kravitz, baby braids are a delicate and decorative style to frame the face. 

  2. 12.

    Clip stacking

    A grown-up way to over-accessorise, layer matching or contrasting clips around the hairline for a maximalist hairstyle that can be switched up in a flash. 

  3. 13.

    Flicked ends

    Quick on the heels of the flicked bob, flicked ends are a revival of the preppy style that are best done using straighteners, rollers or a round hair brush and hairdryer.

  4. 14.

    Plaited ponytail

    A slicked-back plaited ponytail always looks like it takes more time and effort to do than it does, creating the effect of effortless togetherness.

  5. 15.

    Centre part

    Uncomplicated and glamorous, a fluffy centre-parted blow dry adds equal volume and body to the hair and face. 

  1. 16.

    Messy bun

    Upgrade the messy bun from hasty to intentional by leaving out the shorter hair around the face. A gentle bend in the middle of the left out hair will softly contour the face and create volume through the length.

  2. 17.

    Alice band

    The Alice band is understated and elegant, affecting an immediate Dionne Davenport/Blair Waldorf vibe.

  3. 18.

    Low fluffy ponytail

    The maximalist approach to a sleek low ponytail, keep the front sleek and the back full – either backcombing or finger fluffing the left-out hair for airy dimension.

  4. 19.

    Bubble braid

    A variation of the bubble braid trend, this low-bubble ponytail is low-key, fun and stylish. 

  5. 20.

    Loose bun

    Less taut than the slicked-back bun and not so ‘piled’ as the messy bun, the loose bun is a functional, casual hairstyle that works for drinks, brunch, lunch break walks and dinner dates.

  1. 21.

    Plaits

    Brilliant for under baseball caps and protecting hair from weather, the double-plaited look never goes out of fashion – summer, winter, spring or autumn.

  2. 22.

    Hair bow

    Kitsch and on-trend, secure your half-up hairstyle with an oversized bow. Velvet and cotton will sit more rigidly, with a defined bow shape, while satin and silk create sweet, gentle floppiness.

  3. 23.

    Space buns

    One of the recently revived Y2K hairstyles, space buns can be slicked and tight or looser with escaping tendrils for a more whimsical look.

  4. 24.

    Knot bun

    A variation on the classic bun, a knot bun takes the hair and twists it before wrapping it into a 3D-knot shape. Less complex than it sounds, your knot doesn’t have to be perfect or, indeed, strong enough to hold a boat in place. Play around until you find the technique you prefer.

  5. 25.

    Loose waves

    Whether you sleep in a heatless curler or tie rope braids before bed, loose, tumbling waves are always a good option.

  1. 26.

    Pineapple

    Fluffy and full, keep spirals, curls and coils happy with a nourishing hair oil, cream or gel, securing the ponytail at the centre of the crown of the head.

  2. 27.

    Half-up

    Sweet and school-like, half-up hair is the work of seconds. Keep in place with an oversized scrunchie, barrette, small hairband or other aesthetic hair accessory. 

  3. 28.

    Bandana and baby braids

    Combine baby braids with bandana-life for your best (most protected) holiday hair yet.

  4. 29.

    Blow dry

    The undeniable style of the summer, the fluffy blow dry channels airy, light volume with gently rounded ends. Majorly popular on TikTok, it’s easier than ever to achieve a salon-perfect blow-dry at home – choose from the cult hot brushes, heated rollers, velcro rollers or a handy round brush and controlled hairdryer tekkers. We’re taking this one right through autumn to winter. 

  5. 30.

    Side part pony

    Another chic twist on the classic ponytail, part the hair to create a deep, swept-over side part before securing in a tight ponytail.

  1. 31.

    High bubble pony

    A great way to streamline long, thick hair – a high bubble ponytail creates controlled dimension and keeps flyways in check.

  2. 32.

    Low bun for fine hair

    A great option if your hair is on the thinner side, Polly Sayer shows us how to add volume and texture to your low bun. Gorge. 

  3. 33.

    Braided curly pony

    This curly pony is given a easy update with skinny braids. Love. 

Main image: Getty

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