Some say the secret to success lies in your morning routine, but, if you find yourself struggling to add in a morning workout, some meditation or even five minutes to enjoy a warm cup of coffee, chances are, your morning routine is already jam-packed, leaving you little to no time to spare. One way to add a few extra minutes back into your schedule? Cut down on styling time. Ahead, five tried-and-true styling tips to get you out the door faster and ready to take on the day.
Tip #1: Plan ahead
Your goal in the morning should be to touch-up your locks, rather than style your hair from start to finish. Select one or two days a week to give yourself a good blowout—or visit the salon— then plan out the rest of the week’s styles according to what you’re doing that day. For example, get a blowout on Sunday, wear your hair smooth on Monday, in waves on Tuesday, in a half updo on Wednesday and finally in a slick topknot on Thursday before washing your hair for the weekend. Knowing your style for the day beforehand will save you a ton of time in the morning!
Tip #2: Extend your style
To complete Tip #1, you need to find ways to successfully maintain your style, especially while you sleep. If you want to extend the life of a blowout, gently pull the hair on top of your head, leaving the roots loose to maintain volume, then twist the ends of your hair into a bun and use an alligator clip to secure. Constantly battling frizz in the A.M.? Wrap hair flat against your head and pin it in place, then tie on a silk scarf before hitting the sheets. Want to maintain your waves? Apply a drop of oil to your ends, then braid your hair before going to sleep. In the morning, your styling should be minimal—if anything.
Tip #3: Find a wash-n-go cut that works for you
If you’re committed to getting as many Zzz's as possible and want a quick styling routine, start with a low-maintenance cut. If you have curly strands, opt for long layers or an angular bob. Have thinner locks? Ask for a one-length chop, instead of a ton of layers, for instant thickness.
Tip #4: Master the air-dry
One of the fastest ways to head out the door? Skip the hot tools and embrace your natural texture. Luckily, air-drying is now easier than ever before, whether your locks are curly, straight or somewhere in between. For girls with curly or coily locks, avoid towel-drying at all costs. Instead, use a cotton T-shirt to gently pat dry, then apply a nourishing leave-in conditioner, followed by a frizz-frighting curl creme. If you have natural waves, apply an oil-rich leave-in treatment, then apply a light-hold gel and start twisting to achieve that effortless “S” wave. For girls with straight strands, avoid heavy serums and oils that may weigh your hair down. Instead, apply a small amount of blow-dry creme to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair to minimize frizz. To create a subtle bend, simply tuck the hair behind your ears as it dries.
Tip #5: Keep an arsenal of accessories on-hand
Hair accessories are huge this year—a major win for women everywhere, not only because they spice up any look, but also because they can make you look like you tried—even when you didn’t. Case in point: Add a couple of colored bobby pins whenever you don’t feel like styling your bangs. Or, pull hair into a low ponytail or bun, then throw on a cute headband. Not in the mood to wash? Throw on a baseball cap to disguise dirty roots! You’ll look like you’ve mastered the “athleisure” look—and no one will know that you’ve gone one too many days between shampoos.