When you work from home, you have to balance the fact that your cozy bed is mere feet away with your Post-it note full of work obligations. With team conference calls, you also might want to look like you didn't just roll out of bed (even if you did). If you're struggling with that last part, there are easy hair hacks you can try that aren't your basic ponytail.
Bustle reached out to expert hairstylists for tips on how to take your scrunchie-held ponytail to something a little more polished. We spoke with the famous Frédéric Fekkai, founder Fekkai Brands; Sarah Potempa, the creator of the Victoria's Secret approved hair tool The Beachwaver; Jonathan Colombini, L'Oreal Paris celebrity hair stylist; and Chris Appleton, hairstylist to stars like Kim Kardashian West and Jennifer Lopez.
While your hair may not literally be in these expert hands, their tricks for everything from a sleek side part to a messy top knot will help even the most novice of remote workers get conference call ready hair without, well, pulling their hair out.
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1. Do A Chignon
Colombini recommends a chignon for those looking to switch up their looks from a basic pony, and that you can wear the look loose for an effortless style or tight for a more formal vibe.
"The easiest way is to pull your hair back into a low pony," he tells Bustle. "Take the pony and twist clockwise until all the hair is gathered from the base of the pony to the ends. Then, in the same clockwise fashion, wrap the twisted pony at the base of the ponytail until you have the entire twisted pony wrapped." Colombini then explains you can adjust the tightness of the wrap based on the type of style you want to go for. Once to your liking, use bobby pins to secure the look and add hairspray for extra hold.
2. Try Heatless Waves
Potempa recommends getting a two-for-one style by trying French braids, which is one of her own go-to looks. She recommends braiding your hair into two plaits, which you can wear as one style and then sleep on overnight. When you wake up, let the plaits loose for heatless waves. She recommends using Beachwaver Braid Balm before braiding from the root to the ends for smooth, frizz-free braids.
3. Add An Accessory
Potempa and Fekkai have a similar hair hack for conference calls. Fekkai says if your roots have grown out, and you haven't been able to get a touch-up in a salon or color your hair at home, try wearing an accessory like a scarf tied into a headband. (Pro tip: Fekkai set up a Pinterest board for scarf inspo.)
Potempa likes using bows, headbands, or haircuffs to jazz up simple looks like top knots and buns.
4. Try A Half Bun
Instead of a simple half-up, half-down look, Appleton recommends a half-bun. To achieve the style, Appleton says to take a small section of hair from the top of your head and, using your brows as a guide, begin working back toward the crown in a U shape. You can then secure the hair into a ponytail with bobby pins or a scrunchie, tease the pony for volume, and begin wrapping it into a bun. Appleton's advice for your top knot? "The messier, the better."
5. Add Volume
One of the simplest hacks for your next conference call is simply to amp up your hair's volume. Fekkai recommends flipping your hair and brushing it from underneath to give your locks some extra oomph.
6. Get Effortless Curls
Giving yourself beachy curls doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming, according to Potempa. To get quick, easy waves, she recommends pulling your hair into a high pony and curl large sections using the Beachwaver's 1.25-inch barrel. When you're done, let your hair down, and brush it out. While Potempa doesn't say you need a hairspray to keep the curls locked in, you can always add one if your hair tends to lose its shape over the course of the day.
7. Part Your Hair Differently
Appleton tells Bustle that switching up a part can give you a different look. The celebrity hairstylist suggests parting your hair to the side and slicking it behind your ear. (One of his fave products: ColorWow's Pop & Lock High Gloss Shellac.) Add a few colorful bobby pins as a finishing touch and to give the look some extra pop.
8. Add A Braid
"For those that have extra time on their hands and have always wanted to learn how to braid — or practice new braids! — now is the time!" says Potempa, who's known for her creative braid styles and tutorials. Potempa's favorite is a simple two-strand braid pulled back from the crown and then pinned, like this 'do she created for Emily Blunt.
9. Do The "No Try Blow Dry"
A blowout might seem time consuming right now, but Appleton says it doesn't have to be. He calls his method the "no try blow dry."
Unlike most blowouts, which you do when your hair is wet, Appleton says to let your hair air-dry until it's barely damp. Then, run an anti-frizz cream — he recommends ColorWow's One-Minute Transformation Style Cream — through your hair using Tangle Teezer's Ultimate Vented Brush. To eliminate frizz, use the brush to smooth down your hair as you dry.
"This is the easiest blowout you will ever give yourself because the shape of the teeth and the unique vent in Tangle Teezer’s brush draws excess water away from the hair to dry the hair super fast," he says. "It also smooths ends, eliminates frizz, and gives you natural volume at the root which — fun fact — helps disguise any roots!"
10. Try A Top Knot
The top knot is a classic thanks to its ease, but Appleton says the look can be a fun way to jazz up your hair for conference calls, and it's also a versatile and cute way to hide roots. Simply pull half of your hair into a ponytail, and use the rest to wrap around the elastic, tucking it inside to secure the hair.