Ponytails and buns are two need-to-know styles for long-haired ladies, but we can’t help but want more sometimes! There are some days where we’d love to throw up our hair in an effortless, Instagram-worthy look to feel a little more stylish. The tough part? Some “effortless” styles aren’t as easy as they look.

Anyone with long hair knows that it takes extra time to pull off certain looks. We also don’t always have the right styling tools or products on hand to keep every strand in place.

Luckily, not every chic style requires more than an hour of our day or specific bottles of mousse. There are lots of easy looks anyone can put together when they’re short on time or products. Take a look at our list of easy hairstyles for long hair below to see what looks can fit in your routine.

1. Messy Bun

woman with messy bun

A messy bun is a lifesaver when you’re trying to pull off a chic look with the least amount of hairspray and clips possible. There are so many ways to put together a messy bun. You can frame your face with some tendrils along your cheeks. You can also show off your length by wrapping your hair up in a big, loose top knot. 

2. Rod Set

woman with hair after rod set

Photo source: Dominique, a silk press Pro from Philadelphia, PA

Rod sets are easy ways to curl your hair without using too much heat or weighing down your hair with products. There are a few sets to choose from based on the look you want. Flexi rods are made of soft foam and are best for elongated and bouncy curls. Perm rods are typically made of plastic and create tight and springy curls. You can experiment with different rod sizes to achieve various types of curls. Chat with a Pro for tips on how to get started with a rod set.

3. Knotted Ponytail

woman with knotted ponytail

Photo source: Rae Lynn, a hair styling Pro from Torrance, CA

Ponytails have seen lots of upgrades in the past few years — for good reason! We’ve got the high pony, the rope braid pony, the drawstring pony, and much more. The knotted ponytail is another simple twist on this classic. 

For a simple knotted ponytail, start by parting your hair into two sections. Take an end in each hand and cross them over each other. Switch hands to tightly pull the opposite end. To make the knot, take one end and loop it through the hole created by your hair sections and pull.

Put both ends into one hand and use the other to tie your knot with a hair tie. You can also secure it with a bobby pin. Lastly, take the shorter end and wrap it around your hair tie. Tuck in the ends with a bobby pin, and you’re good to go!

4. Brushed Out

woman with brushed out hair

Brushing out curly or coily hair can result in some damage if you’re not careful. However, brushing every once in a while can help keep your hair detangled and help you create new looks.

Most Pros recommend prepping your hair with leave-in conditioner and brushing while it’s still wet, since your hair is more prone to breakage and frizz when it’s dry. You’ll also need to find a brush that best fits your hair texture to get the best results. 

5. Curly Pineapple

woman with curly pineapple

A curly pineapple is a fun look reserved for the curly-haired crew. You just need to gather your hair together, tie it up on the top of your head, and let your curls hang down. You’ll need to get creative with this look with long hair so you don’t end up covering your face! You can gather your hair so it falls to one side, you can split your hair in the center to frame your face, or you can use a head scarf to keep your hair out of your face. 

6. Fishtail Braid

woman with fishtail braid

Photo source: Kasey Willis, a women’s haircut Pro from Baytown, TX

A braid is a quick and easy way to add some personality to your hair. A fishtail braid is an easy hairstyle for long hair that is made to show off your length. You may need to practice the first few times, but this is a great style to put together if you’re throwing up your hair for a wedding or going down to your local farmer’s market. If you want a special twist, color some of your strands to make your fishtail pop. 

7. Two-Strand Twists

woman with two strand twist

Photo source: Patricia Alowonu, a braids Pro from Charlotte, NC

If you’re looking for an easy protective style, two-strand twists are the way to go. You just need to take two strands of hair and twist them around each other. Twists are a great way to keep your hair protected and tangle-free while still having the freedom to try other styles. You can keep your hair down, wrap it in a bun, or even combine it with other styles for a unique look. You can even go with a deep side part to keep your twists on one side. 

8. Loose Waves 

woman with loose waves

Photo source: Ky Color, a hair color Pro from Monrovia, CA

Loose, soft waves are another look that’s especially flattering on long hair. Changing your hair part is an easy way to switch up with your style with little effort. A center part paired with loose waves is great for a soft and trendy vibe. On the other hand, a deep side part is ideal if you’re going for a romantic and mysterious look.

9. Low Braided Updo

woman with low braided updo

Photo source: Marcela Harris, a women’s haircut Pro from Alexandria, VA

We love a good bun, but easy updos aren’t exclusively reserved for buns and ponytails! You can keep your hair off your shoulders by braiding it into a unique style. It can be as simple as putting your hair into one big braid and securing it with some bobby pins. You can also start a braid on one side of your head and feed the ends into a bun.

10. Braid-Out

woman with braid out

A braid-out is a simple style that’s great for curls, especially for those with really kinky or coily hair. This style also helps fight shrinkage and leaves you with a tight curl. You’ll end up with great volume without needing to reach for a hair dryer or a ton of volumizing products. You can also try a braid-out if you’re looking to refresh your wash and go (or other styles).

11. Curly Updo with Jewels

woman with curly updo and jewels

Photo source: Rae Lynn, a hair styling Pro from Torrance, CA

Another easy way to glam up your hair? Accessorize! Big statement pieces like jeweled hair combs and geometric hair clips can amp up your look with a quick fasten. You can go with one big statement accessory or add small flourishes throughout your hair, like beads or mismatched hair clips.

12. Headwrap

woman with headwrap

There are lots of ways to keep your long hair out of your face throughout the day. Head scarfs, slicked back styles, and headwraps are all stylish ways to keep your face clear without spending a ton of time on an intricate style. Headwraps are great if you want to keep your hair completely out of the elements. You can wrap all of your hair into a headwrap to keep it protected. You can also leave some of your hair out of the wrap if you want to show off your length.

13. Waterfall Braid

woman with waterfall braid

This hairstyle is easy for long hair since it can be as simple or intricate as you like. For a touch of flair in your everyday look, you can add a simple thin braid on the side of your head. For a bolder look, you can use thicker sections of hair to make a bigger braid, end the braid with a twisted bun in the back of your head, or combine this braid with other braids.

14. Half-Up, Half-Down Curls

woman with half up half down curls

Photo source: Melanie Santiago, a hair styling Pro from Philadelphia, PA

The half-up, half-down look is a go-to when you want to do something special with your hair in a pinch. Curling parts of your hair can make your simple look more elegant. At-home wand curls can last for a while as long as you take some time to prep your hair and set your curls afterwards. You can use a small curling wand to go with small and taught curls or a big curling iron for loose and bouncy waves.

If you want to go the heatless route, you can sleep overnight with your hair in rollers or flexi rods. If you don’t mind using chemicals in your hair, you can create long-term curls if you get a perm. The upfront cost of a perm can potentially save you lots of time and money in the long run that you’d spend on consistent styling.

15. Box Braids

woman with box braids

Are you looking for a protective style that can last a few weeks and can work with lots of looks? Box braids should be at the top of your list. This low-maintenance look is great for long hair and gives you the freedom to try different styles. Going for a stylish look for your office happy hour? Tie some of your strands into a top knot. Looking for a casual look with a pop of color? Use a colorful head wrap to pull back some of your hair. Don’t have time to think about it? Wear your braids down. 

16. Side Dutch Braid

side dutch braid

Photo source: Nikki Got Skills, a hair styling Pro from Warrenton, VA

We’re used to seeing long Dutch braids as pigtails but they’re also great for beautiful updos. The Dutch braid in the photo looks great because it uses big strands of hair. You can do one big Dutch braid and wrap the end back around to the back of your head to pull off a classy look. You can also add big chains and other flashy accessories to accentuate your braid.

17. Beachy Waves

woman with beachy waves

Photo source: Oanh Truong, a women’s haircut Pro from San Dimas, CA

Beachy waves go with anything. They’re an easy hairstyle for long hair since you can dress up or dress down with this style. If this is your go-to style, you may want to consider experimenting with a balayage or an ombré to add more dimension to your look. A balayage is a good choice if you want color blended naturally into your hair. On the other hand, an ombré is a good choice if you want a dramatic look.

18. Headband

woman with headband

Headbands have come a long way from the knotted headbands from the ‘60s and headband combs from the early 2000s. A headband is a practical and stylish accessory to keep hair out of your face while showing off your personality. Today, there are lots of styles and materials to choose from. Satin and velvet headbands are perfect for a fancy night out. Stretchy headbands are great for everyday looks when you want to stay comfy with your hair snug and in place.

19. Twisted Ponytail

woman with twisted ponytail

The twisted pony is another alternative to a classic pony. You can get this look by creating one simple braid on each side of your head that stops at the middle of your head. When both braids are done, you’ll tie them together with a hair tie. This is quick and easy to throw together when you’re running late for work and don’t have time to worry about styling your hair.

20. Double Dutch Braids

woman with dutch braids

Dutch braids are a classic look that gives the illusion of a complicated hairstyle, but they’re actually pretty simple! You can go with the simple look by giving yourself two big Dutch braids that fall down your back. The longer your hair, the more dramatic your braids.

21. Two-Strand Twist Bun

woman with two strand twist bun

Remember when we said two-strand twists were versatile? This is a perfect example of how two-strand twists are a perfect base for other styles. Long hair with two-strand twists is the perfect recipe for a big and beautiful bun. You can wrap your hair around itself for an elegant look, perfect for the long work day or for an even longer night out.

22. Pull-Through Braid

woman with pull through braid

Photo source: Sandra’s Braids, a braids Pro from Houston, TX

We’re continuing our modern revamp of the ponytail with the bubble braid, also known as a pull through braid. There are quite a few ways to pull off this look. You can tease the sections to make them look bigger or you can  try out this braid with pigtails. If you’re short on time, you can do a simple pull through braid for the top section of your pony and leave the rest loose.

23. Top Knot

woman with top knot

Photo source: Takenya “The Truth” Bey, a hair styling Pro from Charlotte, NC

Looking for an easy-going style that looks great on everyone? The top knot should be your go-to if you’re looking for a simple look that’s easy to elevate. You can turn heads with a nice braid at the back of your head that leads up to your top knot. You can also opt to twist or braid your hair around to form your bun instead of a typical poofy bun. 

24. Bubble Ponytail

woman with bubble ponytail

Photo source: Andrea Burroughs, a weaves Pro from Glendale, CA

The bubble ponytail is best for when you want to spice up your pony but needed to run out the door five minutes ago. Simply section off your hair into “bubbles” and tie them off with hair ties. You can test out different “bubble” sizes and different positioning to match your look. You can also swap in some sparkly hair ties or chunky hair clips to accentuate each section.

25. Halo Braid

woman with halo braid

Although not as simple as a bubble braid or a messy bun, the halo braid is a simpler braid that is easy to do once you get the hang of it. You can style a halo braid towards the top of your head to let some strands hang down to frame your face. With long hair, you can tease your hair a bit to make your braid bigger. You can also create a second braid to wrap around your hair or secure excess hair in the back of your head with a braided bun.

26. Half-Up, Half-Down

woman with half up half down hair

Photo source: Keyanna Byrd, a weaves Pro from Philadelphia, PA

Going half-up, half-down is versatile and can translate into many different styles. You can twist a section of your hair into a quick top knot, you can put your hair into a loose French braid and pin it back, and you can even pull your hair back for a simple half pony. The best part? You can take as little or as much time as you want to pull off this look. Regardless of the actual effort spent, you’ll almost always come out with a chic style. 

27. Flip Over

woman with flip over hair

Are we saying that you can take on a new, edgy look by simply flipping your hair? Kind of! A flip over is like side-swept curls, but the focus is on volume and a dramatic hard part. Start off by picking where you want your hair to part. Spray on some volumizing spray and flip your hair over to the other side. If you’re okay with using heat, blow dry your hair to give it some extra volume.

One of the best parts of having long hair is the versatility! You have lots of room to experiment with these easy hairstyles for long hair to see what fits best with your daily routine and your style. If you don’t know where to start, you can get hands-on tips and suggestions with a StyleSeat Pro from our community

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