Easy Back-To-Work Hairstyles that Take 5 Minutes or Less

Between pouring your morning coffee and jumping in the shower, we’re betting that your usual morning routine doesn’t allow much time for hair styling. Luckily, there are plenty of easy styles out there that will leave your strands looking pulled together in minutes, so you’ll get to work on time.

Whether you have a pixie cut or mid-length locks, there are myriad options for styles that can be achieved with minimal products and tools—and in just five minutes or less. We also spoke to experts to provide easy step-by-step instructions and some product recommendations for the looks.

Meet the Expert

  • Leo Izquierdo is a former salon owner, haircare entrepreneur, and co-founder of IGK Haircare.
  • Sonia Coronado is a stylist with Floyd’s Cuts & Color in Las Vegas and a 13-year industry vet.

Read on to discover 30 of our favorite hairstyles that can be recreated in five minutes or less.

Pulled Back With a Ribbon

Let’s kick things off with a style that couldn’t be more simple to recreate at home.

  • Pull back the very front sections of your hair, about an inch on each side, and secure them in place at the back of your head with a ribbon.
  • Use a length that’s leftover from Christmas or, if your ribbon tying isn’t up to scratch, try this Free People Velvet Hair Tie ($6).

Half-Up Bun

This half-up look is the perfect lazy girl hairstyle that makes you look put together.

  • Spritz a salt spray like Bumble and bumble Surf Infusion ($29) through your mid- lengths and ends and massage in to add volume.
  • Section your hair as neatly as possible in half, then twist the top half into a messy bun, right at the top of your head.
  • Secure with plenty of hair grips and a generous amount of extra- strong hold hairspray.

Faux Bob

Fool your colleagues into thinking that you took a trip to the hairdresser the night before with a faux bob.

  • There are a couple of ways to achieve this look. Firstly, separate your hair into two loose, low pigtails using clear hair bands. Don’t pull your hair all the way through; you want to create two loops here.
  • Then, use hair grips to pin the pigtails at the back of your head, making sure that the hair bands are tucked underneath. Pull some hair free at the front for serious boho vibes.
  • Alternatively, wear a high-necked jumper and tuck your hair into it for an instant faux bob in seconds.


A top knot is a classic hairstyle for a reason—it’s easy, fast, and acts like a quick-fix face-lift.

  • Pull hair into a high ponytail, wrapping the ends loosely around the base and securing it with pins.
  • Take the look to new heights by spending a few extra seconds pulling your hair outward once it’s secured on the top of your head. This gives the illusion of fuller hair if your strands are fine and adds extra glamour to already volumized strands.
  • Finish with a scrunchie if you want to turn heads on your morning commute.

Relaxed Pony

Let’s face it, there’s a reason that our moms used to scrape our hair into a ponytail during our school days—it’s a hairstyle that takes 60 seconds to pull together, and you can trust that it will stay in place all day. The opposite of an Ariana Grande-style power pony, this one is worn as low as you can go.

  • Gather all of your hair right at the base of the neck and secure with a hairband.
  • Once in place, pull the hairband down a little lower to relax the style.
  • Cover with a cuff if you’re feeling fancy.

Braided Bun

Perfect for longer hair, this is a great option when you’re heading out after work and want a hairstyle that will help you transition from day to night.

  • Start by applying a generous amount of texture spray (we love Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray, $48) through your hair, mainly focusing on the roots. Then, tie your hair into a low, loose ponytail.
  • Braid your hair, using the classic three-strand technique, making sure to leave a couple of inches free at the bottom.
  • Secure the braid with a hairband, then pull it apart very gently with your fingers.
  • Fold the plait upward through the first hairband to create a loop. Wrap the loose inches of your hair around the hairband and tuck it in to secure.

Flat-Iron Waves

A surprisingly easy way to replicate perfect beach waves, according to experts, is to employ a flat iron.

  • "For a more bohemian take on this ‘90s look, start by parting your hair in four quadrants and apply IGK Good Behavior Spirulina Protein Smoothing Spray ($32) evenly throughout strands for heat protection," says Izquierdo.
  • Izquierdo continues: "Grab your flat iron, hold it diagonally, and work the iron in slow, C-shaped motions with a few strands, then do smaller C-shaped motions with other strands, creating a variety of waves throughout."

Baby Braids

Beachy but still put together, this work will move seamlessly from the office to after-work happy hour.

  • "Using the hair that frames your face, create two baby braids," says Izquierdo.
  • He recommends finishing the look with IGK Beach Club Texture Spray ($29) from crown to mids to add some texture and then adding in IGK Beach Club Texture Paste ($25) for effortless piecey-ness throughout.

Sleek Ponytail

A chic way to keep hair out of your face, the sleek ponytail is about as classic as it gets.

  • "Gather your hair into a high, sleek ponytail at the top of your head and secure it with a cotton hair tie instead of an elastic to minimize damage," Izquierdo says.
  • Finish with a smoothing cream to ensure strands stay glossy.

Messy Bun

Effortless and still put together, this is a great day-to-night transitional look.

  • Pull your hair into a loose ponytail. "The height should be just below the very top of your head," says Coronado. Use your fingers to smooth hairs into place.
  • Twist your hair and then wrap it around the base of the ponytail, continuing to wrap until there are a couple of inches left, leaving the tail out of the bun.
  • Secure with a hair elastic or bobby pins and fold and pin the leftover tail back into the bun over the wrapped portion. Use bobby pins to secure in place and pull/loosen portions of the bun to create a messy look.
  • "Floyd’s Styling Cream ($18) is great for smoothing extra flyaways," says Coronado.

Half-Up, Half-Down

A classic for good reason, the half-up, half-down style is easy to accomplish and no-nonsense.

  • Pull the top section of your hair into a small ponytail, ensuring both sides are even.
  • Secure the half ponytail with an elastic.
  • Pull out a few tendrils to frame the face or add a slight wave using a wide-barrel curling iron.

Side Part With Texture

This look works best on thick hair, which takes to texturizing products especially well.

  • Spritz on dry shampoo to add grit and remove oiliness from the hair.
  • Using a wide-barrel curling wand, add waves throughout the hair, spritzing with texture spray and hairspray to set.

Blown-Out Bangs

Short hair can still have plenty of volume—just turn to a hairdryer, which will help style bangs.

  • Starting on wet or damp hair, use a round brush to style hair while blasting it with a hairdryer like Drybar's Buttercup Blow Dryer ($199).
  • Spritz a shine spray throughout and use fingers to style into place.

Brushed Out With Volume

A great style for those with natural texture, this works especially well with some added (think: to-the-shoulders) length.

  • Part hair in the center.
  • Blow out gently, using fingers to brush the hair.
  • Apply a smoothing serum to ensure the hair stays protected from the elements.

Deep Side Part

This look requires little more than switching up your part—but the impact is still high.

  • Starting with dry hair, part your hair deeply to either the left or right side (choose what you're most comfortable with).
  • Move all the hair to that side so it falls over one shoulder.
  • Finish with some texture cream throughout.

Voluminous Body

Big, voluminous hair will never go out of style—better yet, it works on a range of textures and everything from thin to thick strands.

  • Separate hair into sections and, using a big-barrel curling iron, create loose waves throughout.
  • "To finish: if you have fine hair, use IGK No Limit Volume & Thickening Spray ($31) to add fullness to your waves," Izquierdo says.
  • If you have thick hair, use a smoothing "to provide shine and frizz control, and then separate the waves with your fingers."

Braided Topknot

Funky and youthful, the braided topknot is easy to replicate at home.

  • Pull your hair into a loose ponytail, twisting it and then wrapping it around the base of the ponytail, continuing to wrap until there are about four inches left out of the bun tail.
  • Braid that piece, secure the end with a clear hairband and then wrap it around the base of the bun. Secure the braid with bobby pins.
  • Coronado recommends using Kérastase Oléo Relax Anti Frizz Hair Oil ($39) to "help calm any frizzy pieces in the braid."

Side Part With Waves

This style is a chic and sophisticated way to show off accessories (like a killer pair of earrings) at work.

  • Part hair into a deep side part.
  • Use a 1" curling iron to create waves through the hair.
  • "Use a blowdryer to hold that deep side part in place," says Coronado. "To finish the style and hold that hair in place, I like to use a serum like Matrix Biolage SmoothProof Serum ($20)."

Natural Waves

If your hair is already slightly wavy, use a simple drying technique to amp up the look.

  • Towel hair off until it's about half-dry.
  • Distribute a wave-enhancing styling product throughout the hair, using a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product throughout.
  • Let hair finish air-drying.

Half-Up, Half-Down With Texture

Jon Kopaloff

This look is sleek enough for an evening event but still looks great with daytime workwear.

  • Gather the top section of hair into a mid-pony, brushing down the tops and sides, so hair is flat against the head.
  • Secure with an elastic, allowing the bottom half of hair to remain wide and voluminous.
  • Smooth the top down with a smoothing cream, and apply a curl-enhancing cream to the ends.

Toned-Down Wet Look

Typically, the wet look isn't an everyday style, but the high-drama look works for daytime when it gets the toned-down treatment.

  • Start with damp hair, apply a styling gel from the mid-shaft of the hair through the ends for slickness and hold.
  • Use a comb to brush hair back.
  • Finish with a light-hold hairspray.

Middle Part With Loose Waves

Jeff Kravitz/Contributor/Getty

This look works on everything from a bob haircut to longer locks.

  • Part your hair down the middle and apply a styling spray throughout.
  • Use a wide barrel curling iron to impart a loose, wavy texture.
  • Finger-comb the ends to loosen the look up even further.

Braided Bangs

An easy way to add a little pizzazz to hair, this look works on straight or wavy hair.

  • Section off one part of the area near your face, using a comb to create a deep part and ensure the section remains on its own.
  • Divide the section into three even strands, twisting the back strand over the center strand and the front strand over the center strand. Repeat the process all the way down that section.
  • Secure the braid at the bottom, and adhere it to your head using small bobby pins.

Picked-Out Curls

Natural hair gets plenty of volume with the use of a pick and a gentle blowdry.

  • Starting on damp hair, diffuse or dry your locks before flipping your head and shaking the hair out.
  • Use a pick on each section to add volume.
  • Finish by spritzing a shine spray all over the hair.

Stick Straight With a Center Part

About as sleek and no-nonsense as it gets, this look works best on those with blunt ends and hair that doesn't have much natural curl.

  • First, apply a styling shield to damp hair, which will help smooth and protect your locks.
  • Next, use a blowdryer to blow hair nearly dry.
  • Use a flat iron from roots to ends, finishing with a shine cream.

Loosely Bent Waves

If you have naturally loose waves, this style will be fairly effortless.

  • First, apply a texture spray on wet hair, which will help strands to separate.
  • Air-dry or use a blowdryer on a low setting and spray a texture spray through ends for volume and thickness.

Sleek Pixie

Those with shorter hair can employ a few quality hair products to achieve this chic look.

  • Air-dry hair for added texture.
  • Spritz a shine spray through locks and use a comb or fingers to brush the hair forward.

Natural Coils

A great way to show off natural texture, this look works on a range of shapes.

  • Dry hair with a blowdryer set on low heat.
  • Use a brush or pick of your choice to shape hair into the style that best suits you.
  • Finish with a curl-enhancing gel or cream to play up your coils.

Short Curls With Headband

The best thing about this look? It’s great when you’ve exhausted your dry shampoo supply and need to disguise greasy roots fast.

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