Many of us have a love/hate relationship with Labor Day. Sure, it's full of poolside lounging, barbecue, and summer soirÃ©es, but amidst the summer fun, it's hard to ignore the fact that it marks the end of the sunshine season. And while fall is full of its own pleasures like PSLs and apple picking, there's something special about summer that would be nice to have all year long... like those effortless beach waves that just appear post-pool time.
Weâ€™re assuming you have grander plans on Labor Day than fiddling with your hair â€”but that doesnâ€™t mean you have to resort to your go-to messy bun. After all, it's likely the temps will be high, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style, according to our experts.
Meet the Expert
- Bobby Elliot is a longtime hairstylist and R+Co Collective member.
- Ryan Richman is a celebrity hairstylist based in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.
Embellished Space Buns
Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic
Look closely and you'll notice that Janelle Monae's space buns are accompanied by nothing fancy, just a few safety pins.
- If you have fine hair, spray them with hair spray first to keep them from slipping.
- Divide hair into two sections.
- Pull each section up into a ponytail securing with an elastic then wrapping the loose end around the elastic to create a loose bun. Secure the buns with bobby pins.
- Add in accessories (like barrettes, jewels, etc.) as you wish.
- "Finish off with R+Co. OUTER SPACE Flexible Hairspray ($32) for any flyaways," Elliot says.
Messy Side Braid
Kerry Washington's undone yet ethereal braid look is so easy to achieve.
- Create a side part and create a loose twist braid on the side with less hair.
- Secure with a clear elastic and loosen the braid to your liking.
- Make sure to leave your layers on the other side outâ€”the messier, the better.
A topknot is about as easy as it getsâ€”plus, it opens and lifts the face ever-so- slightly.
- Pull hair up into a high ponytail and wrap the ends loosely around the base.
- Secure it with pins and pull out a few strands of hair to frame the face.
- Spritz with texture spray to add volume and grit.
"For a topknot, I like to braid the hair," says Elliot. It adds a little more interest than the standard messy bun.
- First, gather the hair at the desired height, using an elastic.
- "Iâ€™ll then spray in R+Co. TROPHY Shine and Texture Spray ($32) to the ponytail before I braid. This will give the hair some grit and shine."
- "Iâ€™ll then braid the hair. You can do any type of braid. Twist the braid onto the base of the ponytail and secure with bobby pins."
Textured High Bun
With summer heat still in full swing, a sky-high (but not perfectly prim and proper) bun is a chic way to stay cool.
- Pull your hair into a loose ponytail at the top of your head.
- Twist the ends of the ponytail, wrapping them around the base of the ponytail.
- Secure with an elastic or bobby pins and loosen portions of the bun to create a messy look.
- For more tips, check out this tutorial for tips on creating a super-voluminous bun.
Wet Hair With Waves
"The key to achieving the wet hair look does not include wetting the hair down with water," says Richman. "The first step is to style the hair the way you want it."
- First, decide whether you want a center part, side part, no part, and create the texture desired for the finished look.
- "Once your style and texture are set use a very generous amount of BLEU by R+Co. Optical Illusion Smoothing Oil ($66) to provide high shine, tame frizz, and make the hair appear wet," says Richman.
- Lather the product in your palms and distribute throughout the style using your fingers.
- "You will probably have to apply it a few times, especially on thick and or long hair to make sure there is even distribution of product and no dry spots," Richman says.
This bohemian-chic look takes no time at all to replicate.
- Part the hair into sections, spritzing a texture spray throughout.
- Hold a flat iron diagonally against the head, wrapping the hair around it in small sections to create waves.
- Complete on the entire head and finish with hairspray.
Long With Texture
This is like a standard blowout but with more personality.
- Starting on day-old hair, spritz a texture spray over the hair.
- Using a wide- barrel curling wand, add waves throughout the hair, spritzing with more product as you go. Add hairspray to set.
Down and Straight
Hair with blunt ends works especially well for this super straight look, as it amps up the drama.
- Starting on dry hair, apply a straightening balm like Bumble and bumble Straight Blow Dry ($32) from roots to ends.
- Pointing the nozzle of a blow dryer downward, use a paddle brush to brush your hair while drying, taking it one section at a time.
- Follow with a flat iron and some shine spray to get a super-smooth look.
This look couldn't be easierâ€”and the effect is simple and stunning.
- Spritz a texture spray over the entire head.
- Section your hair into two halves, twisting the top half up into a messy bun.
- Secure the bun with an elastic or bobby pins and spritz through hair spray for hold.
Damp and Loose
JB Lacroix / Contributor / Getty
Super on-trend and chic, the wet look is surprisingly easy to achieve.
- "If Iâ€™m on a shoot all day with a client and we are creating a wet look, I will layer a leave-in conditioner like R+Co. SUN CATCHER Power C Boosting Leave-In Conditioner ($32)," says Richman. "This creates an all-day mask for my clientâ€™s hair."
- Once the conditioner is in, also apply a bit of strong-hold gel or serum all over the hair.
- Comb the product through the hair, going over and back.
- Spritz with hairspray.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Imges
An at-home blowout isn't nearly as intimidating as it sounds.
- Beginning on damp hair, use a round bristle brush while blow-drying your hair, teasing the hair as you go, and pointing the dryer's nozzle downward to tame frizz.
- Work from root to end, all the way around the hair, and finish with shine spray.
Inject a bit of volume into your hair's natural texture for an easy and sophisticated day-to-night look.
- Apply a heat protectant to damp hair.
- Blow out gently, using fingers to brush the hair rather than a brush (which might straighten the hair).
- Apply a smoothing serum and spritz through a shine spray.
This is arguably one of the easiest looks on the list to achieve, provided you have a killer cut to begin with.
- Air-dry hair, rather than blow-drying, to show off natural texture.
- Once hair is mostly dry, apply a shine spray over the entire style, using fingers to brush the hair and add a piecey look.
Long Fishtail Braid
Those itching for a fun braid style will appreciate the ease and bohemian vibes that come with a fishtail look.
- Pull hair into a ponytail, dividing the ends into two smaller, equally-sized ponytails.
- Separate a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the left ponytail, and pull it across the top over to the right.
- Repeat on the right side, pulling a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the right ponytail across the top and to the left.
- Repeat the above steps until you reach the bottom and secure the ends with an elastic.
This look is chic on nearly all hair types, but on natural curls it looks especially great, allowing the texture to shine through.
- Beginning on damp hair, apply a large dollop of strong-hold gel to the top of the head, combing it back and through the top and sides (but only allowing a tiny bit to get on the ends).
- "If you need to slick the hair back as part of your finished look use R+Co WALL STREET Strong Hold Gel ($28) where needed for wet-looking shine and all day-hold," says Richman.
- Using your diffuser nozzle on your blow dryer, glide the dryer over where the gel was used to help dry the look quickly.
Chic and about as simple as it gets, a low bun allows you to show off accessories and keeps hair out of your face.
- Create a ponytail at the base of your neck and secure with an elastic.
- Loosely wrap the ends of the hair around the elastic
- Pin the ends into place and spritz the entire look with shine spray.
This sporty style can still look chicâ€”even evening-appropriateâ€”if you add some extra volume by backcombing the roots first.
- Backcomb the roots while hair is still down, applying a texture spray and using a wide-toothed comb.
- Pull hair into a high ponytail, using a hairbrush to smooth the top and sides.
- Secure the ponytail with an elastic or hair tie, and smooth on some serum to tame flyaways.
This go-to look is elegant and versatile, and easy to make your own; just add some fun accessories and you're good to go.
- Section the top portion of your hair, starting near the top of your ears, to create a half-ponytail.
- Secure the ponytail with an elastic or barrette.
- Add in waves or extra volume with texture spray and a wide-barrel curling wand.
Naturally Textured Pixie
This look is all about hair's natural texture, so styling is almost secondary.
- Beginning on dry hair, spray the roots with a lifting spray, allowing the product to dry and massaging it into the roots.
- If your hair is on the longer side, use a pick to brush curls out, aiming them up and out for added volume.
Waves With a Headband
If you have a lob-length haircut, this is an easy way to play around with accessories and change up your look.
- Beginning on towel-dried hair, apply a texturizing spray or curl mousse like Oribe Curl Mousse, $39.
- Distribute the product through the hair, and allow to continue to air-dry.
- Place a thin headband Ã¡ la actress Julia Garner for added personality.
While this look works on a number of hair lengths, blunt, just-below-the-chin hair really shows it off.
- Beginning on damp hair, blow-dry with a diffuser.
- Spray in a texturizing spray (crucial if hair is naturally straight).
- Use a flat iron on small sections of the hair, pulling it down the hair shaft and pivoting at a 180-degree angle away from your face.
- Repeat on the entire head.
A milkmaid braid looks complicated, but if you can make braided pigtails, you can handle it.
- Create two braided pigtails, securing each with an elastic.
- Pull one braid over the top of your head, securing it to the head with bobby pins.
- Repeat with the other braid, so you've created a "crown" over the top of your head.
- Pull a few strands out to loosen the look.
Big, bouncy, Victoria's Secret-worthy curls are easier to pull off at home than you might think.
- Apply large rollers to damp hair (this will help you achieve maximum stretch of the hair).
- Aim a blow dryer over the whole head.
- Once hair is dry, comb a hydrating serum through the ends, to seal the hair.
Sleek and Straight Center Part
Using a product that blow-dries and detangles at once will create volume and also help aid in flipping the ends of the hair inward.
- Prep damp hair with a heat protectant and carve out a center part using a wide- toothed comb.
- Use a blow dryer/brush combo like Trademark Beauty Easy Blo ($49) to detangle and smooth hair while drying.
- Once hair is dry and detangled, use a shine spray over the whole look.
Natural, Full Curls
Remember that curly hair loves moistureâ€”so be sure to treat hair well to ensure it stays healthy.
- Begin with a moisturizing curl enhancer like Oribe Styling Butter ($46), combing it through damp hair with a fine-toothed comb.
- Let hair partially air dry.
- Go in with a blow dryer with a diffuser to finish drying the hair without causing unnecessary damage.
The curly ponytail offers a youthful look that is still chic and easy to replicate.
- Pull hair back into a high ponytail, securing it with a hair tie and teasing the crown for added volume.
- Take a few strands near the face out, and curl them to frame the face.
- Use a curling iron to begin loosely curl the ends of the ponytail, as well.
The key to styling a great shag is the use of great products.
- Allow hair to air-dry before applying a product throughout.
- Avoid products like gels, which can make the hair too stiff, opting instead of a styling cream with a medium hold.
- Using a blow dryer with the diffuser attachment, finish drying the hair, allowing the product to set.
- Use your fingers to comb through the ends and the bangs.
Side-Parted Lob With Volume
Thin hair? Don't fret. Keeping blunt ends on a lob will help the style feel thicker. But you can also fake volume with the following steps:
- Section hair into pieces while it's still wet and apply a volumizing mousse.
- Blow-dry your hair, pulling the hair away from your head to get more lift at the roots.
- Once it's dry, curl the hair using a wide-barrel curling iron and spritz through a flexible hold hairspray.
Side Part With Natural Texture
This look requires some natural texture to the hair, so don't be afraid to amp it up with styling products.
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