If your hair is medium-length or long (straight)...

Loose Waves

A head of ripply, not-too-tight curls often looks so effortless, but the truth is, the style can be pretty time-consuming to pull off. Instead of doing it the usual way, which is to go section by section with a curling iron or wand, try what Edward Tricomi, co-founder of Warren Tricomi Salons, calls "the magic set"—a technique that creates waves that begin about halfway down your hair, which is a key feature of the "beach wave" look.

1. Heat up a curling wand.
2. Gather your hair into a high ponytail on top of your head and secure it with an elastic.
3. Divide the ponytail into four sections (or more, depending on your hair length; the more sections you create, the tighter the curls will be).
4. Wrap each section of hair around the barrel, hold for a few seconds and release.
5. After you've curled each section, remove the elastic and gently shuffle all of your hair to give it some cohesiveness.

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If your hair is long...

Braided Ponytail

Here's great news for anyone whose arms feel like they're going to fall off when braiding their entire head: there's an abbreviated version that looks just as lovely, but takes a fraction of the time to create (arms, rejoice!). Tricomi explains how to pull off the creative braid.

1. Separate your hair into three sections, using the middle of each eyebrow to delineate the sections, so you have three vertical sections of hair (you'll only be braiding the middle section).
2. Use clips to secure the two side sections out of the way.
3. French braid the center section.
4. Bring in the remaining hair, from the two side sections you made at the beginning, and pull them toward where the braid ends.
5. Secure the three sections together with the elastic.
6. Spray the braid lightly with hairspray to hold it in place.

If your hair is a chin-length bob or lob...

Half-Up, Half-Down Topknot

Celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons says there are more ways to style a bob or lob than you may think. One of his favorites is this fresh take on a topknot that's supercasual for day, or could be dressed up with a gold hair cuff for evening.

1. Begin with hair that's been dried to its natural texture, whether straight, wavy or curly.
2. Part your hair horizontally (the opposite way most people do), from ear to ear.
3. Gather up the hair that's to the front of the part (this will be the longest hair on your head, since the front section is the longest part of a bob).
4. Loosely twist that hair and secure it with an elastic.
5. Spray some texture spray (Fitzsimons likes Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Perfect Texture Finishing Spray) onto the remaining hair that wasn't gathered into the topknot and use your fingers to "mess it up."

If your hair is short (such as a pixie or short bob)...

Tousled Styling

A little dab of product can totally change the look of a short, layered cut, says Tricomi. His go-to? Molding paste or clay (he likes Warren-Tricomi Molding Clay). It can give your hair an edgy look, highlighting and giving definition to all of its layers while keeping it flexible, with a medium (not stiff) hold. For creating great texture—and to style your hair like Halle Berry's:

1. Use your fingers to scoop out about a half a demitasse spoon's worth of paste (somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon), being sure to keep the paste on your fingertips, not your palms.
2. Start at the back and sides of your head, using your fingertips like paintbrushes, and work your way toward the top and front. If you want more lift from the roots, apply the paste closer to your scalp; if you don't want (or need) volume, just apply it to the middle part of the hair shaft out toward the ends.


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