If You Have Long Layers: The Sophisticated Pony

Here's a quick solution for taking your ponytail up a few notches on the style scale.

1. If your hair is dry, work in a pea-size amount of styling cream for hold.
2. Then make a center part. Leave a two-inch section out in front on either side of your face. Gather the rest of your hair back into a low ponytail, securing it with an elastic.
3. Next, pull each front section around the left and right sides of your head, joining them with your low pony. Wind another elastic on top of the first one to keep these pieces in place.
4. Finish by taking a one-inch section from the tail and wrapping it around the base of your ponytail (to camouflage both elastics) and secure with a bobby pin underneath.

If You Have Natural Curls: Easy Morning Waves

Working with your natural texture has never been easier. Skipping shampoo can even be beneficial for curls. "Overwashing is one of the main causes of frizz," says Cucinello.

1. Before going to bed, dampen (don't soak) hair with water using a spray bottle. Then work in a curl-enhancing mousse for added control.
2. Divide your hair into three sections and braid each—starting from the middle of the hair and tying it off with an elastic about an inch from the end.
3. In the morning, unwind the braids and finger comb—using a smoothing cream to tame flyaways. "This will take you from tight curls to loose, beachy waves overnight," Cucinello says.

If You Have Fine Hair: The Big Braid

Create the illusion of thickness by slinging all of your hair to one side and adding Cucinello's secret weapon: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, $39 for 8.5 fl. oz.

1. Holding the can two to three inches away from your head, spritz roots with the dry texturizing spray and allow it to sit on your scalp for one to two minutes to absorb excess oil.
2. Work your hands from roots to ends to fluff up hair, then swing all of your length to one shoulder and loosely braid.
3. Secure with a clear elastic or one close to your hair color. (We like the snag-free kind from Goody, $3 for 100.) The best part: "The more imperfect this style is, the better," says Cucinello.

If You Have Kinky Hair: The Top Knot

Go for a sleek finish fast by piling hair up high and adding a few well-placed pins.

1. Separate hair into two-inch sections and spritz roots with dry shampoo or Cucinello's go-to dry texturizing spray.
2. Work a thin layer of pomade over the palm of your hands, flip your head upside down and gather hair at the crown—securing it into a ponytail with an elastic. If your hair is particularly coarse, use a bristle brush (like Sonia Kashuk's Bristle Hair Brush, $15) for a smooth, tight finish.
3. Add a little more pomade to the tail, then twist it around the base of your pony to create a bun.
4. Fasten the tail in place with bobby pins that match your hair color. (Got long bangs? Twist them back to one side and secure with more bobby pins.)
5. To prevent frizz, he recommends spritzing hair with Garnier Sleek and Shine Anti-Humidity Hairspray, $3.50.

If You Have Short Hair: The Quick Slick-Back

Keep unwashed hair undercover and try this ultrasleek and ultraeasy look.

1. Pull the top section of your hair up into a ponytail. (If you have a cropped cut—like a pixie—you can skip straight to the second step.)
2. Generously spray the bottom section (back and sides) with hairspray (opt for a pomade if you have thick or wavy hair)—using a comb to smooth hair down in place.
3. Untie the top section and run a flatiron through it—directing the hair forward and to one side.
4. Add a deep side part and mist all over with hairspray. Still have frizz? Spritz a clean mascara wand with more hairspray (or coat it in a thin layer of pomade) and use it to tame flyways.


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