When you’re juggling what feels like the world on your shoulders, taking precious time out of your already jam-packed schedule to style your hair seems like an impossible feat. But when you’re living in the modern age of Instagram selfies and expertly styled windblown hair, the idea of rolling out of bed and strolling into work doesn’t seem to cut it. So, what’s a girl to do? Keep reading for four ways to quickly style hair in a way that instantly elevates your work look.

“Work environments tend to be a lot more casual these days, but there are occasions when you want to step up your game without looking like you are trying too hard,” says celebrity hairstylist Eloise Cheung. In those instances, stock your beauty toolkit with easy-to-execute tricks that call on the most classic of hairdos, including waves, hair accessories, ponytails, and half-up knots. Scroll on to find out how.

Shiny, Fuss-Free Waves

Why reach for a curling wand when you can achieve the season’s shiniest Hollywood waves in a relatively hands-free way? Where using a plug-in hair tool requires two hands to expertly wrap and heat hair, hot curlers (like the T3 Micro Hot Rollers [$119]) have a “set it and forget it” ease. While your hair is on its way to looking picture-perfect, you can work double time to make sure your makeup does too. (Photo via Theo Wargo / Getty)

To get the look, Cheung suggests giving dry hair some texture with a medium-hold hairspray like Davines This Is a Medium Hairspray ($30). Next, take sections starting at the top of the head and wrap the hair around the roller one at a time. Wind your hair toward your face for a face-framing appeal, or away from it if the goal is to open up your face a bit. “If you want more volume, make sure that you lift the roots up and don’t let the rollers drag down, or your hair will be flat,” she says. Leave them in place while you work on your makeup/get ready for work/tend to your kids/be an all-around superwoman. Once they’ve cooled, gently unroll them and lightly brush the hair out with a boar’s bristle brush for a smooth, starlet finish. For added frizz-taming shine, Cheung suggests finishing with a quick spritz of R+Co’s Neon Lights Dry Oil Spray ($29) — just be sure to do so from a distance so as to not weigh down your waves.

Creative Use of Hair Accessories

Solange Knowles rocking hair accessories along her hairline.

Bold, playful hair accessories are back, and in a big way at that. “Hair accessories are always a great and easy way to perk up a look,” Cheung says. “Alice bands, head bands, silk scarves, combs, clips, old brooches, necklaces, the list is endless. They don’t have to be elaborate, either; you can even use simple metal chopsticks [she loves the Crate & Barrel Stainless Steel Chopsticks ($3)] in a bun to give you an edge, [and they’re] also useful at lunchtime.” Whichever accessories you choose, they’re also a great distraction from dirty hair if you’re too busy to deal with a day-two ‘do. (Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty)

The Prettiest of Ponies

Taylor Hill wearing all black with a high ponytail and dark smoky eye.

Before you go throwing your hair in a messy ponytail, hear us out — or rather, take it from the woman who’s styled everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Taylor Hill. Take it high and tight for the easiest approach to looking polished. Not only will it keep your hair out of your face but, as Cheung points out, it also has the added bonus of an eye lift during those early mornings following late nights. (Photo via Neilson Barnard / Getty)

To get the look, let gravity be your assistant, and flip your head over to bring all your strands to your crown. From there, use a boar bristle brush to smooth all of your hair to the high sweet spot; spritz with a strong, shine-enhancing hairspray (Cheung recommends R+Co’s Vicious [$30]); brush through once more; and secure with a hair tie or bungee.

If you want something a little softer, try a two-pony approach. Start by sectioning your hair off from the top of the ears to the crown and pin it out of the way with a lobster clip. Secure the rest of your hair with an elastic. “With the top section of hair, you can tease it a little at the root to give some volume and then secure with another hairband to the first ponytail,” Cheung says. The result? Va-va-voom volume that looks fresh out of Legally Blonde — only, you know, maybe not blonde.

If you love the idea of a picture-perfect pony but don’t think you have the mane to muster it, fret not. A ponytail extension, like one from the Barefoot Blonde new Up collection ($115 each), can help make ends meet.

No-Nonsense Knot

Behind shot of Kate Middleton's half-up knotted updo.

If you’re not sure if you want to wear your hair up or down, it’s time to make a compromise with a simple half-up knot. But nope, we’re not talking a top knot. Instead, Cheung recommends pulling pieces from above the ears back away from the face and looping them into a knot behind your head — just like the Duchess of Cambridge does. Simple and statement-making: What’s not to love? (Photo via Danny Martindale / Getty)

Start by spraying the sections with a weightless texture spray or dust (like Kevin Murphy’s Powder.Puff [$28]) to give them extra grip. Tie them into a knot and pin them in place on the underside with a bobby pin.

If all else fails, Cheung recommends having a halo hair extension on hand. “It’s attached to a clear wire and fits like a hair band,” she says. “All you have to do is put it on and then pull your natural hair over it and style as usual.” Easy-peasy and totally put together without having to plug a single hot tool in.

Will you weave these simple styles into your morning routine? Tell us @BritandCo!

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