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With a new school year right around the corner, you may be thinking about how to switch up your beauty look just in time for the first day of class. After you’ve nailed down the perfect outfit and decided on a new daily makeup look, your back to school hairstyle should be next on your list. Nothing says “new school year, new me” like a fresh new haircut or hairstyle for school. Of course, we know you don’t have extra time in the morning to spend on your mane, which is why the following back to school hairstyles are simple, easy, and also totally on-trend. Ready to upgrade your look for the new school year ahead? Keep reading to learn about 15 cute haircuts and hairstyles for school.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking with a classic hairstyle for back to school, and it doesn’t get more classic than the preppy ponytail. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel—or the ponytail for that matter. A simple pony is perfect for a day that’s full of studying, gym class, and after-school sports practice. Bonus: Tie it off with a ribbon and you’ll look super chic with minimal effort. Follow these steps for the perfect ponytail.
STEP 1: BRUSH YOUR HAIR
This ponytail is meant to be bump free, so run a brush through your hair before pulling it up. To make sure things are super smooth, use a boar bristle brush on clean strands. Once you’re satisfied that your tresses aren’t tangled, move on to the next step.
STEP 2: GATHER HAIR IN A HIGH PONYTAIL
Next, use your hands to collect all of your hair and pull it into a high ponytail. When you have the ponytail positioned exactly where you want it, and you’ve smoothed out any errant lumps, secure it with a hair elastic. Don’t worry too much about how the hair tie looks, as you’re going to cover it up in just a moment.
STEP 3: USE SHINE SPRAY
To lock in your look and add shine at the same time, spritz your ‘do with the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil Satin Hairspray.
BONUS STEP: ADD A RIBBON OR HAIR SCARF
Wearing hair accessories is oh-so-trendy, and back to school is the perfect time to break them out. Tie a cute ribbon or hair scarf—maybe one that matches your outfit—around your ponytail to dress it up and take your look to the next level. Once your accessory is in place, you’re finished!
As far as haircuts go, it doesn’t get more on-trend than a feathered style! This look features wispy, shaggy layers that frame your face, add volume, and take cues from the ‘70s. Even better, the cut can be rocked with short, medium, or long hair—so you don’t have to sacrifice your length to get the look. Learn more in our article, Feathered Hairstyles are the Next Big Thing.
If you’re currently rocking long locks and aren’t quite ready to part ways with your length, long layers are a great way to switch up your hairstyle with minimum shortening. The other great thing about long layers? There are endless opportunities when it comes to deciding on a hairstyle to show off your new ‘do. For a heat-free option, try using the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty to add volume, thickness, and texture to your layered mane. If you prefer a blowout, spritz your strands with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray before blow drying your hair straight.
Editor’s note: Want to keep your long hair but aren’t sold on long layers? Head over to our article, 15 Pretty Haircuts for Long Hair, for more long haircut ideas!
Love the look of wavy hair but don’t want to wake up early to use a curling wand? We’ve got you. Take a few minutes to braid your hair before bed and you can wake up with gorgeous, beach waves in the morning.
STEP 1: SHOWER
Waking up super early to shower is no fun, especially if you don’t want to head to school with wet hair. So, switch to showering at night before school starts. It also just so happens that showering should be the first step in creating this overnight hairstyle. Hop in the shower and wash with your favorite shampoo and conditioner, then gently towel dry your hair.
STEP 2: USE BEACH WAVE SPRAY
Spray damp hair with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY Wave Swept Spray to help enhance your natural texture.
STEP 3: BRAID YOUR HAIR
Now it’s time to braid your hair. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be capable of anything fancy—just a classic three-strand braid. Put your hair into anywhere from one to four braids, depending on just how wavy you want your hair to be. The more braids you decide on, the wavier your hair will be.
STEP 4: SLEEP!
This is the easiest styling step ever, all you have to do is sleep. Go catch some Z’s, you don’t have to do the next step until you wake up.
STEP 5: UNDO YOUR BRAIDS
Good morning! When you’re awake, remove your braids and finger comb through your hair to loosen the waves that they created overnight. Wasn’t that easy?
Maybe you’ve been contemplating getting bangs for a while now but aren’t totally sold on adding an extra step to your styling routine. Lucky for you, shaggy bangs are totally low-maintenance and super in (they also pair great with the feathered hairstyle we mentioned earlier). Style your hair as you please while letting your long, messy bangs do their thing. Finish with a few sprays of the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT High Lift Creation Spray to give your roots some extra volume.
When you were younger, your mom probably put your hair into pigtails for back to school. Nowadays, you can style your own hair but you still have room in your heart for that adorable pigtail look. To channel one of your favorite childhood hairstyles, rock the modern, grown-up version—double Dutch braids. Here’s how:
STEP 1: SPLIT YOUR HAIR DOWN THE MIDDLE
This look necessitates a middle part. Use a fine-tooth comb to split your hair into two sections—one for each braid—right down the middle.
STEP 2: CREATE DUTCH BRAIDS
Next, it’s time to Dutch braid each section of hair. Not sure how? We have an article to help with that! Take a few minutes to read up on How to Dutch Braid Your Hair.
STEP 3: PANCAKE THE BRAIDS
Think your braids look a little too perfect after reading that tutorial? Mess them up a little by pancaking your braids. What does that mean, exactly? Pancaking involves flattening your braid to make it look fuller. Gently pull apart the sections of both braids for a fun, undone look.
STEP 4: FINISH WITH HAIRSPRAY
It’s no mistake that most of these hairstyles end with spraying your hair with hairspray. That’s because it’s key in creating a long-lasting beauty look! A few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold Volume and you can be on your merry way.
Really pressed for time but need to look put-together for a presentation? A sock bun will do the trick. This nifty hair accessory will allow you to get the perfect donut bun you’ve always wanted in a matter of minutes. Interested? Here’s How to Create a Sock Bun.
Sleek, straight strands will never go out of style. Smooth things out by straightening your locks to perfection on your first day back to class. Be sure to use a frizz serum, like the L’Oréal Paris EverSleek Frizz Finish Oil-In-Serum, post-straightening—flyaways are a huge no when it comes to sleek, straight hair.
If you’re feeling tempted to cut some length off your mane, a blunt shoulder-length shag is a fun, trendy haircut to try. The blunt ends of this haircut make it edgy while the shaggy layers keep it carefree. Style your hair with a texturizing pomade to create a messy, piece-y hairstyle that will highlight your new cut.
If you have natural hair and are trying to grow it out, want to instantly increase your length, or simply want an on-trend ‘do for the new school year, look no further than box braids. This protective hairstyle will add length to your natural mane and check off all the boxes mentioned above. Here’s How to Create Box Braids.
We love top knots as much as the next person—if not more—but let’s mix things up a little for back to school. Instead of tossing all of your hair up at the last minute as you run to catch the bus, quickly pull only half of your hair into a bun. It’s equally as easy but gives your style a bit of extra flair.
STEP 1: APPLY HEAT PROTECTANT
Don’t even think about using a heat tool without first applying heat protectant! Do you really want damaged hair for your first day back at school? We think not. If you want to try a style—like this one—that requires heat, spritz on a heat protectant beforehand.
STEP 2: STRAIGHTEN YOUR HAIR
Break out your flat iron and—you guessed it—straighten your hair. For sleeker, straighter results, you can section off your hair before straightening.
STEP 3: GATHER THE TOP SECTION OF YOUR HAIR
Since you’re only putting half of your hair into a top knot, you’ll only need to gather the top section. Pro tip: To gather just the right amount, use the ends of your eyebrows as a guide for where to section off your hair.
STEP 4: CREATE A MINI BUN
The section of hair you’re holding should look like an unsecured ponytail at the moment, but now let’s turn it into a bun. Twist the pony, starting at the base. Once you’ve created a coil, wrap it around itself to form a bun. Secure with a hair elastic and as many bobby pins as you need. There’s no need to overdo it with the pins though since this look is allowed to be a little messy.
STEP 5: FINISH WITH HAIRSPRAY
Spritz, spritz. Make sure your hairstyle lasts by finishing with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Fine Control Hairspray.
Another super fun layered hairstyle, a textured lob is a great way to try out a short hairstyle without losing all your length in the front. That’s right—your hair will stay longer in the front (think shoulder length) while it slants to a slightly shorter length at the back of your head (usually around the nape of your neck). With this look, you won’t have to deal with the constant need to put your hair up in hot weather and you’ll also have a trendy hairstyle that your peers will envy—it doesn’t get much better than that. To style it, apply wave spray on towel-dried hair to define the shape and texture of your locks. For more ways to style your lob, read our article, 22 Ways to Style Your Lob Haircut in 2019.
Editor’s note: If you’re totally into the lob haircut but are too scared to make the chop, we’ve got you covered. Check out our article, How to Wear a Faux Lob Hairstyle, to find out how you can get the look without cutting your locks.
Who says an intricate bun has to be difficult? Half braid and half bun, this brun hairstyle combines two of our favorite looks—not to mention it takes about five minutes to do! Here’s Braid Meets Bun: How to Get a Brun Hairstyle for a step-by-step tutorial.
Did we mention that we can’t get enough of braids? One braid we’ve yet to note is the fishtail braid. This classic look is still totally trendy and is a great way to style your mane when you’re in a rush or on-the-go, it can even be done on the way to school once you get the hang of it—as long as you aren’t the one driving! Here’s Our Easy Fishtail Braid Tutorial.
If you’re craving a dramatic change and want to go short—a pixie crop will do the job! One of the best things about this short hairstyle is that it’s super low maintenance. You can even roll out of bed and head out the door without looking like a mess on those days you can't resist snoozing your alarm. When you do style it, use a paste or pomade to add texture to each short strand for a messy look.
Back to school haircut? Check! Next, streamline your skin care routine for the start of the school year with our article, Your Back-to-School Skin Care Guide.