It’s that time of year again, the one where you wake up before the sun and sleepily shuffle off to your class. Before that first espresso hits, it can hard to whip your bedhead into academia-appropriate shape. That’s where we come in!
Scroll down to see our very favorite back to school hairstyles.
Scarves are the accessory of the moment because they’re colorful, inexpensive, and take any style to the next level. Elevate your average ballerina bun by knotting a scarf with a graphic or floral pattern around it. Once the temperatures start dropping, you can switch to velvet or satin.
Classic High Ponytail
The high ponytail has lasted from generation to generation because it’s so flirty and flattering. The tight style pulls your face up and back, creating the illusion that you absolutely didn’t stay up all night. We won’t tell if you don’t!
The waterfall braid is unique because of the way it blends in with the rest of the hair instead of totally stealing the show. If you’re just trying to get your grown-out bangs away from your face, it’s a smart (and low effort) choice.
Pop Star Half Ponytail
The high half ponytail creates the same visual effect as the regular ponytail, but this one doesn’t require fitting all your hair through a single band. Try it with an on-trend scrunchie for the ultimate throwback look.
Here’s one thing you can forget about in the new school year: Visible hair elastics. Those chunky brown bands are so last year.
Braided Half Ponytail
Tired of wearing the same half ponytail that’s been in your rotation for close to a decade? We agree. Spice up the style with an ultra-pancaked braid.
Twisted Half Ponytail
Speaking of ‘90s styles, the twisted half ponytail is a classic. Tie a thin fabric ribbon around the ponytail to make it feel extra feminine.
It isn’t always the most complicated braids that have the most significant visual impact. In the case of hairline braids, getting your mane out of your way and accomplishing a stylish updo can happen in the same style.
Dutch Half Up Braid
Add a touch of flair to your standard half ponytail by braiding it in an unexpected way. Instead of the standard braid, choose a Dutch version. All it really takes is for you to cross your strands over instead of under.
If you have naturally thick hair or regularly wear extensions, make the most of it and try out an oversize princess braid. Tie a scarf at the bottom for an eye-catching finish.
Level up your ponytail by starting it with a French braid. It’ll only take you a minute and can help add dramatic volume to your tail. For added drama, we love spraying Mizani Lived-In Styling Texturizing Finishing Spray at the crown before beginning to braid.
Accessories are in for the school year, if you hadn’t noticed yet. We love the way simple braid cuffs and charms can freshen up any braid style without great expense.
Fishtail Half Pigtails
Put those would-be beauty guru skills to work with fishtail half pigtails pinned to the back of your head. Your stylist will be awfully proud the next time you step into the salon.
As time goes on, it’s hard to remember a time when bows did not make or break a style. We love the way a dramatic ribbon can make the average ponytail feel quite a bit more dressed up. Try this style for the first day of school but don’t be afraid to take it to the homecoming dance, too.
Embellished Half Ponytail
Wearing fresh flowers to school may not be exactly practical, but there are plenty of non-perishable ways to make a braided half ponytail look unique. Try matte metal hairpins for a modern twist on the look.
More scarves! Finish even the simplest braid with a flashy scarf to help make the first day of school feel like it also might be a tropical island vacation. If you have to return to studying, why not do it in style?
Messy Half Banana Bun
Meet the banana bun, a style you’ve probably been doing for years. Instead of shaping your hair into an artfully done donut, don’t pull it through all the way on your last loop through your ponytail.
For more customized style ideas for the first day of school, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.