8 Quick and Easy Hairstyles 'Marie Claire' Editors Swear By

Fast and easy styling tricks, coming your way.

Gabrielle Ulubay looking down
(Image credit: Gabrielle Ulubay, Ashlyn Delaney, and Lucia Tonelli)

Once upon a time, while doomscrolling through X (or Twitter, at the time), I found a tweet that said to look put together, you should always ensure your hair is fully styled. The statement has haunted me since, as I'm the queen of quick, easy hairstyles that require little to no effort.

I have long, unpredictable, curly hair that is prone to dryness and frizz. So, while I could spend hours using hot tools or dozens of hair products and styling creams, I prefer to grab a headband, hair tie, or clip to style and pull together my hair in under five minutes. As a busy editor running between appointments, shows, and the office, I—along with other Marie Claire editors—often find myself resorting to the same tried-and-true quick hairstyles day after day.

Let it be known that quick doesn't mean unkempt. Ahead, the Marie Claire team shares go-to easy hairstyles that have us looking chic in seconds.

A Half Up, Half Down Ponytail

Gabrielle Ulubay looking at her watch with her hair half up, half down in a scrunchie

A half up, half down style cools Ulubay off while showing off length, but it also boosts her confidence.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"This hairstyle is not just my office staple, but it also became my go-to during a night out with friends," confesses Marie Claire's beauty writer Gabrielle Ulubay. "I was wearing my hair loose and overheating in the poorly ventilated bar. My friend watched me tie my hair up and let it back down repeatedly before finally suggesting, Why don't you tie it half-up? This simple yet effective hairstyle not only cooled me off while showing off my length, but it also boosted my confidence. On days when I have a lot of time or want to look more polished, I carefully pull half my hair up using a rat tail comb and slick down the half-pony with gel. However, when I'm on the go, I simply separate the top half of my hair with my fingers and tie it up with a silk scrunchie. Pro tip: The higher on your head you put the half pony, the less noticeable any bumps will be! This hairstyle is all about practicality and versatility, empowering you to look your best in any situation."

An Unfussy Bun

Lucia Tonelli with her hair up in a bun

Tonelli argues that this style looks better when not looking into a mirror while creating it.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"This is my five-second, fail-safe, unfussy favorite," Marie Claire's associate director of social media Lucia Tonelli says of this mini updo. "All you need is a hair tie and some barrettes for baby hairs (or a little pop of color) if you're feeling fancy. Part your hair down the middle, grab two front-framing pieces of hair, drape them forward, then run your fingers through the rest of the hair and tie it up into a bun, giving it a little tug to tighten and heighten it. I typically do this hairstyle without a mirror and argue that the style turns out better when you’re not looking!"

A Claw Clip

Halie LeSavage's hair half up, half down in a claw clip

LeSavage prefers wearing her hair down instead of wearing it up.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"I strongly prefer wearing my hair down to wearing it up," says senior editor Halie LeSavage. "But on some mornings, it's just not giving enough volume or shine to look professional. That's when I'll pull my hair into a half-up, half-down with a claw clip. In one step, it instantly feels more polished—at this point, I can even do it half-asleep. All I have to do is pull my bangs out to the front and brush two top sections on either side of my part into a ponytail, leaving the bottom half of my hair down. Then I secure the upper section at the back of my head with my clip."

A Retro Headband

Emma Childs with her hair down in a thick black headband

Childs wears thick black headbands to keep her hair away from her face.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"I am lazy with my hair," admits style editor Emma Childs. "I've always known this to be true, and instead of trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, I fully embrace meeting myself at my lazy level. When I can't be bothered to do anything or perhaps am in between washes, I spray on some dry shampoo, slip on my beloved and basic stretchy headband, and call it a day."

Air Dried With a Middle Part

Sara Holzman looking at her phone and wearing her hair down

Holzman prefers to air dry her hair and not use any styling products.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"My hair is naturally wavy/curly, and I like to lean into it, especially as the weather warms up and I can ditch the tools," style director Sara Holzman explains. "My go-to hairstyle is really simple. I let my hair air dry, don't use any product (although I probably should!), and go with a middle part. Depending on the weather, I let it do its thing—it gets extra curly and frizzy in the rain, but I embrace its wild, slightly unkempt look."

Knotless Braids

Ashlyn Delaney with her hair down in long braids

Delaney happily spends five hours getting knotless braids on the weekend if it only takes five minutes to style her hair during the week.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"Ah, behold, my tresses! Five hours well-spent at my favorite Harlem African braiding shop, crafting small/medium bohemian knotless braids for the brown skin baddies," social media associate Ashlyn Delaney says of her chic protective style. "A little tugging, a few butt aches, but oh, the sweet reward: Two months of carefree mornings without the thought of, Ugh, I have to do my hair still."

She explains how this style became her go-to: "Let's rewind to my high school days when my hair was my enemy—until sophomore year when I discovered the magic of protective styling. Sure, I'm parked in that chair, trading part of my day for an easier morning routine, but then I get to wake up, take off my bonnet, dab on some mousse and gel, and bam—I’m out the door! My five-hour investment turns into a breezy five-minute morning."

Slicked Back Ponytail

Lauren Tappan putting in earrings with her hair in a ponytail

Tappan relies on a quick ponytail when she has limited styling time.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

"You simply can't go wrong with a slicked-back ponytail," says fashion editor Lauren Tappan. "I tend to rely on this style if I'm rushing to prepare before work in the morning because barely any styling is involved. To get the look, part your hair down the middle, slick your strands back using a leave-in conditioner, gel, or pomade, and smooth out your roots with a trusty boar bristle brush. To spice things up, add a colorful scrunchie for a finishing touch!"

A Simple Braid

Julia Marzovilla braiding her hair

Marzovilla loosely braids her hair for an undone-in-a-cool-way vibe.

(Image credit: Clara Pafundi)

“I’ve been wearing my hair in braids since I was a little kid at summer camp," says commerce editor Julia Marzovilla. "What was once a set of two ultra-tight French braids has now evolved into something a little more relaxed—a looser, single option. I love it because it keeps my hair out of my face but lets my shorter layers hang down for an elevated, undone-in-a-cool-way vibe. To create the style, I split my hair down the back into three sections and braid it as normal before fastening it with whatever hair tie I have. If I feel really fancy, I’ll secure it with a bow.”

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, gabrielleulubay.medium.com. Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at @suburban.graffiti.art