1. Give Yourself a Smooth Blowout
Using a blow-dryer rather than an iron to straighten hair creates a softer, more natural look. First, blot excess water with a microfiber towel. Then remove the dryer’s nozzle and sweep damp hair from side to side with your fingers while blasting it; do this until hair is almost dry. Reattach the nozzle and, working in three-inch sections, pull each one out to the side using a paddle brush—keep your thumb on top of the bristles to help tightly pull the hair smooth all the way through to the ends. Run the dryer up and down each section until dry.
2. Create a Romantic Chignon
A rumpled texture and casual pinning make the standard bun look sexier and more youthful. Use a large curling iron to create loose waves (if your hair is naturally wavy, let it air-dry). Gather your hair loosely at the nape and twist it around just once so the bun drapes low. Then, instead of wrapping it with an elastic, stick long bobby pins into the bun haphazardly to secure it, which keeps the style from becoming too tight.
3. Wear Hair Halfway Back
To make this style more grown-up, take the top section of your hair from temple to temple and lightly tease the underside with a paddle brush. Skim the brush over the surface of hair to smooth it, then secure at the back of the crown with a simple metal or tortoiseshell barrette.
4. Get Big, Bouncy Curls
Nothing says “bombshell” like a flowing heap of curls. (See style on the left.) Apply mousse throughout damp hair, followed by a little serum on the ends, then blow-dry without a brush. Use a one-inch curling iron to roll hair sections up, from the ends to the scalp, and hold each there for a second. After sliding out the iron, pin the curls to the head. When they’ve cooled, release the curls and fluff them with a brush.
5. Make a Messy Doorknob Knot
Step 1. Flip your head upside down and finely mist your roots and hairline with an aerosol hair spray. (This makes the hair a bit coarse, which keeps the style in place.) For fine hair, tease the roots before spraying for fullness. If you have curly hair, skip the spray and instead rub in a dab of styling lotion.
Step 2. Lift your head up, rake your fingers through your hair, then gather it in a loose ponytail just above the nape of your neck. Wrap a thick elastic band around the base twice.
Step 3. Wrap the elastic around a third time, but pull the hair only halfway through, so the knob is on top and the ends poke out underneath. Pull out a few wisps around your face for softness, and tuck any longer pieces behind your ears.