One of the best things about having long hair to rival Rapunzel is its versatility. It’s all too easy to fall into a hairstyle rut and feel the temptation to cut it into a shorter style. However, long hair gives you the option to experiment with the widest possible range of hairstyles to completely transform your look without going for the chop. Whether your hair is fine, thick, curly, or poker straight, there are plenty of gorgeous ideas from sleek up-dos to relaxed weekend looks to complement your chosen outfit and frame your face perfectly.
Sleek and Straight
Sleek, shiny, poker-straight hair creates a major impact and looks great with formal workwear or casual clothes. The key to achieving this look is to make sure your hair is moisturized before you use your flat iron by conditioning it thoroughly, as dry hair will just look frazzled. When your hair is dry, apply a heat-protecting spray to stop it from burning. Another secret to getting glossy straight hair is to use the flat iron at a temperature between 300-350 degrees. Although many flat irons have hotter temperatures, these are best suited to professional keratin treatments instead of home use.
Top knots are best suited to very long hair as you can achieve the look without any stray hairs. This style is quick to achieve on days when you’re pushed for time but still looks slick enough for workwear. Start by pulling your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Be sure to brush up any loose strands and avoid bumps. Twist the ponytail and then wrap it around the elastic, fastening securely with bobby pins.
Tousled, undone beachy waves are the perfect way to complement a casual look while still making long hair look stylish. The secret to creating lasting waves is to make sure hair isn’t too clean by working through a styling mousse or sea salt spray. If you start with ultra-clean, slippery hair, the waves won’t hold. When creating beachy waves with tongs, curl the sections in different directions. Otherwise, they will look too uniform and formal.
Bangs with a center parting give long hair a cool, laid-back 70’s vibe. This style is great at framing your face and particularly suits women with heart-shaped faces. If you’re not keen to take the plunge and get bangs cut in, you can get clip-in versions to get the look without the commitment.
A Dutch braid looks intricate but is no harder to achieve than a French braid on long hair. This style creates extra volume and looks especially striking if you have vibrant hair color. To create a Dutch braid, split the hair into three sections at the crown. Thread the left strand under the center (the opposite of a French braid), then thread the right strand under the new center strand. Repeat the process, gathering hair from the side as you go, and secure it at the bottom with a hair elastic.
A ponytail is an easy and stylish way to get your hair looking polished if you’re in a rush. The trick to making this style look elegant is to condition the hair first, so it’s sleek and shiny. Either flat-iron for a glossy finish or tong in some curls at the end. Once you’ve gathered your hair up and secured it, wrap a strand of hair around to disguise the elastic. Finish with a spritz of hairspray to give the style staying power.
A braided bun looks elegant and like it took a lot of time to achieve but is actually very simple. To achieve it, tie your hair up in a high ponytail. Section off a third of your hair. Twist the rest and wrap it around the elastic into a bun, securing with bobby pins. Braid the remaining section and tie the end with an elastic. Wrap the braid around the bun, tucking the ends in and pinning.
The banana chignon is a classic bridal style but works equally well with formal workwear. This style works best with long hair as you won’t have any straggling hair left over. Begin by brushing and straightening your hair thoroughly. Gather it in a low ponytail, then twist the hair inwards and upwards on itself. Secure inside the length of the chignon using bobby pins, taking care to tuck them under the hair, so they’re invisible.
Loose curls are a glamorous way to wear long hair down. They really show off your natural volume if you have thick hair, or create extra if your hair is fine. Using a wide-barrelled curling iron, wrap sections of hair and hold for just a few seconds, so the curls aren’t too rigid. If your hair is fine, backcombing at the root will help to create more bounce.
The ‘hun,’ or a half-up, half-down bun, is a pretty, casual way to get some of your hair up and away from your face while showing off its length. This style works best on thick hair. Gather up the top half of your hair, tying in a ponytail with a hair elastic. You may want to use a mirror to make sure the parting between the top and bottom is straight. Twist the ponytail and then wrap it around the elastic to form a bun, tucking the end under and pinning it in place.