In my opinion, it doesn’t matter whether you’re going on a first date or having a night out with your long-term partner—date nights are stressful. I find that I always run into the age-old dilemma of wanting to look put-together without appearing as if I put hours into my appearance. At this point, I feel like I’ve mastered the outfit, but when it comes to hair, it’s sometimes a different story. So to solve my problem, I turned to members of our community to gather some inspiration. From ponytail braids to soft waves, here are six lowkey hairstyles to try on your next night out for an effortless look that’s sure to impress.
The Simple Updo
What You’ll Need: Leave-in conditioner, styling gel, a stretch headband
Before you start, begin by working SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Reparative Leave-In Conditioner ($10) through your hair. Then, take a skinny black, stretch headband, wrap it around your head twice, and slide it up to where you want your puff. Once you’ve secured it, smooth down your baby hairs with Ecoco Olive Oil Styling Gel ($6) to finish the look.
The Elegant Low Ponytail
What You’ll Need: An elastic or a scrunchie, dry shampoo
The low ponytail is arguably the most versatile hairstyle out there. You can dress it up, dress it down, use clean or week-old hair, or curl it or wear it straight and sleek. But no matter how you decide to personalize it, you can never go wrong with adding a little (or a lot) of Style Edit Invisible Dry Shampoo ($25) for some texture and volume. Personally, I think a subtle way to accentuate the classic low pony and simultaneously add a pop of color to your outfit is to tie it up with a patterned scrunchie like this Free People Milano Scrunchie ($6).
The Half-Up, Half-Down Top Knot
What You’ll Need: An elastic
For a low-maintenance, low-skill look, the half-up top knot look is a convenient go-to. Start with your natural hair or curled locks, and determine, depending on how much texture you want, if you’re in need of a spritz of dry shampoo on your roots. Then, judge how much hair you’d like to include in your knot based on how thick your hair is and how big you want your top knot to be. I usually section off my hair about a half an inch to an inch above the top of my ears. Then twist the top section of your hair until you create the perfect messy bun, and secure with an elastic.
The Sleek Braid
What You’ll Need: Dry shampoo, hairspray, and two elastics
Start with day old hair to add some grip to it and make it easier for the strands to stay in the braid. Since your roots will be on full display, spray some Bb. Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Nourishing Dry Shampoo with Hibiscus Extract ($29) to soak up any extra oil while keeping your strands moisturized. Then, part your hair down the middle and tightly pull it back into a low ponytail. Secure with an elastic. After that, simply braid your hair from the top of your ponytail to about one inch from the bottom of the ponytail and wrap another hair tie around the end. To finish, spray Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray ($26) to lock everything in place.
The Glam Waves
What You’ll Need: Curling iron, protective spray, and hairspray
This style is perfect if you’re going for serious romantic vibes. Start by spraying K-Pak Protective Hairspray ($17) all over your curls to ensure your curling iron doesn’t do too much damage to your hair. Once you’ve prepped it, break out the curling iron. The key to getting even, face-framing curls is to take two-inch sections at a time and to make sure to curl away from your face on each side with an InfinitiPro 1 ¼ inch curling wand ($25). Once you’ve done this all the way around your head, spray a liberal amount of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong Finish ($24) all over to lock the curls in place.
Found your go-to hairstyle? Now you can focus on creating the perfect makeup look for your romantic night out.
Featured photo by @pauliinavartola.