I spent years and years trying (desperately) to grow out my hair. I was popping hair gummies, chugging water, sticking to a strict salon trim schedule, using every product my stylists suggested—all to no avail. My parched, overly highlighted strands refused to grow beyond my armpits, and eventually, I just had to accept that as my hair truth. The long, luscious, back-grazing hair that I dreamed of just wasn't in my future. C'est la vie.
But then, this crazy thing happened. About a year or so ago, my hair started to grow at an alarming speed. My hairstylist, Cervando Maldonado, was in shock every time I'd come into his salon, and soon, friends, co-workers, and lots of people on IG were eagerly taking notice. Suddenly, people asked if I was wearing extensions, questioned how my hair was so long and healthy despite my bleaching habit, and quizzed me on my diet and supplement intake.
Now, I can't say for sure what caused this rapid change, but I have a hunch it was due to a few different factors. For one, I ditched my hot tools and almost exclusively began air-drying my hair, I found an amazing colorist who always prioritizes the integrity of my hair, and I've adopted a balanced, plant-based diet that's rich in healthy fats, protein, and colorful fruits and veggies. I'm also diligent about using Olaplex at home every other week or so, and I only wash my hair two or three times a week. Again, I'm not sure if any of this has been the true cause of my hair growth (who knows, maybe it's just some kind of fluke or hormonal surge!) but nonetheless, I've barely been able to keep up with it.
Since I haven't been able to see Maldonado, my stylist, for months, my strands are the longest they've ever been. Part of me is thrilled, but another part of me has been getting annoyed (long hair can get very hot, sweaty, and tangly) and also bored with the ho-hum rotation of styles I typically rely on—ponytails, topknots, and half-up looks.
To gain some newfound inspiration for my long hair, I asked a few of the top hairstylists in the business—Justine Marjan, Chris Appleton, and Cynthia Alvarez—for some help. Considering this expert crew regularly works with clients such as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and the Kardashians, I couldn't have been in better, more long-hair-adept hands. Keep scrolling for the easy hairstyles for long hair and the exact procedures and products to execute each of them flawlessly.
"This simple hairstyle is so easy to create and doesn't look like you spent all day fussing over your hair," shares Alvarez. "It also acts as a great 'base style' for lots of different looks until your next wash day."
4. Part your hair in half from ear to ear. Then tie it up into a half-up ponytail using a Cricket Smoothing Brush ($9).
5. To complete the ponytail, brush the rest of your hair up, and join it with your already-tied ponytail.
6. Prevent your ponytail from moving off-center as you secure it by using a Kitsch Bungee Elastic ($7). (According to Alvarez, the bungee secures your hair in place better than traditional hair ties.)
7. Cover the elastic with a small sliver of hair. Grab a half-inch section of hair from under the ponytail, and wrap it around the base until the bungee is completely covered. Use a hairpin to secure it and spritz with Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray ($5) to keep everything locked in place.
8. This next step is where you can have fun! Alvarez notes that the ponytail can be waved or straightened to your liking. "You can also flip the ends for a retro look and embellish with cute hair pins or headbands. The options are endless!" she says.
"This is a summer staple hairstyle," says Alvarez. "It's so chic, plus it's heat-free! I especially love this style with a silk scarf woven in—it's not necessary, but it just makes the look a little more special."
2. Draw a center part all the way to the nape of your neck, and divide the hair in half.
3. Line up the center of your scarf against the nape and drape each end on top of a section of hair.
4. Braid the scarf into the hair. Separate each chunk of hair into three pieces—two hair, one scarf—and braid the first side. Secure with an elastic and repeat on the other side until you have pigtail braids. Pull the two braids to the top of your head and tie the ends of the scarf in a knot.
5. Secure any loose ends of the scarf using hairpins, and tame any flyaways with Dove Extra Hold Hairspray ($6).
2. Next, I like to use a Hot Tools Marcel Curling Iron ($40) to curl the hair. I pin the curls in place and let them cool completely before removing the pins. (This helps to create that bounce and also prevents the curls from falling.)
"I love this look because it is easy to do. It’s the perfect way to keep your hair out of your face without feeling completely exposed, and a half-up look also pulls the face back giving a gentle lift to the eyes," Marjan explains. "It's flattering on everyone!"
2. Taking one-inch pieces, wrap your hair vertically around the GHD Curve 1.25" Soft Curl Iron ($199), holding until the hair gets hot. (Make sure to alternate the direction you're wrapping the hair around the iron.) Then, release the strand and let cool before touching.
3. Spray a dry texture spray through roots and mid-lengths. Then, use a wide-tooth comb to break up the wave.