I don’t know about you, but now that I’m going back into the office and heading to in-person events, one thing that has been tripping me up is figuring out how on Earth to do my hair. For a day at the office, I like to keep my hair as simple as possible (with as few steps as possible). Though I like to keep it simple, I also want to look professional and put-together, whether that means wearing my hair straight or wavy, slicking it back, or reaching for a hair accessory. Essentially, if I can achieve a polished look in under 15 minutes, I’ll call it a massive success.
I’m not the best at doing my own hair, no less coming up with easy, office-ready ideas for it. I decided to reach out to Laura Polko, Aquage brand ambassador and celebrity stylist known for gracing the heads of stars including Gigi Hadid and Emma Chamberlain, for some office-ready style ideas. Keep reading to learn Polko’s favorite office-ready hairstyles along with her tips for how to achieve and style them at home.
“It’s always good to do down and straight," says Polko. "Start with parting your hair as you’d like. This can be done on hair that’s been washed the day before and if you slept with it wet."
Start with an oil treatment, and then go in with a flat iron, taking care to keep the heat low. “The iron on the highest heat setting is not necessarily the best choice for most hair types,” Polko explains. “Take one- to two-inch sections, working your way up. This way, you only have to go through each section once and avoid applying unnecessary heat over and over again.” To give your hair a bit more body and a more tousled finish, go in with a texture spray.
“A tousled wave is always a good look,” says Polko. “To achieve that, simply wrap sections of hair around a one-inch curling iron if the hair is above the shoulder or a 1.5-inch iron for hair below the shoulders. Make sure to wrap around and away from the face, taking sections as large as the barrel, and leave the ends out for a more undone look.” Finish with a texture spray to break up curls and give your hair more dimension.
If you're low on time but still want to look polished, opt for a pulled-back style. “A sleek, low pony is a classic for the office,” Polko says. She recommends starting with a center part, but you can part hair however you like. Polko recommends mixing a hair paste with an oil to slick hair back and catch any stray hairs.
“I like low ponies to be at the nape of the neck or a little higher,” Polko says. “Make sure to wrap it tight. I like to use clear elastics, or you can use a bungee or hair ties. Once you have your pony where you like, you could go over it with a curling iron, loosely wrapping the pony to give some more texture." You can also go over it with a flat iron if you want a sleeker finish.
If you're short on time, a low bun is your ticket out the door. Begin as if you were creating a low pony—part your hair wherever you wish and slick it back. “For buns, I like them to sit in the center of the head,” Polko says. Work a wax through the ponytail and twist the hair. “Wrap securely around the ponytail holder. Then just secure with a hairpin.”
Though anyone can rock a headband, Polko says that headbands can be a great option for curlier hair, particularly in the summer. “The hair can go through a lot of different stages throughout the summer, going from humidity to a cool office,” she shares. “I love a headband. Personally, I always do a chunkier one and pull out some curls at the front that are working in your favor.”