how to style long hair
Photography via Peter Stigter

How to style long hair: 5 simple tricks for a fresh look (no scissors required!)

It seems like we crave a big change with our manes whenever we experience a big change in our lives. Just married? Bet you want to swap your luscious princess strands for a trendy lob. (Right, Lauren Conrad?) Advance in your career? You’re probably feeling a sleeker, more sophisticated style. (Agree, Jennifer Lawrence?) Got dumped? Something dramatic with a look-at-me-now vibe is irrefutably in your future. (One ’90s throwback: Felicity.)

But what do you do if you’re looking for a new ‘do and aren’t open to a significant chop or dye job? Ahead, five ways to freshen up your lengthy locks without even needing a hairdresser. Whether you’re looking for a bigger change (like swapping your classic beachy waves for the new smooth strands) or a smaller update (like mixing old-meets-new styles into your line-up), here’s how to keep your tresses long while updating your look to something great. So great, in fact, that your ex is totally going to notice.

how to style long hair
Photography via Instagram/oliviapalermo

Tip #1: Go straight
Give your curling iron a rest and go back to this classic look, as donned by Olivia Palermo. Use a round brush to blow-dry your locks silky straight, with a slight curl at the ends. But first, apply a hair oil, like Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, to wet hair. It will help to soften your strands, tame flyaways, and add great shine.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($39, sephora.com)


how to style long hair

Tip #2: Try the new topsy tail
Work a new hairstyle into your style cycle. Our pick? A new romantic twist on the classic topsy tail. Use Conair’s Topsy Tail Kit to easily create the classic look. Give it a modern twist and opt for a messy feel by prepping your hair with texturizer before styling. Finish the look by rubbing your hairline at the temples to loosen and give it a more carefree vibe.

Conair Topsy Tail Kit ($5, ulta.com)

how to style long hair
Photography via Instagram/byrdiebeauty

Tip #3: Do like the French
Do like the French and rock what your bed gave you. And the wilder the bedhead, the better. Prep your unwashed do with a texturizing spray, like Show Beauty’s Premiere Working Texture Spray. It instantly adds volume and texture, and contains patented polymers to offer long-lasting hold. Then, pull it back into a low, messy ponytail slipped only halfway through the elastic.

Show Beauty Premiere Working Texture Spray ($47, net-a-porter.com)

how to style long hair

Tip #4: Embrace bouncy volume
Swap your standard VS angel-inspired waves for an equally sexy, bouncy look with the help of hot rollers. T3’s Voluminous Hot Rollers are designed with an aluminum core and ceramic heater, and features tourmaline technology which prevents frizz. Each roller boasts a velvet exterior designed to smooth strands, thereby offering a natural shine. The best part about these is they do all the work for you. Just roll them into your dry strands, do your makeup, pop them out and you’re left with sex-kitten tresses.

T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers ($99, net-a-porter.com)


how to style long hair

Tip #5: Try a hair clip
For another new style to cycle in to your hair routine, invest in a great clip that makes half-up styles a breeze. Our pick? Mrs President & Co’s ‘Large O’ Barrette. Coming in a delicate, round shape, this easy-to-use clip is a quick way to lend your look a polished and elegant edge.

Mrs President & Co ‘Large O’ Barrette ($78, shop.nordstrom.com)