A how-to guide to versatile hairstyles

The best ways to wear your hair, whatever life throws your way

The end of the British summer can be a torrid time for your hair – with sun, sea and sand from your holiday damaging your tresses and our notoriously changeable weather leaving inspiration low when it comes to hairstyling. Town & Country spoke to the experts to find out the easiest, most versatile and on-trend styles to see you through the coming months. 

The braid 

A plumped-up braid not only works with both daytime officewear and for a night-time soirée, it can also keep you cool in the heat or neat and tidy during even the most aggressive of downpours. Plus, it happens to be one of the favourite autumn/winter looks for GHD’s global ambassador Adam Reed, who suggests you wear it with “an overdose of texture”. That means creating a sweeping bouffant for lots of height and volume at the crown, teamed with a braid that is much sleeker by comparison. Use the brand’s backcombing brush, £15, and strong hair bands to recreate the look.

The gentle curl

“Try adding some curls or waves to your hair for a look that’s suitable for any occasion,” recommends the Blow Ltd elite styling team. “Using either curling tongs or straighteners [try Toni & Guy’s Deep Barrel Waver, £28.73], separate your hair into sections and twist around the iron to create curls throughout. Once you’re happy with the completed style, let the hair cool for a few minutes before using your fingers to shake it out, which will give a more natural look.”

The sleek ponytail 

While the ponytail is traditional, and often seen as basic as a result, “the style is making its comeback next season,” predicts Michael John Guzzon, an expert hairstylist and the art director of Aldo Coppola. “No matter how you wear them – high, low or to the side – there is always a ponytail for any occasion.” He recommends the slicked-back pony, which helps you stay looking elegant in the event of unforecasted showers. “To create it, simply tie your hair into a pony and smooth the sides with Aldo Coppola’s Gel Styling, £28 – this provides hold, but won’t make your hair feel or look hard and crunchy.”

The up-do

“A simple yet stylish low bun can be the perfect look at this time of year,” according to the Blow Ltd team. “This one is great, as you don’t need to have freshly washed hair.” Use a texture spray – we recommend Oribe’s Dry Texturising Spray, £20 – “for that dishevelled look, before backcombing a couple of sections of hair at the crown. Then, to create your bun, tie hair into a low and loose ponytail, leaving space between your scalp and the hairtie in order to pull the end of the ponytail through. Afterwards, pin sections of the hair at random and spray, or, if you want to accessorise the look for evening, simply add a touch of sparkle with a hairclip of your choice.”

The Eighties throwback

“Textured up-dos are definitely back for next season, but not as you know them,” says Reed. “Now the look is a lot softer and more subtle” – perfect for keeping your options open as summer turns to autumn. As for the tools you’ll need to create the glamorously messy ponytail above, Reed reveals that “crimping is a session stylist’s new secret to creating incredible volume and big hair”. It’s time to dust off your old crimper from the Eighties, or you can wait until October, when GHD’s new Contour Professional Crimper, £85, will be unveiled. 

Embrace your natural texture 

If your hair is dry and a little unruly, instead of fighting it with straighteners or curlers, sometimes the easiest way to keep your hair looking nice is to stay natural, advises Guzzon. “The natural look is very on-trend this season. It is about enhancing what you have, whether your hair is straight, curly or all-out Afro.” To do so, Guzzon suggests “putting down your hairdryer every so often”; while air-drying your hair, try using products such as Redken’s No Blow Dry Cream, £10.20, which gives your tresses a boost without the need for heat tools.  

Come rain, come shine

“Adding a plait to a wavy beach blow-dry is a great way to keep your hair away from your face when in windy or hot weather,” advise the Blow Ltd team. “When creating this look, go for more of a natural wave. That way, if the hair is attacked by rain or humidity, it will only create more texture, adding to the chic style. Simply plait two sections at the front of your hair, and don’t be afraid to pull the plait apart a little to make it look fuller. You can then pin the plaits at the back of your head with a few grips; remember, the key to this style is not to fuss around with the details too much and to keep the hair loose, creating a tousled look.”

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