The simple hair how-tos you can master today


We all want hair that looks good, but with minimal effort. Very few of us have hours to spend styling our locks (guilty), or bank accounts that allow us to cough up the big bucks at the salon every week (again, guilty). If that sounds like you, don’t despair! There are plenty of hairstyles you can do that are simple but impressive – and take no more than a couple of minutes to master.

To help you out, we asked Pantene Ambassador and expert stylist Barney Martin and International Hairstylist and owner of Raw Hair, Anthony Nader, to share a few of their favourite simple hair how-tos. Go on, give them a whirl.  

The Classic Illusion Pony 

By Barney Martin

A superstar hairstyle that’s actually achievable – finally! Make like Queen Béy and reinvent that pony. Barney says the versatility of the ‘illusion ponytail’ is what makes it so appealing – it works with a middle or side part, placed high or low, and even on freshly-washed hair. And the added bonus? It’s super quick to recreate, so you can hit snooze one more time during the cooler months. Enough said!

  1. Blow-dry wet hair using a round brush. The aim is to create some volume at the roots, but with a smooth finish.
  2. Once hair is completely dry, take sections from the centre of the head and gently back-comb, working towards the crown.
    bh recommends:Charles Worthington Instant Root Concealer in Brown to touch up those sneaky greys, and Pantene Pro-V Volume Booster Dry Shampoo before backcombing.
  3. Using your fingers, smooth the hair over and begin to draw it back into a ponytail. Secure with a clear elastic or one that matches your hair colour.
  4. Pick out the longest layer from your ponytail and begin to twist it. Next, wind that piece of hair so it wraps around the elastic and can’t be seen. Secure with 2-3 bobby pins.
  5. Finally, use your fingers to gently roughen up the look and then set with a smoothing or shine spray

bh tip: To give your pony extra credit and shine, use the Remington Keratin & Argan Nourish Ceramic Hair Straightener before styling. The iron heats up in just 30 seconds and infused with keratin and argan oil to enhance shine and minimise frizz. Plus, it’s super pretty!

The 90s pin 

By Anthony Nader

With the drab winter weather upon us, it’s time to find ways to tame the mane while staying stylish. Enter the trusty bobby pin. Style your hair like Rihanna – the bobby’s biggest fan – and show off those handy hair accessories, not conceal them. Whether you go grunge or girly, the best part about this style is there are no rules!

  1. To add fullness and soak up any unwanted oily roots, spray your roots with dry shampoo. Massage in and brush through with a boar bristle brush.
    bh recommends:Klorane Oil Control Dry Shampoo
  2. Find your part and then smooth over the surface where you want to slide in the pins, remembering that ‘more is more’. Get creative and make patterns with your pins – you’d be surprised at how different you can make yourself look!

bh tip: If an overload of pins a la Rihanna is not your thing, make like bh’s Beth and go for a subtler style with the Lady Layne Minimalistic Leather Bobby Slides. Chic, sleek and simple, it’s a winner.

The Half-Up Half-Down Top Knot

By Barney Martin

This is the definition of boho brilliance. Barney says the beauty of the half-up top knot is that it doesn’t try too hard, and is not at all difficult to achieve. In under two minutes, you’ll be out the door! You get bonus points for starting with just-slept-in strands.

  1. To begin, spritz some sea salt or texturising spray to add to the messy, undone look.
    bh recommends:TONI&GUY Hair Care Sea Salt Texturising Spray 
  2. Starting at the top of each ear, section your hair using your fingers to form a half ponytail.
  3. Then, pull this section of hair towards the top of your head or wherever you’d like your bun to sit.
  4. Using one hand, hold this section of hair at the top of your head and, with your other hand, spritz with with a volume-boosting spray – this’ll add extra height to your bun.
    bh recommends:De Lorenzo Instant Accentu8 Volumising Spray
  5. Run a comb from the ends towards the crown, teasing the hair. Quickly wrap your bun and secure with an elastic. You don’t want the bun to look too neat – it should be casual and carefree.
  6. Finally, pull some small flyaways out of the bun and around your earlobes to enhance the messy, effortless look.

bh tip: If you’ve have five minutes, grab the Luxcurly Lux Classic curling iron and create some soft curls to amp up the boho vibe. And if you want to add even more volume, switch to the L’Oreal Elvive Fibralogy Thickening Shampoo, Conditioner and Serum – they work wonders!

The French twist

By Barney Martin

Don’t be freaked out by Katy Perry’s pink locks, there’s more to this ‘do than meets the eye! Granted, hers is a bigger, higher, brighter version, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying this style. The timeless French twist looks intricate, but isn’t too hard to master. Mixthings up by going classic, or add some spice like Katy for a modern twist – you can’t go wrong!

  1. Part your hair to the side, then lightly backcomb the underside of your hair for volume.
  2. Sweep one side of your hair all the way across to the opposite side, and secure with bobby pins up the centre of the back of your hair.
  3. Next, wrap the side-swept hair around your hands and pull it to the back of your head so it’s alinged with the bobby pins. Be wary not to crush the wrap into a bun, but maintain the roll by keeping your fingers inside the mold of your hair.
  4. Still holding the mold in place with one hand, use the other to slide bobby pins up the length of your twist.
  5. Continue to add bobby pins from the bottom up until the twist feels secure. Lightly smooth out any uneven or rough spots with a soft cushion brush, and spritz with shine spray and hairspray to finish.
    bh recommends:Lady Jayne Multi Tuft Brush PadTONI&GUY Hair Care Moisturising Shine SprayTIGI CATWALK SESSION SERIES™: Finishing Hairspray

bh tip: Get your hands on some Ombrello Black Bobby Pins for this one, and copy Katy by adding a touch of glam with the Ombrello Diamante Barrette.

Undone tresses

By Anthony Nader

Let’s face it: Cara Delevingne has conquered the ‘undone but done’ look, and Anthony says that the less work you do, the better: “Don’t overload your strands with products as it only weighs the hair down and gets it dirty far quicker, and remember to keep your styling to a minimum.” Hey, if the pros say so…

  1. On freshly-washed hair, use a conditioning volume foam from roots to ends and comb through evenly with a wide-tooth comb.
    bh recommends: Cedel Conditioning Foam
  2. Use a ceramic hair dryer to dry your hair to 80 per cent. Part your hair wherever you like, and divide it into top and bottom sections. Clip the top section away.
  3. Dry the underneath section fully, then unclip the top half and do the same, smoothing over the hair with a large round brush.
  4. Using a waving wand, start a few centimetres from the root area and take 5cm sections. Wind them around the wand and away from your face. Leave the ends free.
    bh recommends:ghd curve classic wave wand as it delivers an uneven, natural-looking bend.
  5. Spritz with a light hairspray to make your waves last the distance.

bh tip: Keep your ends as blunt as possible – it’s a red carpet trend right now and makes the thinnest of hair appear thicker!

Will you try any of these simple hairstyles? Which one is your favourite?

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