The best back to school hairstyles, according to a celebrity stylist
Five easy hairdos for busy mornings.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
School mornings are hectic, and if you have a child who needs to have their hair styled, it can be incredibly challenging to get everyone out the door—and looking put together—on time. Tired of my kids looking like cast members from the musical Oliver!, I decided it was high time to seek the advice of a professional hair stylist on how to streamline the morning hairdos.
Anh Co Tran is the definition of a celebrity hair stylist. He travels all over the world giving famous people—including Anne Hathaway and Julianne Moore—his signature "lived-in" cuts. Anh is used to working under pressure and for highly-demanding clients, so I figured that made him especially qualified to give advice on how to handle the hair of wiggly, complaining kids. He dished all of his pro secrets, including his 10 favorite hair products, and shared five hair styles that even the most hair-inept (um, me) can easily execute.
Plus he even told me the trick to getting chewing gum (or slime) out of a child's hair: "Gum comes out better if you rub an ice pack on the sticky areas and follow with dish soap. Creamy peanut butter also helps the gum slide out of the hair with ease. Use an ultra cleansing shampoo to detoxify the hair afterwards, and restore the smell of healthy, fresh locks."
1. Braids or twists
"Braids are always a hit. If you don’t know how to braid, try twists! It’s an efficient and playful style that keeps hair out of the face while staying in place all day. Just twist the hair back from the face, adding pieces as you go. Secure with Bobby pins or a small ponytail holder."
2. Inverted ponytails
"Make a high or low ponytail, and secure it tightly with a hairband. Loosen the base below the hairband, create a separation and loop the ponytail over and through the hole. Pull the hair through and retighten the base. It looks fancy, but it's surprisingly easy."
3. A slicked-down 'do
"For shorter hair, wet cowlicks down and use a fine-tooth comb to position hair slightly back off the face. Make sure the hair around the ears is laying back and spray lightly with a finishing spray."
"Zigzag parts are back! Use a rat tail comb to create a zigzag parting on dry hair. Brush the hair back and place the tail comb on the front hairline, wherever you’d like to begin the parting. Keep the tail comb positioned on the scalp and move your hand from left to right as you travel back on the head. Gently divide the hair and clip aside. You can finish the style by creating pigtails, a ponytail, or braids."
5. Morning waves
"Loosely braid the hair at night and unravel it in the morning. Lightly comb through it with your fingers, and finish with a moisturizing cream product through the ends."
Anh's must-have products
1. Rat tail comb
A rat tail comb is essential for making razor-straight parts.
2. Hair ties
Much like socks, hair ties seem to disappear into thin air. A 100-pack of ribbon ponytail holders should be enough to last for a few months. My daughter likes all the different colors, as well as the fact that they're ouch-free.
3. Tangle Teezer
Use this colorful, oddly-shaped brush on wet or dry hair to get rid of tangles without damaging delicate strands. It even works on wigs, weaves, and extensions.
4. Bobby pins
For twists, braid crowns, or buns, you'll need a big handful of Bobby pins to keep styles secure and in place. Kids will love Bememo's rainbow boppy pins that come in their own storage box.
5. Finishing spray
Don't let all of your hard work get destroyed the minute your child steps on to the playground: Spritz finished styles with Leonor Greyl Paris medium-hold finishing spray to help keep your child's fancy hairdo in place.
6. Shu Uemura oil
Keep the ends of your child's hair moisturized and glossy-looking with a drop or two of Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil. The luxurious product is on the pricey side, but it lasts forever if you use it sparingly. Plus, you can make your kids share it with you—it does wonders for dry, colored hair.
7. Leave-in conditioner
If your kid has fine, wavy hair, you likely spend a portion of every morning combing out tangles. L'Oreal's 10-in-1 leave-in conditioner detangles even the most epic rat's nest, plus it protects hair from heat and helps prevent split ends.
8. Texturizing styling cream
Use a small dot of Leonor Greyl Paris Éclat Naturel styling cream on the ends of hair to smooth frizz and give styles a sleek look.
9. Tiny rubber bands
Keep the end of braids and tiny twists securely anchored—without detracting from the look of the style—with extra-small rubber bands made from clear plastic.
A selection of fun, stylish, and functional barrettes can be used to accessorize a great hair style, or cover-up a badly-executed braid. Simple metal barrettes are practical for keeping growing-out bangs out of a child's eyes, but a set of whimsical butterfly clips are my daughter's current obsession.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.
Get Reviewed email alerts.
Sign up for our newsletter to get real advice from real experts.