3 (Under 5 Minute!) Hairstyles For Hot Messes Like Me!

I like knowing that the state of my hair doesn’t reflect the constant internal tizzy that is my work week. That’s why I have these reliable go-to styles that are perfect for when I’m running late and sucking at life.
Publish date:
April 30, 2014
hair, easy hairstyles, fast hairstyles, hair DIY, hair tutorial, long hair ideas

It’s been one of those weeks where I just can’t catch up. I was unable to prepare for my week like a normal adult by, like, buying groceries and washing my underwear -- I was zombie-glued to my computer because I discovered Parenthood and I can’t stop.

Despite my diligent effort to wake up with enough time in the morning to get my thoughts in order and do yoga (yeah, right), I’ve woken up late every day. This leaves little time for much more than torpedoing around my apartment before running out the door with a granola bar hanging out of my mouth. Instead of the lunch I was planning to pack, I’m wolfing down $7.99-a-pound mashed potatoes from the hot food bar across from my office. I just bit down too hard on my plastic fork and it broke in my mouth.

Don’t you wanna be me? I project such together-ness!

But here’s the thing. Even though I’m a hot mess and a half this week, and a lot of other weeks, there’s one thing that isn’t totally giving away the secret: my hair!

I like knowing that the state of my hair doesn’t reflect the constant internal tizzy that is my workweek. That’s why I have three reliable go-to styles that are perfect for me when I’m running late and sucking at life, because they all can be done in UNDER five minutes!


I feel like a regular braid still, somehow, projects slackerdom. For this reason, I love to do a fishtail braid, because it adds a little pizzazz to a classic style. It looks fancier and more complicated than a regular braid when, in fact, it’s super easy to do!


Step 1: Split all of your hair into two sections.

Step 2: Grab a small piece of hair from the outside edge of the left section. Cross it over the top of its section and add it to the right piece.

Step 3: Grab a small piece of hair from the outside edge of the right section (but not the piece you just added). Cross this new piece over the top and add it to the left section.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3, an easy back and forth motion, until the braid reaches the desired length (you don't have to go all the way to the end if you don't want to).

Keep the braid in the back, or pull it over your shoulder. This style clocked in at 2 minutes and 18 seconds for me to complete!


When I went with my sister-in-law to her first wedding dress fitting, there was another woman there struggling with the fact that she had found a dress she loved when no friends or family were there to witness the “moment.” I felt bad for her, and I could tell she was anxious, because she kept running her fingers through her hair and flipping it all around.

Eventually, the woman who worked there took notice and went over to her. She grabbed the bride-to-be’s hair and twisted it up into this beautiful little up-do in like 30 seconds. The hair lover in me was amazed, like, "How did you do that?!" This is how.


Step 1: Put your hair in a loose, low ponytail.

Step 2: Separate hair to create an opening above the hair tie.

Step 3: Insert the hair from the ponytail into this opening through the front, securing a twist around the base of the ponytail. (I do not know how to prevent this from sounding sexual.)

Step 4: Twist up the remaining hair in loose bun so that you cover the hair tie, and secure with bobby pins.

This style clocked in at 1 minute and 43 seconds. You have no excuses.


The top bun and I have been through a lot together. We’ve travelled through Russia, we performed in countless ballet recitals, and we trudged our butt to class in Michigan winters. We also spend pretty much every running-late day together because, she’s just so there for me.


Step 1: Tie your hair in a high pony.

Step 2: I like to put a sock in my bun because it gives the bun good shape and volume. You can create a sock bun by cutting the toes off of any old sock and rolling it into a donut shape. Place this bad boy at the base of your ponytail.

Step 3: Allow your hair to surround and cover the sock, and then put a hair elastic over the hair, around the sock, to secure the bun.

Step 4: Create two sections from the extra hair that hangs around your now-secured sock bun. Braid each of these sections.

Step 5: Wrap these two braids around the base of the bun. Secure with bobby pins. I finished this in 3 minutes and 27 seconds!

So there you have it! What are your favorite styles to seem put-together when you’re running late?