4 Hairstyles You Can ACTUALLY Do Yourself

Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Every time we visit our hairstylists we tell ourselves the same thing: This time I'm going to be able to get this look at home — all by myself. We watch their every move, take careful notes, even ask for product recommendations. But after that fateful first shower, things do not add up. What is that special hairdresser wizardry that makes our hair look so good in the chair? Seriously, are they using special mirrors or something?

After yet another one of these experiences, we enlisted celebrity hairstylist Natasha Leibel to spill her secrets. With her help, we created four hairstyles you can achieve at home, totally on your own, no matter your skill level. The keys are to choose a style that works with your natural hair texture; to use products that nourish your hair rather than hurt it, like the salon-crafted Nexxus styling line; and most of all, to forget about perfection. The old adage is true — you just need a bit of practice.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Know The Ropes
A rope braid is the easiest of braids to do on yourself. Why? Because it's not technically a braid. Start by brushing your hair into a high ponytail. You can keep the crown smooth by spritzing in a bit of spray gel and combing it through. Next, take a strand from the underside of your ponytail, and wrap it around your hair tie to camouflage it. Tuck the ends back into your hair tie (or secure the wrap with a few bobby pins); no one will be the wiser.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Split your ponytail into two equal sections. Take the lefthand section first, and tightly twist the full length of it outward or toward the left. Next, tightly twist the righthand section toward the right, all the way to the ends. (If you have a lot of layers, it can be helpful to start with wet hair, so your ends don't poke out along the length of your pony.)
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Next, coil these two sections together into one totally twisted tail. If your hair is really slippery, use a few blasts of texture spray to help the sections hold together. Tie off at the ends with an elastic.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Finish with a blast of strong-hold hairspray. And if you're prone to flyaways, smooth a bit of pomade through your crown.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Slick It Down
This dual-textured hairstyle is one we like to keep in our back pockets for days when we just don't want to wash our hair (it happens). It's actually easier to pull off if you already have some texture in your hair to work with, says Leibel. Start by using a tail comb to create a deep side-part. Spray the top half of your hair only (from ears up) with spray gel, then tuck each side behind your ears. Smooth down any lumps or bumps with your comb, and then let the gel dry.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
If your hair is stick-straight to begin with, you can add loose waves to the bottom half with a curling wand. Then, use your fingers to break and muss them up. (This look is more about volume and texture than perfect coils.) Or, if your hair has natural curl to it, spritz the bottom half with wave spray. Pinch your fingers at the bottom of a strand and run them up the length of it, creating a fuzzy, messy texture. Repeat this all over.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Finish with a final mist of hairspray. We prefer ones with a light hold that can be brushed out later (because, yes, we'll be stretching this out into third-day hair), like Nexxus Comb Thru Finishing Mist.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
What you're left with is seriously cool-girl texture that lets you ghost your blowdryer for a few more days.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Get Glossy
Model-off-duty waves are an elusive style that actually looks better at the end of the day, as the bends become even more relaxed and messy. But if you want to look a little more polished, Leibel showed us how to get the style with a boost of glossy shine.

Start by using a medium round brush as you blowdry to add allover body and texture. Don't worry if your hair isn't totally smooth — that's what we're aiming for.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Once your hair is dry, wrap 2- to 3-inch sections of hair around a 1 3/4-inch curling iron. Wrap the hair away from your face on either side, and hold for five to eight seconds before releasing.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Next comes your shine shot. Pump one drop of a moisturizing hair oil, like Nexxus Nourishing Hair Oil, into the palms of your hands. Work this through your hair from mid-shaft through the ends to add gloss and reduce frizz.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Finally, take a natural-bristle brush and loosely work it through your waves to soften them. Then, use your fingers to tousle and define each wave until you're satisfied with the texture. And finally, don't be concerned if you get mistaken for a model.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Wrap It Up
The only updos we wear are of the just-leaving-spin-class variety. Which is why nothing seems to say "hairstylists, you're my only hope!" more than a fancy chignon or French twist. But Leibel informed us they're actually very doable (really!) — particularly if you're armed with a large box of bobby pins.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
This is another hairstyle that works well on hair with a bit of grit to it, or second-day hair, because it gives the pins something to grab onto. Start by brushing your hair all the way over to one side, over your shoulder. Then, pop in three or four bobby pins in a vertical line to secure this section of hair against your scalp.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Next, using both of your hands, begin to tuck and roll your hair in the opposite direction. Coil the hair underneath itself back toward the bobby pin seam you created earlier, kind of like rolling a tube of wrapping paper.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Once you've created a tight roll, secure it in place with another line of vertical bobby pins. Just keep adding pins until you feel like it's not going anywhere. Even though the style looks loose, it will actually hold quite well.
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Photographed by Christine Hahn.
Keep this look feeling more 9-to-5 than black-tie gala by embracing the mess. Pull out a few small, face-framing pieces, and don't stress over any flyaways. Finish with a dusting of light-hold hairspray. See? You can totally be your own glam squad.
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