These Low-Maintenance Hair Looks Are Easy On Your Wallet (No Upkeep!)

Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.
With expensive holiday travel on the horizon, end-of-year deadlines at work building up, and party invites flooding in, one thing is universal: a low-maintenance hair approach is key right now. Read: color that doesn't need to be touched up, cuts that grow out beautifully, and updos that only look like they were done at a salon.

For help on the subject, we asked top hair experts how everyone can find a style, color, and cut that always looks polished — even if they haven’t seen a stylist in months. While new Pinterest looks and celebrity cuts keep us inspired, it’s the not-enough-hours-in-the-day mentality that keeps us low-key and low-maintenance. We get it, sometimes stowing product (beyond the basics), giving up that trendy color, and living with grown-out layers can be annoying, but there’s a way to make these looks last longer, without being anxious for change.

Click ahead to see some of the chops and colors we’re ready to rock all winter long, so we can forgo trekking to our hair appointments in the snow — and cuddle up inside until spring instead.

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Photo: Via @profilehd/Instagram.
Tip #1: Don't Stray Too Far From Your Natural Color
When it comes to low-maintenance hair color, a "free-hand" dye job is the way to go, says Jay Kownacki, Evo International Education Manager. If you're looking to go a few steps away from your natural color, chat with your colorist about making the look as seamless as possible, but still fresh.
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Photo: Via @robynbilek/Instagram.
Just because the chilly season is upon us doesn't mean we have to automatically opt for a darker shade. Brighten up your strands with well-blended highlights courtesy of hand-painted balayage. That way, your new style looks natural, but new — and will grow out without touch-ups.
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Photo: Via @michelletakeaim/Instagram.
"These types of techniques allow the colorist the opportunity to customize the finish and provide a low-maintenance result where desired," explains Kownacki. No matter what hue you choose, you won't find yourself racing to the salon after eight weeks asking for a refresh. (This look came courtesy of Spoke & Weal in L.A.)
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Salon appointments can be fun once you're in the chair, but shelling out for a pristine finish at the end can be nerve-racking. Kownacki suggests choosing a color that won't fade as quickly and that will appear most like your natural shade.

"Any hue that is not overly artificial-looking will be the easiest for upkeep. Overly vibrant and ash hues tend to be the first to fade." Translation: Opt for caramel or honey tips, not platinum highlights, if your hair is brown. (This hand-painted color comes courtesy of Shai Amiel.)
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Photo: Via @hairbender_m/Instagram.
The raven-haired set might find this a bit challenging, so Kownacki advises to stay away from a color that's more than two shades lighter than your natural depth and chat with your colorist about upkeep.
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Photo: Via @jennaperryhair/Instagram.
Over your highlights? Consider glossing into a warmer shade. "If you are currently a blonde and want to go darker for the fall months, look to go to a darker shade of blond rather than all the way to brunette, as this will be an easier transition to upkeep and last you through the season," explains Kownacki.
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Photo: Via @jennaperryhair/Instagram.
Trendy color moments don't have to go away just because you're lazy. Something like a rose gold shouldn't stray too far from your original tone, so pick your hue based on what you're willing to work with.
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Photo: LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images.
Tip #2: Short Is Better, But Layers Are What's Most Important
When it comes to easy cuts that require minimal upkeep, bobs almost always win out. The shorter you start, the longer they can grow out.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
After the bob comes the lob. This longer look flatters your grown-out balayage without looking messy or undone, Sun Ju Hirsch, stylist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, says. She tells us that this style grows out well and is versatile.
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Photo: Antonello Trio/Getty Images.
Bangs aren't just for celebrities with full glam squads — they can be low-maintenance, too. "A quality cut gives you the confidence to play with your styling and [is] a complete confidence-builder," raves Leonard Newton, Evo International Ambassador.
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Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images.
Newton adds that dry shampoo is a great trick to add texture to fringe. So no matter if you just left the gym, just woke up, or can't drag yourself to the shower this morning, your bangs can still look damn good.
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Photo: Via @kristin_ess/Instagram.
Then, just let 'em grow out! Face-framing, layered cuts let you have movement without too much commitment. Plus, a longer option is easier to air-dry, no matter the texture.
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Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images.
Have extra-long locks? Chopping off 10 inches may not sound too appealing to you, so Newton suggests going for something choppy and layered, but keeping it long in length. It will be easy to style, and won't show split ends as quickly.
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Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images.
Prefer to go super-short? While maintaining a classic pixie will require regular trims (sorry!), the next-to-no styling will be worth it. But that's not your only option...
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Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
Starting with a longer pixie will cut down on salon visits (it will grow out without lots of shaping), and it will look amazing on anyone with an oval or round face shape, he says — although anyone can pull it off if it's customized by a stylist. Plus, it requires very light styling.
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Photo: Dan MacMedan/WireImage.
As far as product goes, you might need some. But other than that, you're looking at a wash-and-go win. Newton suggests using a styling powder to provide texture and withstand your long days, plus a texturizing spray (for fine hair) or styling cream (for thick hair) as a base. Add some edge and choppy movement with a quarter-sized amount of paste to rough up the ends, and you're set.
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Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic.
Tip #3: Pro-Looking Updos Are Easier Than You Think
Knotted styles
look super-complicated, but can be done in a snap, explains Hirsch. For longer styles, twist your hair until you can't twist anymore, which will force the length into an organic-looking topknot. Keep it messy and undone when securing with pins — even let a few stray hairs fall out, too.
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Photo: Via @therealkamie/Instagram.
Grab a handful of bobby pins, and your second-day look goes from rolled-out-of-bed to I-have-arrived.
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Photo: Michael Stewart/GC Images.
Most lengths and textures can rock a half-up look with a simple elastic, but if you need more hold, rub some wax or gel through your hands (pretend it's hand cream) before you create the look, advises Hirsch.
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Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage.
They may seem too easy, but ponytails are chic and help you embrace your natural texture, says Lauren McCowan, Evo’s International Creative Director. Invest in a great brush for a sleek look, or go for a salt spray instead, which will rough up the texture of any hair type and make locks extra-messy. Either way, this effortless look will take you no time at all.
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Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.
Low buns can be just as sophisticated as topknots, with less effort. Style when wet, comb some mousse from roots to tips, and secure at the nape of your neck.
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Photo: Via @actually_ashly/Instagram.
The ultimate low-maintenance look? Your natural texture. Let your hair do its thing, and show off what you've got with only the necessary products.
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Photo: Via @poppyjamie/Instagram.
Hidden texture can always be found, even in very straight hair, McCowan says. "Spritz your hair with Salty Dog at night, twist [it] into a bun, and in the morning shake it out and finish with a texture powder" to create cool, lived-in texture.
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Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images.
Beachy waves are low-maintenance in that Blake Lively sort of way, but straight hair can be the easiest option, suggests Hirsch. "A flat iron makes styling your hair faster and easier in the morning."
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