In A Hair Rut? 5 Easy Ways To Change It Up For Every Hair Type

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Whether you pull your strands into a tight top knot because you're always inexplicably five minutes late or you just feel more like yourself with straight hair instead of your natural curls, you know how easy it is to style your locks the same 'ol way day after day. While there's nothing wrong with playing favorites, wearing the same tight knot or reaching for the straightening iron on the reg can be harmful.
Thinning hairline, scorched ends — sound familiar? Of course, we'd never tell you to stop doing you. Instead, we're recommending a few hairstyle tweaks that you can add to your styling repertoire to help alleviate any stresses your go-to look might be causing.
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We called in hairstylist Nate Rosenkranz to tackle the hair ruts of five R29ers — each with a different type of hair texture and styling addiction. With some Pantene styling products and no pro skills required, these change-ups can be just the thing you need to inspire your own 'do-over.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Editor: Neha Gandhi, VP of editorial strategy
Hair type: Curly and medium-coarse
Daily 'do: Down and straight with the help of a blowdryer and flatiron

In our many years at R29, we've never seen Neha Gandhi without straight hair. Of her natural texture, she says, "I like curls — especially on other people — but I’ve never learned how to master mine with the right amount of product." So, to help her embrace her natural waves, Rosenkranz shares a quick 'do-over that won't totally nix the need for a flatiron or give her the crunchy curls she dreads.

H&M dress.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Start by separating your hair into three sections — around the crown, from ear to ear, and at the bottom. If you have thinner hair, just create two sections from top to bottom.

To curl, first spray a one-inch section of hair with a heat protectant, like Pantene Pro-V Stylers Heat Protection Spray — a crucial step to protect your hair from damage. Twist the section around your fingers in a forward motion and then wrap it backward around the barrel of a curling iron. This forward-then-backward step will give your strands a lived-in, not-so-perfect look, says Rosenkranz. You can also alternate the direction of how you curl for a more natural-looking texture.

Monica Sordo cuff, Bing Bang ring.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Once you've curled your entire head, lightly spray with a flexible-hold hairspray, and then rake your hands through your hair to break up the curls. Finish with a shine serum for shiny, static-free strands.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
See, natural-looking curls that didn't take a ton of time and aren't crunchy.

Dinosaur Designs necklace.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Editor: Zooey Purdy, product manager, publishing platform
Hair type: Thick and curly
Daily 'do: Top knot all day, every day

As you can see, Zooey Purdy has very curly hair — and a lot of it. "When I want it out of my way, I just do a top knot," says Purdy. "It’s hard to do a lot of styles because my hair tangles easily." Ready for a challenge, Rosenkranz created a simple plaited style that didn't take much more time than it takes for Purdy to pull up her hair on the reg. Click ahead to get the look.

Tanya Taylor top.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
First, grab a section of hair at the crown of your head and start a reverse French braid. That means when you're braiding, you're going to take each section under the other, not over like you normally would. "This makes the braid stick out, rather than lay close to the head," says Rosenkranz.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Continue braiding to the ends and secure with a clear elastic. Then, tuck the ends of the braid under the existing plait, using U-pins. You can choose to pull out any face-framing layers to soften the look.

Dinosaur Designs necklace.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Says Rosenkranz, "This look isn't hard to do, but it completely changes your vibe." And, it highlights Purdy's natural, curly texture.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Editor: Candace Sautman, associate PM/producer
Hair type: Curly and coily
Daily 'do: Down and proud

Candace Sautman isn't afraid of a hair challenge, but when she's got 10 minutes to get ready, her tresses are the last thing on her mind, so she usually leaves them down like this — which is gorgeous. To offer up another style to keep on rotation, Rosenkranz says some simple pinning can change everything and only takes a minute.

Express top.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Pull back your hair as if you were tying it into a ponytail, and then pin it down by crisscrossing bobby pins. Work a moisturizing serum into the mid-shaft and ends of your hair, like Pantene Smooth Serum with Argan Oil.

Dinosaur Designs earrings, Joomi Lim cuff.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Starting from the left side of your hair, roll your hair into a twist, following your hairline until you reach the right side. Use U-pins to lock in the twists for a faux side pony that doesn't hamper the volume.

Dinosaur Designs necklace.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Editor: Emily Hengemihle, product manager, partnerships
Hair type: Fine and dyed
Daily 'do: Messy pixie

As a wash-and-go type of woman, Emily Hengemihle doesn't usually spend much time styling her strands. And, while there's nothing wrong with that, Rosenkranz drummed up a super-simple polished look for when she needs to look more pulled-together than usual.

Karen Walker dress.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
First, create a deep side-part using a tail comb. Apply blowdrying cream throughout your hair to protect against the heat and create hold while you blast your hair with a dryer.

Then, comb a dollop of gel through your hair with a fine-toothed comb. Rosenkranz advises that when you're combing, keep a finger behind the teeth of the comb so that you don't leave any teeth marks on the top layer of hair.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Just seal it in with a spritz of strong-hold finishing spray, and you're done.

Bing Bang earrings, Dean Davidson necklace.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Editor: Gina Marinelli, associate fashion features editor
Hair type: Wavy
Daily 'do: Defined waves with a curling wand

While Gandhi may straighten her hair every day, Gina Marinelli is addicted to her curling wand. She has naturally wavy hair, but this one-trick pony uses a wand every day to get the perfect bends she craves. So, for Marinelli, Rosenkranz decided to give her hair a break from the daily heat and play with a faux bob. See the easy steps, ahead.

Aritzia top.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
On damp hair, apply a heat-protectant blowdrying cream, like Pantene Smooth Blow Dry Crème. Then, section your hair from ear to ear around the back of your head, and clip it out of the way. Spray just the roots and mid-lengths of the bottom layer with a flexible-hold hairspray, and backcomb the roots with a tailcomb to create a cushion.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Tie the ends of the bottom layer with a clear elastic, roll it up around the cushion you just created, and pin your hair to the nape of your neck. Release the top layer of hair, and tie the ends of it with another clear elastic. Then, roll it around and under the previous section of hair so that you're tucking the ends out of sight for an instant faux bob.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
And, since we know Marinelli's comfortable with some face-framing curls, Rosenkranz wrapped a few pieces of hair around a curling wand away from her face and sprayed them with a texturizing spray for a messy, undone finish.

Dinosaur Designs necklace, Bing Bang ring.
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