December 15, 2020



20 Low-Maintenance Haircuts for Every Texture


You get the perfect haircut. You leave the salon feeling (and looking) like a supermodel. Then, you wash it for the first time. Then, you try to style it for the first time. Then, it looks nothing like it did the day you left the salon (sigh). The sad fact is not all haircuts are wash-and-go. Some of the best-looking styles are also the most time-intensive. But who has the time to spend an hour in the bathroom straightening and curling every morning?

We don’t. To help you avoid a repeat of the above scenario, we’ve rounded up 20 low-maintenance styles that won’t add precious minutes to your morning routine, and spoke to two stylists—Laura Polko and Leigh Hardges—to get their expert opinion. The following cuts will afford you minimal if no styling time, no matter what your texture. Scroll through to find the right low-maintenance haircut for your hair type, bring the photo to your stylist, and prepare to save a lot of time. Keep reading for our list of the best 20 low-maintenance hairstyles.


Leigh Hardges, Stylist and Natural Hair Specialist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. She has over 15 years professional experience and her work has been featured on Good Day Chicago Fox 32.
Laura Polko is a celebrity hairstylist and NatureLab. Tokyo ambassador based in LA. Her clients include Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Priyanka Chopra, and Chrissy Teigen.

Face-Framing Layers

Don’t go too short with thick hair. It can pouf up, bad-humidity style. Keeping your strands below your shoulders will help you avoid unnecessary styling.

Tiered Layers

Skip blunt cuts, and choose long layers instead. You’ll take off some of the weight to speed up styling time. "For straight hair, the most important thing to look out for is the layering," says Polko. "That’s what makes your cut able to grow out and last. Environment and heat can cause breakage, but layers can camouflage it and make it last longer between cuts."

Long Waves

Ask for long layers around your face to create movement and a flattering, face-framing shape. "Find a stylist that takes the time to listen and understand your hair and your lifestyle," says Hardges. "Also good, professional products and tools will make your life a breeze."

'70s Center Part

Thin hair has a hard time maintaining volume, so instead of fighting to create fullness with lots of layers (and styling products), embrace an easy, one-length cut. For all hair types, but straight hair especially, Hardges says "a stylist should focus on the problem areas for the client like cowlicks, or thinning hair because those can pose bigger problems as they grow out."

The Updated "Rachel"

Hair that falls just below the shoulders weighs itself down just enough so you won’t have to fuss with a ton of product and heat styling. If you do want to speed up the dryng process, Hardges recommends using a blowdry brush like the Trademark Beauty Easy Blo ($49). "The combination of heat and varied bristle lengths provides the tension needed to really smooth the hair. Plus it’s super lightweight, making it very easy to maneuver."

Side-Swept Bangs

Ask your stylist for a blunt cut—blunt ends create the illusion of thickness. And avoid bangs, which require way too much work to be considered low-maintenance.

Curly Bob

An angular lob that’s longer in the front and slightly shorter in the back adds shape to curly hair, giving it a built-in style even when you wash and go. "Medium hair is all in the layers. This is what will keep your hair from looking triangular as it grows," notes Polko.

Layered Curls

Opt for curls that fall below your collarbone, and ask for plenty of layers throughout to remove some of the bulk. "For curls, length is important. Curly hair has a more awkward grow out pattern, so the longer it is, the easier to maintain," notes Polko.

Coiled Layers

For super-tight curls, keep your layers extra long in front to avoid having to fight with curls in your face.

Tousled Pixie

If you have wavy hair and aren’t afraid to go short, choose a tousled pixie cut. "Any strong shape in a haircut shouldn't require a ton of styling," says Hardges. "Undercuts and pixie cuts are my faves though, just a little finger tousling, maybe a spray wax for texture and hold and then out the door you go."

All you need to style short hair is a dab of styling cream (like our favorite, bumble and Bumble Styling Cream, $27) and you’re good to go.

Shoulder-Length Shag

For longer, wavy hair, a shoulder-length shag that you can just scrunch with salt spray (we love Ouai Wave Spray, $26) is the ultimate in low-maintenance hairstyles.

Accessorized Pixie

"I love using accessories, like snap clips, headbands or giant scrunchies. They can elevate your style and tie it all together without much work," says Polko. Here, Janelle Monae has accessorized her cropped hair with bejeweled barrettes near the side part.

Grown-Out Bob

Ask for lots of face-framing layers to prevent your natural texture from overpowering you.

Lifted Curls

"A good curly haircut is all about the grow out—how the shape will look and transform once it starts to grow," says Hardges. Take a page from Polko's book and add interest with a simple headband, which is the ultimate low-maintenance way to spruch up your look without breaking out tons of complicated tools.

Long Shag

A long, overgrown shag also works for straight hair. Just air-dry and tousle it up to add a bit of texture. A spritz of Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 ($26) never hurts either.

"Great hair starts in the shower," says Polko. "Focus on hair health by using a treatment masque, and using a protective leave-in (NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Repair Leave-In Treatment, $16) to reduce dry time and have a better air-dry result."

Cascading Layers

Cascading layers create the illusion of volume with minimal styling. "For long hair, you need to keep up with the breakage to avoid the tell-tale V-shape in the back. It’s better to sacrifice a little length to have a more blunt end than to keep the tail," says Polko.

Wet Look Waves

"If your hair is dirty, you can create an easy slicked back look by working with your natural oils and even adding a hair mask at the very front to slick your hair down in place of hairspray," says Polko. She likes the NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment Masque ($16) for this.

Short Front Layers

If your hair is long, thick, and straight, why fight it? Add a few layers below the chin and let your naturally beautiful texture do its thing.

Soft Hollywood Waves

A style this sleek and polished looks like it requires a lot of effort, but, if you start with the proper base it's easy to achieve. Her past-the-shoulder waves are mostly one length and swept into a dramatic side part. To create beautiful waves, Hardges likes the Dyson Air Wrap ($500). "It totally eliminates the blowdry and curl steps by making a blow-dryer that curls like an iron."

Zoe Kravitz

A super-short crop with razored edges doesn't require much by way of styling. It's a true wash and go style. However, "short hair will always be the most work," says Polko. "There’s only a certain amount of time before you hit an awkward in-between phase. The maintenance will be all in the styling to keep it looking polished, especially if your cut is blunt."