Simple Hair Styles for Work or School

Ages ago, a reader suggested that I do a tutorial on hair styles that are simple, classy and appropriate for work or school.  Yes, it took me months to get to it, but I did not forget!  πŸ™‚

All of these styles require at least long-ish hair. I don’t mean to be biased, but I’ve never had short hair so I’m just not much help in that area. πŸ™ However, I highly recommend hairpieces if you want to “fake” it.  I frequently wear chignons and other artificial pieces to create looks I can’t achieve with my own hair.  See the last two styles in this post for a few details and resources for synthetic hairpieces.

Side Bun with Flower
Brush your hair all to one side, then gather it up into a side ponytail close to the head. Use a cloth-covered hair elastic for the base of the ponytail (I prefer the kind with no metal!). Then twist your hair one direction and wrap it around itself as you would for a regular bun. Pin securely. I love to use the spin pins (link), as they hold much better than standard bobby pins in my slippery hair. My bun tends to frizz throughout the day, so I use a black hair net over the bun. Then I like to add a hair flower or two (or more!).

Braided Side Bun
Same style as above, but after you put it in the side ponytail, braid it loosely. Then wrap it around without twisting. This style will require more pins, as a braid doesn’t seem to hold itself in the bun as well as loose hair. You can still use the hair net over this one if needed.

Loose Side Braid
This looks especially nice with very long hair. Even better if your hair is thicker than mine, as it gives you that lovely Rapunzel look. πŸ˜‰ Brush your hair all to one side, but this time don’t put it into a ponytail holder. Just gather it up and braid it loosely. Finish with a tiny fabric-coated hair elastic or a small decorative clip.

Side Braid Wrapped Over Head
You definitely need long hair for this one – waist length at least. Create a side braid as in the style above, but braid it fairly tight. Then wrap the braid over the top of your head and pin it with double pins near the base of the braid, at the end, and somewhere in the middle (six pins total; maybe more if your hair is very thick). You can tuck the end of the braid under a head wrap or clip a flower or barrette over it.

If your braid tends to frizz while in this style, apply some hair wax before braiding and finish with a touch of hair spray after it’s all pinned in place.

Magic Hair

One of my new favorite tricks is Magic Hair. These hair pieces are made of two wires covered in bits of synthetic hair, attached to a comb.  They can be purchased here for about $13 USD.

An easy way to use these is to put my hair in a bun at the back of my head (secured into a ponytail first, as the Magic Hair pieces are a bit heavy and will slowly pull the bun out otherwise) and then slide in the comb and wrap the wires around my bun to form a circle. Then add some decorative bits, of course!

I have a tutorial for a fun β€œclubby” look using these hair pieces, also.

Synthetic Chignons

There are also many styles of synthetic chignons available, which make it appear that you spent hours on a fancy style but you really just pin them over a plain bun!

To see more ideas, view my Hair Styles labeled posts. Every hair style I’ve worn on this blog is featured once under that label. There are 25 as of today!

Thank you, Ms Little Black Riding Hood for asking me to do this post.  Hope you enjoy it!


  1. This is exactly why I always hate cutting my hair- shortly after, I end up finding some beautiful hairstyles like this that I so desperately want to try but cannot.I will have to bookmark this for future reference. Thank you for posting!

  2. Great post! My favourite is Loose Side Braid.

  3. Now I have even more motivation to grow my hair out again! I agree, I love the side braid the most. Do you have your hair layered? That'll probably matter if I try to do some of the hairstyles.

  4. Great!! πŸ˜€ I love the "Magic hair" one! πŸ˜€ also the loose side braid ! πŸ™‚ PS. I made a little advertisement of your blog on my post "Goths and age" at Gothic Divine Magazine :)I hope that's ok with you :)β™₯β™₯β™₯

  5. You are my saving grace for today.Needed a hairstyle for a fancy dinner.Wrapped side braid is my choice ! Thank you dear!

  6. Thanks for posting these. I have gotten into such a rut lately with my hair so it's great to have a few suggestions for new styles to try. I also second your recommendation of the spin pins. I have tried nearly every style of hairpin out there and they are definitely best for large amounts of hair (from length or thickness).

  7. Wonderful tip, thanks! I stopped cutting my hair two years ago and now its between the shoulders and waist. Hoping it will grow even longer.

  8. Unlacing, I'm sorry to hear that! I will remember your words next time I am tempted to cut mine (which I sometimes am, but eventually realize I would regret it!).Julietslace, thanks!! :)Arisa Gossamer, No, my hair is not layered. Having it all one length does tend to work better for buns and braids I think (although I haven't had layers in decades so I can't really remember).BallerinaDark, of course I don't mind. πŸ˜‰ CookingChinchillas, I'm glad to hear that. That really made preparing this post worthwhile!Sabayon, I know the feeling. Sometimes I just say "to heck with it" and go with a bun every day for a month.linnea-maria, awesome! I'm sure it will get longer if you give it time and care for it well. The longer it gets, the more delicate the ends are… so be gentle with them! πŸ™‚

  9. I'll have to try a few of these. I'm in the process of growing out my hair. It's always been on the longer side but I'd like my patience to hold out this time and it get to waist length. Your hair looks so glossy, do you have dark hair to begin with or what color products do you use? I have dark brown hair, but it tends to get red in it during the summer and looks kind of odd since my brows and lashes are black. I've darkened it but I need to find a good way to prevent fading. Also I think I saw an older hairstyle post where you have a flexi 8 hair tool in your hair. I just got one in the mail yesterday and am still playing around with it.

  10. This post is so useful! I'm so bored of having my hair in a ponytail for work.

  11. Lovely! Your hair is perfectly suited to these elegant styles. I love the Magic Hair with flowers and lace band. I would agree it is easier to do buns and braids with one-length hair. With my hair, MUCH easier. I struggle with updos after having layers.

  12. I really love those magic hair thingies! This is the first time in my adult life that my hair has been this long. Hairstyling is new territory for me so thanks for the helpful hints!

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