How to Style Your Hair for School

Three Methods:Styling Your Hair as a GirlStyling Your Hair as a GuyMaintaining Healthy Hair

The first day of school is right around the corner, and you want to look your best. You’ve already got the perfect outfit picked out, and you’ve been practicing your smile in the mirror. But what should you do with your hair? Doing your hair can be a frustrating task because of how temperamental it can be to properly tame and style it, but the good news is you have a variety of different styles to choose from, many of which can be done quickly and easily to put the finishing touches on your look.

Method 1
Styling Your Hair as a Girl

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    Straighten your hair for a fuss-free look. Use a flat iron to straighten your hair if you want to achieve a simple, sleek look. Straightening hair only takes a few minutes, and as long as it’s not too humid outside, it will save you the trouble of having to constantly check for frizz, kinks and sloppy waves. Simply straighten your hair in small sections from root to tip, seal the deal with a little hairspray and go confidently forth.[1][2]
    • If you have a lot of thick, curly hair, straightening will take longer and may be more difficult.
    • Straightening can make an excellent fallback plan on unsalvageable bad hair days. If all else fails, just straighten it out.
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    Curl your hair to add volume. For a more bouncy, playful look, curl your hair into sweeping waves of tight ringlets. Curling your hair can be time consuming, so make sure you get started early enough to allow plenty of time. One good thing about curling is that you can get as tight or as loose a spiral as you want, allowing for a more customized look. Curled hair also has the appearance of being thick, full and voluminous.[3]
    • You can decide how you want your curls to look by changing your curling technique. For tight curls, use a higher heat and leave the hair wrapped around the curler longer. For more relaxed curls or waves, use a low heat and only curl the middle portion of the hair briefly.[4]
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    Pull it back. Sometimes you just don’t want to mess with a head full of hair first thing in the morning. On days like these, just pull your hair back into a ponytail or bun and be done with it. High ponytails and intentionally messy loose buns are actually in style, so you’ll be able to pull off a fashionable look with minimal effort.[5][6]
    • Even though it doesn’t require a lot of work, pulling your hair back still gives you many options to choose from.
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    Go with a simple braid. If you want to look a little more put together than a basic ponytail or braid but don’t want to spend hours styling, arrange your hair neatly into a braid. An ordinary plait or rope braid, or more sophisticated French, Dutch or fishtail style, will be all you need on low-maintenance mornings. You’ll look classy and put-together, and, best of all, once it’s braided it will hold tight, meaning you won’t have to worry about messing it up throughout the course of your day.[7]
    • Braiding is quick, and can be done as soon as you get out of the shower.
    • If you don’t know how to braid your own hair, have a friend do it for you when you get to school.
  5. 5
    Show off your personality with a short hairstyle. Girls with short hair have lots of options for when they want to look good for school. After washing and conditioning your hair, sweep it to one side in a neat, sleek part, or work in a little styling product and comb it up to achieve some spiky height with a modern flourish. A traditional pixie-style cut will give you a mature look without a lot of work. Undercuts, bobs and wavy curls are also popular choices for ladies with short to mid-length hair.[8]
    • Find a style that works for your specific hair length, texture and face shape.
    • Short hairstyles can save you a lot of time showering and getting ready in the morning.[9]
  6. 6
    Rock a head of natural hair. Take advantage of the natural body of extremely curly or afro-textured hair. Natural hair lends itself to many different fun styles. Longer hair can be plaited, moisturized and ironed for gorgeous ringlets or simply shaken free for maximum volume. If you have shorter hair, you might choose to twist it into sections or wear it like a close-cropped perm. The number of styles you have to choose from is nearly limitless.[10][11]
    • Afro hair tends to dry out quickly, and can get kinky when it loses moisture. Use a deep conditioner when you wash your hair or treat it with moisturizing oils to keep it looking healthy and full.[12]
    • Because of it's texture and shape, natural hair is one of the most versatile of all hair types.
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    Complement your look with hair accessories. Add a little flair by using various accessories to complement your hairstyle and accentuate your features. Things like headbands, bows, scarves, scrunchies, clips and flowers will boost your visual appeal and impart some extra personality to your outfit. Just make sure to choose a pairing that works well together, like a headband with light, wavy curls or a flower poised alongside a messy bun.[13]
    • Cute, versatile accessories may be just what’s missing from your daily wardrobe choices.

Method 2
Styling Your Hair as a Guy

  1. 1
    Comb your hair to tame it. For most guys, a quick once-over with a comb after getting out of the shower in the morning is all they’ll need to keep short hair under control. Pay particular attention to cowlicks and flyaways, and use a little mousse, gel or pomade to smooth problem areas. A few quick swipes and you’ll be ready to head out the door.[14]
    • A quick and painless combing can do the trick for guys with fairly straight, easy to style hair, but it may not be enough to get other hair types, textures and lengths looking good.
  2. 2
    Part your hair to one side. Hair that is slightly longer has a tendency to lay in a certain orientation, and when your hair starts going in different directions, you have a disaster on your hands. Prevent that tousled bedhead by neatly parting your hair down one side. Just wet a comb, or use a nickel-sized dab of pomade, to keep hair slick, smooth and looking sharp.[15][16]
    • Part your hair in the direction it tends to lay naturally.
    • The parted, slicked hairstyle on men was popular with classic movie stars, and has made a comeback in recent years.
  3. 3
    Wear your hair messy for an edgy look. Perhaps you prefer to look a little rough around the edges. If this is the case, make sure you’re doing it right. Work a little gel or pomade into your locks and brush, shake and pull like a madman until they look perfectly disordered. Using a product will help hold your hair in place so it doesn’t go from intentionally messy to unintentionally chaotic.[17]
    • A little messiness goes equally well with casual or dressier outfits, and will tell people that you’re the confident, carefree type.
  4. 4
    Allow curly or shaggy hair to air dry. Guys with wild hair should avoid brushing or messing with their locks too much after showering. Too much dry-styling can cause longer hair to become frizzy and stick out. Instead, let your hair air dry so that it keeps its natural shape and make sure you use a strong conditioner to give it some extra weight and moisture. Brush your hair lightly with your fingers when you need to make adjustments.[18]
    • Blow drying and brushing removes moisture from hair and breaks up natural curls.[19]
    • Leave-in conditioners and other moisturizing products are available for guys with dry, uncontrollable hair.
  5. 5
    Shave it off. This is the equivalent of pulling your hair back for guys. Don’t feel like bothering with styling your hair anymore? Just buzz it off. Problem solved! Your morning routine will be no-maintenance from now on, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be short on style. Try out a fade or military-esque crew cut to get a clean, tidy look that requires little to no work and goes with almost anything.[20]
    • Hair can be buzzed to different lengths, giving you more options.
    • You should only shave your head if you're confident that you can pull it off. Most people have no idea how they'd look with no hair, or the condition of their scalp underneath, and once you it's gone it'll be too late to change your mind.

Method 3
Maintaining Healthy Hair

  1. 1
    Clean and condition your hair regularly. Wash your hair thoroughly every time you bathe, or every other time, if you have especially dry or damaged hair. Shampoo first and rinse completely, then apply conditioner and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Work the lather into your scalp to wash away dirt and oil, and condition the shaft down to the tips. Use hair products that contain healthy vitamins, proteins and oils so that your hair will stay strong and healthy.[21][22]
    • Washing your hair too much can also damage it. Your hair needs a light coating of natural oils, so consider only shampooing every other day (or even every two days for those with curly, frizzy hair) and use a little conditioner on the ends in the meantime.[23]
    • Cleansing conditioners and natural shampoos that make use of essential oils can also get your hair clean without drying it out.
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    Brush your hair to eliminate tangles. Invest in a good soft-bristled brush or wide-toothed comb and use it often. Combing and brushing rids hair of pesky knots and tangles, which can cause damage if left untreated. If you want the kind of smooth, flowing, silky hair you see on your favorite celebrities, you should make frequent brushing a hair care priority.[24]
    • Brush your hair before you shower to prevent it from poofy once it dries.
    • Choose a brush that works best for your hair type and the style you’re trying to achieve.[25]
  3. 3
    Avoid excessive heat. Too much straightening, curling and blow drying robs your hair of its natural moisture and leads to breakage. Use these styling techniques sparingly, and make sure to protect your hair with heat-treatment products when you do. If you usually blow dry your hair, start using a medium or low heat setting instead of turning it on full blast. It will take longer, but you’ll have luxurious hair to show for it.[26]
    • Use quick, smooth strokes when straightening, and low heat when curling, to minimize the damage that the heat does to your hair.
    • Pulling your hair back too tight, wearing a hat all day or spending a lot of time in the sun can also be bad for your hair.[27]
  4. 4
    Style hair with products made from natural ingredients. Just like heat, the chemical agents in certain hair products can strip and damage healthy hair. Look for shampoos, hairsprays, styling aids and other products that are organic or water-based and don’t contain harsh chemicals. These are much better for your hair and scalp, and are becoming less expensive and easier to find as the popularity of natural hygiene products increases.[28][29]
    • Check the label before you buy a particular hair product to see if it’s made with natural ingredients.


  • Familiarize yourself with your school's dress code guidelines to know which types of hairstyles and accessories you're permitted to wear.
  • Get your hair trimmed regularly to prevent split ends and keep it strong and healthy.
  • Make sure you wake up early enough to give yourself plenty of time to style your hair before school.
  • Wash your hair the night before school to save time.
  • To curl your hair naturally, wet your hair at night and put it in a French braid until the next day.
  • Style your hair in a way that you like and that makes you feel good. The most important thing is to be comfortable with yourself.


  • Don't touch or rearrange your hair compulsively once you've got it the way you want it. You might end up just messing it up.
  • Don't become reliant on products to give your hair hold. Too much hair spray, mousse or pomade can make hair stiff, greasy and hard to style.
  • Straightening and curling irons can damage hair when used too frequently. Make sure you apply a heat protection serum if you use a hot iron more than 2-3 times a week.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat iron
  • Hair curler
  • Blow dryer
  • Hair ties
  • Headbands, bows, scarves, clips, etc.
  • Brush or comb
  • Water
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Styling products

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Hairstyles for Youth