Who has hours to spend tonging their hair into red carpet-worthy waves every morning? Or perfecting the ultimate blow dry? But just because you’re stuck for time (and the opportunity to turn your hairdryer on without your toddler screaming), doesn’t mean you can’t look great. Read on for the insider tips and easy cheats to smoothing, volumising and styling your hair in minutes
Volume on the go
For a volume fix on the go, keep Shu Uemura Volume Maker Pen (£31, lookfantastic.com) in your handbag. Just click the end to dispense a little volumising hair powder onto the brush, then dust onto roots and through ends to boost body, texture and absorb excess oil. The brush gives you total control over how much you apply and slips easily into your bag for hair emergencies.
Bed head beauty
For nights where you’ve not slept a wink and sharing your pillow with your toddler has given you a severe case of bedhead, make the most of that texture. Forget brushing out the knots, just apply a little Cheeky Pump It Hair Plumping Powder (£8, urcheeky.com) through the ends, then pull back into a messy bun, ponytail or clip the sides off your face.
If you wake up with a frizz issue, but no time to blow-dry, straighten or re-style, take a couple of pumps of Wella SP Luxe Oil (£25, wella.com) to instantly smooth ends and re-condition dry ends. Slightly more oily than most hair oils, it’s perfect for curly, coarse or very dry ends, use sparingly, then add more if you need to.
If your fringe gets greasy or sticks up when you’ve slept on it, you don’t have to wash and restyle again. A quick spritz of Charles Worthington Dry Shampoo (£5.99, charlesworthington.com) will refresh and absorb oil, so you can add shape again by blow-drying with a round brush. We love Andrew Barton I Love Volume Hot Curl Brush (£8, ocado.com), which is the perfect size for lifting and volumising your fringe again.
When you have an important work meeting and a blow-dry is unavoidable, cut styling time by smoothing Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil For Fine Hair (£14, percyandreed.com) through lengths and ends of damp hair before styling. It will quickly banish flyaways, temporarily disguise split ends and give a luxe finish with minimal effort. Add a little more once hair is dry if you need to.
Work your crop
If your cropped style is overdue a salon trim, going through a tricky growing out stage, or looks a little greasy, disguise it by slicking hair back, over to the side or tuck it behind your ears. A matte moulding cream, such as Wella Professionals Rugged Fix (£10, wella.com) or TommyGuns Moulding Texturing Paste (£6.50, ocado.com), will add texture and smooth hair off your face or you can use it to tease strands into place.
For mornings when you wake up with limp hair, spritz through a volumising, texturising spray such as L’Oréal Paris StudioLine Volume Supersizing Spray (£3.69, boots.com). Direct mainly into the roots for volume, but also a little through the ends for tousled texture.
Condition and go
If you have curly or coarse textured hair, simply apply a little extra conditioner (we love Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner, £17.25, feelunique.com) after washing and conditioning to easily re-define curls, prevent curls from frizzing and boost moisture levels. Not only will this boost hydration levels, it means you can skip extra styling products too.
Top of the knots
For mornings when you really need to wash your hair, but have to shoot out the door, the top knot comes to the rescue. Blast oily roots with dry shampoo (it will also give extra grip and body to hair), gather hair into a high ponytail, twist the ends round and pin with kirby grips (try Boots Essentials Hair Grips, £1.49, boots.com).
Curling tongs give great waves and curls, but they’re only practical when you have a child-free evening to get ready. Fake easy waves overnight by spraying Tresemme Texture Style Tousled Wave Spray (£5.50, boots.com) through dry or damp hair the night before, twist into a top knot, then rake through with your fingers in the morning for movement and body. Alternatively, plait the ends of hair for movement through the mid-lengths and ends only.