Some call it low-maintenance, others might say lazy, but when it comes to my hair I am unashamedly laidback when it comes to styling it. Over-the-top up-dos and fancy plaits not only aren’t my thing, but I’ve never mastered them even if I was inclined to try. However, there’s something about the arrival of autumn that has me wanting to step outside my comfort zone and embrace something a little more adventurous when it comes to my daily hair styling. But I’m also incredibly realistic about the amount of time and effort I’m willing to spend on cajoling my hair into any kind of autumn hairstyle in the morning. We’re all busy people and, honestly, who has more than 10 minutes to dedicate to their strands on a normal day?
So, when it came to seeking out autumn hairstyle inspiration for this piece there was only vibe on my agenda: easy. Yes, I took to Instagram for more hours than healthy to round up an array of the best effortlessly chic hairstyles for the month ahead. Most of them can be tweaked and adjusted depending on whether you’re feeling like showing more or less hair prowess that day, but there’s more than enough inspiration ahead to encourage a little more experimentation when it comes to hair styling.
Ahead, 18 stylish-yet-easy autumn hairstyles that I can’t wait to try—and the products I’d use to re-create them at home.
1. Hair-Wrapped Ponytail
When it comes to easy hairstyles ponytails are probably as simple as they come, right? But you can elevate even the most basic of ponies by wrapping a strand of hair around your hairband to cover it up. There’s something about this little detail that makes the finished style look so much more polished.
Use this in place of your usual conditioner for glossy results.
2. Simple Plait
There is something so timeless about a simple plait, and I love how versatile this slicked-back style is for autumn.
Keep your hard work in place with this finishing spray.
3. Claw Clips
By far 2021’s biggest breakout hair accessory has to be the claw clip, but I’m really gravitating towards it in autumn for keeping hair looking pulled-together when we’re battling with wind, rain and whatever else the British weather wants to throw at us.
The burnt orange hues in this limited edition claw clip make it a perfect choice for autumn.
4. Half-Up, Half-Down
You’ll get instant points for making look like you’ve made an effort by separating the top half of your hair and securing it in place with a hairband or claw clip. The half-up, half-down is the easiest autumn hairstyle, and I adore it.
Spritz a little of this through hair before styling to add a little more grit and hold to your half-up style.
5. Ballerina Bun
Simple but undeniably chic, a slicked-back mid-height bun always looks good.
Apply this leave-in treatment to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair to strengthen strands and create sleek styles.
6. Flicked Ends
If you use a hairdryer or hot tools to style your hair in the morning then take an extra minute to flick out the ends of your style for an unexpected-yet-simple style switch-up. I love how retro it looks.
Heat styling just got a whole lot easier thanks to this sleek, cordless device from BaByliss.
7. Looped Pony
If your hair’s a bit too short to pull into a full topknot or ballerina bun, then try this looped ponytail trick: Pull your hair into a ponytail and start to tie it up as normal, but rather than pulling all of your hair through on the last loop of your hairband leave the ends to catch in the band. You’re left with a cool, twisted hair loop.
As the name suggests, this hair cream does a little bit of everything—boosts shine, adds texture and defines hair. An autumn staple.
8. ’90s Ponytail
This combination of a high ponytail, feathery fringe and loose tendrils looks effortlessly cool and is giving me major Saved By the Bell vibes.
This versatile product can be used on wet or dry hair to nourish, define and refresh curls.
9. Mini Ponytail
Ponytails don’t have to be the reserve of people with long hair. This low pony looks so cute with slightly shorter strands.
This has all of the oil-absorbing power of Living Proof’s original dry shampoo, but I find it has less of the texturising benefits. Perfect if you want a natural, soft hair look.
10. Double-Scrunchie Bun
A messy bun is the fast-track route to low-maintenance cool, but keeping it in place with two colour-clashing scrunchies rather than one adds extra interest.
These skinny scrunchies from Slip not only look good, but they also don’t snag or damage your hair either.
11. Pigtail Plaits
I haven’t worn my hair in pigtails since I was at school, but suddenly it’s the only way I want to wear my hair for autumn. I love this look.
Secure pigtails, mini plaits and a whole other multitude of autumn hairstyles with these versatile hair elastics.
12. Doubled-Up Accessories
If there’s one way to an easy autumn hairstyle, it has to be adding a hair accessory, and in this case, the more the merrier. Play with contrasting colours and styles to keep your look fresh throughout the season.
These hair clips will look just as good worn separately as they do together.
13. Windswept Waves
Autumn’s take on summer’s classic beach wave style is less uniform and mermaid-like and a little more wispy and lived-in. Perfect if, like me, you don’t want to spend longer than a few minutes with your heat tools.
I struggle to curl my hair using straighteners, but these twisted ceramic plates make it easy.
14. Tonal Head Scarves
A stylish headscarf looks chic all year round, but opting for one in warm oranges and coppers looks so good for autumn. Plus, it has the added benefit of protecting your style during the day.
This clash of art nouveau and leopard print feels so modern and fresh.
15. Micro Plaits
These teeny-tiny micro plaits emerged as an unexpected throwback hair trend in late summer, and their popularity looks set to grow as we head into autumn.
Smooth a little of this through your micro plaits and the ends of your hair for a super-shiny finish.
16. Bucket Hats
Okay, hear me out: Popping on a bucket hat isn’t exactly a hairstyle, but there’s no denying that it’s a fail-safe way to make it look like you’re making a conscious style choice for autumn when you’ve actually just forgotten to wash your hair.
I’m all kinds of obsessed with this fuzzy, animal-print bucket hat for autumn.
17. Mid-Height Ponytail
This ponytail feels so relaxed thanks to its laidback, mid-height and face-framing tendrils. Once you’ve tied your strands back, give the hair at the base of your ponytail a little tug to loosen it slightly and re-create this easy-breezy style.
Ensure your hair has plenty of lift and bounce before you get to the styling by washing with a volume-boosting shampoo like this one.
18. All Slicked-Back
Whether it’s for a bun or a ponytail, slicking back all of your hair into a centre-parted style like this one oozes sophistication.
This luxurious gel-serum hybrid can be applied to wet hair before heat styling or air-drying for a sleek finish.
Next: Hair Experts Say These Will Be the Biggest Hair Trends for Autumn.