It’s tempting to spend the winter swaddled in the same giant overcoat every day, but optimists see brutal weather as an opportunity to layer stacks on stacks of unique pieces for outfits that are never the same twice. Hats are absolutely crucial to staying warm in the cold, and I like to style mine as part of an overall look instead of just shoving one on my head like I was forced to do as a child. My number one priority in a hat is looking like I still have hair underneath whatever I am wearing. My number two is preventing the hair between my coat collar and hat brim from becoming a tangled mess, so low-slung braids are key. I don’t like to wear my hair loose in a hat. You never know what you’re going to get when the hat comes off, and surprises are terrible.
Here are three quick and easy hairstyles for keeping your hair cute under a hat.
Pigtails, 2 minutes
This style is a no-brainer, but I’m including it anyway because hat season is the only time I can pull off braids. The trick to pigtails is fattening them up. If your hair is super thin, rough up your hair’s texture with a little surf spray before braiding. When you finish, pull the strands of your braids apart with your fingers to give them more body, then seal with hairspray.
Fishtail, 5 minutes
Fishtail braids are so, so easy, stay in place better than regular braids, and look even better the messier they get.
If your hair is collarbone length or shorter, you’ll need to begin your fishtail at the back of your neck, so the hair doesn’t escape. Otherwise, sweep hair over to one side. Split your hair in half. Take a small piece of hair from the outside of your right section, and pull it to the inside of the left section. Then take a piece from the outside of the left section, and pull it to the inside of the right section. Continue alternating taking a small piece from the outside of one half, and moving it the inside of the other half. Pull the larger sections away from each other to tighten your weave every few pieces.
Secure with a clear elastic. Pull the braid apart to add fullness, then blast with hairspray.
The Curly Ponytail, 15 minutes
My personal favorite. This style gives you a bouncy, girlie look under any kind of hat, resists hat hair, and holds up all day. Plus, if you decide to remove the hat for after-work drinks, just snip out the elastic, and you have bouncy curls for happy hour.
Start by gathering hair into a low side ponytail. It’s best to use a disposable rubber elastic for a tighter grip, as you’ll be manhandling your pony quite a bit.
Grab a small section of hair (1/2 an inch for tighter, longer-lasting curls, 1 inch for a more natural look), comb it smooth, and wrap around a curling iron. Repeat until your entire ponytail is Miss Piggy-level curled.
Finger comb through the curls to loosen them up. Then give your pony a light blast of hairspray.
Tease lightly by pushing the hair up with a small, plastic bristle brush. The finish should be a bit messy. This ensures you look more “I curled my hair for a night out at that new club, slept in it, and threw on a fabulous hat,” and less “I absolutely spent an extra 15 minutes at 7:00 am curling my ponytail.”
Think of a quick style as hair insurance. You could just throw on a beanie, but putting just a minute or two of work into your hair means you know what you’re getting when the hat comes off.