Fabulous 5-minute Hairstyles
First we enlisted the star of this summer’s Transformers sequel, Isabel Lucas, to show off the quickest new styles. Then we asked staffers to try them—with timers—to make sure they really are that fast. All we can say is, believe the speed!
The hot-mess updo
Forget about a master plan—let this mellow style take shape as you go. It’s perfect for Isabel Lucas, 24, a big-buzz actress from Australia. “I don’t get dolled up and do my hair that often,” she says. To get the look, twirl a piece of hair, lift it up to your head, coil into a loose loop and bobby-pin down the end. Keep going until all hair is up, then hit with a light spray; try John Frieda Sheer Blonde Crystal Clear Hairspray ($6, at drugstores). For her lip color, try L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Volcanic ($9, at drugstores).
Your time: 4 minutes, 30 seconds
The glam-ified ponytail
High and all fluffed up, this would never be mistaken for a Pilates-class pony. Apply a volumizer like Tresemmé 24 Hour Body Root Boost Spray ($4.50, at drugstores) to damp or dry hair, and tease a bit with a comb. Pull hair up to below your crown and slightly off center, leaving out a chunk beneath. Tie with an elastic. Wind the loose section around the base several times, pinning the end underneath. Assistant managing editor Betty Kim tested (and loved) this style. “I did it at my desk before running out for after-work cocktails,” she reports.
Your time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
The quickie front braid
Pretty on everyone, and—bonus—the height in front helps fake fullness. “My hair is thin,” says Lucas, “so I like to add mousse.” Scrunch one into damp hair; try Garnier Fructis Volume Inject Mousse ($4, at drugstores). Gather a thick section on one side and French-braid over toward your other ear (weave together three sections of hair, picking up more as you go). Pin and air-dry. Assistant editor Lauren Bradshaw liked this so much, it became her go-to style for the rest of the week. “I’m growing out my bangs,” she says, “and this is an easy way to keep ‘em out of my face.”
Your time: 3 minutes
The wispy twist
A classic with lots of flirty, floaty pieces—date-night material! Starting from the bottom of hair, tightly twist and roll it up toward your crown; pin in place. Tuck the ends under and secure those with more pins. Now, tug out strands. To get her hair all shiny, Lucas sprinkles ground flax seeds into her morning cereal (they’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids). For her cheek color, try Clinique Quick Blush in Peach In-a-Pinch ($22, clinique.com).
Your time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds
The sexy Dorothy
“I was dubious I could do fish tails in five minutes, but I got faster each time,” says fashion assistant Lauren Tardanico. “It’s easier with damp hair.” Apply a styler like Pantene Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Smoothing Créme ($6, at drugstores) and make twoponytails. Working with the left pony, split it in half. Grab a piece of hair from the side of one of thosehalves and bring it over to the other. Now grab a piece of hair from that one, swing it over to the other half and pull tight. Continue all the way down and tie the end. Repeat on the right side.
Your time: 4 minutes, 45 seconds