Be honest -- you're judgy McJudgerson sometimes. That dude wearing a v-neck American Apparel t-shirt with thick-rimmed glasses? Uber-hipster. That chick in the hip-hugging, up-to-her-hoo-ha miniskirt? What a slu … you get the drift.
Even hairstyles say a lot about people. A woman wearing a ponytail is either headed to yoga or too lazy to do her hair. Long layers and wavy-curls? She wants to fit in with the popular crowd.
Related: 9 Easy Hairstyle Makeover Tricks
As I was doing some serious judging this morning, I had an epiphany: What's everyone else saying about my own long-and-straight-with-bangs style? So, in an effort to change things up and keep 'em guessing, I scoured runway pictures to find the latest hairstyles that don't veer too far off from my comfort hair zone, but give me a new, on-trend look.
To spice up your average ponytail or bun, try a pretty, intentionally messy cross between the two. To create this laid-back look, start by applying a frizz-control product or styling cream to damp hair. (Try FEKKAI Coiff Perfecteur Anti-Frizz Silkening Creme, $25.) Then blow dry hair straight and part it down the middle. Gather your hair in a low ponytail, leaving out a one-inch piece. Pull the ponytail halfway through and secure it with an elastic. Then, wrap the one-inch piece around the elastic and secure with a U-shaped bobby pin. If desired, tug on the edges of your ponytail-bun to loosen up the shape.
TWO: FRENCH TWIST + CHIGNON
While French twists are classic, the traditional version can look a little dated. This gorgeous chignon-like hairstyle is incredibly modern -- and all you have to do is turn the twist on its side. To recreate it, apply a volumizing spray to damp hair. Blow dry your hair with a round brush and make a few pin curls in front. Roll the rest of your hair from the ends to the nape of your neck, as if you were doing a French twist from the bottom instead of the side. Secure with U-shaped bobby pins. Once your pin curls are set, release them and comb them to the side. Lock the style in place with hairspray. (Try FEKKAI Coiff Fini Sheer Hold Hairspray, $25.)
Braids don't have to be perfect. In fact, they tend to look better when they're haphazard. To copy this style, apply a volumizing product throughout your hair when it's damp. (Try PANTENE Pro-V Fine Hair Solutions Triple Action Volume Mousse, $3.99.) Then roughly dry the majority of it, but spend some time smoothing out the front section with a round brush. Choose a few random, 1-inch sections of hair and do simple braids, securing with a small clear elastic at the ends; be sure to leave out the sleek front pieces. Tip: Braid each section a different way so your braids don't start in the same spot or end up the same size.
FOUR: WET + DRY
Do you ever leave the house with your hair wet? Well, now you have an excuse to turn that into a hairstyle. Next time, apply a volumizing mousse throughout your hair. Blow-dry just the bottom half with a round brush, twisting the brush vertically to create a slight wave. Then rake a healthy dose of strong-hold gel through the top half of hair with a wide-toothed comb. (Try PANTENE Pro-V Smooth Definition Gel, $4.99, or Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Gel, $3.99.)
The beauty of this look is that it's both dressed up and relaxed. For the best results, start with hair that's not super clean -- it will have more of a grip. Make a side part. Then twist 1- to 2-inch sections back in whatever shape you want, pinning in place as you go. (See Sarah's video tip on the best way to twist hair so it won't unravel while you're pinning.) When you get to the other side, wrap the loose ends up into a bun and pin into place. Set it with hairspray.
Want more? Click here for 3 more hybrid hairstyles.