Five 10-minute hairstyles for busy mornings

Jul 23, 2010 at 1:23 a.m. ET

Running late to work and clueless on what to do with your hair? Try these quick, classy styles to get you from bedhead to boardroom babe.

Woman with french braid

1Wrap it up in a ponytail.

This style looks like a normal ponytail -- until the end. Amanda Weir, a stylist at Goldwaves Salon in Fort Worth, Texas, recommends starting with dry hair and using a flat, boar-bristle brush to comb back hair in half-inch sections, about three inches off the scalp. Smooth and gather sections, then secure with an elastic. This style works whether your ponytail sits on top, in the middle or low on you head.

Here's where the twist comes in: Grab a small section from the underside of the ponytail and wrap it around the elastic, Weir advises. Secure this section with a bobby pin and spritz with an anti-humidity spray. You could also add a headband to jazz it up.

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2Knot it nicely.

Stylists Kristin Ess and Whitney Olson recommend this five-minute style for straight, medium-to-long hair. Part hair in the middle all the way down to the nape of your neck. Apply shine spray or serum over the left side of your hair to keep it in place.

Wrap one elastic about one to two inches from the bottom of that section, repeating on the right side. Then, take both sections and twist them inward toward each other and back. Weave them together and then tuck the whole thing under and through your hair. Slide in some bobby pins and finish with hairspray.

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3Pump up the jam.

What's great about this look (also offered by Ess and Olson) is that you can accomplish it in a few minutes on clean or dirty hair -- so even if you didn't have time to shower this morning, you're in luck. It also applies to wavy or straight locks and is basically an alternative to the usual half-up, half-down look.

Tease your bangs or the shortest front section of your mane just a bit. Smooth out the top layer of that section and pull it back. Twist the section once, then secure it with two large bobby pins. You can extend the bump or smooth it out depending on the look you want. Hold it in place with hairspray.

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4Braid it to the side.

Braids seem childish, but when done loosely and to the side of the head, they lend a more grownup look. This is an especially good style if you woke up with unwashed hair or your mane is damaged and limp. Simply gather hair to one side and braid it loosely. Hold it in place with an elastic and let some strands go free to give it a softer look.

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5Tousle with tongs.

If you have short, straight hair, gussying it up with a soft curl can give you a quick, yet glamorous workday look. Just use tongs on dry hair by clamping down for a few seconds to form a soft curl. You'll go from grungy to glamorous in as little as five minutes.

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