Classy And Sassy Hairstyles To Start School In Style

For an A+ in aesthetics.

New semester, new you. Or maybe just a more rested you. The start of the school year brings with it the chance for us to reinvent ourselves, surprise people or perfect last-year's look. This is particularly true when it comes to hairstyles, which are increasingly more adventurous, whether in bold colors, standout styles or iconic cuts. 

From ponytails with pizzazz and unique braids to unexpected throwback styles and laid-back locks, we've narrowed down our five favorite hairstyles to ensure you get an A+ in aesthetics. Here's how you can make sure you're top of the class when it comes to classy hair. 

Check out 5 looks for your locks to get off to a fresh start this semester, and scroll down to shop everything you need to achieve them: 

Voluminous sun-kissed ponytail

Image: via @marianna_hewitt on Instagram 

You might have just come back from a beach vacation, in which case you'll probably have some sun-kissed lengths to show off. This ponytail is perfect, as it will keep your hair out of your eyes (practical for those long study sessions you're about to endure) while also giving you XXL volume and showcasing your natural highlights. 

Get the look:
Start by applying volumizing mousse throughout the hair before blow-drying. When your hair is 90% dry, flip your head over and finish drying from below. Separate a section of roughly 3cm before tying the rest of your hair into a mid-height ponytail using a transparent or hair-colored elastic, then use the separated section to wrap around the base of the ponytail and tuck in underneath for an invisible finish. Use a boar-bristled brush to back-comb the center of the ponytail, then spritz on some texturizing spray and scrunch it in to create voluminous waves. Now that's a ponytail.

Messy bob and bangs

Image: via @nanukhair on Instagram 

Short hair shows its ultra-feminine side in this textured bob with piece-y bangs. An easy style to achieve before the school bus (or private chauffeur) arrives, it's a low-maintenance look that works just as well on the red carpet as it does waiting in line at the cafeteria. Karlie Kloss's signature look is a smooth and sleek version of the bob'n'bangs, but we love this slightly scruffy tomboy style too.

Get the look:
After getting your hair cut into a short bob, there's little more you need to get this look other than a good texturizing gel or spray. You can also give the hair a little more natural-looking body by using your fingertips to massage the scalp after applying your product. For the bangs, a tiny amount of styling gel on the fingers will help you separate the front sections without a greasy-looking finish.

Half-up fishtail braid


For the braver or more naturally-gifted among us, a half-up fishtail is the ideal combination of braid and loose locks: it's been a prominent style this summer, but one that also works in this more school-friendly version. It'll keep the hair out of your face and show off your weaving skills with the fishtail, while leaving the bottom section free to emphasize length and color.

Get the look:
Tie already-wavy hair into a half-up ponytail. Then tuck the ponytail up, through itself, and under (thus concealing the hair tie). Pull the elastic tight to hold in place before starting the fishtail. With this kind of braiding, remember to take gradually more hair each time you cross over. When you reach the end, fasten with a clear elastic. If you're not sure how to do a fishtail braid, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials to get you up to speed. 

Natural curly up-do with bangs


Ideal for Monday missed-the-alarm emergencies when time isn't on your side, this voluminous pineapple up-do for natural hair is given an extra boost of energy with curly bangs. You could also accessorize with a pretty scarf or headband if you were feeling extra creative. 

Get the look:
Prep long-to-mid-length hair with a moisturizing spray or serum for natural hair (we've heard great things about grape-seed and argan oils) before tying it into the highest ponytail you can manage. Use a soft scrunchie and only wrap it over the hair once to retain volume at the base. Then, pull the ponytail further towards the front of your head, so that it almost merges with your bangs. Finish with some long-hold spray, and secure any flyways at the back using bobby pins.

A Mullet? Seriously?

Image: via @bluetitlondon on Instagram 

Jane Fonda, Carol Brady and Liza Minnelli were all onto something in the '70s and '80s: this is a hairstyle that has become iconic, reworked in different versions over the decades and still around today. Ladies and gentlemen, let's have a round of applause for... the mullet! You can breathe out now: 2017's take on the hairstyle has emerged from the hair trend annals in a tamer, more subtle version. 

Get the look:
The haircut itself is in the hands of your trusted hair stylist. Once you've got the right shape, re-creating an edgy, messy, textured version like the one above one couldn't be simpler. As easy as Jane Fonda slipping into some spandex, you just need to apply some styling wax or gel to your fingertips, and twist it through small sections of the hair all over the head. Muss the 'do up with your palms for a natural finish, and give it a quick burst with the blow-dryer for extra I-play-bass-in-a-pseudo-punk-band volume.

Here's everything you need to achieve all the above looks from the comfort of your own dorm room:
Toni & Guy Thickening Gel Creme - $17
Pantene Volume Body Building Mousse - from $5
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray - $27
SoftSheen-Carson Care Free Curl Gold, Instant Activator - $25
Art Naturals Argan Leave-In Conditioner -  $14
The Body Shop Grapeseed Glossing Serum - $11
Aloxxi Firm Hold Hairspray 300ml - $18
Aveda Light Elements Shaping Wax - $25
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - $46
Sephora Bump Boar Teaser - $15
Accessorize 5x Basic Hair Bando Pack - $8
Natural Hair Shop Solid Brown Satin Scrunchie - $5

Cover image: via @marianna_hewitt on Instagram