Long hair makes me feel good and, I hope, look good too. I travel 100 miles each way to have my ends trimmed because Amie is the only hair stylist I’ve met in the last decade who respects my wish to keep the length without losing volume. Many say short hair is a time-saver, but I disagree. To me, the shorter the hair, the more difficult to style. Long hair is more versatile—from headbands to ponytails, updos, braids, to letting it air dry…it has endless possibilities. And, it doesn’t have to take forever to make it look good. I would know! Here are some tips for you to quickly maintain and style your long hair year-round.

Choose Your Shampoo & Conditioner Carefully
Use a shampoo that will protect your hair from breakage, such as L’Oreal New Triple Resist Reinforcing Shampoo. If your hair is limp, John Frieda’s Luxurious Volume Touchably Full Shampoo will do the trick. For wavy results, try Matrix Total Results Curl Boucles. I’ve tested them all and enjoyed the look and feel. Aside from their matching conditioners, you can also use Pantene Beautiful Lengths Conditioner, one of my favorites, to smooth and nourish.

Quick Styling Tips for Long Hair-Photo2

Use a Sealant for the Ends
After gently towel-drying your hair and brushing it with a Goody Quickstyle Paddle Brush, sparingly use a serum to seal and prevent split ends. Some tried and true examples are: L’Oreal Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum, John Frieda Frizz-Ease Serum (a classic), and Crazy Smooth Extreme Shine Treatment Oil.

Read Related: 10 Hair Myths Busted

Plan Your Style
For beachy summer waves, spray your hair with a texturant such as Unite Beach Day Texturizing (which I used to obtain the results in the picture above) or comb through a contouring lotion like Matrix Total Results Curl Boucles. Then scrunch the ends and allow to air-dry. I usually style my bangs by blow-drying them using a round brush. Layers help waves stay in place. For more curl, I use a mousse such as Pantene Pro-V for Curly Hair. After applying from the middle of the strands to the ends, I bend over and blow-dry using a diffuser, while scrunching the curls with my free hand. If I want to go straight, I skip the styling product entirely and work through my strands with a flat iron that can be used on wet hair, such as Remington Wet 2 Straight.

Quick Styling Tips for Long Hair-Photo3

Use a Good Finishing Product
To tame any strays, apply a small amount of Smooth ‘n Shine Edge Smoothing Pomade and spritz Smooth ‘n Shine Diamond Luster Pump ‘n Hold Spritz, or John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray. Don’t overdo it, though. The whole point is for your hair to look and feel controlled but touchable.

And if you really need to just run out the door, then wash and style only your bangs, and pull your long hair back into a sleek ponytail, or hold it in place with a wide hair band. My personal favorites are Bondi Bands, which come in sweat-wicking styles for sports or in trendy colors for a bold fashion statement.

What is your trick for styling long hair in under 15 minutes?