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9 Non-Permanent Ways to Change Your Hair

By now you’re probably well into tackling your New Year’s resolution of becoming a “new you.” But there’s no way you can continue your transformation without changing up your look. While a new wardrobe could certainly do the trick, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a new hairstyle! No need to rush to the nearest salon for a daring new cut or some bold hair coloring that you’re probably too nervous to try, though – who says a hair transformation requires scissors and permanent dye, anyway? Instead, check out these easy, non-permanent ways to change your hair.

1. Clip in some extra length

One of the most obvious ways to change your hair is by adding length. Hair extensions can easily give you the desired length or body to take your look to the next level, whether synthetic or real (Rumor has it Ariana Grande does it, too!). That’s because hair extensions can even be added to create volume, so say hello to that new voluminous high pony you’ll be rocking!

For tips on maintaining all varieties of hair extensions, we spoke with Angelo David, a celebrity hair stylist based in New York City. He recommends brushing through extensions with a boar bristle brush, like the one from his Couture Hair brush line, tweaked specially for hair extensions and clip-ins. David stresses that it’s important to remember to always brush through your extensions routinely, whether you’re preparing for a shower or returning from the gym. You never want to get tangles at the base of your extensions.

2. Change your curling rod


 
Switching up your curling iron can make all the difference. With rods of all widths, you can add curls that are as tight or loose as your heart desires. If you’re known to wear your hair straight, switch it up by adding luscious curls. But if you’re known to curl your hair often, try changing your barrel width for a look that isn’t your everyday norm. You may even want to check out how to create curls with a hair dryer-attachable styler. From tight ringlets to glamorous waves, the possibilities are endless.

3. Try a faux bob 



Have you always wanted to try a bob, but were too afraid of possibly experiencing the post-chop trauma? The faux bob is your solution! And the best part? You never have to sacrifice your lengthy locks in the process! There are a few ways to fake a bob, but no matter the process, you can achieve the same eye-catching end result with minimal effort. 

Instructions:

  1. Start by curling your hair, preferably using a 1-2-inch barrel. Wavier hair will make for a more authentic looking bob.
  2. Brush out your curls to create a nice wave.
  3. Put your hair into a low ponytail using a clear hair tie or one that resembles your hair color. It’s okay to leave out shorter layers of hair in the front to frame your face.
  4. Fold the ponytail underneath your hair so that none of the hair at the bottom of the ponytail is visible.
  5. Use bobby pins, preferably ones that match your color hair, to secure the tucked ponytail.
  6. Adjust the faux bob until it is at a desirable length. 
     

4. Add a splash of temporary color


 
Don’t shy away from color just because you think it’s always permanent. From hair chalks and rubs to colored hairsprays and temporary dyes, adding a touch of tint to your hair can be quick and easy.

Should you choose to go with a temporary dye, David says there’s one thing to keep in mind about coloring: “Hair color is like a brand new car. As soon as you drive it out of the showroom, it starts to lose its value. Hair color loses its value every day.” In other words, your daily routine, from washes to styling, will cause your hair color to fade as soon as you’ve finished the coloring process.

To make your color last, David suggests washing your hair with cold water for the first two or three washes, as hot water tends to wash color around. If you prefer to blow-dry your hair after washes, use a leave-in conditioner to protect your dye from the heat.

5. Clip in faux bangs


 
Bangs are not for everyone. It’s no wonder so many of us avoid them for fear of regretting the decision! But with faux bangs, there’s no need to cut your hair or feel the pain of living with them until your hair grows out again. With the right color and styling, faux bangs can give life to your mundane hair. And if you hate them…well, it wasn’t a permanent change anyway!

6. Add a braid… or two!



From waterfalls to herringbones, adding a braid to your hair can easily transform a boring everyday hairstyle into a sight to see! There are no limits to the ways you can incorporate a braid into your look. Try waterfalling into a low bun, fishtailing into a messy side braid, or even working a simple braid in at the crown. At no extra cost, transforming your hair can’t get any more creative than this!

Pro tip: Fishtail braids are especially easy to incorporate into high ponytails and buns to change up the all-too-common side braid!

Instructions:

  1. Start by putting your hair into a high ponytail.
  2. Divide the hair into two even parts or sections.
  3. Separate a small strand of hair from the outermost right section and bring it across to combine with the entire left section of hair.
  4. Separate a small strand of hair from the outermost left section and bring it across to combine with the entire right section of hair. Keep in mind that the smaller the strands you separate, the better the fishtail.
  5. Continue by repeating steps four and five until you have completed the braid.
  6. Style as desired!
     

Check out this braiding tutorial for more instructions on achieving this high fishtail and other adorable braiding styles.

7. Change up your waves


 
Changing the look of your hair can be as simple as spraying on a new texture. With dry texturizing sprays, dry shampoo and sea salt sprays, you can add instant waves to your hair in no time. Try spritzing on a texturizing spray like the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ($27 at Sephora). For optimal texture and volume, try braiding your hair after a shower and applying this texturizer to damp hair to leave in overnight.

David explains that hot tools are also great for manipulating your wave or texture. From flat iron curls to crimping to finger waves, an iron or hot rollers can help you achieve any look you desire. Check out these tutorials for how to achieve different waves and curls with hot styling tools.

Don’t forget to protect your hair when using heat to manipulate texture. Never underestimate the importance of a good hairbrush! “Always start at the tip of the hair and work your way up to the roots,” David says. “Boar head bristles can condition the hair as you’re brushing through it.” Made with nylon and natural boar bristles, David’s paddle brushes are perfect for conditioning hair while styling.

8. Step outside of your comfort zone


 
If you’re used to wearing your hair down, plain and simple, why not try an updo? Removing the hair from your face can make a bigger splash than you think by drawing attention to your features. Conversely, if your hair is always up in a pony or bun, do the opposite and wear your locks down for a change. There are so many cute and easy hairstyles to try! Bonus: It’s completely free and totally reversible.

9. Look the part!


 
If all else fails, changing your hair can be as simple as switching up your part. Normally wear your hair parted to the left? Try a middle or right part. Voilà! Instant hair transformation. It may not seem like it will make much of a difference, but you’ll be amazed by the power of subtlety.



Happy styling, collegiettes! And remember, a permanent change isn’t necessary for a hair transformation. As David says, “manipulating your hair doesn’t have to require a commitment.” Sounds ideal to us!
 

Summer is a Boston University graduate ('15) that received a BS in Journalism with a concentration in magazine journalism. Her interests include editorial design and lifestyle, fashion, and beauty content, as she aspires to be a fashion magazine writer and editor. She is currently a fashion and beauty writer for Bustle.com and previously served as a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Boston University. Summer likes to think of herself as a lipstick enthusiast and smoothie connoisseur, so when she isn't writing for Bustle, you could probably find her sipping on a strawberry-banana smoothie and planning her next purchases at Sephora. Follow Summer on Twitter @SummerArlexis
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