15 Quick But Cool Hairstyles Ideal for When You're in a Rush Before Work

I like to think that I have my pre-work routine down to a fine art. My alarm goes off and I snooze it precisely twice before heading downstairs to make a cup of tea (a totally non-negotiable part of my morning regimen) and spend a few too many minutes partaking in a mindless social-media scroll.

After a quick shower (no hair wash because that is a lengthy task which can only be undertaken at night), I pull on my outfit and get started on my makeup—my favourite part of the morning. I usually allow myself 15 minutes to do my face, which gives me time to consider if I've got any new products that need testing out and to take selfies of the finished look if it's something that I'm trialling for a feature.

My hair, however, is an afterthought. At this point, I normally have less than five minutes until I need to leave the house, and I'll still need to brush my teeth, get my handbag together and make my hair look presentable. No prizes for guessing which thing gets scrapped. On an ideal day, I'll spritz in dry shampoo and run the curling tongs over the top layer to add some definition. On a less-than-ideal day, my hair is getting pulled into the kind of topknot usually reserved for when you wash your face at night.

So I decided I needed some help in the form of some quick but cool hairstyles that are genuinely achievable when you're short on time.

Luckily the fashion girls of Instagram really delivered. My criteria for inclusion? The hairstyle needs to look good (obviously), be suitable for standard working environments (from shop floors to corporate offices) and take less than five minutes to do at home (notice there are no complicated braids here). Keep scrolling for the 15 best quick but cool hairstyles for when you're in a total rush before work.

ASOS Lotte

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@ASOS_LOTTE

ASOS insider Lotte modelling the 30-second hairstyle that suits absolutely everyone (aka the half-up, half-down 'do).

Ada Oguntodu

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@ADA_OGUNTODU

Admittedly, Ada's '90s-esque hairstyle might not work in a law firm, but if you work in an office with a more laid-back or creative vibe, this cute updo is simple and cool.

Brittany Bathgate

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@BRITTANYBATHGATE

If you've got time the night before, get Brittany Bathgate's chic beach waves by tying your hair into two plaits. If not, save time in the morning by using your hair straightener to add wavy texture.

Nnenna Echem

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@NNENNAECHEM

Hair accessories are your best friend for creating quick but cool work hairstyles. Nnenna Echem is the queen of accoutrements. 

Alyssa Coscarelli

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@ALYSSAINTHECITY

Buns always look cool, but opting for a high topknot like Alyssa looks you've put in a little more effort in before work. 

ASOS Syana

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@ASOS_SYANA

Part topknot, part down 'do. ASOS Syana's braided hairstyle is ready for business.

Hannah Gale

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@HANNAHFGALE

On days when you need to get out the door fast but your hair just isn't playing ball, make like Hannah Gale and pop on a headband. Instant fashion points.

Frédérique Harrel

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@FREDDIEHARREL

Transform a basic centre-parted style by layering up some simple hair clips on each side of your parting like Freddie.

Karoline Dall

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@KARODALL

Let's be honest: Karoline's ponytail is a timeless hairstyle that's always a good option for work. This is my personal go-to when I'm trying to delay hair-wash day, too.

ASOS Lesley

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@ASOS_LESLEY

When you've got an important meeting or presentation, embrace the high ponytail like ASOS Lesley. It's a serious power move.

Nina Sandbech

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@NINASANDBECH

A low pony and a headband allow Nina Sandbech to win the quick, cool-hairstyle game.

Jessica Wu

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@JESSICAZWU

There's something so chic about a simple low ponytail like Jessica's that you'd never know it took just seconds to create.

Betty Krag

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@BETTYKRAG

Betty proves that ponytails can be anything but boring by stacking up multiple hairbands for this creative layered look. 

Claire Most

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@CLAIRE_MOST

Not only does Claire's high pony give off major cool-girl vibes, but it's also the perfect way to show off your natural hair texture without wearing your hair down.

Adenorah

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@ANNELAUREMAIS

Why bother with a proper bun when you can just twist up the top half of your hair and add a hair clip like Adenorah?