5 Minute Hair – Easy Styles for the Busy Mom


As a busy mom of two, my morning routine has changed significantly over the past four years. I seem to be always running just a wee bit behind in the mornings, so into a ponytail my hair usually goes. At least 5 days a week my hair is in that ponytail. I started to get tired of that and wanted to figure out a few new easy ways to style my hair. I wanted something simple and cute that would not take me more that 5-10 minutes. Lucky for me, I have a great friend named Mary Manning, who is a master hairdresser. Mary is also a busy, working mom of two little gals and so she gets it. She knows how little time moms really have in the morning, so she had me come to Mommy Hair School to learn a few new tricks.

Mommy Hair School Collage

Mary showed me some of her go-to hairstyles. Now, she is a pro and I am not. So everything looked perfect in her chair, but the real test was my ability to execute these styles on my own. My sweet friend Lizzy, of Lizzy Johnson photography, was kind enough to snap some photos for me as I tried each style. 

Here are some basic tools Mary suggests keeping in your arsenal:

mom tools for easy hairstyles

  • Fine tooth comb
  • Hair spray
  • Smoothing serum or oil (Mary and I both love Moroccan Oil)
  • Hair elastics (I made some using decorative elastic from the craft store)
  • Bobby pins (try to match your hair as close as possible)
  • Hair pins (the best place to buy these is at a Sally Beauty Supply)

Style #1 – Side Pony Tail

Side Ponytail Easy Mom Hairstyle

I know, its still a pony tail but with a new and exciting location! Leave the ends straight, or give them a quick curl. Either way, keep it low and closer to the nape of your neck to avoid looking like Debbie Gibson.

Pro tip: Not sure which side to pick? Pick the side of your part.

Style #2 – Side Pony with Fish Tail or Braid

side pony with braid collage

Take the above side pony tail and step it up a notch with a loose braid. The key here is not to make the braid too perfect.

Side ponytail fishtail easy mom hairstyle

If you are feeling advanced, you can do a messy fishtail braid. A fishtail looks way more complicated than it actually is – there are a ton of tutorials on YouTube, but this one by Lauren Conrad is my favorite.

Pro tip: Pull the braid/fishtail outward to make it look like a thicker, bigger braid.

Style #3 – Side Bun

Side Bun Easy Mom Hairstyle

It’s just like that messy bun you throw your hair up in while you clean house…but low and to the side. Just twist your hair into a bun and secure with hair pins.

Pro tip: For a different take on the classic bun, Mary suggests braiding or fishtailing the ponytail before securing into a bun.

Style #4 – Full at the Crown

Easy hairstyle for long hair

Take a small section of hair at the crown of your head and backcomb/tease a little to create some fullness. It’s up to you how full you want the section to be. Pin that section in place with a bobby pin on each side. Next, take a small section of hair from near each temple, pull to the back and secure each piece with a bobby pin.

Pro tip: Unsure about where to put the bobby pins?  Mary suggests, “anywhere that you feel you need to hold the hair in place with your finger should have a bobby pin.” 

This was a fun way to break out of the ponytail rut and try something new. With hot summer days not too far in the distance, I know I will appreciate any hair style that keeps my hair off my neck! Share your #5MinuteHair with us on Instagram, we would love to hear from you!

A special thank you to the pros that helped me put this post together!

Hairstyles: Mary Manning – Salon Boutique in Preston Center, 214-215-4512, [email protected]

Photography: Lizzy Johnson Photography[email protected]



  1. Thanks for this, I really needed it as my kid is starting grade school, I realize that I am getting up with him, or rather before him to make sure everything is ready. I do get great help from my husband, but like you said, time is always lacking. Glad someone understands coming from a house full of boys whos hair looks great right when they wake up.


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