Cute Hairstyles When You Don't Have A Hair Tie

Ever notice that hair ties seem to vanish the moment you need them the most? Or why you and your best friend never seem to have a spare hair tie available at the same time? For whatever reason, this is a universal experience across the globe. While many of us have bravely turned to makeshift alternatives out of abject frustration, the end result is often painfully tangled tresses or broken strands. The mystery behind the world's lost hair ties may be unresolved, but luckily, there are a few styling tricks you can turn to in the meantime.

In fact, we have the best styles one can wear without the aid of hair accessories. From classic French braids to too-cool top knots, you're bound to discover your next go-to look in this comprehensive guide. And once you've mastered them, you can rest easy knowing your favorite styles are quite literally at your fingertips. So, please put down the bread ties and rubber bands — your hair will thank you.

Side braid

Braids are always in style, but there's nothing worse than plaiting your locks and finding that you don't have anything to secure your hard work. Luckily, you can still sport your favorite style without any accessories at all. Whether you're an accomplished braider or a novice at tying strands together, this side braid is the perfect style for when you need a change of pace. "Any braid would work! It really boils down to skill, hair length, and preference," Glam's model, Elise Walker, explains. Once you've selected your braid of choice, it's time to get started.

First, bring all of your hair to one side of your head. You can use your fingers for a looser effect, or try a smoothing comb or brush for a more defined style. Next, braid your hair in your desired style until you reach the tips. At the end of your braid, toward the tips, create a hole or opening in the center of the braided strands. Take the unbraided ends of your hair, and direct these remaining strands through the opening you've created in your braid. To ensure an even stronger hold, repeat the process and loop this strand of hair through your braid once more. And just like that, you've mastered the hair tie-free side braid technique.

Twisted ponytail

Ponytails are classics for good reason, as one of the easiest and most versatile updos in the history of hair. But if you're getting tired of your standard pony style, it may be time for some much-needed change. Why not try Walker's "twisted ponytail" for good measure? Best of all, you can pull this look off without a single hair clip or tie, making it perfect for times when you need to switch things up on the go.

Before you begin crafting your twisted pony, you may want to run some product through your hair if it tends to be fine or slippery. "Dry shampoo and hair spray work great for adding grip!" Walker tells Glam. You don't need much, but the right product can make all the difference in bringing your pony to life.

Start building your "twisted ponytail" by gathering your hair toward the nape of your neck, as though you're making a low ponytail. Gently pull a small section of hair on one side of your pony, a bit like you would when creating tendrils, but without fully detaching this piece from your ponytail. Use your fingertips to define a small opening between the strand and your ponytail, and pull the ponytail through this opening. Now, repeat the process on the opposite side to achieve a twisted pony effect. All set! If you'd like, you can even add a touch of hairspray to secure the finished look.

Faux fishtail braid

If you're a hairstyling novice, you might not be too familiar with the fishtail braid. The hair tie-free style is slightly different from your everyday braid, with an intricate weave that looks just like — you guessed it — a fishtail. It's also a little trickier than your run-of-the-mill braiding technique, but never fear. Walker has an easy method for those who want a fishtail braid without the fuss. Plus, seasoned braiding enthusiasts can have some fun, too. "This could work for both real and faux fishtail braids — the key is to poke a new 'hole' every time you need to pull the hair back through," Walker explains.

To ensure the fishtail braiding process goes swimmingly, add a touch of texturizing paste or dry shampoo to your tresses. Next, bring all of your hair to one side of your head, just like you would for a side ponytail. Using two fingers, poke a small "hole" through the section of hair. Now, start on either side of the large section and begin pulling small pieces of hair through the hole, making sure to alternate sides as you work. Once you've finished, create another hole directly beneath the braided strands. Depending on how long your hair is, you may need to repeat the process a few more times. Your hair should hold itself in place by the end of the braid, thanks to its tightly-interwoven strands. For a more playful appearance, try pulling a few strands loose from the main braid.

Braided bangs

Whether you've sported a fringe since birth or are in the process of growing out bangs, there are always new ways to arrange your face-framing layers. You may think styling bangs requires the aid of clips, pins, or ties, but Walker's approach to braided bangs is as simple as can be. Full disclosure: For this look, you'll want to make sure your bangs are long enough to be comfortably woven into a French braid.

Once you're ready to begin, take the center section of your bangs and begin French braiding toward the side of your head. Though you may be tempted to continue, stop braiding once you've reached the area just behind your ear. From here, Walker says to create a small hole in the base of the braided section, making sure to avoid placing it between the braided strands themselves. "The hole should be placed behind the ear close to the root so that the braid stays snug against your head," she explains. Next, take the end piece of your French braid and draw it through the hole completely. This gentle knotting method ensures that your braid stays secure all day, and Walker says it's helpful to do this two or more times to hold everything in place.

Double twisted ponytail

If it's true that two are better than one, this "double twisted ponytail" is sure to become your new favorite hair tie-less style. Plus, if you're partial to pigtails, Walker has the solution for you. "This style could easily work with pigtails as well — you would just need to separate hair into two even sections and grab slightly smaller sections to pull hair through since the ponytails themselves would be thinner," she tells Glam.

Similar to the "twisted ponytail," the first step in creating the "double twisted ponytail" is to gather your hair into a low ponytail position. Keeping this section of hair in place, gently pull a few strands of hair loose on one side of the ponytail, taking care not to separate it entirely. After you've split the section, you should be left with a small opening in the hair. Now, use your fingertips to guide your ponytail in an upward direction through the opening. Starting from the same side that you pulled the first strand of hair from, repeat the process and adjust the hair as needed to lock it into place. To add a bit of dimension and hold to the "double twisted pony," use a shine-enhancing hairspray as a finishing touch.

Top knot

If you're looking for a hairstyle to do without a hair tie, the top knot is among the easiest looks you could choose from. Just like its cousin, the messy bun, this style projects effortless cool-girl vibes in under a minute or two. On its own, the top knot is the perfect accompaniment to casual outfits, but you can also change it up by incorporating some heat styling or texturizing products if you wish.

Ready to tie the knot? First, sweep all of your hair upward so it rests on the top of your head and, if desired, pull out any face-framing strands or bangs. Once you've pulled your hair up, begin twisting the length of your hair into the shape of a bun. Feel like your knot looks out of place? There's one age-old trick that Walker suggests trying. "If you're having trouble getting a high enough top knot, you could flip your head forward and let your hair fall toward the front, then gather it into a ponytail before twisting it," she explains. With your bun tightly twisted up on top of your head, take the tail end of your hair and weave it through the middle of the bun. Thus, the top knot look is complete. Of course, you can always tuck any flyaway strands or loose ends into your bun for safekeeping.

Pen knot

Wondering what to do if you don't have a hair tie? Grab a pen. Or a knitting needle. Or a paintbrush. It doesn't matter which object you choose for the "pen knot," as long as it's vaguely pen-shaped. "Chopsticks, pencils, markers — any tool you have that's long and thin would work for this style," Walker tells Glam. Just make sure the item you choose is hair-safe, and you're good to go.

For the "pen knot," start by gathering all of your hair toward the back of your head, as if preparing a low ponytail style. Now, for the fun part. Take your pen or pen-shaped object and begin twirling your hair all the way around it. After you've finished wrapping your pen, point it toward the back of your head and push through the base of your hair to secure it. If you notice any dangling strands of hair, you can simply sweep them around your bun to hide them. Not only will you have a sustainable hair accessory at your disposal, but it also serves a very practical purpose. "Twisting your hair around the pen — or whatever you use — helps anchor it in place and will stay all day," Walker says.

Double faux fishtail braid

Rounding out our hair tie-free styles is the "double faux fishtail braid." This unique hairdo can cater to virtually any aesthetic, depending on your braiding expertise. "Faux fishtail braids are by nature a little messy, so if you're wanting something a little sleeker it may be better to go with an actual fishtail braid," explains Walker. "If you want to make it a little messier, you can always pull pieces loose — but not completely out — for a more textured look." Before beginning the "double faux fishtail," be sure to consider your options in terms of products. People with thin, fine hair may want to opt for some texturizing spray or powder, while those with curly tresses might prefer a smoothing serum.

Start by separating the hair into two sections, just like you would for pigtails. Choose a section to begin braiding, and use your fingers to create a small "hole" toward the root end of the hair. Next, take a piece from the same section of hair and thread it through the hole, alternating sides, to achieve a twisted effect. Once you've completed the first segment, create another hole below it and continue pulling pieces and threading them until you reach the end of the braid. With one braid down, repeat the process on the remaining section of hair. Because the fishtail braids are tightly linked together, your style should last all day without any tools or accessories.