Kate Allen
July 31, 2014 1:05 pm

I’ve done a lot of moving and traveling in my adult life. I left home at 18 and immediately drove 3,000 miles to attend college. Since then, I’ve seen most of the country and lived in some of the most interesting places, from Boston to Missouri, across the Rockies and over to Seattle and the Pacific. That’s a lot of selling everything, packing into a car and starting over! I learned a lot with each trip and move about life, love, getting away—and, of course. how to have good hair through it all. And I know, of course, how to maintain my haircut in a style that looks great on me, but calls for minimal styling.

This week, I want to show you the easiest haircuts to rock and maintain while living the rest of your life. Whether you are heading to college, a months-long backpack trip  or just living a a full, adventurous life where you don’t have time for hair issues, these cuts require little effort, little maintenance and little styling to pull off and look fabulous every single day. Because let’s face it, participating in a big wonderful life doesn’t mean you can’t look amazing too.

The Pixie

There was one point when I lived in my car for three weeks. Okay, so I didn’t exactly “live” in my car, but my former partner and I drove from Denver to Idaho and back living out of just the things we had in our car for that duration, visiting friends and family along the way. That meant little access to styling products or tools (or outlets to plug them into) and really little focus on caring about styling my hair. Because I didn’t want to deal with ponytails, brushes, and things of that sort, I opted for a pixie cut before we left. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made with my hair!

Not only did I finally have the courage to try out short hair, but I realized that it matched my petite facial features way better than the overgrown, thin strands I’d been rocking. Literally, for the duration of our whole trip, I only used dry shampoo to soak up any oils and that was it for styling products. Because I didn’t have bangs and the front was a bit longer than the back, I could also just finger-style the front to get it to lay correctly. If for some reason I was just over my hair on a particular day, I would tie one of my cute headscarves over it as a headband, braid a headband braid across the front or just wet it down and wear it slicked back. All of which would only take me about 5 to 10 minutes every morning. This kind of a cut is so perfect for being on the go, whether you are on the road, jetting around or just living life at home and wanting more available time in the morning.

Added Tip: If you have curly hair, pick up Abba’s Curl Prep Spray and scrunch this in when hair is damp. This will give your curls a very defined, soft look without any crunchiness or weight and it’s the perfect, effortless look for a pixie!

The Lob

I’m currently wearing the lob and this has served me so well for recent vacations! I’ve worn it to Vegas while partying with friends and I’ve worn it up to Vancouver to visit family and it’s been perfect for each occasion. Though I have had more access to outlets, products, and accessories during my recent trips, I’ve still wanted to spend very little time on my hair!

The first thing I love about the lob is that it’s just so versatile. It literally looks great on women with curl, thick hair, thin hair, wavy hair, straight hair, red hair, blonde hair—every woman can wear this. It’s really modern to keep the ends blunt and to angle the perimeter a bit longer towards the face and on curly hair, this gives a great shape with enough weight at the ends to control the curl. On fine hair, it gives the illusion of added thickness and volume. It’s literally good for everyone.

With this look, I also love that you can wear your hair wavy for a few days and just use dry shampoo at the roots. Or, it’s long enough that you can even braid it up into a cute crown braid or French braids. Though blowdrying and such will take a bit longer with this mid-length cut, you’ll still be looking at just 15-20 minutes in the morning, even when you go through and fully blow-dry.

The Long & Layered

By far the most classic minimalist style is the long and layered haircut. Whether straight, wavy or curly, this look is for the low-maintenance woman who literally wants to throw her hair up in a ponytail in two minutes flat. Of course, this style can be curled up and styled very heavily for a more done look and that’s part of the draw to it. But for our purposes of having something easy, quick and functional, this is usually what most women are drawn to. You don’t have to cut all of your hair off and learn how to work with a new style and you’re sticking with something that has been tried and true through the years.

This used to be my signature look. Before I cut off my pixie, I’d been wearing my hair long and layered for a couple years and loving how that worked for me on backpacking and camping trips. I had a routine, too! My first-day hair was freshly washed and braided back into two french braids while my hair was damp. On the second day, I would keep my braids in, readjusting if I needed to. By the third morning, I would take my braids out, spritz some dry shampoo at my roots and wear my crazy, big curls all day. On day four, I could usually pull off one more day of more tamed waves and then wash again the next day and start over if needed. And in the meantime, I could just topknot it or put it into a low side braid if I felt like something different. This was always by far the easiest haircut for me to maintain on my own. And getting compliments from everyone about how amazing your hair looks while you’re backpacking doesn’t hurt either!

Added Tip: When you get this cut, be sure to ask for long layers. Too short layers will make your hair too difficult to braid or pull back and too few will mean flat, stringy fine hair or a triangle shape in curly hair. You want them only through the bottom three inches of your hair at most to really get this cut right.

Featured image via Shutterstock, add’l images Via Kate Allen

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