Mastering the art of low maintenance hair that’s actually low maintenance—but just doesn’t look that way—is about creating a look that’s natural and lived-in. “In the ’50s, hairdressing was about looking overly polished from start to finish,” says Jorge Joao, celebrity hairstylist and Redken Canada lead artist. Now it’s veered toward the opposite end of the spectrum, where low maintenance hair is celebrated and it’s all about looking undone on purpose.

We asked Joao to share his top hairstyle tips on achieving this natural look, from the perfect cut to colour for your hair texture, and how to easily style hair before rushing out the door in the morning.

Low maintenance hair: The best haircut

While bringing a pic of Anne Hathaway’s pixie coif to your hairstylist seems like a foolproof way to achieve the perfect cropped cut, it’s important choose a haircut that supports your natural hair texture. “Anything that goes against your natural texture will require more maintenance,” says Joao. A more disheveled, piecier haircut, will take longer to style in the morning on coarse, curly hair. Instead, opt for longer layers throughout. “The more length and weight to the hair will control the unruliness.”

Hair texture: Get the RIGHT CUT

Longer layers naturally make for a smoother, easier air dry for those wash-and-go low maintenance hair type mornings. And keep ends fuller, as opposed to texturizing at the bottom, to prevent breakage and split ends from repeated styling with hot tools. Working with a hairstyle that’s suited to your natural texture cuts down on prep time in the morning, says Joao. For naturally straight hair, take a round brush to it in the morning for volume. “On wavy hair, it’s doable but it requires more work,” he says, referring to the blow-drying and flat-ironing that goes into achieving a pin-straight look.

How to work with your HAIR TEXTURE

For an easy look, spritz Redken Signature Series Fashion Waves 07 texturizing sea spray into hair to achieve loose and voluminous movement. “Most people have some type of curl in their hair,” he says. “Embrace the curl.”

Hair colour: Get expert HIGHLIGHTS

More ways to achieve low maintenance hair on the next page…

low-maintenance-hair-page-two.jpgLow maintenance hair: The perfect colour
It’s a welcome change of pace that the rise of the ombré hairstyle and grown-out highlights are allowing women to embrace their roots. “Hair colour is natural on top and marbles out to create one colour,” says Joao. “It’s a natural blending.” (Note that highlights are no longer definite striping across the hair.)

HAIR COLOUR: Find your perfect match

“People are leaning toward this bohemian look, natural waves and grown-out colour,” says Joao. “Lots of texture, clean but undone.” And the best part? “You can hold off on getting your roots re-touched.”

Low maintenance hair: Foolproof styling and hair products
Keeping in line with this purposefully messy look is what Joao refers to as the “struggle bun.” It’s an unkempt, piecey chignon, that on the runways, “looks like the models did it themselves,” he explains. Then you can add braids or twists as subtle touches to this undone but pretty updo.

The 10 best HAIR OILS

The best way to achieve the full effect of the perfect haircut and colour for your hair texture is by using select products to enhance your hair. Without them, “there’s no substance to the hair and it won’t be as full,” says Joao. Again, with a cut that’s suited to your hair texture, you can cut down on hair products. To create a natural wave, use a curl cream—avoid mousse or anything that will create a stiff, crunchy curl. “You want to be able to run your fingers through it.” This will also help with carrying over your hairstyle into day two.

And of course, adding a dry shampoo will help add volume and life to your look for two to three days before your next wash—max. It’s about keeping your look low maintenance, says Joao. “Not crossing the borderline into dirty.”

Read more:
Hair care: How to work with your hair texture

6 amazing hair thickening products
Fix your damaged hair
Hair tips: How to maintain your haircut