Up, up and away

Stay cool, calm and collected while working from home with these tried and tested styles

In a working from home styling rut? Yeah, we feel you; nailing effortlessly cool hair can be easier said than done. So, we tasked two of the Layered team to try some trending updos – will they pass the Zoom test?

L: @amberfillerup R: @lilyjcollins


I don’t have the worst experience with my hair in warmer conditions, but my flat, straight hair becomes a limp mop. I struggle to get any height into my roots at the best of times, so when spring and summer swings around – along with the humidity and sweat it inevitably brings – I resign myself to a couple of months of looking like a greasy teenager again. 

But if this is the lot I’m dealt with then I’m going to do my best to style it out, especially now I’m on a daily 11am Zoom with the rest of the team. Having finally (sort of, maybe) cracked how to nail down a slicked-back editorial look I took inspiration from the likes of Olivia Palermo and Burberry AW19 with a sleek low bun. 

I like to wash my hair in an evening, so when I know it’s going to be seriously hot or humid I swap out my usual conditioner with a nourishing mask. I like the Goldwell Kerasilk Color Intensive Luster Mask, which leaves my hair incredibly soft, and I’ll add a touch of styling cream or leave-in conditioner (I like the TIGI Copyright Care Styling Cream) as well, to really push that silky, sleek look to the max when I blow dry it. 

The next morning my hair looks shiny but incredibly flat and a touch greasy – perfect. I use a spritz of Sebastian Drynamic Dry Shampoo which is almost like a dry shampoo/texturiser crossover, directly at the roots around my hairline and crown of my head. Next, I split my hair carefully into a centre parting. There’s something about a dead centre, clean parting that makes this look very intentional and fashionable, rather than looking like I’ve scraped my hair back any old way.  

I brush out my lengths and ends, then twist in the opposite direction for a neat coil. The placement of the bun is important too – off the nape of the neck so it’s not falling out, but not so high that it’s invisible from the front. A couple of Bobby pins and a spritz of hairspray (or wet look gel would look amazing too), and I somehow look done up for those daily Zoom meets, rather than like I’m drowning. 

L: @zoeirwinhair R: @samanthacusicklondon


My hair is surprisingly thick and notoriously hard to maintain unless armed with a pair of straightening irons. Given the rise in temperatures and working from home, the thought of adding heat to my morning routine brings me out in a cold sweat, but equally going au naturale is a BIG no. So what is a girl to do? 

As a pretty active Insta user, naturally I turn to my feed at every opportunity for a little inspo. For S/S 20, hair accessories are proving to be more popular than ever and while I’m a big fan of a barrette, to keep this mane in place and off my face I need something with a little more staying power. In years gone by, I’ve always resorted to a scrunchie to gather up my tresses into some variation of a ‘messy’ bun, but have never quite managed to make it look as effortlessly cool as I’d hoped. So, when the heatwave hit the UK for the first time during Easter, I decided to raid my accessories draw for some fabric and scarves to give me a helping hand.

After hair expert Zoë Irwin introduced her Tie It Up collection, hair scarves have become the coolest way to add interest to a regular pony, upgrade a basic bun or take the oh-so-chic half up styles to the next level. While my shorter lengths mean the ‘snatched’ ponytail is out of my reach, a messy bun seemed realistic enough to achieve! Though I’m no styling sensation, a few bobbles and bobby pins can work wonders, so after using the JOICO Hair Shake to add a little texture at the root, I got to work.

Much like Deborah’s low bun, there is certainly a knack to nailing this look and I’d recommend using your favourite brush to gather up all your strands into one ponytail. At this point, I tilted my head forward to bring everything together before beginning to twist the ponytail up into a bun. Don’t worry too much about nailing a ballerina-esque look, as any flyaways can be pinned down.

I also used the L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Fix Design to kick any rogue baby hairs to the curb before introducing my fabric of choice. This is the fun part: you have total creative freedom to pick from hair scarves, floral prints and everything in between! Simply wrap around the bun before tying in place to leave a section of the fabric hanging down the neck.

Perfect for any length of hair, I can certainly see why hair scarves have become a must have accessory. Besides bringing a pop of colour to WFH chic, it hides a multitude of sins on Zoom while being bang on trend – I’m sold!