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This Is What Happens When 5 Different Women Try the Same ‘Easy’ Hairstyles from Pinterest

photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

Sure, we all have Pinterest boards full of awesome braids, delicious-looking recipes, and genius life hacks we’d love to try. But be honest—how many of these have you actually done in real life?

We had Women’s Health editors put three “easy” Pinterest hairstyle tutorials to the test. With our varying hair lengths, textures, and degrees of hairstyling experience, it made for a pretty interesting experiment. And while every picture-perfect tutorial you see on Pinterest won’t be right for you, it’s still fun to test something new every once in a while. Hey, you never know—you just might find your next go-to style.

The Guinea Pigs


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

As you can see, the five editors who participated have hair that runs from bob- to shoulder-length, with all different textures (curly, wavy, straight). Some of us have virgin hair, while others have colored or chemically-straightened strands.

Disclaimer: I am the only one in the group with any professional hairstyling experience (although Ashley has me beat in the braiding department, by far!).

 

Hairstyle #1: Half-Up Side French Braid

 

Why we chose it: While there’s no shortage of side-braid hairstyles on Pinterest, this one looked simple enough for all skill levels and hair lengths.

What we thought: “This one is super easy if you know how to French braid, but I don’t.” —Elizabeth

“I’m a little biased because I used to do my hair like this all the time.” —Ashley

“I’m still unsure if I did this one right—the instructions were confusing!” —Robin

“This would probably look better if I didn’t have bangs.” —Sandra

“I might do this if I had time to get it perfect, but definitely not on a rushed morning.”  —Charesse
 


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

The verdict: The instructions were confusing. While the look worked on all of our lengths and textures, it’s definitely worth practicing your braiding techniques before adding this one to your daily hairstyle arsenal.

Rating: Easy enough—if you know how to braid
 


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

RELATED: 16 Hairstyle Ideas for When You Have No Idea What to Do with That Mop on Your Head

 

Hairstyle #2: Faux Updo for Short Hair

Why we chose it: This seemed like a good beginner updo tutorial, and while it’s meant for shorter hair, we felt it could easily work on longer strands, too. We skipped the scarf so we could focus on getting the style right—and save time.

What we thought: “My hair is an awkward length for this one. It’s too short for a bun, and too thick to just pin up in the back.” —Ashley

“I like this one—the photos are pretty clear and descriptive, and it’s easy to follow.” —Sandra

“It took me less than 10 minutes to do. It was pretty simple, and can be dressed up or down.” —Charesse

“I’d recommend this one, with the disclaimer that it might take a little more effort the first time.” —Robin

“I’d do this for a going-out look, when I have more time to get ready.” —Elizabeth
 


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

The verdict: This one is better-suited for hair that’s short enough to pin up or long enough to tie in a bun—but it’s a little tricky for in-between lengths. Also, if you’re not used to updos, you will want to budget in time for your first attempt so you don’t get frustrated or end up with a lopsided mess of bobby pins.

Rating: Moderately easy, but skip it if you’re in a hurry
 


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

RELATED: 7 Hairstyle Ideas for When You Should Have Washed Your Hair But, Well, You Didn’t

 

Hairstyle #3: Cooking Curls

Why we chose it: An unusual “hack” for achieving long-lasting curls, this tutorial is so very, very Pinterest. The premise is that you can create perfect curls by coiling your hair with your fingers, wrapping aluminum foil around each curl to hold it in place, and pressing the curl with a hot flat iron to “set.” Once you let the foils cool, they can be removed, and voilà! Perfect curls.

What we thought: “Is this safe for my hair???” —Elizabeth

“I’d like to try this again, but without the foil to see if it still works.” —Robin

“#Pinstrosity! The instructions for folding the foils could have been clearer. I crushed all my would-be curls into disastrous creased squares!” —Charesse.

“I would like to know how long it actually takes to foil your whole head.” —Ashley

“They need to clarify the placement of the curl in relation to the foil—the coil needs to be flat against the foil, otherwise, you’re just squashing them. Not cute.” —Sandra
 


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

The verdict: It’s a little too time-consuming and it’s difficult to gauge how much heat-damage you’re inflicting on your hair. What’s more, most of us were apprehensive about holding a hot iron and metal foil against our hair for the 20 or so seconds that the instructions recommended. Three of us got too squeamish to attempt this with more than just a small section of hair. If you’re going to try this one, we definitely recommend testing it out on a small section of strands first—and remember to spray a heat protectant on your locks before attempting.

Rating: Better than expected, but we’ll probably stick to fumbling with a curling iron
 


photos by Elizabeth Natoli & Sandra Roldan

RELATED: 8 Ways You’re Probably Using Your Curling Iron Wrong
 

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