My Go-To, Easy Hairstyle Ideas for Little Girls (with tons of pics!)

I’m far from a hair professional but the time I spend with Eliza getting ready in the morning — specifically the time I spend on her hair — is some of my favorite time spent. It’s hard to believe when I look back at photos that she was mostly bald for a long while. As soon as she had even the smallest bit of wispy blonde feathering, it was enough for me to start fashioning her hair into little tufts. And, she’s always worn bows/headbands 😉 Today’s post isn’t about tutorials, per se… it’s more of a gallery of hairstyles for little girls if you find yourself stumped, in a rut, or seem to resort back to the same style or two. Some people are into spending time on hair, some aren’t. And it’s fine to fall into either category. But, I’ve been asked for years about Eliza’s hair so I hope some of these easy little girl hairstyles can be a jumping off point when it comes to the hair you’re responsible for styling 😉 Even if you’re interested in coming up with a different style, if you’ve only ever practiced ponytails, sometimes, it can be hard to even think of something other than… ponytails. Hopefully, this gallery of simple to intermediate hairstyles for little girls will at least spark some easy alternative ideas.

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Tips for Successfully Executing Hairstyles for Little Girls

The most asked question (and comment) I get on Eliza’s hair, without a doubt, is how I’m able to get her to sit still long enough to get it done. That’s usually followed by a “just wait” 😉 But, Eliza is more than four now and knock on wood, she is still a sitting champ. I think there’s a few reasons for that though, so if you’re anxious about whether or not you’ll be successful (or if it’s been a struggle so far), here’s what I think has contributed to pretty seamless morning hairstyling sessions…

  • Start early and stay consistent. Any habits, practices, expectations, or ideas I want to normalize with Eliza, I’ve tried to start before she even knows what’s going on. Fully immersive, routine, and consistent. The same goes for morning hair sessions. Regular practices become habits and therefore, expectations. She knows nothing different so to her, it’s just what you do in the morning — the same as brushing your teeth and putting clothes on. She likes having her hair done since it’s part of her regimen and since we’ve done the same thing every day since she was a baby, the idea of not isn’t even a thought. Even before she really had hair, I would get her in position, brush her head, and put a fabric headband in place. Change can be hard so starting before she can even remember has been key. If you aren’t to this stage yet, keep this in mind/start ASAP. If you’re past the stage and are struggling with the addition of a hair routine, keep at it and continue to work through it daily.
  • Rely on the same sturdy surface in the same location, in front of a mirror. Every morning, as soon as she finishes getting dressed, I set her on top of her dresser, in front of the mirror. It’s still the perfect height, we have plenty of space, it’s solid so she doesn’t sink in, and having a mirror so I can see her face is essential for me. Trying to improvise on a bed (like in a hotel) is a nightmare for me.
  • Queue the shows. Eliza doesn’t have a personal electronic device/tablet, but every morning, when I get her into position, I pull Bluey up on my phone and position it where she can see it and where I need her head facing. To her, since she doesn’t get it all the time except on my phone in the morning, this is still a treat. And, it keeps her still, focused, her head pointed where I need it to, and distracts her from any accidental hair snags/pulls.
  • Have your arsenal of tools ready. You can find all the accessories and implements we swear by for little girl hairstyles below…

Top Tools for Little Girl Hairstyles

  • Fine tooth combsTHIS simple, inexpensive duo is all you need to part, comb, and style. Right now, the set is on Amazon for just over $3. When you’re doing more intricate styling, the combs work way better than brushes.
  • Clear ElasticsTHESE are the specific clear hair elastics we use. There’s a ton of ’em in the pack but we use so many, we go through them fairly quickly!
  • ScrunchiesTHESE velvet scrunchies are the PERFECT size for Eliza; we absolutely adore them. Right now, the pack of 20 is just over $11 on Amazon. As a tip, I actually have two packs of these so we have two in each color since she wears pigtails/double knots often 😉
  • Wet Brush — Yes, it’s great for gently detangling wet hair but we also use THIS brush exclusively for dry hair, too. It also helps dry hair a little more quickly. We have a few that we keep stashed in bags for on the go, also. I did recently get THIS detangling brush as a gift and we’ve been using it after the pool — it’s a little more stiff and has worked really well!
  • Hair Elastic CutterHair tie cutters are KEY when you use as many as we do! Just make sure to pull the elastic away from the pony before cutting so you don’t accidentally slice off hair 😉
  • Fine Mist Water Bottle — I have THIS continual fine mist water spray bottle stashed in Eliza’s dresser and use it on her hair before working through tangles each morning, and to prep her hair for styling. Slightly damp hair is way easier to work with! For travel, we use THESE miniature spray bottles that also emit a fine mist.
  • Hair DetanglerTHIS moisturizing detangler, fresh out of the shower, is all we’ve ever used.
  • Bows & Clips — we are hand tied fabric bow fans and purchase ours almost exclusively from Modern Piggy. BTW — use code KELLEYNAN for 10% off your order, sitewide HERE.

While some photos in today’s post were located in my random phone photos, most were taken each morning, specific for the purpose of crafting this post. Eliza got used to our routine pretty quickly and so even mornings when I didn’t need to grab a photo, she asked for them 😉

Some of the hairstyles for little girls in today’s post are simple — literally, as simple as they come. Like — don’t laugh 😉 Some may seem a little more complicated but with practice and repetition, like most things, become easier over time. All are easily adaptable and able to be modified. But, as I mentioned in the intro, the intention of this post isn’t necessarily to provide tutorials — but to give ideas, reminders, and inspiration if you’re looking to up/diversify your hair styling game 😉

(Mostly) Down Hairstyles

Eliza goes to school every day and she plays hard. Typically, my primary goal is to get the hair out of her face and secure it so it will (mostly) last all day. We generally reserve “down” hair for home and weekends and these are pretty standard, but for a comprehensive collection, we’re including them today! 😉 I love and she loves her hair down, but church is about as long as we can go time-wise just using headbands and clips…

*BTW: Most hair accessories you’ll see in the galleries below — from fabric clips to bows — are all Modern Piggy (our fave!) Whenever I purchase bows, I typically get two matching at the same time since we use them together so often. Our favorite styles are the oversized hand tied bow, the mini party bow, and the regular hand tied bow. I also love the fabric clips. You can use code KELLEYNAN for 10% off sitewide HERE.

As a note, I also don’t apply heat to her hair regularly and we haven’t explored heatless curls yet. I’ve used a hair tool on her hair maybe three times but typically avoid that.

Easy Little Girl Hairstyle Ideas
Dress — Janie & Jack | Purse — Janie & Jack | Mini Party Bow

I did come up with a little bit of a hack that keeps her bangs back but mostly looks like her hair is down. Using a small amount of her front hair, I secured her bangs/front pieces in a clear elastic and worked my way down her hairline, adding more as I went down past her crown. I did the same on the other side, lifted her hair up, and secured the two tails together beneath her hair at the base of her neck, almost forming a crown.

Knot & Messy Bun Hairstyles

My hair is in a messy bun 90% of the time so naturally, giving Eliza a simple top knot/messy bun is one of my simple go-tos. Sometimes, I decorate her knot with a bow but my favorite is throwing on one of THESE scrunchies. Also, instead of just looping her messy bun through and leaving it as an almost semi-circle, I secure it so the loose ends are on top of the hair elastic (stretching towards the front of her head), and then fan them around each side, and pull out the bun a bit. It gives a fuller, more round knot/bun.

Sometimes, it’s a quick single knot; sometimes, I add a headband. Sometimes I do a half-knot and sometimes, I do two twinning piggy knots. I typically go high to secure her bangs easily. I use both scrunchies and bows — sometimes on the front of the knots, and sometimes on the back.

Mini Knots & Pigtail Hairstyles

The best of both worlds, I love mini knots and mini piggies because I can get her hair out of her face while she still gets to “have it down”. Sometimes, I part it on the side and other times, down the middle.

And sometimes, I get a little bit fancier. Here I did two small Dutch braids before knotting them and securing small bows in the back. If you don’t know how to Dutch or French braid, you could totally do a three-strand braid and just pull it back and secure it to a second hair tie before knotting.

Front-Back Hairstyles

I’m always coming up with twists and braids to get the hair out of Eliza’s face. And again, because I’m trying to secure her bangs away from her face and make it last throughout the day, I start her hairstyle close to her face. The further back I secure, the easier it falls and the less time it lasts.

Here’s a 2-minute style where I gather the front of her hair and twist it, gathering more hair, as I make my way down behind her ear. It’s essentially a two-strand twist that acts as a French braid as you work your way down.

And here, I did two small Dutch braids on either side of her head, and secured the tails in the back center.

I give her a small, headband-like Dutch braid across the front of her head often and I’m pretty quick with them now, so it’s become an easy (but still cute and different) regular hairstyle. You can dress them up or secure them with a bow…

Or leave them “naked”. The key is starting to the side far enough, and using a tiny amount of hair when you get started to keep the bangs fully secured. I also use a comb (like THIS) to section off the hair I’ll be working with first, and put the rest in a scrunchie on the far side, out of the way, while I’m working with the allocated hair for the Dutch braid. You can also do this in a French braid style but I like the on-top version of the Dutch. And FYI, you Dutch braid just like you French braid except instead of going “over” like a French braid, you bring the hair “under” for a Dutch.

Bubble Braid Hairstyles

You can’t go anywhere without seeing bubble braids and they are the most simple (but super versatile) hairstyles for little girls. I have several variations I go with. The absolute easiest method that works well for long hair is to make a high ponytail and secure with an elastic, while securing several more elastics down the length of the ponytail evenly, and pulling out each section to make them a little more blouse-y.

With Eliza though, to keep those bangs back, I typically start with a small section of hair and gather more as I work my way down.

I love doing double bubble braids (both with hair parted on the side and down the middle), and leaving the tails long and un-bubbled — especially with some sweet bows…

And I also love bubbling all the way down which gives a little more of a sporty look. The above with the looser tails give a little bit of a softer look. They’re simple but they use a ton of elastics. See why THIS elastic cutter tool is so key and how THESE elastics sound like a lot but can run out??

I love giving Eliza double bubble braids and single braids….

For these double bubble braids, I looped the ends and finished them off with bows for a sweet look.

And while I love the tighter bubble braids that look a bit sportier, I am loving the looser, bigger bubble braids that use fewer elastics where I pull the hair out a bit more to be “bigger”. I think it’s a little more modern and a little more of a trendy statement.

We call the tighter bubble braids “dinosaur hair” and call the bigger, looser bubble braids “unicorn hair”. 😉

Simple Hairstyle Ideas for Little Girls
Tank Top | Shorts | Sandals

Faux Braid Hairstyles

As much as we do bubble braids, we do faux braids just as much. The big advantage of the faux braids is that since they are secured with elastics all the way down, you can blouse them out to make them bigger (unlike French/Dutch braids that can fall quickly if you try to blouse them out.)

And just like the bubble braids, we do a few variations and styles of these — from singles to doubles to half-up, to loose ends.

Dutch Braid Hairstyles

I love a classic braid but as I mentioned, the full on single Dutch braid doesn’t hold in Eliza’s hair AS well as some of the alternatives or faux braids. But, the biggest thing is to make sure her bangs stay back. I came up with a “hack” to make sure those stay secured while still giving her a Dutch braid. I took her bangs and secured them with a hair elastic, and then gave them a tiny topsy-tail before working my way down the rest of her hair like normal. You can see it below on the left.

And once I find a style I like, I just try to come up with ways to change it up a little. Here, I did a larger Dutch braid with about half of her hair, and then once that was secure at the base of her head, just combed over the rest of the hair and secured it together, off-centered in the back of her head for a slight side pony.

Combination Hairstyles

With most buns, I go high so her bangs will stay in, But when I do combos (braids/ponies/bubbles), I can come up with some lower buns if the top is secured.

Here’s a favorite — one smaller Dutch braid and one larger, meeting together for a ponytail in the back. Again, it is so much easier when you use a comb to section off the head and secure the hair you aren’t working with at that moment, away from the pieces you’re braiding.

Easy Hairstyles for Little Girls
Top — Little Road Co | New Balance Sneakers | Mini Party Bow

And here’s a similar version with two off-centered Dutch braids with hair evenly distributed, tied together in the center and finished off with a bow.

And as a reminder, since this isn’t a braiding “tutorial”, you can always modify what you see to a standard three-strand braid(s) for something similar.

Fishtail Braid Hairstyle

Believe it or not, a single, simple fishtail braid takes longer (for me) than any other hairstyle in this list! While I can accomplish most in 15 minutes (most in just a few minutes), the fishtail braid takes longer for me since you’re using such small pieces in a repeated movement. This also works best with long hair because the hair strands quickly shrink upward..

Are you/were you super into hair? What are/were some of your favorite go-to little girl hairstyles? Coming up with hairstyles and being decent at it has long been a dream of mine — ever since I was a little girl. And being able to experiment with Eliza (and balancing styles that look cute but also function well for her active days) has also become a fun creative outlet. As long as Eliza will let me, I’ll keep making time for it in the morning 😉

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  1. 8.22.23
    Cassie said:

    She is the absolute cutest! Love the hair styles, you do an exceptional job.

    • 8.22.23

      Hi Cassie and thank you for taking the time to visit. I appreciate your sweet note very much and styling Eliza’s hair is one of the bright spots of my day!

  2. 8.22.23
    Daphne said:

    Wow! She is So cute 😍 great job on the hair styles..👍👍

    • 8.24.23

      Thank you, Daphne, for visiting! Eliza is so patient when I am styling her “dos.” She makes things so easy!

  3. 8.22.23
    Kari said:

    By starting to make a fun habit when Eliza was so young you can now see how she enjoys the brushing and quick styling. So cute -but more important, so practical to get her hair off her face so she can have an active day. You are a smart mama!

    • 8.24.23

      You are the sweetest, Kari. Thank you! Yes, keeping the hair off of Eliza’s face is the priority, but it’s been such fun to try new styles.

  4. 8.24.23
    Joss said:

    How dang cute! I love your creative ideas and watching Eliza grow up. You are both lucky to have each other.

    • 8.24.23

      Thank you, Joss, and we are definitely blessed. Thank you so much for following along with us! xoxo