Quick and easy toddler girl hairstyles

Now I understand why my mom was exasperated getting me ready in the morning. I whooped and wriggled with discontent, flapping and flaying on the carpet, as my mom fished out a hair accessory from an empty goldfish bowl, the storage container we used for my bows, clips, and elastics.

Doing your daughter’s hair is another “to do” on your lengthy AM task list. Trust me, I know. Choosing a hairstyle and keeping your child still, while doing said hairstyle is hard. You can make a choice: either be well-coiffed or well-rested. I choose the latter. But what if you can have both?

I’m coiffure challenged, like my own mother. While I was in grade school, my dear mom enrolled us in a mother-daughter French braiding class at the local salon. She was the stylist. I was the model. Everyone passed, but my poor mom failed. Disclaimer: Before you judge, my mom’s long acrylic nails put her at a disadvantage.

Now that I’m a mom, I think about my own mom’s earnest efforts to give me not only picture perfect hair, but also picture perfect childhood memories. Thank you, Mom. You didn’t have Pinterest, but you did a dang good job.

Lucky for us, the Internet can help parents find time-saving toddler styles for picture day or every day. But why the heck do so many “quick and easy” girls hairdos have braids! Come on, Google, I searched for “easy”. See above anecdote. I don’t have the braid gene.

If your toddler daughter is anything like mine, her hair is growing shorter in the front and on the sides and longer in the back. (Baby in the front. Little girl in the back.) Many toddlers, like my 18-month-old, grow a natural mullet, which makes it difficult to manage the uneven hair.

As her hair continues to grow, I can’t leave it down anymore. When I don’t style my daughter’s toddler bangs and flyaway hairs, she can have a feral, unkempt look. Her nonsensical babbling and jerky body movements really solidify the “wild thing” look. But my “wile thing” really does make “my heart sing”, even when she has a bad hair day.

Here are some simple toddler girl hairstyles for the hair challenged that you can mullet…errr, I mean mull over.

girl holding standing on crib
Photo by Silvia Trigo on Pexels.com

Quick and Easy Toddler Girl Hairstyles 

The best internet article I found was from Dirty Dishes Messy Kisses: “12 Must-Have Easy Toddler Hairstyles in 2 Minutes or Less”.

I’ve extracted from the author’s list to make my own shorter list and added headbands. Once my daughter has longer hair, I’ll look forward to trying all of the hairstyles. I may even do a messy bun! See Dirty Dishes Messy Kisses link for complete instructions and helpful pictures.

  1. Headbands:  Put a stretchy headband around the head, duh. Can you tell this is my lazy addition to the list? There are so many cute headbands out there, bedazzled with bangles, blooms, and bows!
  2. Simple Bow (or Side-Sweep, my term):  Pin the bangs or a small hair piece to the opposite side of the head. And you’re done!
  3. Half-up Side Pony:  Part the hair on one side of the head. Pull the hair towards the opposite side of the head and secure with an elastic. The styled hair section will look like a “horse’s tail” or a “whale spout”. To dress up the hairstyle, clip a bow above the elastic. (It works better if the hair is wet. Wield those wild wispies!)
  4. Half-up Double Pig Tails*:  a) Separate the hair down the middle of the head. b) Grab a small hair section from the front of one side. c) Then take a larger section behind the front pony starting by the ear and ending at the part down the middle. Secure this section together with the front pony in an elastic. d) Repeat steps b) and c) for the other side of the part. The complete hair will look like two adorable pig tails.
  5. Full Triple Pig Tails:  See steps a) through d) of Half-up Double Pigtails. e) Part the hair the rest of the way down the back of the head. f) Gather the hair from one side and the hair sticking out of the pig tail and pull it into one pig tail. Secure with an elastic. Repeat steps b) through f) for the other side.

*As you may know, the standard pigtail hairdo (with two ponytails) come out and you have to redo the pigtails over and over again. The Dirty Dishes Messy Kisses authors created the ingenious Half-up Double Pig Tails and Full Triple Pig Tails hairstyles to make your life easier.

girl sitting in crib
Photo by Silvia Trigo on Pexels.com


  • Buy an extra set of hair clips or bows – just as you would an extra night night or lovey. Little hands are constantly pulling out the hair clips/bows.
  • Put a snack baggie/container of hair clips or bows in your diaper bag/purse.
  • Stash a snack baggie/container of hair clips or bows in your car’s glovebox.
  • Let your daughter brush or comb her hair in front of a mirror. Maybe then she’ll want to do her own hair, haha!
  • Play hair salon with your toddler using a doll or yourself if you’re brave. I let my real-life baby doll put clippies in my hair!
  • If your toddler’s headband is too tight (but you can’t go up a size), stretch the band out by wearing on your own head or wrapping around your kid’s piggybank.

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

Enjoy that crazy beautiful baby hair for as long as you can.

So embrace those wild and wonderful mornings – wispies and all. For most of us, our baby daughters will grow into independent women who want to dress themselves. How we will long for those chaotic mornings when our babies needed us!

Do you have any quick and easy hairstyle recommendations for toddler girls? What’s looks have worked for you? What are your favorite hair accessories?

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