08/23/2010 02:44 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Girl, Get it Together for College

This is panic time for many freshman college students as the minutes are ticking away before their departure to school for their very first time. As every college student and their parents know, getting ready to go off to school can be overwhelming and time consuming. Of course, there are the standard room fixtures: bed linens, towels, new laptops, and all the necessary paraphernalia to make a microscopic dorm room feel like home. Just as important to remember are your personal items, from favorite scents to deodorant and hair products.

Having these on hand makes getting ready in the morning fast and easy. This is essential because you won't have a frustrated parent or sibling yelling at you to get out of the bathroom or giving you five-minute warnings that it's almost time to leave or you'll be late for class. And because showing up and looking good, or at least awake, is essential, you'll want to keep your grooming routines quick and easy. You'll be meeting new people every day, whether at class or in the cafeteria. Who knows who you might meet? It might be your new BFF or romance. Developing a new social circle is one of the most exciting parts of the school experience. As I always say, first impressions are crucial. You will want to present an image that makes a good impression and looks effortless.

Your hours at school initially tend to be totally irregular. You are either studying for the next day's class, writing yet another paper, talking the night away with your roommate, or out with your new best friends across the hall. The first semester is really a quick study in time management. Most freshmen tend to burn the candle at both ends and survive on very little sleep. This works for a while because most students are excited to be away from home and survive on adrenaline. This doesn't last forever. It is very easy to burn out. Unfortunately, this will show in your grades, and it is easy for even the best student to make an academic dive. Here are some shortcuts to looking good that will give you a few extra moments every day.

Hair color maintenance should be able to last until your next trip home.
You won't want to waste the time or funds necessary for frequent touch-ups. Pick a color close to your own shade so re-growth will be minimal, or choose a more extreme shade that makes roots look intentional. Making either choice will eliminate the need to color your hair from your checklist.

Keratin hair treatments are the most efficient time-savers for anyone with frizzy hair.
The keratin hair treatment is a revolutionary process that softens, shines and relaxes curl and makes the hair healthy. A half-hour blow dry is reduced to minutes. This will literally let you wash and wear your hair. Only the most minimal touchup with a hair dryer might be necessary to give your hair a polished and finished look.

Dry shampoos are a must-have for most women and an absolute essential if you have fine, oily hair.
Everyone has experienced one of those mornings when you hit the snooze button once too often. You have 10 minutes to get out the dorm door and barely enough time to shower, never mind wash and dry your hair. Dry shampoo works! It cleans and deodorizes your hair. If you don't have any on hand, use baby or body powder. If your hair is dark brunette, use a bronzing powder. This will prevent your hair from looking dull and might add a glimmer of color or shine. Brush hair thoroughly after powder has been applied.

An outstanding haircut is all important to great looking hair.
Whether you wear your hair long or short, curly or straight, a great shape is crucial to looking your best. If your hair grows quickly, invest in a headband, which can stretch out almost any haircut for a couple of extra weeks. If you wear your hair very short, buy some hair styling creams to help hold its shape longer. Non-oily styling products look cleaner and more modern.

Up-dos are time and life savers.
Everyone should learn to wear a quick and easy ponytail, bun, braid or twist. They are all simple to do because they look best when they are not perfect. Perfectly groomed up-dos can easily look like you are going to your senior prom. This look should be avoided at all cost.

Going to college was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I was running on empty most of my first semester and having the best time. I made more than a few mistakes, including the freshman academic dive. I matured quickly after receiving my probation letter and instantly changed my ways. There was no way I was going to miss out on my college years.

Staying in school and doing well takes a lot more than some hair tips can provide, but they can help you squeeze out a few extra minutes of every day. This extra time is something you will cherish each morning when you hit your snooze button one more time.

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