I love a good holiday party as much as the next girl, but sometimes, they can add to holiday-related stress in a big way.
That’s because in the midst of picking out gifts, baking tons of cookies, and decorating the house to look like a winter wonderland, the last thing you want to worry about it is what you’re going to wear to the office shindig or the family gathering.
And even when I’m headed to my friend’s annual ugly sweater party and I know exactly what I’m going to wear, I get a little anxiety wondering what to do with my hair.
Because let’s face it, even in a garish sweater, you still want fabulous hair, so you don’t cringe every time you look back at photos of the party (and with the way pictures turn up on Instagram and Twitter these days, they’ll be visible to everyone pretty much for posterity…)
Whether the weather’s cold, though, I like to wear my hair down – call me crazy, but I feel like it keeps my neck a little warmer and when the temperatures drop, I’ll do anything to ward off the chill – and sometimes that can seem a little boring for party. But if you’re like me and you’re looking to eliminate some stress this holiday season, here are a few go-to, hair-down styles that’ll work for any festive get-together, no matter how formal or casual it might be.
Simple and Shiny
You don’t have to go crazy to get party-ready hair. For an understated look that’s still high on style, start by using a round brush to blow dry your locks – it helps to divide your hair into sections so you can take your time smoothing each piece and curling the ends of the hair under slightly with the brush. Once your hair is dry, create a dramatic side part, pushing most of your hair to one side. Before you head out the door, mist your hair with a shine spray like the BioSilk Shine On Finish Spray to help your locks reflect the light for a pretty, shimmering effect.
If you want a little more glamour for your party do, try leaving your hair down but adding some soft, loose waves to channel an old school Hollywood starlet — and as an added bonus, the look works best on hair that’s been washed the day before so you don’t have to rush into the shower before your party.
Take two- to three-inch sections of hair and spritz with a flexible hold hairspray like the TRESemme 4+$ Ultra Fine Hairspray. Next, use a 1 ¼-inch or larger curling iron to curl your entire head. Instead of releasing the hair from the iron, though, use a bobby pin to pin each section in place. Allow your hair to cool completely before removing the pins. With a brush, carefully smooth the curls into soft, cascading waves for a retro feel. Finish off the look by spraying your hair with a firm hold hairspray such as the Nexxus Maxximum Super Hold Styling and Finishing Mist to keep the waves in place even if you’re busting a move on the dance floor.
Half Up, Half Down Volume
When you want to wear your hair down but don’t want to spend the party brushing stray pieces out of your face, go for a half up, half down ‘do. You can make the look a little more party-friendly, though, by working some major volume into your locks at the crown.
Start with damp hair and apply a volumizing product like Keranique Lifting Spray to your roots. Flip your head upside and blow dry your hair completely. Next, wrap some large Velcro rollers in your hair near the crown to boost volume – and hit them with a blast of heat from your blow dryer to maximize volume. After you’ve removed the rollers, use a teasing comb to backcomb your roots. With a natural bristle brush, comb through all of your hair until it’s perfectly smooth. Then grab a small section of hair from both sides of face and pin them back. Crisscrossing simple bobby pins works well to hold the hair in place, but use a rhinestone, pearl-encrusted, or other embellished clip for a super glam party look. Spray your hair with a flexible hold hairspray like the Living Proof Control Hairspray so your hair keeps its volume all party long.