From party hopping to gift shopping, the holidays are a paradox. On the one hand, it can be the most joyous time of the year, but on the other, it can be laden with stressful moments. Whether you're attending a casual gathering or a dressed-to-the-nines occasion, you'll want to see these nine ideas on ways to decorate your hair for all of the season's varied festivities.
Braids have been one of the hottest hairstyles for years, no matter the season. But more and more, celebrities have been stepping out sporting a new take on the style: one side of the hair French-braided flat against the head, with the rest of the hair hanging free or in a ponytail. Jessica Alba aced this look a few weeks back when she wore a sleek braid cascading into a ponytail. More recently, Heidi Klum and Christina Aguilera both did their own interpretations of the one-sided plait. It's a flirty look that's easy to pull off. Just French-braid one side of the hair and style the rest. How easy is that?
Each season, countless hairstyles are showcased on the Fall runways. Some you may have already tried, like the classic ponytail, while others, such as the tousled victory roll, provide inspiration for something new. Be the hair envy of every holiday celebration with these top seven, on-trend picks.
Textured, mussed-up ponytails have taken a back seat to slicker styles recently, but that doesn't mean your updo has to be boring. As Bella Heathcote, Kate Bosworth, and Whitney Port have proudly displayed, there are a handful of gorgeous ways to style your ponytail while keeping it off your face:
- Bella went for a liquid-slicked version, pulling her hair back completely without a part. Her low-volume style allowed her flirty winged liner ample room to shine.
- Kate Bosworth added some oomph to her updo by brushing the sides back but teasing her crown. A bright pink lipstick color gave some balance — and a serious pop of color — to her amplified ponytail.
- Whitney opted for a low ponytail with a center-split part that drew attention to her subtle smoky eye and dewy complexion.
However you decided to style your tightly pulled-back hairstyle, you'll need some hair spray to keep it put; reach for something lightweight, like Frederic Fekkai Advanced Sheer Hold Hairspray ($25).
"You don't really have to fuss with it because that line, where it falls, is the style itself. You can wash and go with most hair types and it still looks good," explains Alberto VO5 hair expert Chris Lospalluto. The chic cut, which has been spotted on stars like Alexa Chung (left) and model Freja Beha Erichsen (lower right) in recent months, also proves that everything old is new again. Style icon Jane Birkin (upper right) was one of the first to perfect the flattering look back in the mid-1970s.
Get the Look:
Since the cut pretty much determines this style, there's no need to overdo it with flat irons or curling irons. (Healthier hair for the win!) Begin with a hydrated base. "If you use a moisturizing shampoo that has shea butter [along with a moisturizing conditioner], once you blow-dry your hair, you don't really have to do much," says Lospalluto. After rough-drying the hair, add product — like a salt spray, a volumizer, or an antifrizz serum — if even needed, and hit the ground running.
This is in part to its simplicity. Celebrity fans Shirley Manson and Kelly Osbourne, who have both been spotted out in the spindly style multiple times, opted for extremely slicked-back versions. Nicole Richie, on the other hand, went for a softer, less-severe interpretation of the trend. Whether you wear it with face-framing fringe or doused in gel, be ready to turn plenty of heads with this one.
Grab your hair spray and teasing comb, because hair is reaching great heights for Fall. Oversize styles were swarming the runways during Fall 2012 Fashion Week. Vera Wang (left) incorporated teased strands into a swept-back updo, while Derek Lam (upper right) and Carolina Herrera (lower right) channeled the '60s with their perfect poufs. These ballooning styles may be a little drastic for everyday wear, but it's easy to translate this hot trend into a more toned-down style. Learn the simple secrets when you keep reading.
Changing your part is the easiest way to try a new look without the commitment, and lately celebrities have been giving us a reason to experiment. Hilary Duff, Miranda Kerr, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have all taken the middle path this week. A center part highlights the face, as it draws the eye directly downward, and it looks beautiful styled with straight or slightly wavy hair. If your natural part is not straight down the center, it's still possible to train it otherwise. Work a mousse, like Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Mousse ($4), into your hair prior to blow drying, keeping it away from your roots to avoid weighing them down. This will ensure that your freshly styled strands stay in place. A quick slide of the flat iron on top of your hair will also help accentuate this dramatic part.