“The hairstyle is the thing that really elevates a look, pulls everything together and creates that real glamorous party feeling,” says celebrity hair stylist Sarah Necia who has worked with Euphoria actress Alexa Demie and Dita Von Teese. “Start by thinking about what speaks to you and your look,” she recommends. “Is it old Hollywoodglamour with strong sculptural shapes and lines? Or is it a sharp clean up-do that emphasises the neckline?”
Whatever it is, it can be hard to fit in a salon trip amid heaving festive to-do lists, so here are the expert DIY tips and tricks to help you make an entrance this Christmas.
The big bouncy 70 blow out
Thanks to influencers such as Matilda Djerf, whose hair has been the subject of countless magazine articles, fluffy hair is officially in. In fact hairstylist Sharleen Oldaker says the 70s blowout, first made famous by Farrah Fawcett, is one of the most popular hairstyles asked for at Salon Sloane. But it’s just as easy to achieve at home. To do so, Queer Eye host and hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness stresses that, “first and foremost, you should always use heat protection. In my career I have had so many clients who have asked me not to apply any product because they want their blow dry to last longer,” he continues, “but in reality, not putting any product on hair and then heat styling is the quickest way to prevent a blow dry from lasting.”
He recommends a silicone-free heat protectant like JVN Complete Instant Recovery Serum (£25; spacenk.com) that doesn’t build up on the hair, while Oldaker’s go-to heat protectant is Sisley’s La Creme 230 (£72; sisley-paris.com).
Once you’ve spritzed your hair with adequate heat protection, “rough dry hair till 90% dry then blow dry hair forward, from the parting through to the hairline, so that when you brush through you have more volume away from your face and a smoother finish,” says Oldaker, who recommends using heated rollers, like the Babyliss Thermo-Ceramic Rollers (£50, lookfantastic.com) for a more Hollywood glamour finish. Alternatively, styling tools like the viral Dyson airwrap (£499; dyson.co.uk) and the SteamPod 4 (£299; amazon.co.uk) create salon worthy fluffy hair at home.
The modern 60s do
First made famous by the likes of Swedish-American actress Ann-Margret and French IT girl Bridget Bardot, the voluminous Sixties half updo has had a modern resurgence this year thanks to Florence Pugh’s iconic tresses in Don’t Worry Darling. The look, which comprises a mini beehive and soft cascading bangs that frame the face, can easily be achieved at home without a hair chop. “Clip in bangs and a topper hairpiece can work wonders,” says Necia, who recommends Cliphair (cliphair.co.uk) for all your hair extension needs. Or alternatively, gently tease the crown of your hair using a boar bristle brush — like Tangle Teezer’s The Back Combing Hairbrush (£12; lookfantastic.com) — and gather the top half of your hair into a low ponytail for a low-effort version.
The sleek pony-tail
If you’re planning on wearing a party frock with a statement neckline, then a sleek ponytail is a must. “Poker straight high ponytails will continue to be popular as they provide polish to big occasion hairstyles as well as everyday looks, smartening up casual weekend wear or communicating at work that you ‘mean business,” agrees Oldaker. To achieve a red carpet-ready ponytail at home, start by blow-drying your, hair working in the direction of the ponytail to make it ultra smooth and snatched. Next secure the ponytail tight to the head using a bungee cord hair tie for extra hold and apply some light gel around the hairline to clean away any flyaways. Finally, apply some Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil (£28; lookfantastic.com) on the ends of the hair for a glossy, sleek look.
Command the room with a Hollywood wave — the go-to style of sirens and movie stars alike. To achieve the demure look, Necia recommends prepping the night before. “Apply a small amount of strong hold mousse to two inch sections of your hair and set in velcro rollers,” says Necia, who recommends Kérastase Styling Mousse Bouffant (£30; lookfantastic.com) or WELLA Professionals Eimi Extra-Volume Strong Hold Volumizing Mousse (£15; amazon.co.uk). “The magic happens in the brush out the next morning. Use a large cushion bristle nylon mix brush to brush through the curls, sculpting and shaping with your hands and just a touch of light hold hairspray as you go. Finish with a comb and strong hold hairspray to set everything.”
Or alternatively, the lazy girls can commission Necia to make one of her highly sought after wigs for a hassle free, heat free instant hairstyle. To apply, she recommends watching a YouTube tutorial but the process is essentially applying a wig cap, placing the wig with the hairnet still on, then trimming and glueing the lace front.
Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!
Both Necia and Oldaker believe statement pieces like bows and veils can add detail and dazzle to an outfit. “Take a simple slick back pony and dress it up by adding a velvet bow, or add an elegant beret or luxurious embellished headband to a soft brushed out set to up the glam. Even a few glittery stars add a touch of sparkle to natural curls and transport a look to the heyday of Studio 54,” says Necia. Go for Anthropologie’s velvet chainmail bow (£22; anthropologie.com), Nasty Gal’s pink hair bow (£12; nastygal.com), or treat yourself to a Miu Miu embellished velvet bow barrette (£225; mytheresa.com)
Rhinestones are also a must this time a year. They’re easy to apply, inherently festive, and, most importantly, when it comes to how to wear them, there are no rules. Just dab a strong hold hair gel on the back of each gem and adhere it anywhere you want some glitz.