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November 29, 2010

Holiday Hairstyles: Get the perfect look, no matter the celebration

The holiday season is a time when everything seems shiny and new. It’s also a time when women can break out the best of their wardrobe and strut their style at multiple parties. One of the best ways to complement formal attire is with a great hairstyle. The good news is that these easy styles can be achieved at home without having to squeeze a trip to the salon (although we also encourage you to let one of our students help you out in our Portland, Oregon salons) in an already busy holiday schedule.

Here are some of the great hairstyles that are perfect for any holiday event:

‘Messy’ Side Bun

photo © 2008 kennedy | more info (via: Wylio)
This one does have the potential to go a bit wrong, but with just a little effort, the “messy” side bun can give a stylish look. It also saves time by not having to have every single strand of hair in the right place. This great up-do is a big hit on the red carpet this season.

  1. Use a curling iron to create a bit of curl. This isn’t recreating Shirley Temple, but enough to give some volume and flow.
  2. Using regular hair bands, make three small ponytails at the base of the neck, slightly off-center. These ponytails should be loose, as they will need give to produce the look. The ponytails should be curled enough to curl under.
  3. Push each ponytail in, holding the curly bottom directly forward toward the back of the head. Using a large number of bobby pins, attach the ponytails to the roots to form them into a bun.
  4. Adjust the strands around bun to personalize the look. Tuck in any dangling pieces to achieve a neater look.
  5. Style the hair in front to complete the look.

Blow-dried Style

This style will produce a salon-quality look, especially for those who have unmanageable hair to begin with. It also provides a stylish look without a hairdresser’s assistance, even in the back, which most people have trouble doing on their own.

  1. Pick the right brush to achieve the desired end result. A spoon-shaped wire brush will produce straight hair that drops straight down, while a round brush will produce more volume.
  2. To start, use a preferred hair product. Select hair products that will help hold the look (without it looking like a helmet) but also protect against the high heat needed to produce the style.
  3. Create sections of hair using professional clips, which can be found at any hair care store. For large amounts of hair, as many as six sections may be needed. For smaller amounts of hair, as few as two may be necessary.
  4. Start with hair in front to get any unmanageable pieces out of the way. Hold the hair tight to the head and blow dry to knock out any frizz. Repeat for the small hairs along the nape of the neck
  5. Then blow dry the other sections, starting from the nape of the neck to the crown. The hair dryer should be on the top of the hair, facing the direction you want it to go, with the brush going along underneath. Going slow and easy will produce the best results
  6. Start with the roots to make sure they’re dry first. Follow along the hair to the tips, and hold the brush there for a few seconds to allow them to cool. This produces a softer look.
  7. Blend the layers in the back by taking a couple of the layers, and following the same drying pattern, with the brush underneath and the dryer above going from root to tip slowly.

Simple curled hair

The most simple and convenient way to produce a stunning look for a holiday party is to put a curl into a normally flat plat. Here’s how to achieve a professional look without it going overboard or falling apart after walking out the door.

  1. While hair is still wet, start with a mousse to provide hold and structure.
  2. Blow dry straight, concentrating on drying the roots and setting the mousse.
  3. Use anti-humidity spray. In the Pacific Northwest, we can expect most winter evenings to be rainy, so this is a must for a style to stay put.
  4. Starting in the front, take a large section of hair from the part to the nape, then split in half around where the ear is. Wrap one of these sections around the curling iron, leaving some of the tip out of the iron to achieve a more stylized look.
  5. Curl the front sections away from the face for a more dramatic look.
  6. While using a shine product, break up the curls by gently pulling apart.

Kinky to straight hair

Women often turn to the First Lady when looking for the latest in fashionable hairstyles. Michelle Obama’s classic straight-hair look is a wonderful style for African-American women this holiday season.

  1. Make sure the hair is completely detangled, working from the end to the root. Use fingers first, and then move to a paddle brush if necessary.
  2. Shampoo and condition the hair.
  3. Apply products to help prepare hair for straightening: Wrap and roll, shine and softener, and styling gel.
  4. Clip sections of hair not being worked on by twisting up in a counter-clockwise motion and attach to the crown.
  5. Using either a Denman brush, a paddle brush, or a boar bristle round brush, blow the hair dry straight going from root to tip.
  6. Using a flat iron, take hair in 1-inch sections also going from root to tip to set the hair.

The most striking thing you can do to boost your appearance for a fancy party is to change your hairstyle. Even the most basic of differences, which changes the way your face is framed, will draw immediate attention. Spending a few extra minutes achieving a new hairstyle will help you produce the perfect look for the holidays.

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Happy Valley, OR
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