A hairstyle guide for all your fancy holiday party needs

If you’re anything like me, you love a good holiday party. What’s not to love about eggnog, dancing with your co-workers and getting all sorts of sparkly and dressed up for a night out? Here’s to hoping you have a season packed full of fun, festive things to do from now until New Year’s Eve!

Because you obviously don’t need one more thing to think about when it comes to the beauty and style routine, I’ve got your hairstyle covered. I’ve been creating and testing three different styles that cover every texture, every hair type and every type of event you might be attending. Follow the easy step-by-step instructions for a fabulous, festive ‘do.

First, grab a smoothing brush, some shine spray and a handful of bobby pins. Let’s get started!

The Fresh French Twist

Perfect For: Anyone with straight or wavy hair.

This look can work well with really thick hair or it can add a lot of body to fine hair. I love it because it’s low maintenance, easy to re-create, formal enough for any kind of event, but also “undone” enough for a really modern, youthful feel. I’ve worn this out about three times now this season and every time, I get tons of compliments. For a different or more formal look, add a piece of jewelry to the side.

Step 1: Start with blow-dried hair for extra volume. Add some Kevin.Murphy Shimmer Shine (or something similar) for shine and a bit of separation.

Step 2: Backcomb your crown section for some extra lift. Then, gather all of your hair back from one side with your fingers. You want this to look piece-y and textured, so perfection and tightness are not necessary. Just gather it up.

Step 3: Pin with bobby pins facing up on the opposite section. Because you want the twist to fall directly in the middle, over-direct your pinning to the side.

Step 4: Gather all of your hair from the other side, over the pins you placed, adding the previous hair from the other side. Roll both sections into a twist.

Step 5: Using bobby pins, pin your twist from the top down and into the previous bobby pins so that they anchor together and hold your twist securely. You won’t be able to see them underneath, but you should feel the new pin locking into the previous one in an “X” formation.

Step 6: Pull pieces out around the face to keep with the “undone yet polished” look. If you’d like, piece out the twist more and/or add more shine spray.

The Knotted & Nice

Perfect For: Curly or wavy hair that has lots of texture to hold without extra product.

This look can work for fine hair as well, but would require lots of blow-drying and product beforehand. I really created it with my curly friends in mind. This one is great because it incorporates a really intricate-looking braid. But our little secret? It’s as simple as tying two pieces of hair together! So easy! And you can never go wrong with a little side tuck to polish off a great holiday look!

Step 1: Start with natural, air-dried curls. You can use a cream to tame frizz if you’d like, but I would suggest the more texture, the better.

Step 2: Part your hair in a side part and on the light side, begin your knot braid. All you have to do is take a vertical section, split it into two parts and literally knot those sections together. Tie them up! And then, just like a french braid, add a new section in to each “tail” that’s left and tie your next section.

Step 3: Continue with your knot braid until you’ve reached the nape or until you run out of hair.

Step 4: Gather your hair from the heavy side, twist it into sections on the side of your neck below your ear and pin them into place with same “X” formation from the last tutorial. When I did this, I literally just twisted and pinned and then after everything was secured, I moved the curls around until they sat in a desirable formation around the ear.

Step 5: Take your bang section (if you have one) and bring it back over the ear, above the bun. Tie it just like you did with the knot braid in two sections and then secure it above the bun. This is a great way to pin this section because it gives a “faux side bang” look and it’s completely secure.

The Gatsby Tuck

Perfect For: Wavy or straight hair, but can be done on curly hair for a different look. I loved this look so much because it kind of created itself. I was trying to find a way to tame this mannequin’s wavy hair, but still utilize the great texture she had in a fashionable way. This look is perfect because it takes just a few minutes and can be created from air-dried hair. What I love most about it is how sophisticated and feminine it looks, almost giving a Great Gatsby vibe. It would look amazing just like this or with a fun jeweled hair accessory.

Step 1: Start with air-dried hair. Or if your hair is straighter, blow-dry it with texturizing product to get lots of hold. Brush all of your hair forward with a smoothing, boar brush.

Step 2: Gather sections from both sides into twists along the side, allowing the front to still look like it’s moving forward. It should look like a “swoop”. Secure together wherever they meet with two bobby pins.

Step 3: Using your smoothing brush, back-brush the hair that is left out from the bottom so that it has plenty of texture and volume. Honestly, if I were to wear this hairstyle to a party, I would even stop at this point and rock it a bit more for an edgier look. But that’s just me!

Step 4: Use your smoothing brush to lightly brush over the top of the hair that’s left to smooth it out. It shouldn’t look perfect, but it should look intentional. Then roll it under and secure with pins using your “X” formation. I did two sections, but you may need to do more than that if you have a lot of hair.

Step 5: When you roll up your last sections, don’t roll them up perfectly and symmetrically. Part of the appeal of this look is that it’s intentionally undone. If you look closely, you can see I even have varying amounts of height on each side for fun’s sake.

All images via Kate Allen, via

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