The ultimate guide to holiday hair

  • Crystal Schwanke
  • Beauty
  • Dec 7, 2015
Look your best at all your holiday gatherings this year!

Look your best at all your holiday gatherings this year!

Hair for holiday parties doesn’t have to be intimidating. For 2015, there is such a range of easy, fashionable hairstyles, there’s almost no need to schedule a hair appointment. Use braids, controlled messiness, and even inspiration from your own childhood or a Hollywood siren to create a last-minute stunning hairstyle for your holiday parties. Here’s 4 different looks you can try in our ultimate guide to holiday hair!


Talk about easy–almost anyone can braid, and the result can be simple but classy. Braid a 1-1/2 inch section of hair near the front of the face and pin behind the ear, then wrap the length of the hair into a messy, low bun. Another option is to part hair on the side or in the middle and French braid one or both sides back toward the nape of the neck, making the braids as thick or thin as you’d like, fashioning an ultra-chic headband from your own hair. Wrap the rest of the hair into a bun or French twist. If you have extra time on your hands, you can create two small braids on each side—one coming from just above your ear and the other from near your temple. Use clear elastics and bobby pins close to your hair color for the most seamless results.


Messy updos are easier for the novice because if a hair falls down here or there, it just adds to the effect. This one also allows you to add some personalization with a feathered headband or a sparkly clip, perfect if you’re going with the little black dress option and want to add your own unexpected twist.

Use a volumizing mousse before you dry your hair. After drying, tease the roots. Use a clear elastic or one close to your hair color to secure a side ponytail close to earlobe level. Split the ponytail into two sections and tug apart near the top to push the ponytail up higher and add volume above the elastic. Wrap the elastic with a quarter-inch thick section of hair and then discreetly pin the end under the ponytail.


What’s old is new again in fashion and beauty. If you have long hair, you can create an updo that doesn’t look like an updo at all. Clamp a section of your hair into a 1-inch curling iron, barrel on the outside. Then directly beneath that, clamp again with the barrel on the underside of the section of hair. Alternate down the length of hair. (You can also use a deep waver.) This will give the illusion of the finger waves that were popular in the 1930’s. Pull your hair into a loose, low ponytail, then tuck the ends under and pin to create a faux-bob. Loosen the hair around the part and around the face to disguise the hair that’s been tucked under.


The first ballerina-inspired look combines a braid and a bun: Part hair on the side, then secure the length of the hair into a low ponytail between the nape of the neck and the ear. Braid the length. Secure the end of the braid with a clear elastic and wrap it around the base. Pin into place and add jeweled hair pins or a decorative clip.

While the slicked back, tight bun that ballerinas usually sport won’t necessarily be the most flattering look for holiday parties, you could revisit a look Sarah Jessica Parker recently did: a very large, poufy bun. Use your fingers or a brush to gather all of your hair into a high ponytail, then secure with an elastic. Tease the ponytail and divide into four equal sections. Take each section and wrap it loosely in a counter-clockwise motion around the base. Pin the sections into place. Pull out a few face-framing layers and add the headband or clip of your choice.

Holiday hairstyles don’t have to be a hassle. If you can braid, pull your hair into a ponytail, and manipulate bobby pins, you’re on your way to a successful updo.

Crystal Schwanke

Crystal has been a freelance writer and editor since 2005. Her work has appeared on multiple channels at, as well as Mia, M Magazine, Moultrie Magazine, and others. Her interests include fashion, beauty, history, hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband and daughter. You can find her blog at