If there’s one thing you can expect from this holiday season, it’s parties — and lots of them. A festive holiday hair look is a sure-fire way to make a statement at every shindig you plan to attend, whether it be a lavish company party or an ugly sweater soirée at your parents’. Not sure what look to lean into? We’ve asked the pros for their insight on the coolest hairstyles for this season.
The consensus: Chignons and braids are the looks of the season, along with a few nods to past decades. “My favorite styles for the holiday are ’60s, Bardot-inspired, half-up styles with tousled body and volume at the crown,” says Xavier Velasquez, hairstylist and ambassador for Virtue Labs.
Meet the Experts:
- Xavier Velasquez, a New York City-based hairstylist and ambassador for Virtue Labs
- Mara Roszak, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist and the founder of the haircare line ROZ
- Devin Toth, a New York City-based hairstylist at Salon SCK
Sparkling hair accessories are expected to take over holiday hairstyles too. Look out for glittering hair ribbons, headbands, and even some hair gems. The options are both cheerful and endless — see for yourself. Onward to this year’s best holiday hairstyles, showcased by celebrities at various red carpet events.
1. Voluminous Half Ponytail
For a fun and full-volume holiday look, try a high half-ponytail like Keke Palmer’s. If you have longer hair, this look can create the illusion of a high ponytail without the heaviness of actually tying up all of your hair.
2. Wispy Topknot
If you’re looking for a whimsical hairstyle for your winter festivities, a tousled top knot is the way to go. “For the perfect topknot, gather your hair at the crown [of your head] with an elastic, wrap the elastic around twice, then pull the remaining hair halfway through, creating a bun,” says Velasquez. Secure the look using hair pins.
3. Hair Bows
Hairstylist Mara Roszak says hair accessories are the trend of the season. She suggests sewing or glueing a little bobby pin to the back of a bow. Then, add the pin to your holiday updo. “Jennifer Behr also makes beautiful holiday hair bows for those that want one already made,” she says.
Here, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies actress Rachel Sennott showcases the trend with a silky blue bow at the base of her ponytail. It’s a simple accent that has major impact. (For a similar look to Sennott’s, try Free People’s Lady Bow in Navy.)
4. Bubble Ponytail
While the pony braid was the updo of choice amongst TikTokers during the warmer months, we think the bubble ponytail will reign supreme for the holidays. This style works best with thick, long hair. (But don’t worry if you have short hair. You can recreate the look with the help of extensions.)
To style a bubble ponytail, Roszak says to blow-dry freshly-cleansed hair so that it’s smooth. Then, gather it into a ponytail using a brush. “Depending on the length of the hair, add in elastics every two to three inches and pull sections out to the sides to create the bubble look,” she says.
For an added holiday sparkle, try adding hair gems to the crown of your head, as Issa Rae did at a recent event.
5. Old Hollywood Waves
Finish the look by applying a flexible-hold hairspray and gently brushing the hair with a soft-bristled brush. “For extra setting, use flat clips to help shape in an ‘S’ formation,” she says.
6. A Simple Headband
We love the Lele Sadoughi Copper Ombre Lurex Bardot Headband for this look, which has the ’60s vibe our pros are loving for the holiday season.
7. Space Buns
8. Y2K Spiky Knots
Spiky buns may seem intimidating at first, but they just take a bit of practice. Follow this step-by-step to get the hairstyle.
9. Sleek and Straight
10. Wispy Braid
11. ’60s Bouffant
12. Blunt Ponytail
13. Classic Half-Up
Roszak explains that you can create a tighter, more lifted look if the entire hairline is swept upward. For a softer, more effortless look, she suggests leaving more hair down.
14. Braided Chignon
15. French Twist
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