Oh, the holidays! Time to celebrate with family and friends, share the joys of giving and traditions with our children, reflect on the year coming to a close, and make goals for the one that lies ahead. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and effort to make all that magic happen. For most moms this month, “busy” is an understatement.
Maybe you have a holiday party right after work. Maybe you’ll be cooking all day before hosting a gathering of your own. Maybe you’ll need to spend the day shopping before meeting your friends to celebrate over dinner. Whatever the scenario, it helps to have a few hairstyles in your arsenal that can take you from day to night. Put your hair up in the morning to have it out of the way as you cook, clean, craft, decorate, wrap, etc. and then dress it up with accessories later for a party-ready look.
A few pointers to build an updo with staying power:
- Skip the shampoo. Clean and silky hair wants to slide right out of pins. If your hair tends to look greasy, give it a once-over with a volumizing dry shampoo.
- Product, product, product. I find this omission is the #1 reason women get frustrated putting up their hair. Product adds texture and grip, making it a lot easier to work with and helps hold it in place. Pomade and hairspray are my must-haves.
- Cross your bobby pins! This is important. Every bobby pin you insert should be crossed with a second into an “x” with the bumpy side closest to your head.
- Weave bobby pins and hairpins. Don’t open your pins before inserting them, instead weave them up and down as you insert each as though you are sewing for better hold.
- Set your hair. Before I do any updos professionally, I always curl the hair first. “Setting” your hair into curls gives straight hair texture and smoothes curly hair, giving both just the right amount of bend.
- Start tight. Curls … they fall. Braids … they loosen. This is a good thing. Start tight and by evening you’ll have just the perfect balance of messy/sexy without coming undone.
While you use these tips to help you keep any style secure, I’ve provided three simple styles below: Tuck with a Braid, Rope Braid-Wrapped Ballerina Bun, and French Braided Side Bun.
1. Tuck with a Braid
Step 1: Create the Braid
After running a little pomade or styling wax through your hair, grab a small section of hair on one side of your part. Braid and tie it off with a small hair band. Gently pull the sides of the braid away from each other to widen it.
Step 2. Tie a Ponytail
Gather all your hair, including the braid, into a low ponytail at your nape. Remove the band that was holding your braid together.
Step 3. Flip the Pony
Use your fingers to create a little hole between your nape and the ponytail holder. Flip the ponytail down through the hole and pull it tight. Note: If you find this difficult, you may want to invest in a topsy tail tool or DIY one. The looped tool creates the hole and pulls the ponytail through in one step.
Step 4. Wrap & Pin
Wrap your ponytail around two fingers to create a loop and use bobby pins to secure it to your nape. Don’t forget to cross those pins! Spread the roll out a bit by gently pulling on both sides. Use a hand mirror to check the sides. Fanning it out usually does the trick but if you see gaps, go ahead and pin the sides of the roll down using hairpins. Remember to weave each as they are inserted! Spray it with lots of hairspray.
Step 5. Add Bling
Dress this style up later with a pretty hair accessory. I’ve used a sparkly hair comb.
2. Rope Braid-Wrapped Ballerina Bun
Step 1. Create a Ponytail
After adding your products, tie your hair up into a high ponytail. This is honestly the hardest part of the whole updo. I like to flip my head upside down and use pomade and a boar bristle grooming brush to get a nice and smooth pony.
Step 2. Section Hair for Your Braid
Grab a small chunk of hair from one side of your ponytail. Divide that section into two.
Step 3. Rope Braid the Section
Twist both strands in the same direction. Now fold one twist over the other and repeat to create the braid. (If it doesn’t look like a rope, try folding in the opposite direction.)
Step 4. Subsection and Tease
Divide the remaining ponytail into four equal sections and use clips or bobby pins to keep them separated. Pick up one of the sections, spray it with hairspray, and tease it from the outside. I’m using a teasing brush but any brush or comb will work. Smooth the strand on the inside (side closest to the center of your ponytail).
Step 5. Wrap and Pin
Wrap the hair around two fingers to form a loop and use crossed bobby pins to secure it to your head. Repeat for all four sections, allowing the braid to hang between two of the sections.
Step 6. Join the Sections
Gently pull each loop to meet the adjacent one. Weave hairpins at the base to join the loops into a bun. Note: if you prefer to use a sock or bun form, go for it. Place the form over your ponytail, fold sections down over the form to hide it, and pin the strands in place.
Step 7. Place the Braid to Finish
Place the braid across the front of your bun, tuck the ends under, and pin in place. I find this style fancy enough on its own, but feel free to add a pretty hair accessory later if you like.
3. French Braided Side Bun
Step 1. Part Hair
Part hair in a slight diagonal from one front corner of your forehead to the opposite side of your nape.
Step 2. French Braid
Braid one section starting with three strands at the top, incorporating hair from both sides as you work. When you have incorporated the entire section, finish with a couple rounds of a regular three-strand braid and tie off with a hair band. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3. Tie and Wrap
Tie a hair band around both braids on the side, at your nape. You can stop here for your daytime look if you like and create the bun in a few seconds prior to your evening event, or go ahead and create the bun by wrapping the ponytail into a spiral. Use bobby pins to secure the bun over the base of your ponytail, hiding the band.
Step 4. Accessorize
Dress this style up with a festive hair accessory or a few embellished bobby pins, if desired.More On