Dressing for holiday parties and get-togethers often is all about clothes and accessories, but a simple change to your hair is another way to add a festive touch.
While some looks can be tricky and require the expertise of a stylist, others are easy to achieve with hot rollers, a curling iron or a dab of the right hair product. Often it's just a matter of rethinking how you wear your hair.
If you usually wear your long hair down, consider a sleek ponytail, top knot or a braided bun. A retro wavy look is an option if your hair holds curl. A far side part can update any style.
“Know what your hair will do,” said Lannie Cook, hairstylist and makeup artist at Wilson Art Hair Gallery.
One option for long hair is a side braided bun, she said. Pull the hair into a low side ponytail and divide it into three sections. Braid each section, roll and pin into place. Add a crystal pin if you want a little bling.
“It's easy and anyone can do it,” she said, and the style works well for hair that's heavy or board straight.
She also suggests using hairpieces and inserts to give hair volume or bumps. How do you think celebrities get that big hair?
Learn by doing
Not every hairstyle has to be perfect either. A casual, messy bun or ponytail might not work on the red carpet, but it can look festive for a party, Cook said.
Whether it's a perfect look you're after or not, stylists say it's best to do a practice run before trotting out any new hairstyle. Cook and Andrea Lemonds, a stylist at Trichology Salon, said a little time in front of the mirror a day or two before the event can help work out any kinks.
They also said online tutorials can be helpful if you decide to go it alone.
Lemonds loves the look of a French twist because it's classic and beautiful, but it's probably best left to the expert. Other looks such as braids, buns and ponytails can be beautiful, too, she said.
“For an evening out, a far side part for a ponytail looks more sleek, classic and chic, and it never goes out of style,” Lemonds said. Try it with bobs and shorter styles.
Soft, sexy waves that smack of old Hollywood are also popular these days. Lemonds said hot rollers can help achieve this style. “Anytime you have wave, it's a curl brushed out.” A retro style may require some practice, and plenty of hair spray.
Time for teasing
Other styles to consider: Women with pixie cuts can add a little Halle Berry edge and tousle by using pomade. A short bob can be slicked back and tucked behind the ears. A half-up do can be teased on top for volume and lift.
Stylists said most hairstyles will benefit from a bit of teasing.
If you desire a super easy yet festive update, reach for a hair accessory. Even a messy look accented with a crystal clip or bejeweled bobby pin ups the style quotient, Lemonds said.
“Simple, classic looks are very achievable, they're easy to do, and most are not going to frustrate you,” Lemonds said.