Hair Care

By Stef Schwalb

So many parties, so little time. What’s a glam city girl to do? First off, she needs to find some simple holiday hairstyles that can be created relatively quickly and with ease. We tracked down some of the industries top stylists to get the rundown on this season’s standout looks and a few insider tricks to use on your tresses.

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Image courtesy of Benniefactor

Some terrific, traditional holiday hairstyles we know and love include updos, chignons, ponytails, ballerina buns and the always-fabulous French twist. According to Bennie Pollard, master stylist and founder of Benniefactor products, an updo should always look unforced. “Always remember, less is more,” he says, “and simplicity always wins.” To create this look (which we’ll call a more relaxed version of Audrey Hepburn a la “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”) he suggests the following: pull back hair and gather tresses together in a very soft twist up the back, secure with a few bobby pins, and then leave a few pieces loose to fall on their own. For a classic chignon (which is basically a roll of hair worn at the nape of your neck), Bennie suggests creating a very low ponytail, twisted slightly, which is then tucked under itself. After you’ve “nipped and tucked” the hair by your nape, you can fan out the strands a bit by slightly loosening them if you want to expand the style to add some accessories (the big trend for the season).

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Image courtesy of Benniefactor

Styles like updos and chignons always look great with hair ornaments such as flowers or unique pins, and Jayson Morgan, Patrick Mcivor Color Studio/Redken Artist, thinks that this season they are bigger than ever. “Holiday styles are soft, romantic and glamorous. You see everything from smooth curls to dramatic upstyles to sleek ponytails. The key is to having an ‘almost done at home’ feel to them,” he says, “and accessories can play a big part in the over all style. I like to look for things such as vintage pins, buttons or ribbons from antiques stores to accessorize the style in a unique way. This way you won’t find everyone with the same pieces on their head.” Jayson says that pins and buttons can be easily affixed to any holiday style with grips or bobby pins. “Rhinestones barrettes also always complement a holiday style, whether they are fixed atop a ponytail or placed vertically in a French or Italian twist,” he adds. “Simple barrettes work well with hair that is soft curled. A great pair of earrings alone can also accent a curly mane as well.”

And speaking of curly manes, to give our spiral sisters the means to expand their strands, Tosca Style’s international artistic director Luc Vincent suggests the following: always dry hair with a towel to take out the maximum water because that will make sure not to dilute any product you put in your hair so you’ll get the maximum of its performance. “You can begin your holiday style by saturating the hair with a product such as Tosca Curl Bouncing Serum,” he says. “Just comb it through to get a soft curl and then start to blow dry with diffuser nozzle. Begin with maximum blow and heat, and after the hair is half dry, put the blow dryer at medium air and keep the heat at the maximum while you start to control your curls with your hands. After your blow dry is done and your hair is still warm, put your head down and take off the diffuser. Then blow dry your hair with cool air to fix the volume. When you’re done, put a drop of bouncing serum in your hands to define your curls and viola!”

Now if you’re not naturally blessed with bounce or you are and you just want to play it straight this season, here’s two insider tips, reprinted courtesy of Graham Webb International and created by their national artistic trainer Diego Raviglione with the Halo Volumizing Collection (my favorite!):

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Image courtesy Halo/Graham Webb

For Straight Strands: While hair is damp, apply a generous amount of Halo Root Lift Spray directly to the roots to the first three inches from the scalp. Apply Halo Bodifying Gel throughout the rest of the hair. Lifting the hair off the scalp, blow dry hair full using a round brush to achieve volume and finish ends by pulling through a flat iron. Set the Style with Halo Firm Hold Hairspray.

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Image courtesy Halo/Graham Webb

For Curly Cues: Distribute a generous amount of Halo Bodifying Gel throughout damp hair and set in small rollers. Set under a dryer and allow to dry completely. Brush the set out, lift section by section and spray with Halo Firm Hold Hairspray.

Last but not least, if you want shine in the spotlight at every soiree you attend (no matter what your holiday hairstyle), celeb stylist Yves Durif tells us that glitter is good this season. The renowned mane maven, whose East Side salon always experiences a holiday rush for good hair, is enhancing his clients’ styles with a little bit of fabulously festive party iridescence. By applying gel and glitter to certain areas of his creations he is taking classic styles for the season, such as chignons, updos, and French twists to a whole new, illuminating level. It’s an easy trick that you can do at home to create lustrous lock looks for all your special occasions. Have a beautiful holiday!

*Credit information:
Model: Nadia Kazakova
Photographer: Giuliano Bekor
Makeup: Dorit Genazzani
Hair Stylist: Diego Raviglione

Originally published December 2006
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