Ask Avery: Hair for the holidays
blog by Avery Hartmans • December 14, 2012 @ 8:36am
I’ll be attending a few fancy parties this holiday season and I need appropriately fancy hair to match. I’m kind of sick of my usual hairstyle (long and straight) and want to jazz things up. Any thoughts?
Asking me if I have thoughts about pretty hair is like asking Bills fans if they enjoy tailgating. The answer is the same: Duh.
Lucky for me and fellow pretty hair enthusiasts, the holidays are an excellent time to test out all those styles we’ve been posting on Pinterest throughout 2012. Yes, friends: it’s time to go through and actually analyze what we’ve been pinning all year. It also might also be time to admit to ourselves that achieving the luster and curl circumference of a Victoria’s Secret Angel is not in anyone’s capability or DNA. Normal humans just don’t have hair that shiny and bouncy.
But you don’t need Brazilian supermodel DNA to achieve pretty holiday hair. All you need is a lot of patience, bobby pins and hairspray and you too could become the next Pinterest sensation.
Option one: The ladylike power pony
I know this style may be blowing your mind right now. After all, how could a power ponytail ever look soft and feminine? They’re usually reserved for high-intensity tennis matches or futuristic movies about super-babe super-villains. But the power pony has never looked so feminine, especially with the right outfit — I’m thinking your softest sweater paired with a sparkly mini or skinny pants and flats.
To achieve this look, pull hair back into a loose pony at the back of the head, twisting some pieces back and leaving loose tendrils near the face. Next, braid the pony into either a regular braid or a fishtail braid and secure with an elastic. Gently pull apart the braid so it’s not Anna Kournikova-tight and wrap a piece at the end around the elastic so it looks even more “done.” Bonus points for adding flowers, pearls or rhinestones into the braid. That’s ambitious.
Image courtesy of browndresswithwhitedots.tumblr.com
Option two: The retro waves
This is your chance to finally look like Jessica Rabbit. All you need is a show-stopping red dress, totally inappropriate cleavage, a hip-high slit in your dress and loose, side-swept waves. And if you really want to take this persona to the next level, dye your locks red for the occasion. Hey, everyone love gingers, right?
To get the look, hot rollers might be your best option. Large-barrel hot rollers will produce tight, consistent curls without the tedious work of a curling iron. Part your hair more deeply to the side than usual, then put the rollers in and keep them in until cool. When you take them out, your hair will be alarmingly bouncy, but not to fear: gently brush out the curls closer to your crown, but don’t touch the ends so they keep their curl. Next, use a smoothing or shine serum to tame any frizz and flyaways and make your locks look extra luscious. And to achieve that deep side-parted look, pull the front section of the lighter side of the part into a braid and pin it up underneath the rest of your hair. Congratulations, you’re Jessica Rabbit.
Image courtesy of Diamond & All the precious Rocks
Option three: The boho Bardot
In my expert opinion, there’s nothing sexier than a Brigitte Bardot bouffant — it’s flirty, expertly deconstructed and effortless chic. But instead of opting for the classic bouffant, make it look a little more current and a lot sassier by adding a fishtail braided headband. This one is a lot easier than it looks and you may even get to use that Bump It you purchased in a moment of Snooki-influenced weakness.
For your very own boho bouffant, start by spritzing hair with a texturizing spray or your regular hairspray. Hair needs to be pliable and thick in this situation — slippery hair will just fall out and frustrate you. Part hair slightly off center and gather the hair at the crown of the head and either tease it up or throw on your Bump It. Once hair has a little volume, gather it low on the back of the head and secure with bobby pins.
Next comes the braid. Grab a thick section right behind your ear — the further back the better to ensure it stays hidden — then braid it fairly tightly into a fishtail and secure with an elastic. Place it across your head a few inches back from your forehead, right at the base of the bouffant, and secure it behind the other ear with a few bobby pins. Pull out a few tendrils to frame your face and voila!
Image courtesy of The Little Magpie
Option four: The hair bow
This hairstyle may have outsmarted the best of us for a month or two, but I think it’s time we master it, and just in time for the holidays. Nothing could be cuter than a festive bow — and out of your very own hair. As creepy as that may sound, it’s actually adorable and those with hair long enough should give it a try. If everyone from the Harajuku Girls to Lily van der Woodsen is rocking the hair bow, it must be cool.
To wrap yourself up like a present, all it takes is a hair elastic and approximately three bobby pins. Start by pulling hair half up and wrapping the elastic tightly around, stopping short of pulling the hair all the way through so you now have a looped bun a la Gabby Douglas. Next, separate the loop into two equal sections, creating the two loops of the bow. The ends of the hair that were not pulled through the elastic should then be pulled tightly in between the two loops and secured with the bobby pins to put the finishing touch on your bow. If it feels too loose or isn’t staying tight to your head, feel free to strategically place a few more bobby pins for an added level of security. Now that your hair bow is complete, you better be in the holiday spirit.
Image courtesy of Pinterest