Maybe you're not the best when it comes to crafting an updo (who is?) or perhaps you've been burned (literally) one too many times by a curling wand, so finding the perfect holiday hairstyles for long hair can seem a little daunting. But there is hope, thanks to celebrity hairstylists that are coming to the rescue with actually easy-to-achieve looks.
Bustle reached out to experts like TRESemmé Global Stylist Justine Marjan (who works with the Kardashians, BTW), Jenna Marie Shafer, lead pro educator for amika, and Larry Sims, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union (just to name a few) to get their tips on crafting easy updos for long hair. And they delivered: The pros spilled how to nail festive 'dos, ranging from messy buns to romantic curls and a whole lot more. So if you've been stumped on what to do with your lengths during that Zoom office party, here are some easy hairstyles for long hair that'll have everyone thinking you're a styling wiz.
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1. Long-Lasting Curls
Those with long, straight hair know that getting curls to stay in place throughout a holiday event can be quite a challenge. While it's easy to get those waves, it's making them stay for more than an hour before going flat that's the hard part. But Jessica Shakir, professional hairstylist for NuMe, has a few tricks for nailing this easy hairstyle for long hair.
"My long-haired clients are always asking me how they can get their texture and waves to hold when their hair is so heavy," she tells Bustle. "I always remind them the importance of prepping your hair with the right products and making time in the process to set their hair — both are essential."
To get your curls to last throughout the night, Shakir says to use a curling wand to twist small sections at a time — but instead of letting them completely drop, let the curl fall into your hand, then, using a bobby pin, pin the section to your head. Pro tip: For a messier, more undone look, leave a bit of your hair out of the pins for beachier waves. Once your whole head is curled and pinned, use your blow dryer's cool setting over your hair. Wait 15-20 minutes before unpinning your hair, then set it and enjoy that volume all night long.
2. Sleek Pony
Sims opts for a classic as a holiday look: the sleek pony. "The placement is perfect and its sleekness is great, especially when you have to consider placing your [face] mask on and off," he tells Bustle. "It can be dressed up and down based on your holiday look."
The best part? It's super simple and works on all hair types. "Using a brush, gather the hair and position the it at the occipital bone," he says. "Secure the hair with a hooked hair tie. Use an edge brush and the new Flawless By Gabrielle Union Repairing Edge Control to create the desired finished look on your hairline." And that's it — you've got a sleek, sophisticated, and practical holiday updo.
3. Modern Embellishments
Ulta Beauty pro team member and hair expert Danielle Keasling has created a look that works for all hair types, and uses bobby pins in a totally new way. For this festive style, Keasling first uses a thermal spray to protect her locks before using a curling iron to get loose, waves on the bottom section of her hair. Then, she switches to a flat iron to smooth the top portions. For these sections, she leaves her roots straight and adds a loose, beachy wave. When her waves are done, she takes bobby pins to create a face-framing crown for a modern embellishment. You can also do this look with short hair, and, for those with natural curls, you could simply smooth down the hair at the front of your head before using a styling cream and then applying the pins.
3. Old Hollywood Side Part
Marjan recommends old Hollywood waves for an easy holiday hairstyle for long hair. "I love this style for the holidays because it’s classic, gives a touch of glamour, and it's timeless," she tells Bustle.
To get the look, Marjan recommends washing your hair for a healthy foundation. Then, blow-dry your hair in the opposite direction from the side you intend to style, working mousse throughout. Next, prep your lengths with hairspray and brush it through. Then part your hair to the side and use a curling iron to create soft waves toward the face. Once heated, remove the hair from the iron and pin it in place to cool. When your entire head is done, spray it with hairspray and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Finally, remove the pins and brush out the curls to create a soft wave and tuck or pin one side behind the ear.
4. Brigitte Bardot-Inspired Updo
Shafer recommends a Brigitte Bardot-inspired updo for the holidays. "With the right products, you can transform your hair into holiday glam in just a few minutes," she tells Bustle. You'll ideally need lengths past your shoulders so that there's plenty to pile on top. "The key is to build loads of volume and texture into the hair for those effortlessly sexy vibes," she says.
Start by applying a texture spray all over dry hair. Next, take a small section from the top of the hairline for face framing. Then, use a hybrid light-hold hairspray and heat protectant on the section before using a curling iron to twist the piece away from the face. Pin it in place for later.
While that cools, gather the rest of your hair into the back and pull it into a French twist, leaving out a few ends on the top of the head. Secure the twist with bobby pins, then spray the left-out ends with hairspray and curl them all with your wand. Once done, let down the face-framing piece from earlier and brush it for a soft finish. Finally, add more texture with a volumizing powder or spray all over the hair and use your fingers to craft curls into place, securing them with bobby pins.
5. Classic Bow
"This season is all about using accessories and statement pieces to elevate your look," says Nine Zero One stylist Katie Cartwright. Her fave hairstyle for the holiday season? The classic bow (the bigger, the better). To get the look, either begin with a blowout or use a curling iron for long, ribboned curls. Then she recommends using your hands or a boar bristle brush to smooth the top section of your hair into a half ponytail and secure with an elastic. Choose a holiday ribbon and tie a bow around your half ponytail, and voila. Pro tip: If your bow tying skills aren't the best, Cartwright says you can buy a barrette with a pre-tied bow attached. Secure it all with a hairspray.
6. Smooth Bun
According to Nine Zero One stylist Emily Cable, one perfect holiday hairstyle for long hair is the sleek, ultra-smooth bun — a look that you'll often find Hailey Bieber and Kourtney Kardashian rocking. To do it yourself, she recommends parting your hair in the middle and then pulling it back to your desired level of where you want the bun to be. Wrap it with a ponytail, then twist it to create a bun. Use bobby pins to secure it in place, then add some flexible gel — like R+Co's Motorcyle In Common Magic Myst — to get an extra-sleek finish.
7. Messy Fringe Pony
Cable also loves a messy pony with face-framing fringe as a festive 'do for those with longer lengths. Her tip is to begin with freshly washed hair. "Towel dry your hair and add in a styling mist, then blow dry using a round brush to create volume at the root and add curl to the ends," she tells Bustle. Secure it into a pony with an elastic in your desired spot, then pull front fringe pieces out to frame the face. If you want, she suggests adding a scrunchie on top of your elastic for a messier vibe. Spritz in a texture spray or serum and you're good to go.