Whether you’re playing host and practicing your napkin-folded-like-a-turkey techniques or showing up with the green bean casserole and an appetite to a Friendsgiving, hair is probably the last thing on your mind when it comes to the holidays. Sure, your cranberry-red sweater dress might’ve gotten a trip to the dry cleaners. But, much like defrosting the bird, it’s better not to leave planning your updo till the last minute. And even though we can’t find an excuse for you to get out of wearing that leaf-patterned turtleneck your grandma knit you, these five hairstyles are swooping in to make your holiday gussying-up a whole lot simpler (and maybe even head-turning).
Pass the Bobby Pins, Please
A messy bun or ponytail may not be as traditional as, say, yams topped with marshmallows, but the effect is equally sweet and satisfying. What you’ll need: A hair tie, a light hold spray or salt spray, and a bunch of bobby pins. Start by applying an even layer of mist to your hair and then let it set slightly. With a wide-toothed comb, gently tease your hair close to the scalp. For a ponytail, gather your hair at the nape of your neck and add the tie to secure it. Carefully tug the tie back a little to release the hair closest to your head (you can even pull out a few strands for extra dramatic effect here). Add pins to keep loose pieces in place. For the bun, follow the first step of the ponytail, then twist the excess hair into a coil around the tie, securing it with pins. Loosen the hair around your head and add another coat of spray.
It’s All Gravy
You say “loose” we say “waves''. You can’t go wrong with soft, unfussy curls for all your holiday gatherings this year. What you’ll need: a curling iron and light hold spray or salt spray. Curl your hair in larger chunks (preferably with a barrel bigger than 1” around) until a coil forms. Gently release and repeat with remaining hair. Add a little spray then wait for it to dry. When you’re ready to head to the party, rake your fingers through your hair to loosen the curls into billowing waves, then add another spritz or two of spray for good measure.
Save Room for Seconds
The best part about French braids? They look good the second day, too. We won’t teach you all the ins and outs of braiding (although there’s a handy tutorial here), but we will say, for all you gals with finer hair, a little volumizing dry shampoo can do wonders when sprayed at the roots before you go to town. You can even tease out your braids after you’ve secured them with a tie for a little extra flair.
Dish Up the Class
We’ll end the “should I put my hair up or down?” debate right now by saying “both.” A timeless look that your grandma probably rocked, the half-up style takes minutes to pull off and will stay sleek long after dessert’s been served. What you’ll need: A light hold spray and two barrettes. Brush out clean hair, then add a light mist, dividing two sections on each side of your head with even amounts of hair. Take each section and gently twist it, securing it in an upwards sweep with the barrette.
Just a Dollop
You knew this was coming, right? When all else fails, or if you’re running out the door with a still-warm pie in tow, all you need for a bang-up top knot is a hair tie and confidence. If you’ve got extra time, you can tease out some strands or add a little texture with salt spray.