When you’ve got cocktails, parties and dinners filling up your social calendar this holiday season, you definitely need to have several simple hair styles in your beauty repertoire. Each of these looks can come together quickly and are manageable enough for those of us challenged in the blow-drying department. All it takes is the right tools, products and a little bit of know-how.

Party hair styles: Sleek blowout


A smooth blowout is a great look on its own, plus it’s a great foundation for several other simple hair styles you can do for the holidays, says Brian Phillips, owner of World Salon in Toronto. The key to a great blowout? A ceramic styling brush, he says. “The short bristles don’t tangle hair and the holes in the ceramic barrel mean hair dries twice as fast. Plus the ceramic also removes the positive ions from hair, which means less static and an airier, bouncier blowout.

To protect your hair from the heat, use a light leave-in moisturizer (Try WorldProtect or LaCoupe Orgnx Brazilian Blowstyling Cream) and dry upside down until your hair is 80 percent dry. “Then break the hair into four sections and with high heat and lots of tension, blow out until nice and straight,” he says.

Party hair styles: High ponytail


Show off the neckline of your
cocktail dress with a high ponytail. Start with a sleek blowout (see above) so your hair will be smooth and with fewer flyaways. By using a lotion or cream to style your hair (try Structure Shape Texture Creme), something with a lower pH, you’ll close the cuticle and have less static, too. To do the ponytail, take two bobby pins and loop them onto a covered elastic. (Never use a regular rubber band, “Your hair will start breaking immediately!” says Phillips). Flip your head upside down and brush neatly to the top of the head. Take one of the bobby pins and secure it at the base of the ponytail, and then loop the elastic tightly around the ponytail. “The second bobby pin goes in underneath the elastic and presto you have a beautiful tight ponytail—and a facelift!” he says. By using the two bobby pins with the elastic rather than using the elastic itself in the conventional way will give you a tighter and more secure ponytail.

More chic hair styles for holiday parties on the next page…

Party hair styles: Classic bun

Spray some hairspray into your hair to give it some texture (and tease if you want a looser, more messy bun) and then follow the instruction for a high ponytail (above). “Then twist the hair into a ball on the top of the head and secure with bobby pins,” says Phillips. Have layers in your hair? If you do and you want a cleaner bun, Phillips swears that a clear hairnet will hold things into place and no one will know but you. Just secure the hairnet with bobby pins at the base.

Party hair styles: Messy updo


For a pretty but casual, laissez-faire type of style that’ll sweep your hair up and off your face and neck, work some moisturizer product through your hair and then separate your hair into two sections across the occipital bone, from ear to ear. With the front half of the hair twist down into place and bobby pin to your head, and repeat for the back half section. This style works best on hair that is at least chin length—you can do it with shorter hair but you’ll just need to use more bobby pins and hairspray.

Party hair styles: Loose, knotted updo


For a modern look that’s simple but a little different from your everyday look, make a ponytail at the base of your neck and separate the ponytail into four sections. Take each section and roll it onto your finger and then pin at the base. Push the knotted pieces towards the head to loosen and add more volume to your hair on your head that’s secured into the elastic. Repeat until you have four neat knots at the nape of the neck. “Pull out pieces to soften the look,” says Phillips, “and use a pomade to style this look.” A pomade will provide the shine and slipperiness you need to help create this look.

Read more:
Great holiday hair and beauty tips!
The best holiday hair looks
Amazing party beauty looks