5:55 AM / Sunday September 27, 2020

23 Nov 2016

Holiday hairstyles for many African-American women will be inspired by iconic celebrities

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November 23, 2016 Category: Beauty Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Lupita Nyong’o  (Photo: Magicinfoto / shutterstock)

By Leah Fletcher

The approaching holidays and their accompanying activities don’t leave much time for trips to the beauty salon. Put more simply, most women just don’t have time to spend hours in the salon during the holiday season.

It is difficult to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and that the end of 2016 is rapidly approaching, bringing with it a whirlwind of holiday office parties, dinners, galas, formals, social events and memorable times with loved ones. 

When it is time for those important holiday gatherings, stylist Lisa Cantrell contends that many African-American women will find themselves donning celebrity-inspired hairstyles that are party-appropriate and easily mastered.

“Today’s busy women are looking for hairstyles that take little time and effort but work for any holiday occasion,” noted Cantrell, who encourages all women to have one go-to holiday hairstyle in their reserve.

Don’t worry.  If you don’t have a signature holiday style, Cantrell suggests adopting simple celebrity-inspired styles, that will turn heads at your next holiday get together. Following are a few of the hairstyles, worn by popular celebrities, which vary in length, texture, color and design. According to Cantrell, the styles are easy to achieve and are perfect for great-looking tresses that don’t detract from a fabulous outfit or dazzling accessories.

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe (Photo: s_bukley / shutterstock)

Janelle Monáe’s Pompadour Inspirers

If you wear your hair natural and feel like channeling Janelle Monáe this holiday season, consider styling your hair into her sleek and classy pompadour. You can achieve the look with lots of bobby pins, a dual-sided brush, and some gel. Monáe is also known for wearing a signature tuxedo wardrobe, one she often refers to as a “standard uniform that is so classy”. The award-winning singer and business woman often views herself as a canvas.  This holiday, consider a pompadour as you endeavor to complete your fashion canvass for the holiday season.   

Taraji P. Henson’s Topknot is Trendsetting

Who doesn’t want to be a trendsetter at a holiday affair?  So, it’s not unusual to look for a hairstyle or outfit that will set you apart. In your search for something different, the topknot style worn by Taraji P. Henson, the iconic star of the Empire TV series, may be the different look you are seeking. A full topknot can be adorned with cornrowed sides or big, loose waves, making this style just right for the woman who doesn’t mind spending a little more time on her hair. The extra effort is one sure way to be the most unique individual at the soiree and perhaps be mistaken for the unmistakable “Cookie Lyon”.

Jill Scott’s Versatile Natural Hair

When the songstress Jill Scott made her appearance on the entertainment scene, she was always admired for the varying natural hairstyles she adorned. She wore braids, cornrows, twist outs and at times she let her tresses flow free. Any of those natural styles with one well-placed accessory will make them a great holiday party choice.

Lupita Nyong’o‘s Fancy Bun


Lupita Nyong’o is known for proudly sporting her natural hair texture on and off the red carpet. One of the award-winning actress’s festive hairstyles features a high, full bun. Instead of straightening your natural, it is a great way to embrace its texture.  The hair is smoothed, but not heat-styled in a sleek fashion, so it still retains a naturally beautiful look. The bun can be adorned with decorative ribbons, woven with silver or gold threads.    

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah (Photo: s_bukley / shutterstock)

Queen Latifah’s High Ponytail: Simple but Elegant 

The high ponytail is considered by many as a holiday hairstyle favorite. If you want to replicate Queen Latifah’s much-touted style, the look is the easiest to achieve. Like the singer, actress and former talk-show host, just pull all of your straightened hair up to the crown, secure and allow lengths to cascade to one side. If your hair isn’t as long, ponytail extensions are perfect for pulling this off. Wrap a small section of loose hair around the base of the ponytail or put some sparkling accessories there instead.   If you decide to add extensions, you can jazz up this style with a slightly different color ponytail that gently contrasts with your natural hair color. This style can work for natural hair as well.

Jennifer Hudson gives short tresses meaning

For short hair types, Jennifer Hudson wears short hair well. And the singer’s selected styles may be transformed from a daytime look into a glamourous evening style. All that is needed to do the trick are a unique hair accessory such as a flower or jeweled barrette. Don’t forget to use a good holding product to keep your hair in place. You also can select from an array of wigs that can provide tapered backs, side swept bangs or well-paced curls.

Viola Davis Lets Wigs do the Job

It is no secret that actress Viola Davis  is a fan of wigs for creating quick looks that leave her natural hair undamaged. You can follow her lead and slip into your favorite wig. If you don’t have one, think about securing one that is similar to your own hairstyle. Adorn it with accessories like a flower or a fashionable barrette. Now you are ready for the party!

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj (Photo: s_bukley / shutterstock)

Nicki Minaj for Straight and Sleek

If straight and sleek is more your taste, consider duplicating Nicki Minaj’s ultra-simple look. The rapper, singer and writer’s style includes blunt cut bangs and plenty of length, not to mention color…lots of color. Of late, her hair color is close to traditional blacks and browns. However her straight style, with a flat iron or large rollers can be transformed into a traditional pageboys or flowing curls for a holiday festivity.

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