By Leah Fletcher
You have the dress, the shoes, the accessories and the makeup selected for your upcoming New Year’s Eve party. Now, you just need the perfect hairstyle to complete your look.
Holiday celebrations are upon us and the most important “hair night” of the year is just days away. The reference is about New Year’s Eve, the one night per year when everybody gets dressed up in their best clothes so they can look their best for all the world to see.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the week leading up to New Year’s is one of the busiest weeks at most hair salons. “That’s because so many people want to get in so they can have their hairstyle ready to go for New Year’s Eve,” according to Philadelphia stylist Darren Alston.
“Make sure you have already scheduled your hair appointment or act quickly if you have not so that you can be assured a seat in your favorite salon,” said Alston.
This New Year’s Eve, do something special that will make you stand out from the crowd. Following are a few of Alston’s suggestions that may cause your friends, family, and other party guests to do a double take.
Big and Bold
The unadorned neckline of your dress may create the ideal canvass for decorating your party look. Pump up the natural texture of your hair, then consider wearing a statement necklace.
How to: Wash naturally curly hair with hydrating shampoo and conditioner. This will help prevent frizz, said Alston, the creative director of Hairstyles to Go, a mobile salon. Let the hair air-dry, then wind one-inch-wide sections around a small-barrel curling iron in a random fashion all over the head. Some sections should look carefully curled, others more incomplete. Treat the ends with a bit of anti-frizz serum.
Paired with a strappy dress and dangling earrings, a loosely tousled French twist has that devil-may-care allure. And there’s no pressure to be perfect: The less done it looks, the more captivating it becomes. How-to create: Prep with texturizing spray or gel to give it body, said Alston. Then, for a tousled look, blow-dry hair using fingers rather than a brush. How-to create: Gather hair at the nape and twist upward. Use bobby pins sparingly to anchor hair to the scalp loosely. This style works on any hair texture.
Casual but Classic
A short, uneven crop takes an exquisite turn when you smooth it back and add a pair of striking but simple earrings. The effect is especially chic against a bare neckline. How-to create: Don’t assume that you have to abandon the look of an updo just because you have short hair. You can achieve the same result by simply slicking hair back into a pretty shape. You’ll need “all the hold you can get,” said Alston, to ensure that small pieces don’t stick out. To start, spritz dry hair with a light styling spray or use a light styling gel to give it strength and malleability. Once the spray dries, tease the crown area, then smooth hair gently back and fold it into place with a paddle brush. Finish with heavy-duty hair spray. If using styling gel, brush the hair close to the head or fluff it with fingers to give the hair an edgy or spiked look.
Gorgeous, bouncy waves or thin kinky twists that skim the shoulders are just as show stopping as a dressy updo and can be achieved with little work. How-to create: Begin by blow-drying naturally curly or wavy damp hair with a paddle brush. For curly/kinky hair, twist, braid or curl the hair to achieve the effect. In the last few minutes of drying, switch to a comb to pull out any snarls. For natural hair, undo braids or twists and style by separating the hair for a smooth, but not overly straightened finish.
A short hairstyle looks very sleek when pulled back to reveal the nape of the neck with ears drenched in crystals. A deep V-neck dress balances the length of the earrings. How-to create: Comb slightly damp hair or hair lightly saturated with hair gel back toward the nape while blow-drying it with hot air to make it extra sleek. Hold the sides back with bobby pins, and mist the ends with hair spray for separation. This style works with all textures of hair.
Consider a faux bob. Some may think you have chopped off your long locks when you pull your hair into this arresting style. It really makes large opaque danglers and a chunky chain—on a minimalist dress—pop. How-to create: The faux bob may be created by manipulating varying hair textures—straight, wavy, loose curls or kinky. Part the hair in the middle and gather it into a low ponytail with the elastic binding it an inch from the ends. Roll the hair under and secure it loosely to the nape with hairpins.