Whether you have short hair, long hair, afro hair or fine hair, find your perfect party hairstyle with one of these pro how-tos
Looking for some hairstyle inspiration for a big night out? Then look no further than these expert how-to tutorials from the people in-the-know.
Whether you’re looking for updos or short hairstyles, hairstyles for long hair or a way to escape a hairdo rut, we asked 6 in-demand hair stylists for their top tips and product recommendations when it comes to giving your locks a day to night makeover. Are you more a Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston, Solange, Diane Kruger, Anne Hathaway or Charlize Theron? Whatever your hair type, these red-carpet approved looks will provide all the encouragement you need to step out of your comfort zones for good.
Craig Taylor , Creative Director at Hari’s reveals his top party tips for fine hair types...
“I chose Charlize Theron's hair from the 2004 Oscars Ceremony because it hits the modern note of classic style. Finger waves are hard to achieve at the best of times, so to give the style a modern edge by making waves softer and giving the hair a looser feel and not contrived and stuck with hairspray, was a well-executed success.
"Charlize Theron is a perfect role model for fine hair and it always appears she sticks to certain rules that always mean her hair, however she wears it, is a guaranteed hit. Look at any of her campaigns for Dior's J'Adore fragrance.”
“Charlize never seems to allow her hair to be too long which is a golden rule of having fine hair and having a good amount of colour means the hairs are more swollen, often giving a more coarse texture than virgin hair. This makes the hair an easier, more malleable material to work with.”
Step 1: “Key products for me in achieving this look would need to be good prep products such as a good mousse like L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Boost & Gloss , £3.69 (not too sticky or heavy). Depending on how fine the hair is, I might double mousse it by rough-drying the hair applying mousse, rough-drying again and repeating the process.”
Step 2: “In between or after, I would apply a mist of dry shampoo like Batiste Coloured Dry Shampoo for Blondes , £3.99. This together would give the hair a good base to start styling. Blow-drying the hair first to create smoothness and to give a luxury shine, I would then start tonging with Cloud Nine Original Wand , £119.95 keeping roots flat and waving the hair loosely in the desired direction.”
Step 3: “Brushing through after tonging is completed and brushing the waves into place, I would clamp the waves with long clips placing tissue in between the clip and hair to prevent marking the hair. Spray with a good light hairspray - I always use L'Oréal Elnett Supreme Hold , £6.60 and leave for as long as you have before removing the clips. Brush through thoroughly, then use your fingers to fix in a less perfect way to keep it modern.”
“For a more SS15 look, try a slightly wet or dual texture effect by spraying Bumble and Bumble Shine On Finishing Spray , £10 lightly over the top section of hair and tuck one side behind the ear to give the hair a cool edge.”
Ethereal hair updos
Hair stylist Anna Cofone, the expert hands behind Lana Del Rey’s Hollywood glamour looks, reveals her idea of party hair heaven…
The hair how-to
“What I love about this style is how effortless and natural it looks. It’s so achievable for women who want to have a red carpet worthy look without looking too over-styled.”
Step 1: “To recreate Jennifer Lawrence’s style, it’s always best for hair to be 1-2 days old. Use fingers to put in a natural middle parting and apply dry shampoo to add texture to roots and create a light wispy effect.”
Step 2: “Next, put hair into a low ponytail leaving out strands around the face.”
Step 3: “The ponytail can then either be wrapped round into a chignon, securing it in with pins or plaited first and then wrapped round.”
Step 4: “Finish by pulling out a few more strands to give it that really natural undone look.”
“ Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray , £39 is absolutely brilliant for creating this kind of texture; it's better than a dry shampoo as it has that hold.”
Looking for short hairstyle inspiration? George Northwood , the man behind Anne Hathaway’s, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s and Alexa Chung’s hair reveals his top tips...
The hair how-to
“Short hair can be a challenge to look party ready. There are a few alternatives that you can do and most of it will be down to using product to either create high shine or texture.”
Step 1: “Anne Hathaway is a great example of how short hair can look luxe. With this look I wanted to ensure the right balance between texture and gloss. To get the look, I prepped the hair with Redken Pillow Proof Primer , £15.80 and then rough -dried the hair.”
Step 2: “I then tonged the hair with a 1.2 inch tong. When you tong, ensure that you wind the tong in the same direction for each section of hair.”
Step 3: “Once finished working around the hair, spray with Redken Diamond Oil Shine Spray , £10.85 for shine and hold and then with a smoothing brush like a Mason Pearson, (020 7491 2613), brush the tonged hair out for a looser effect.”
Step 4: “Finish with a touch of medium hold, invisible hairspray like Redken Fashion Work , £13.25.”
“If you have a bob, simply use Redken Quick Tease , £11.85 (it’s like backcombing in a bottle) and prep the crown with this to give height. Then to dry hair, apply a heavy spritz of Redken Diamond Oil Shine Spray , £10.85 and simply scoop the hair into a very low ponytail and wrap with a black ribbon. This is a quick and easy to do chic option.”
Current British Hairdressing Awards, Afro Hairdresser of the Year 2014 Charlotte Mensah of Hair Lounge, London, who has worked with the likes of Beverley Knight, Janelle Monae, Shingai Shoniwa, Lorraine Pascale and Eve, reveals her favourite party hair look...
The hair how-to
Step 2: “Apply a generous amount of MIZANI True Textures Moisture Stretch Curl Extending Cream , £12.90 and part the hair into four hot cross bun sections.”
Step 3: “Starting at the back section, create a horizontal parting from right to left. Use a butterfly clip to separate the larger portion of hair from the parted section.”
Step 4: “Apply a dab of MIZANI True Textures Moisture Stretch Curl Extending Cream to each section as you proceed to twist the hair, then split the parted section into two. Holding each section in both hands, cross one section over the other to create a double strand twist, continue this process over the entire head until you finish.”
Step 5: “Blowdry with a diffuser for 20 minutes once the hair is completely dry, then untwist each twist one by one.”
Step 6: “Apply a fifty pence size of Aveda Brilliant Emollient Finishing Gloss , £23.50 to the palm of your hand and then sweep your hand over the head in a back and forth motion. Using an Afro pick, place at the base of the hair and gently lift for more volume.”
1) “Steam treat hair every fortnight - steam treatments allows water and conditioner to deeply penetrate the hair shaft, leaving it soft and manageable.”
2) “Regular trims - trim every four to six weeks to maintain your style and keep it healthy.”
3) “Avoid frizz - by using oils and creams to penetrate into the hair giving it nutrients and moisture. The oil lies on top and protects the hair from the harsh elements of the day.”
4) “Cover at night - cover hair with a silk scarf before bedtime to help your hair stay put and protect it from friction and breakage that can result from sleeping on a cotton pillowcase.”
Edgy hair updos
Hair stylist and expert Emily Kent gives us her how-to for giving your updo a work to play upheaval...
The hair how-to
“I love this super casual updo and it’s really easy to achieve on your own hair.”
Step 1: “The best tip I have for people attempting updos on their own hair is to use root powder before they start anything. This means the hair will be so much easier to handle, and therefore you are likely to do a better job. Especially with this hairstyle, there is no structure to it - it’s more a case of positioning the hair how you like it and pinning it up. My favourite is Bumble and Bumble Prêt-a-Powder , £21.50. It’s super fine and gives amazing hold and texture directly at the root. Lifting the hair in sections, away from the scalp, shake the powder in and rough the hair up with your fingers. Do this across the whole head.”
Step 2: “The relaxed feel to the style is largely down to the flipped fringe section. A good way to make this look as effortless as possible is to throw all your hair forward, divide it whilst your head is upside down and then when you stand up straight again, you will have lots of volume. This is where the root powder plays an essential part.
“The heaviest side of the hair flip needs to have a soft bend added to it. The best and largest tong I use for this kind of look is the T3 Body Waver , £125. The barrel is massive so it gives a subtle kink rather than a tight curl. Put the barrel underneath the section with the clamp on top and curl away from the face - that is the golden rule. Curling the hair away from the face gives the right shape to it. Once you have done that, it’s important to pin the section up, positioned in the curl to allow time to cool. I think it’s a good idea to always have sectioning clips , £3.59 for straightening, curling etc. Dividing the hair up to work on it in stages means it’s much easier to handle. Spray it with hairspray at this stage as well to encourage longevity.”
Step 3: “To style the rest of the hair, there are a couple of options, but I think a messy chignon would work well to link the front and the back. Tie all the remaining hair in a low ponytail and tie the band quite tightly. Once it’s in, begin to pull bits of the hair around the back of the head upwards, so it adds body and a messy feel. The root powder will mean the hair has a lot of body already so the reason for doing this is just to add extra texture.”
Step 4: “Twist the ponytail around so it starts to make a bun shape, and use hair pins to secure it against the flat of the head at 2cm intervals. Make sure the end is secured really tightly. Once it feels really tight and sturdy, rubbing the hair between the fingers will encourage more texture and encourage the underdone feel you want to achieve.”
Step 5: “Drop the curl down from the clip. Don't brush the hair; it just needs to be separated with the fingers to loosen the stiffness.”
Step 6: “Spray the whole style with hairspray and you are done. My favourite hairspray is from Healthy Sexy Hair , £14.40 - great hold and less damaging than most on the market.”
Andrew John , Colour Director at Percy & Reed reveals his straight hair tip-offs...
“Jennifer Aniston would be my celebrity inspiration for straight party hair - the classic glossy look works well with any party dress and is appropriate for any occasion.”
The hair how-to
“Use an anti-static hairdryer - ghd , £99 - to smooth down the hair and control the frizz. Then use Percy & Reed Wonderbalm , £18; this is great to block out the humidity. Style with ghd Eclipse straighteners , £145 to get the sleek straight glossy look.”
“Finish off with Percy & Reed Reassuringly Firm Session Hold Hairspray , £12 to the seal the hair rather than a serum. Use a good quality dryer and always prime the hair before drying.”