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Gorgeous Going Out (Or Staying In) Hair

by November 08, 2021

Woman with brown hair and low bun updo

Image by Madison Reed

Bring on beautiful holiday hairstyles—the holidays are just around the corner and we’ve got parties to prep for. Whether you’ll be attending on Zoom in your comfy joggers, going all out with Rent the Runway and all the jewelry you own, or some combination of the two—we’ve got you covered with the best holiday hair looks out there. From braids to buns, get your party hairstyles and updos on with simple, step-by-step hair tutorials for our best holiday party hairstyles, updos, and on-trend holiday hair looks. Going out (or staying in) hairstyles never looked so good.

The holidays are the perfect excuse to throw on a little sparkle and try something new with your updo. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a few easy-peasy ways to celebrate with your hair and hairstyles front and center—even a Netflix-and-chill holiday movie party deserves a little updo action (that doesn’t require much work). Cute hairstyles AND easy hairstyles? Yes, it can be done!

We LOVE going out hairstyles for the holiday season—whether you’re styling your hair in a low ponytail or high pony, piecey bun or neat ballerina bun, opting for roaring twenties-esque Hollywood wave, trying a side-swept look with a severe part, bringing back your favorite club hairstyle from the “before times,” rocking your natural hair, wearing your hair curly, braided, using clip-in extensions, keeping it simple, going intricate, whether you have long hair or short hair...basically, your holiday party hairstyle options are endless. We’ve kept it relatively simple with the hairstyle tutorials we’ve included below, so it shouldn’t be too time-consuming for you to try these holiday hair trends for an evening out (or on the couch). Add a glass of bubbly and your favorite holiday playlist and you’ve got yourself a party.

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How to make your own holiday party updo

Updos don’t have to be overdone. Although it can be nice to spend time getting pampered in the salon chair, you can certainly pull off a beautiful look on your own, in front of your bathroom mirror. For this holiday hairstyle idea, we broke the look down into a few brief steps. Rest assured—our model did this updo on her own hair, to guarantee that you can, too. You only need a few elastics and a handful of bobby pins...perfect, simple, elegant, DONE. One of our favorite holiday hairstyles every year!

For starters, apply a little Tame to damp or dry hair to smooth down frizz. (One pump should be all you need.)

Next, divide your hair into 3 sections along the nape of the neck.
easy updos

Proceed as if you’re going to make a ponytail with each one, but on the last turn of the rubber band, don’t pull it all the way through, leaving three loops.

Proceed as if you're going to ponytail each one

Using your fingers (and a disregard for perfection), push the loops in, smushing the hair lightly against the base, and pin all the loose ends into place, making three messy buns. 

Using your fingers, push the loops in

Pull small sections of hair randomly out to loosen to effect and make this hairstyle more organic and easy-breezy.

A little glam

Of all the pretty hairstyles, this one is high up there as an elegant, simple holiday favorite. (No shame in our easy hairstyle game!) There are so many ways to bring sparkle to your look with hair accessories and pins. But rather than spend money on something you may not wear that often, try a few simple rose gold or metallic bobby pins—these are readily available, inexpensive, and always look modern and sleek. 

going out updo with rose gold bobby pins

Here, after completing her soft updo, we added rose gold bobby pins in arrows and criss-cross patterns. While adding a little extra shine, they also keep stray pieces out of your face while still falling softly forward to add more visual interest to this hairstyle.

soft updo

Go dark (for a few months)

Many of us yearn for a darker winter look, but winter is a few months, and permanent color is, well, permanent. Semi-permanent options like our Color Reviving Glosses make it easier to dip your toe into darker hair color (and it’s only a medium hair change in the grand scheme of things). By the time you’ve had your fun, the color will be shampooed out, it’s not much work, and you can proceed as usual with lightening up for spring if that’s your jam. Extra tip: You don’t have to give up dimension completely when going to richer shades. If you’ve got existing highlights or an ombré look, try a combination of Color Reviving Gloss shades, like Amaretto, Cannella or Miele and Prosecco. Blend the darker glosses into the already darker parts of your hair, and the lighter glosses toward the mid-lengths and ends. Glosses blend together easily and are very forgiving so you don’t need to be too careful about where one ends and the other begins.

Hair Tone Long

Here we applied Color Reviving Gloss in Barolo at the top for a rich, deep auburn, mixed with beautiful Cannella for a vibrant copper cast.

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Take a different tone

Sometimes change is easier than you think. If you’re feeling like a new season should bring on a new hue, but you don’t want a big change, just change your tone. Staying "on level" is colorist-speak for staying the same shade of darkness that you currently are. However, there are several tone choices within each level of color. For example, if you’ve used level 6 Radiant Hair Color in Tuscany Brown for months, try Radiant Hair Color in Firenze Brown for a warm up with extra mahogany, or Radiant Hair Color in Siena Brown for a cooler, ash tone. The domino effect of changing your hair color’s tone may inspire a new plum lipstick or smokier eyeshadow in your stocking. It can be fun to see yourself in a new, tone.


Before adding a new hue

And after, with a richer tone at the same level...gorgeous! Before blowing dry, we added a few pumps of Loud + Proud volumizing foam for instant body (with zero crunch). It’s go big or go home for these holiday hairstyles.

after, with a richer tone at the same level

Braided Space Buns

Braided updos are having a moment, and we love this on-trend braids hairstyle to the moon and back. We especially love how this holiday hairstyle looks if you have micro braids...but any size or style of braid will work here! First, divide your braids into two vertical sections and make braided pigtails. Secure each pigtail with a non-damaging elastic band.

Next, twist your braids into ropes and wrap your braids around the base of the pigtails, securing each bun with pins or another elastic band.

If you want to do half-up space buns instead—another hot hair trend—simply pull half your braids on each half of your hair into a bun, while leaving the rest of your braids loose. Voila—a truly out of this world holiday party hairstyle we couldn’t love more.

High ponytail

This sleek and chic look is always in style. A gorgeous, easy holiday hairstyle that keeps your hair pulled back from your face for optimal eating and drinking? Yes, we are into this party look. Here’s how to make your high pony holiday ready…

Before blow drying, apply a quarter-sized amount of Sleek Attack to damp hair to smooth and condition.

Pull your hair back on a diagonal to align with your cheekbones. Use a bristle brush to make sure your strands are super smooth.

Secure your hair with an elastic for a swingy high ponytail. Bonus points for holiday flair: use a velvet scrunchie.

All about you

Last but not least, no matter what hairstyle is trending or what professionals are recommending (yes, even us), you absolutely must remember that the holiday hairstyles and hair colors that look best on you are the ones that make you feel most like yourself (and smile the brightest).

Cheers to YOU, the holidays, your friends and family, gorgeous holiday hairstyles, sparkly hair accessories, the most delicious holiday party snacks...and every shade of happy!


Originally published: 12/28/2016

Updated: 11/8/2021