Hairstyle Classics: How to Keep That Do From Looking Dated

If you’ve rocked a classic style for a while, beware that even the simplest cuts need to evolve. The dawn of a new decade is a good time to update that hairdo. Take a tip (or two) from stylists and stars who know how to keep a good thing going.   

The Pixie
This ultra-short cut not only accents great cheekbones and jawlines, but it also portrays gamine youthfulness and chic sophistication for any age.

  • Vintage Liza Minnelli has made the pixie her signature cut, which she keeps fresh by adding layers and fullness through waves and curls. In her days as Mrs. Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow made the pixie so enduring that, years later, the boyishly attractive cut helped define the waif movement of the ’90s.
  • Modern Today’s pixie vixens, such as Michelle Williams (who looks a lot like Mia Farrow) and Halle Berry, wear their short cuts with a mix of fragility and seduction.
  • Keep it fresh Hairstylist Kristen Ess, who counts Rachel McAdams and Amanda Bynes as clients, likes to add a few accessories, such as a pair of narrow headbands, to make the pixie more playful. “You think when you cut your hair off that you are limited to that specific look, but the pixie is very versatile,” says Ess. “You can also use products to give a different look or shape. Pomade can make a matte texture, sort of like a shag carpet. A light-hold gel can make it go elegant and sleek, like Sharon Stone, with a lot of control.”

Long and Sleek
Nothing says “sexy” better than a long, flowing mane of luscious, shiny and thick hair.

  • Vintage For Cher, long, shimmering hair has been as much her signature as have her wild Bob Mackie bugle beaded costumes.
  • Modern Demi Moore not only has the body of a teenager, but also the flowing, shiny hair to match. The ageless beauty often lets her hair down for big red-carpet events.
  • Keep it fresh Great hair requires dedicated upkeep, says Ess, who recommends applying a temporary gloss to hair every six weeks. “It seals down the cuticle and acts like a topcoat for your nails,” she says. Carla Gentile, owner of Steam, a hip salon near Beverly Hills, Calif., says the fast way to update long hair is to add bangs. “You can also get away with a really low side part, like Gisele,” she says.

The Shag
This layered hairstyle has become the chic rebel’s favorite look, if only because a bit of tousled imperfection makes it all the more appealing.

  • Vintage Jane Fonda’s shag in Klute made her character tough, scruffy and sexy, and it launched a look that defined the 1970s and beyond.
  • Modern Kristen Stewart and Ashlee Simpson have made a long, loose shag a sought-after look, with hair that is black, red or blond.
  • Keep it fresh
    Gentile says modern shags don’t hug the head and neck as closely as Fonda’s cut. Longer, looser layers are today’s look. Gentile also suggests experimenting with products that thicken or add texture to make the layers more distinct and chunky.

The Bob
The classic bob endures because it is an easy-care style that radiates sophistication -- or in extreme colors, delivers an ironic, punk twist.

  • Vintage The angular bob that silent-film star Louise Brooks wore in the 1920s and ’30s matched the elegant lines of art deco.
  • Modern Katie Holmes has worn a variation of the classic bob for the last two years, first with razor-sharp bangs and now with longer, sideswept ones, while Keira Knightley wears her straight and wavy.
  • Keep it fresh Wear it a bit longer to look modern, says Ess, adding, “The long bob is called the ‘lob,’ which is an awful word but a gorgeous hairstyle.” Ess also suggests giving the hair a few spiral twists around a 1-inch curling iron to add some wave. “And don’t be too uniform with how you’re curling it,” she says. “You want to break up the curl.” 

A Beauty Editor’s Hair Resolutions for 2014

My goal for 2014 is to be a better citizen of the world. To get there, I’ve come up with several noble resolutions, from giving even more at work to going the extra mile in my relationships. But one of the most important resolutions to help me reach my goal is “Banish bad hair days.”

What’s the connection? Gorgeous hair is a confidence booster that lets you move forward better in all other areas of your life. If you’re like me, you know what a distraction it is to have hair that’s frayed, frizzy, fried, or just not behaving the way you’d like it to. So, here’s how I plan to achieve my best hair every day, all year round in 2014, so I can shine in every aspect of my life.

1. Prevent damage from hot styling tools.
The first step to gorgeous hair 24:7 is preventive. I wouldn’t think about plopping an egg into a skillet without first coating the pan with butter or oil, yet sometimes, I use my blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron -- which sizzles at 400 F -- without applying anything to my strands first. This can really dry out your hair, setting it up for frizz and other woes that keep you from looking and feeling your best. In 2014, I resolve to spend the extra five seconds it takes to prep my hair with a heat protectant, which creates a powerful shield that prevents damage, protects hair color, and adds extra shine and softness to my hair.

2. Show off my natural wave.
Most days I wear my bob sleek and smooth. But I also like to shake it up a bit without having to get a haircut -- something I haven’t done enough of this year because I’ve felt that my natural waves weren’t polished enough to go without straightening. In 2014, I’m going to experiment with letting my natural wave show. I’m going to add a no-crunch curls whip product to my beauty arsenal so that my hair looks satiny even when it’s not straight.

3. Bring my hair BB cream with me wherever I go.
I travel at least once a month, and when I do, I tend to pack at the very last minute. I fling things into my toiletry case almost literally as I’m walking out the door. That means I typically forget my reliable hair care products and find myself trying to use the hotel body lotion as a substitute for a styling product. The results aren’t pretty. My solution for 2014: I’ve stowed a powerful BB cream for hair right in my overnight case. This multi-tasking wonder, which can be used on wet or dry hair, is a shining, smoothing, heat protecting, moisturizing, frizz fighting, flyaway tamer, all in one. I love it! If only I could find a dress that had this much versatility!

Glamorous Holiday Hair, Part IV: Go Retro!

A holiday party is a great occasion to get a little adventurous with a gorgeous new hairstyle. This year, the most modern look calls for retro hair. Try one of these vintage ’dos from the ’40s, ’50s or ’60s. One thing that’s timeless is shiny healthy hair, so make sure to spend a few extra minutes with a deep conditioning treatment or mask on every week this month, if you don’t already. 

Pinup Girl



Start with hair that’s been curled with a curling iron, and you’ll just need to do a bit of backcombing and place a few bobby pins strategically for smart and chic 1940s looks: a pompadour, pump swirl, Rosie the Riveter, victory rolls or more. These looks go great with an embellished cardigan, a pencil skirt and a bright cherry lip. A light mist of flexible hold hairspray and your look will last -- even through endless rounds of the jitterbug or lindy-hop.

'Mad Men' Bob



Whether your hair is short or long you can create Betty Draper’s glam chin-length do. The secret, if your hair is longer than chin length, is a deftly hidden ponytail. For this style, you’ll want to use a curling iron to curl the front sections of your hair toward your face. To keep your locks from getting scorched always apply a heat-protectant before using a hot styling tool. This hairstyle has a sly sexiness to it. Wear it with your favorite classic LBD.

Veronica Lake Waves



Reese Witherspoon, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively and Kate Winslet have all worn it on the red carpet. We’re talking about old Hollywood glamour waves. The Veronica Lake look, curls cascading over one shoulder, is the ultimate accessory for a strapless gown. The key to these femme waves is wrapping hair around, not inside, the barrel of a curling iron and allowing them to cool completely before you brush them out. Keep your curls frizz-free and satiny with a no-crunch curls whip. 

Celeb-Approved: 9 Gorgeous Hair Braid Styles

Braids might just be the most versatile hairstyle there is. Even more than the pony or the bun, braided hairstyles can be demure or edgy … and everything in between. Here’s a look at eight great hair braid styles the stars do.

The “Ladies Who Brunch” Braid

If you’re having tea at The Plaza, going to an afternoon wedding or attending a cocktail party with the boss, try a braided updo. Amber Heard, star of the recent thrillers Machete Kills and Paranoia, shows that a few face-framing loose strands of hair keep this ladylike look anything but stiff.

The Boho Milkmaid

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine rocks a milkmaid braid with full fringe and attitude. This celeb hairstyle is so striking you can skip the jewelry.

The Braid as Accessory

Think of a braid as an elegant accessory, like diamond studs. Katy Perry shows that a thin halo braid is a subtle and flattering finishing touch to lustrous healthy hair.

The Imperfectly Perfect Braid

Don’t get frustrated if you can’t create a perfect plait. Neatness doesn’t matter when it comes to hair braid styles, as Kim Kardashian shows in this side-swept halo braid.

The Hat-Hair Fix

Love hats, but hate hat hair? A side plait, as Elle Fanning demonstrates here, can be the perfect solution.

The Bombshell Braid

If you’ve ever thought a braid couldn’t be sexy, consider Scarlett Johansson’s look at The Avengers premiere. A halo braid shows off a woman’s décolletage beautifully.

The Red-Carpet Braid

Texture and volume made the fishtail braid that Blake Lively wore at a recent movie premiere a red-carpet stunner.

The Edgy Braid

“Punk: Chaos to Couture” was the theme of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest Costume Institute exhibit. Emmy Rossum’s edgy braided updo fit the mood at the gala opening perfectly.

The Professional Plait

Stacy Keibler’s fishtail braid is polished enough for the office, or even a job interview.

Tips for Braids That Make the Grade

  • Healthy hair is the key to braids that don’t look frayed. Banish split ends on the spot with an instant split end repair cream.
  • If your elaborate braid style is held together with bobby pins and elastic, hide the evidence. Tuck the pins into the hair’s twists and turns and wrap a strand of hair around the elastic or use clear elastics. 
  • Messy braids will look refined if your hair is glossy. Give hair a radiant finish with a shine serum with argan oil. 
  • Creating braids won’t damage your hair if you begin with knot-free locks. After you towel-blot your hair, use a silkening detangler. 

Glamorous Holiday Hair, Part II: Easy Styles for Long Hair

Lengthy locks give a lot of room to experiment with playful styles that match your mood and the holiday occasion. From plaits to ponies, we rounded up a few easy-to-do hairstyles for tresses below the shoulders. 

1. Faux Bob Curls

Shorten your tresses without committing to a cut with this sexy style. Seen on beauties like Taylor Swift and Naomi Watts, the glamorous look goes perfectly with a cocktail dress and a bold lip. Before using any heating tools, generously spray a heat protectant on your hair to protect against heat damage.

2. Twisted Side Ponytail

Asymmetrical hairstyles are increasingly popular, and it’s easy for long-haired ladies to get in on the trend. This low ponytail with a twist is perfect for those after-work holiday parties, where your primping space is limited to the office bathroom mirror. A fun and flirty ponytail is also a great time to play up your eyes with this season’s colors, like purple or metallic. To get a sleeker pony, try a smooth serum with Moroccan argan oil.

3. Messy Fishtail Plait

The fishtail style has been reborn into a more carefree look that perfectly balances formal holiday attire. Beauties from Lea Michele to Blake Lively have mastered this modern look, which works best when left messy and somewhat undone. Let your shorter layers frame your face, loosen the braid and finish off this beautiful, feminine style with a spritz of flexible hold hairspray.