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.

Glamorous Holiday Hair, Part I: Short Hairstyles

The holiday season often means going from cubicle to cocktails to catered events. A simple way to get into the party spirit and transform your look is with a standout hairstyle. Just because your locks don’t reach your shoulders doesn’t mean you need to be limited in your hair creations. We rounded up three easy-to-follow hairstyle tutorials for short-haired gals.

1. Half-up Hair Pouf

If your everyday hairstyle includes flat locks, the holidays are the perfect time for making a hair-raising statement. This 60s meets modern rock star look has been spotted on celebs like Eva Longoria and Kate Beckinsale. Pair with minimal makeup and soft colors to create balance. Be sure to make the style stay standing tall with a texturizing sculpting wax.

2. Perfect Curls

Curls on short hair don’t need to make you resemble Shirley Temple. Loose curls add body and sexy sophistication to any look. Curls will hold better with day-old hair and can be achieved with the same heating tool used to straighten hair -- and a little patience. Protect locks from damage and boost shine with a heat protectant.

3. Easy Braided Updo

This style is perfect for day-to-night, as the only tools required include a small stash of rubber bands, barrettes and your fingers. Braids show no sign of disappearing, as they continue to dominate designer runways and red carpets. To really channel celeb style, pair this feminine look with a smoky eye or bold lip. Smooth down any flyaways with a smooth serum of your choice.

The Amazing Benefits of Argan Oil

From road trips to writing classes, there is one thing that’s constant in all my college memories: terrible hair days. I’m sure the arsenal of dyes and hot styling tools that I used back then -- not to mention the typical poor diet of a college student -- didn’t help. And like paying off my student loans, reviving my post-college hair seemed a very long road ahead.       

Enter argan oil, which arrived as a Thanksgiving gift in 2012 from one of my gorgeous-haired aunts whose hair type is similar to my curl-if-you-care, frizz-if-you-don’t waves. My hair suffered from damage, dryness and frizz -- issues that kept me hiding my locks in ponytails and updos. I was thrilled when argan oil proved a quick fix for these problems. A few drops activated my curls and made my hair shiny and smooth, even without the use of hot tools. All I had to do was apply the oil from my ends upward to the mid-shaft on dry or damp hair. Instantly, I had hair that not only looked healthy enough to wear down but also to show off.

As it turned out, argan oil worked on a deeper level than I imagined. My hair wasn’t merely given the appearance of being healthy -- it was actually becoming healthy. In the past, once I washed a styling product out of my hair, the benefits seemed to get washed away too. My hair would revert back to being a dull, dry mess that looked like something you’d feed to horses … you know, like hay. But with argan oil, my hair was developing a gloss, bounce and softness that I thought was long gone. Turns out, this smart serum is not just a styling product -- it’s a treatment as well. It’s no wonder Moroccan women (and men) have been using the nut-derived oil as a beauty aid for centuries, and that they sometimes refer to it as “liquid gold.” Check out my before-and-after photos to see the liquid-gold effect for yourself!


5 Fabulous Fall Hairstyles

After summer’s beachy waves and ponytails, it’s time to try some gorgeous new long and short hairstyles for fall. Below are five of our favorites. Since the foundation of every great hairstyle is healthy hair that shines, be sure to take care of yours by using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner with every wash, as well as a deep conditioning mask once a week.

Center Part With Waves

“Long hair this fall is having a little more fun,” says Jet Rhys, a San Diego hairstylist and salon owner. Case in point: Zoe Saldana’s sexy look at the MTV Music Awards. “This is fall’s version of glamour,” says Rhys. “Center parts are huge with smoothness at the roots and just the right amount of cascading waves on the mid-length and ends.” To get the look, apply a volumizing spray to your roots and blow-dry your hair with a round brush. Then take 2-inch sections of hair, and wrap only the midsection and ends around the wand of a curling iron.  Seal your locks with just a touch of hairspray.

The Polished, Sexy Blow-Dry

The blow-dry with a round brush is back, says Roy Teeluck, a New York City celebrity hairstylist and salon owner who has tended to the locks of Michelle Williams, Brooke Shields, Rosario Dawson and Hillary Clinton. Teeluck is advising his chic clients to get a fall haircut with lots of layers and just-above-the-shoulders length. “As you blow-dry your hair, keep you fingers constantly moving through the layers so you create a casual effect that’s also immaculate,” says Teeluck.

Half-Up-With-a-Braid Hawk

That’s the name Rhys gives to the edgy but elegant look that Selena Gomez showed off at the MTV Music Awards. This long hairstyle is a bit labor-intensive, but worth the effort. To start, prep dry hair with a dry shampoo to give it some grit, says Rhys. Next, place a couple of Velcro rollers on the top of your head. Gather the rest into a high ponytail, divide into three sections, and braid.  Remove the rollers and tease the hair gently. Take half of this section, brush toward the crown and cover the high pony. Secure with bobby pins. Take the other half of the top section, let the ends swirl around the top of the crown and secure with bobby pins. Finish with hairspray.

Simple and Accessorized

With shiny gleaming hair the star, this year’s most glamorous short hairstyles are being achieved with a single well-chosen accessory, says Nicholas Penna, Jr., owner of SalonCapri in Boston. Pin back strands of romantic waves with a vintage brooch, or weave a glittery necklace or ribbon into a braid. Want to give a chignon or bun some bling? Penna suggests securing a necklace with loose-hanging strands to the base of the bun, then pinning locks on top of the necklace as you create the updo. Let the ends of the necklace dangle for some eye-catching sparkle.

The Extreme Side Part
Got five seconds? Then you can achieve one of fall’s most striking hairstyles: the strong side part. Lower than the traditional side part, it lines up with the arch of your eyebrow and works with hair that’s long or short, straight or curly. Emmy Rossum likes to pair a deep side part with natural makeup for the red carpet. Try it! You don’t need any commitment -- just a tail comb!

Hair Myth or Magic?

Ever wonder whether those hair tricks you’ve heard about really work or if they’re just old wives tales? We’ve separated myths from realities:

One hundred nightly strokes with a hairbrush will make your locks healthier.
Sleeping Beauty may have spent hours brushing her silky tresses, but in real life, excessive brushing causes split ends and hair breakage, says Mauricio Ribeiro, a hairstylist at B2V Salon in West Hollywood, Calif. Don’t lay off the brush altogether, though; a minute of bedtime brushing distributes natural oils from roots to ends, helping you avoid an oily scalp and dry tips. Ribeiro recommends using a paddle brush with synthetic and natural boar's hair bristles for optimal grooming. The nylon bristles grip the hair, and the natural ones impart shine.

A half-inch trim makes your hair grow faster.
This is a common misconception, according to Allen Edwards, hairstylist to such celebs as Brooke Shields and Kirsten Dunst. A trim won’t boost growth; however, it will eliminate split ends. And since the average head of hair grows at a rate of about half an inch a month, it won't take long for the length to return.

Fresh lemon juice plus sun equals natural sun-streaked highlights.
While the juice of a fresh-squeezed lemon will subtly lighten your locks in the sun, the combination of the lemon’s acidity and damaging UV rays will dry out your hair and may even make it brittle enough to break, says Ribeiro. Instead, use an easy brush-in home highlighting kit or have your colorist add subtle highlights. A few streaks placed in the areas where the sun would naturally hit, like the bangs and small pieces around the crown, will create natural-looking sun-kissed tresses. 

Mayonnaise can double as a great deep-conditioning mask.
Yes, the oil, egg yolks and vinegar in mayonnaise will serve as an organic, natural conditioning treatment, says Diana Schmidtke, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist who has worked with George Clooney and Josh Duhamel. Distribute the mayo evenly through your hair with a wide-tooth comb, cover your mane with plastic wrap and leave it in for 15 minutes. To help the mayo penetrate the hair shaft, run a blow-dryer over your hair for the last couple of minutes, making sure not to overheat the plastic wrap. Shampoo immediately afterward.

Sprinkling baby powder on thin, limp locks revitalizes a flat head of hair.
"This is one of the oldest tricks in the book," says Schmidtke. The powder will absorb hair oils and return a bit of volume to your mane. To avoid looking like Marie Antoinette, be sure to use only a pinch of powder. Or check out the aisles at your local beauty supply shop for colored powders.

Pull out one gray hair, and two will grow back.
"The only thing that will make your hair more gray is worrying about the gray you already have," jokes Edwards. In fact, gray hair occurs when melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in your hair follicles, stop producing pigment. Genetics determine when this will begin to happen. Not a fan of gray? Apply a semipermanent color that lasts for six to 12 shampoos.

A cold rinse after shampooing leaves your hair shiny.
Yes, you can shiver your way to shinier tresses, says Christopher Dove, co-owner of The Doves Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. Cold water flattens the hair cuticle, creating a smoother, more light-reflecting surface. 

Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will decrease hair frizzies and keep your blowout intact.
It can certainly help. “A silk pillowcase won't absorb your hair’s natural oils or mat your hair while you sleep,” says Schmidtke. “So your style will have more staying power.”