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Let’s be honest: You probably socialize more between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than you do during all the other 11 months. But that’s a serious time crunch on the ol’ calendar—especially when you also want to look your best. Here are eight genius hair ideas to take you from the office cocktail party to the neighborhood cookie swap.

RELATED: The 10 Trendiest Nail Colors to Wear This December

holiday hair ideas low bun
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The Office Holiday Party: A Low, Textured Knot

You’ve worked a full day and then have to jazz up your strands for schmoozing with the executive team? Go easy on yourself: Loop your hair into a loose knot and pull a few pieces out in the front. Then, using a flat iron, add a little bend to just those pieces so they gently frame your face.

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Drinks with the Girls: A Braided Knot

Or you can get a tad fancier with the look by wrapping a skinny braid around and pinning it in place to add some texture (and hide the elastic). Because that's precisely the type of minute detail only your best friends would appreciate.

jessica alba
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Dinner Parties: A Loose, Rumpled Braid

A slightly disheveled braid keeps even the most formal-looking dresses from appearing too stuffy (which is perfect for an intimate gathering at someone's home). To create the look, braid as you normally would and use your fingers to lightly pull apart a few sections to fluff it out.

RELATED: The Easy Updo You Can Totally Do Yourself

holiday hair ideas high ponytail

The Neighborhood Cookie Swap: A Curled, High-Ponytail

Ran errands all day and don't have time to wash your hair? Slick back second-day strands into a high ponytail. Then separate the tail into three, even sections and wind each one around a curling iron. Let cool and break apart the curls by gently raking your fingers through. The combination of sleek and curly offers a genius solution for greasy roots and unruly ends.

velvet ribbon

Family Get-Togethers: A Low Ponytail With a Loose Bow

Aunt Mary will appreciate this simple 'do. (And you'll appreciate how easy it is to execute.) Gather your hair into a low, loose ponytail and tie it off with a velvet ribbon.

RELATED: ‘90S Alert: How to Wear Velvet This Fall

gold barrette

“The Nutcracker” Performance: A Slicked-Back Bun with Accessories

Need something that seems fancy, but that you can do in ten minutes? Take apart your topknot from that morning, split it into two separate buns and stack them on top of each other. Finish with a golden barrette underneath for a festive touch. It looks way more complicated than it actually is.

alexa chung
Fred Duval/Getty Images

A Formal Charity Event: Sleek, Retro Waves

Snazz things up with a deep side part and '50s waves (which you can easily achieve by curling your hair into ringlets and then softly brushing them out). Red lipstick and a spritz of perfume is highly encouraged.

holiday hair ideas cornrows
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New Year's Eve Party: Cornrows or Pinned Twists

What better way to ring in the new year than with an updo that both shows off your perfectly highlighted cheekbones and stays in place during impromptu dance breaks? Your answer: thick cornrows that braid into a low bun. Ladies with fine hair, you can also try this look by twisting sections of your hair and pinning them down as you go.

RELATED: The Gilded Eye Look to Try for Your Next Holiday Party

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