20 Holiday Hairstyles to Rock All December Long
The holiday season is a great excuse to get glammed up. Whether you’re going to an office party or doing a virtual Secret Santa with the family, every event calls for a festive look. So, while you have your holiday outfit ready to go, how about adding a ‘do to bring it all together (with options that won’t have you looking like someone from Whoville)? Here, the 20 best holiday hairstyles, according to celebrity hairstylists.
1. The “Wet” Look
From Megan Fox to Zendaya, this “wet” look has been a huge hit this year. While it does give off the “I just stepped out of the shower” vibe, there’s actually a technique to getting it just right. Invest in a mousse or styling gel that gives you the right amount of sleek and “dampness” you’re going for. And truly make it your own by doing a slick-back moment or creating volume using a wide-tooth comb, brush or your fingers.
2. Face-Framing Updo
This summer trend continues to gain popularity well into the winter months. The money piece look consists of two loose strands sitting nicely on either side of your face. Whether you have long or short hair, everyone can rock this style. A great tip is using a flat iron to get a nice wave.
3. Side Braids
“Braided styles are here to stay. This is so popular because they offer so much versatility. Many people with longer hair want to create shorter looks without cutting their hair,” says Monaè Everett, celebrity hairstylist, author and educator. “With the popularity of embracing natural hair textures, this allows those with medium or long curly hair to recreate the shape of their hair.”
Everett recommends sectioning out the side before applying gel to smooth and reduce frizz. While you’re braiding, use hair oil (like the Sebastian Professional Dark Oil) to keep the cornrows in place and flyaway-free. When you finish the right side, begin focusing on your curls. Use styling products (like a foam, cream and/or oil) to create volume and definition. Finish the look off with hairspray to keep its shape.
In 2019, Alicia Keys started a trend by incorporating gems into her hairstyles. Two years later and she continues to rock these accessories on every red carpet. When it comes to this bedazzling style, there’s no rules on placement or look. From a braided ponytail to a slick bun moment to even decorating edges, the possibilities are endless. You can find hair pins to add to your hair or invest in hair glue to pop individual gems into your desired areas.
Here’s your sign to squeeze in a haircut before the next holiday party. This layered look is just what you need to spruce things up without having to try out an intricate design on yourself. So when you’re looking for inspiration, show your stylist Billie Eilish’s ‘do from the Met Gala.
6. Side-Swept Bob
“This year the best holiday hairstyles are all about capturing the look of something polished yet undone! A side slick is easy to do but looks really polished!” Seamus McKernan, hairstylist and Nioxin top artist explains. He recommends doing a deep part and brushing one side (using a styling gel to lay it down) before using a blow dryer for extra bounce and volume. Then complete the look with hairspray (like Nioxin Strong Hold Niospray) and festive accessories like pins and barrettes that just scream “Merry Christmas!”
7. ‘90s Swoop Ponytail
The ‘90s and ‘00s beauty styles are all the rave in 2021. Celebs like Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Lopez and Ariana Grande have been seen wearing this retro pony. Simply put: This look is super playful and fun. (It’ll also hit you with sweet, sweet nostalgia.) The key to the “Barbie ponytail” is all in the flip. Use a blow dryer/round brush combo (or flat iron) to “swoop” the ends up and apply hairspray to keep it in place.
8. Curly Fro’ Hawk
If you’re looking to make a statement and switch up your daily curly look, try a curly ‘fro hawk. A trick to recreating Zazie Beetz’s style is dividing your hair into sections and tying it up with elastic bands. Use a wide-tooth comb or pick to fluff out your curls for volume (and to hide the hair ties, of course). If you have shorter or finer hair, consider bobby pins instead.
9. High Ponytail
“A classic ponytail never goes out of style! It’s always flattering and can be really head turning if done right,” McKernan says. But how can you make it a sleek and voluminous pony? “Blow dry your hair back with a paddle brush to where you want the pony to live. This will polish the look and make it neater. Finish the ends with a curling iron or straightener,” he adds.
10. Messy Curly Bun
Want to look like you put effort without really doing much? Follow these steps. First make a bun. Pull out a few strands for that “messy look” and add a snazzy headband. It looks like you’re all set for the office shindig.
11. French Twist Updo
We’re talking Disney princess peak glam here, folks. According to McKernan, it’s all about starting with a low ponytail and twisting it up to towards the top of your head. Then, secure it with bobby pins, barrettes or decorative hair comb. He also suggests using a dry shampoo to make the pin stay put.
12. Elegant Bob
If you have short to mid-length hair, consider a twist to your regular bob cut. You’ll want to focus on maintaining a very loose wave pattern, so try a curling iron before brushing through the curls.
13. Low Bun
Need a last-minute holiday hairstyle? This low bun is the way to go for a low-maintenance look. And if you have bangs, consider parting your hair to the side and using a flat iron to create some dimension.
14. Voluminous Blowout
Another ‘90s look that made its wave this year was the fluffy hair trend. “I’ve noticed people are requesting more easy-going super low maintenance but premium looking hair,” Dereq Clark, hairstylist and Wella Professionals Brand Ambassador. “Around the holidays people don’t really want to fuss with their hair because they have so much to prepare for the holidays. Even a few loose curls are just enough!”
The voluminous blowout is achieved by dividing your hair into sections and applying a smoothing oil before (and after) every run with the blow dryer. But for a sleeker look, go over the sections again with a flat iron (like the GHD 1 inch). Finally, use hairspray to leave a silky and shiny finish.
You can never go wrong with a high bun. Invest in a brush, gel and hair ties to recreate this look. Start with a high ponytail before wrapping it around and securing with a hair tie or a few bobby pins. Then use the gel to sleek down frizz or flyaways for a crisp finish.
16. Braided Top Knot
Follow the same steps of creating the regular style, but this time remove a few strands to braid and wrap that around the front. If you have shorter hair, consider extensions to get the job done.
17. Intricate Cornrows
“Styles with chic, straight backs or cornrows braided into hearts and other unique shapes are a fun way to express yourself and your creativity,” said Erinn Courtney, Hairstylist and StyleSeat Pro says.
If you’re not much of a braider, reach out to a professional and provide references to get the exact look that you want for the holidays. When you’re marveling at your creation, use edge control to lay down your baby hairs for a sleeker look. Courtney also suggests adding beads, clips, glitter and even a pop of color to give it a seasonal flair.
18. Bubble Braids
The bubble braid was all over the internet in 2021. The simple yet stylish look takes an ordinary ponytail and adds a little pizzazz. You’ll have this style perfect before you even hit join now on Zoom. For the season, decorate your braid in ribbons and bows.
19. Braided Low Ponytail
A low ponytail? Great. A braided one? Fantastic. A braided ponytail with shimmering stickers? A holiday hairstyle for the books.
20. Goddess Braids
The holidays are for being bold and packing a statement. This protective style is a prime example to show up and show out in December. “I believe that after spending over a year at home, and with the world being a little safer to be out in now, the girls are coming back outside to WOW people!” Courtney expresses. “Intricate styles and length will be sure to attract attention. The added benefit is that protective styles will give you a little less to worry about while traveling and enjoying time with friends and family.”