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 34 best holiday hairstyles, according to celebrity hairstylists.
34 Holiday Hairstyles to Rock All Season Long
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.
Meet the Experts:
- Monaé Everett is a celebrity hairstylist and natural hair educator
- Seamus McKernan is a hairstylist and top artist for Nioxin
- Dereq Clark is a hairstylist and brand ambassador for Wella Professionals
- Erinn Courtney is a hairstylist and StyleSeat Pro
- Cataanda James is a hairstylist and brand educator for The Mane Choice
- Jamie Wiley is a celebrity hairstylist and brand ambassador for Pureology
- Jennifer Korab is a celebrity hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon in New Jersey
- Michelle Cleveland is a celebrity hairstylist and owner of Hair Addict Salon in New Jersey
- Allison Kaye is a celebrity hair and makeup artist in Florida
- Nick Stenson is a celebrity hairstylist and artistic director for Matrix
- Angel Cardona is a hairstylist and top artist for Sebastian Professional
- David Lopez is a hairstylist and creative director for Glam Seamless
1. The “Wet” Look
From Megan Fox to Zendaya, this “wet” look continues to be a huge hit. 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. Triple-Twisted Bun
One bun is cute, but adding a few more to the mix? Genius. “This style is perfect for the holidays because it’s so detailed and intricate, but it requires minimal time and effort,” says Wiley. To recreate the look, divide your hair into three, stacked ponytails before twisting each one into a bun. A pro tip to make things even chicer: “When you’re creating your second ponytail, twist the bun counterclockwise. This alternates the directions of all the buns and makes the style look even more impressive.”
3. Classic Sleek Style
When in doubt, sleek is the way to go. “This look creates a timeless holiday look and has been seen a lot this year—from fashion week to runways,” shares Korab. “Wear your hair all down or add a sleek low pony or a chignon and it can offer an elegant look for the holidays.” Try the silk press method at the salon or recreate the look right at home by blow drying your hair and going over each section with a flat iron for the smoothest finish. She also notes that some hairspray and hair oil will minimize flyaways and add shine.
4. Face-framing Updo
We love a timeless look and this hairstyle surges in 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: use a flat iron to get a nice wave.
5. 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 Everett. “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.
6. Half Up Half Down
“This is a great style for the holidays because it’s flirty, but also practical. Plus, it tends to compliment most face shapes,” says Clark. “It’s OK to leave the hair kind of messy when you’re doing this hairstyle because it adds to the playfulness of the style.” First, section off the hair from ear to ear before gathering it into a ponytail. (Clark suggests fluffing up the ponytail for more texture and bounce.) Apply a styling cream or gel to add definition and boost shine for the party.
In 2019, Alicia Keys started a trend by incorporating gems into her hairstyles. Now, 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 your 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.
8. Half Braided, Half Down
“Everything from the ‘90s is back, including this twisted hair style with curls for the holiday season. I love this look because it’s fun and easy to achieve,” says Cleveland. As Mariah Carey and her mini me show above, the look lets you show off your natural texture and play around with protective styles. Have fun with the number of braids (or twists) you add to the front and don’t forget to give your curls some love with a bit of styling cream.
9. Hollywood Waves
“Classic Hollywood waves are perfect for your holiday party or dinner with family,” says Kaye. Whether you have long or short hair, any hair length can pull this glamorous style off. Kaye recommends using a one (or one and a half) inch curling wand and sectioning off your hair before twisting each piece around the iron. A helpful tip: Make sure all your sections are curled in the same direction for a stylish, more uniform look. Get a voluminous finish by gently brushing out the curls.
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.
11. 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!” explains McKernan. 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!”
12. Party Pony
It’s time to jazz up your typical pony. “This style is great for the holidays because of its playfulness,” says Stenson. “It’s popular because you can easily achieve it at home and it’s a great option for all hair types.” Once you secure your ponytail (the higher, the better), go in with a curling iron to add some loose swirls throughout. Stenson recommends using a firm hold hairspray (like Matrix’s) to keep the style in place all night.
13. ‘90s Swoop Ponytail
The ‘90s and ‘00s beauty styles are all the rave this year. 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.
14. Voluminous Curls
Go big or go home with your curls. “Sometimes bigger is better and a great way to make a statement at any holiday party is to turn up the volume. This look will definitely have all the eyes in the room on you,” says Cardona. Once you complete your wash routine, add some mousse and heat protectant to damp curls before diffusing (or air drying) them to maintain your pattern. To add more volume, James recommends shaking out your curls at the roots and using a hair pick to create a fuller shape.
15. Twisted Bun
This bun is technically simple, but the results add some dimension and layers to the traditional style. Lopez has a few tips to perfect the hairstyle for your next holiday shindig: “First, section out some face-framing strands and add waves with your heat tool. Then, apply mousse (or styling foam) to the hairline and crown. Next, brush your hair into a high ponytail before applying a styling cream and twisting the lengths of your ponytail to create a ‘rope’ effect. Finally, twist the roped hair around the base of the pony and secure it with pins.”
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Textured Twist
OK, we’ve mentioned the classic French twist, but here’s how curly and wavy gals can get in on the fun. Wiley recommends starting with a pre-styling refresher spray (or a lightweight mousse) to add some moisture and shine before you tackle the twist. Divide your hair into two parts (one at the front of your head and one in the back). Starting at the back, gather and twist your curls at the center before pinning them into place. Then, gather the top section and blend it seamlessly into the twist. (BTW, it’s totally fine to have some loose curls cascading down for a more relaxed look). Wiley also suggests completing the French twist with a strong-hold hairspray.
19. Messy Curly Bun
Want to look like you put effort without really doing much? Follow these steps: First make a bun. Then pull out a few strands for that “messy look” and finally add a snazzy headband. It looks like you’re all set for the office shindig.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. Baby Braids
This style has been everywhere in 2022, so naturally, it’s a great choice to finish up the year. “Hailey Bieber [and other celebs] have been wearing small braids and it caught on,” explains Kaye. “I’ve started to use hair jewelry on celebrity clients and I love putting them in the small braids.” This low-maintenance ‘do is pretty simple and great for all hair types to try out. Once you part your hair, gather two small sections at the hairline. With each section, start braiding (classic three-strand twist or French) before securing the ends with a small elastic band. Then, bedazzle your new mini tendrils and head out.
23. '90s Beehive
From Pamela Anderson to Cardi B, this tousled updo is one of the top styles of 2022 and will continue into the holidays. To achieve the look at home, Stenson recommends prepping your hair with a texturizing spray to increase the overall volume and fullness of your messy ‘do. “Once your hair is prepped, begin twisting it from the nape of your neck and bend the ponytail in half as you continue to twist. Elevate the hair to lay against the back of your head and secure it just below the crown with a banana clip. After the clip is in place, gently tug at the hair at the crown to plume it into the shape you want,” explains Stenson.
24. 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.
25. Voluminous Blowout
Another ‘90s look that should be on your radar is the fluffy hair trend. “I’ve noticed people are requesting more easy-going super low maintenance but premium looking hair,” says Clark. “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.
26. Hollywood Flip
“This style looks elegant without overdoing things and instantly dresses up the hair, making for an understanded yet glamorous look that is perfect for any holiday party,” says McKernan. If you have short hair like Florence Pugh, create a side part and focus primarily on the front sections of your bob. McKernan suggests using rollers to get the flipped ends just right and applying a heat protectant to maintain its volume. You can also use a blow dryer and a round brush or a curling iron to achieve the look. And don’t forget: The other side should be smoothed down to give your new flip all the attention.
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.
28. Loose Dutch Braid
If you’re keeping things casual but chic, this loose braid is right for you. It doesn’t take too much of your time—so you can get back to wrapping any last-minute gifts. McKernan notes this style is great after a blowout and perfect for people with fine hair (especially those that have a difficult time holding a curl). Just remember to secure it with an elastic band, leave a few pieces out for that loose finish and a spritz of dry shampoo to keep the whole look together.
29. 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,” says Courtney.
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.
30. Braided Top Knot
Follow the same steps of creating the regular style (see #27), 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.
31. Braided Low Ponytail
A low ponytail? Great. A braided one? Fantastic. A braided ponytail with shimmering stickers? A holiday hairstyle for the books. "It's so popular because you can rock it in various ways. High, low or flipped to one side. It's a protective style that gives you longevity and drama," adds James. "You won’t have to worry about your natural hair reverting or frizzing while you’re frolicking around the dance floor or when trekking out in the elements to your holiday festivities." James also notes a strong gel can keep your hair smooth and jewels (like Janelle Monáe).
32. 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 few years 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.”
33. 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.
34. Bedazzled Headband
Regardless of what hairstyle you rock in the season ahead, a shiny accessory can really elevate the look. Like Danai, a snazzy headband is the easiest way to go if you’re just looking for a quick way to compliment your outfit.
24 New Year's Eve Makeup Looks, From the Classic to the Unexpected