A celebrity stylist’s guide to party hairstyle trends

Giving lacklustre winter locks a party-ready ‘zhuzh’ is a much-enjoyed December custom. And while booking a hair styling session is always an option, particularly for standout events in your Christmas calendar, if your engagements exceed a single night, it’s not ideal to be to-ing and fro-ing from the salon in the name of presentable hair.

But if a DIY approach to festive styling veers far from the allure you’re aspiring for, it pays to take pro advice. We consulted celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons – whose star-studded repertoire includes Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, the Kardashian sisters and Megan Fox – for his expertise on this season’s most covetable (and achievable) party hairstyle trends, and also, most importantly, to get the inside scoop on making these classic looks last all night. Over to the expert…

Luxe waves

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The versatility of Lopez’s iconic luxe wave is what makes it so fitting for the festivities, according to Fitzsimons. A simple switch from centre to side partings will transform the look from an effortless daytime chic to a more intentional glamour.

“A style like this starts with volume; you can’t achieve it with flat hair. I blowdried the hair as big as I possibly could using Body Volume Blow Dry Spray, then used a one and a half curling inch iron,” Fitzsimons explained.

“Even though I was able to achieve a lot of the volume from the blowdryer initially, a lot of people still feel like once they put a straightener or curling iron on top of a blowdry, it suddenly drops. Remember that it’s the cooling down process that really holds a style in shape. If you get a lot of volume, and you put your hair around a curling iron and then just let it drop, it is going to take the shape of your hair as it has dropped.”

Instead, Fitzsimons advises using creaseless clips to secure the curls in the shape you’d like them to stay and allowing time for them to cool and set. We suggest doing your hair first and then concentrating on your make-up during the cool-down.

“That’s what will give that style its longevity and even more volume. It’ll give it more life.”

Flippy ends

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From Maude Apatow to Cate Blanchett, the ‘hair flip’ is the unsung hairstyle rife on this season’s red carpets. The style is also making waves on the small screen, too, courtesy of actress Simona Tabasco in the second season of hit show The White Lotus.

A straightforward detail to upgrade any simple style, these flicked out ends can be added to a sleek bob or ponytail for a playful Sixties pop. The key? Old fashioned flexible hair rods.

While these do require a touch of practice for hair-down looks, Fitzsimons insists it’s incredibly easy when styled for a ponytail.

simona tabasco in the white lotus

Simona Tabasco in ’The White Lotus’

Courtesy of Sky

“Pull your hair up into a ponytail – it’s nice for it to be a little higher on onto the crown – and roll your hair from the ends all the way up to the roots and then wrap it around your ponytail base. You can go to bed like that and not use heat at all.” Alternatively, if you do want to add a little heat, he advises running a hairdryer over the section from afar and adding little bit of hairspray. “Doing that exact look with the curling iron would drop a lot quicker. If you do it heatless or with just a little bit of heat, it’s easy to do and it will last until you wash your hair,” he explains.

“This hairstyle has a very Sixties silhouette. Back then, those were the techniques people used: setting as a means to have a hairstyle stay in place.”

The textured bun

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An unwavering sleek bun is a classic for party season, however it does require a compromise of your natural texture. In contrast, the basis for the ‘undone’ version champions exactly that, texture, making it idea for naturally wavier hair patterns. Effortless and romantic, this is a style that rides on imperfection.

“The easiest way to do this at home is to have pre-waved your hair or use your natural texture. Visualise where you want your bun to be and tie up your hair up very loosely. Don’t use a brush, use your fingers, and tie it maybe an inch or two behind where you want your bun to be.”

From this ponytail, you will separate a quarter on each side using the remaining hair in the middle to create a lazy looped bun, letting the ends poke through. The sort of bun you wear to bed or the gym. “You want to create that, and then finesse with some hair pins,” he says.

Fitzsimons advises using V or U-shaped hair pins rather than straight bobby pins, which can fling from the hair easily if your tresses lean towards the thicker side. Then, use the excess hair you left at the beginning to create the shape you want.

“You want to loop around and pin, loop around and pin – leaving the ends out. It’s supposed to look messy; we should see ends with waves or curl.”

Moving on to the front of the hair; Fitzsimons’ top tip is to use a spritz of hairspray and a small brush to create height at the roots, framing strands away and lifting them from your face rather than allowing them to fall straight. “It creates a really beautiful silhouette that feels more voluminous and nineties.”

Liquid shine

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A reflective finish is something of an evergreen concept in haircare; the top of everyone’s wish lists at all time.

“A lot of people think there are quick fixes for shine, but the quick fixes involve oil and other ingredients that will make your hair look less than freshly washed,” Fitzsimons explains. “Solution-wise, I generally I think of hair more like skincare. How can you make the hair naturally shiny as opposed to fake shiny? Hair health is number one.”

Like a glow from within as opposed to a layer of highlighter, with this philosophy Fitzsimons’ own line utilises bonding technology and lightweight textures, for a visible dewiness that doesn’t overwhelm thin, brittle or oily hair types.

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On Lopez’s hair here, for example, Fitzsimons used the Prism Shine Spray and Hard Strong Hold Hairspray for a super-sleek, glossy finish.

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