From a simple slicked-back bun to an edgy tousled blow-dry & a must-try party hairdo for twists or braids, get ready to sleigh with these easy-to-follow tutorials
Mulled wine, glittering garments, twinkling lights and cheesy tunes. It could only mean one thing – it’s officially Christmas party season and we couldn’t be happier. To get us in the mood, we shine a spotlight on three fabulous hairdressers who are showing us how to create three perfect Christmas party hairstyles. Whether you’re staying at home for a Zoom party with far-flung family or plan to dance into the early hours, these head-turning looks are sure to leave you the (jingle) belle of the ball.
Enter Andrew Fitzsimons’ perfectly slicked-back bun, as seen on our very own Health & Beauty digital writer, Rachael Martin, Adam Reed’s stunning tousled blow-dry, recreated by Health & Beauty’s India Garrett, and Dionne Smith’s side-sweep ‘do with twists, styled by model and influencer, Bianca Lawrence.
Scroll on for all the expert tips and our top product picks…
The slicked-back bun with celebrity hairdresser Andrew Fitzsimons
"Like the rest of TikTok, I’m loving the not-so-humble slicked-back bun this party season," says Health & Beauty's digital writer Rachael, who’s following celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons’ step-by-step. "It takes minutes, always looks polished and means I can forgo hair wash day if I need to, which is always a win for me."
Here’s our tried and tested step-by-step for slicked-back bun perfection:
First thing’s first, prep the hair. To start, we suggest washing hair with a smoothing shampoo. The Hair Lab by Mark Hill Smoothing Shampoo is a great option as it creates a sleek, smooth base.
"Follow by applying Andrew Fitzsimons Restructuring 10-in-1 Leave-In Conditioner for Damaged Hair on damp hair. It’s incredibly nourishing and great for taming flyaways," says Andrew.
If you’re someone who fights the good fight against broken hairs, then Wella Deluxe Dream Smooth & Nourish Oil Infused Lotion Spray could be helpful. Spray onto damp hair for extra frizz control and added shine. And don’t forget a heat protectant – it’s a must before blow drying. Beauty Works Heat Protection Spray is a great option when it comes to heat-proofing nourishment.
"Next, blow dry your hair smooth, pointing the nozzle of the hairdryer downwards for the smoothest, sleekest result," says Andrew.
If you’re after a new hairdryer, look no further than the BaByliss 2100W Hydro-Fusion Dryer – it works a treat. And if you’re in need of an extra touch of smoothness, then the Cloud Nine Hair Straightener The Wide Iron is an investment that’s worth every penny when it comes to minimising flyaways.
"Part your hair down the middle using a tail-end comb, then gather your locks into a ponytail in the middle of the back of your head and secure with a hair tie," says Andrew.
Want a lower bun?
"Create the pony nearer the nape of your neck. As you create the ponytail, smooth down any stray hairs with a boar bristle brush."
Denman’s Grooming Brush (D81M) pulls the natural oils through the hair to keep hair moisturised from root to tip, and can be teamed with a small amount of Pantene Pro-V Forever Glow Finishing Oil if you feel you may need some extra taming.
"Ensure you’re brushing along the sides of your head, towards the back so your middle parting stays intact," adds Andrew.
"Once your hair’s smoothed to your liking, begin wrapping the hair in the ponytail around itself until it forms a bun," says Andrew. "You can secure it with one or two hair ties and use bobby pins for any hairs that are left out.
At this point, it’s about getting your hair as slick as it can be.
"Once the bun’s secure, smooth over the hair once more with a brush to ensure there’s enough tension to keep the look super smooth," says Andrew.
You could also add a touch of Wella Deluxe Supreme Definition Oil Infused Cream Gel – it’ll give added definition and hold without being tricky to wash out. Once you’re satisfied, apply Andrew Fitzsimons Hard Strong Hold Hairspray all over your hair.
"This will ensure the bun does not budge," says Andrew.
"Finally, because hairspray can make hair appear dull, finish off with Andrew Fitzsimons Prism Invisible Shine Hair Spray," recommends Andrew.
Here’s to a dazzling, Christmas party-ready finish!
The shag blow-dry with international hairdresser & founder of ARKIVE, Adam Reed
"The shag look is trending for party season and it’s easy to see why," says Health & Beauty insider India. It’s effortlessly edgy, plus it’s a great way to add texture and depth to your style, especially if you have shorter strands. "This tutorial is the perfect way to emphasise my layers. If you don’t have layers, it can still help you achieve serious volume and oomph," says India. It’s the perfectly imperfect ‘do (think a dose of lived-in luxe) that’ll see you through party season and beyond.
Here’s your step-by-step for mastering this on-trend, tousled blow-dry:
Believe it or not, this look begins with squeaky clean hair.
"Start with freshly washed and conditioned hair using Arkive The All Day Everyday Shampoo and Arkive The All Day Everyday Conditioner," suggests Adam. "Hair that’s slightly greasy or dirty won’t hold the style."
After washing, you may like to try Beauty Works 10 in 1 Miracle Spray here. It works well on damp hair, acting as the perfect detangler – among its whopping 10 other beauty benefits, including de-frizzing and adding shine.
"Next, run Arkive The Good Habit Hybrid Oil through the hair to add gloss," says Adam. "Follow by spritzing through Arkive The New Form Blow Dry Spray to help hold the texture into place, before warming up Arkive The Scene Setter Hybrid Pomade in your hands and squeezing it into the hair, creating a gritty feel."
Want added oomph and heat protection? Try Pantene Pro-V Miracle 5-in-1 Pre-Styler. It helps nourish dry hair and makes it more manageable.
"Dry the hair in sections, twisting locks around a round brush and pulling down to create a dishevelled finish," says Adam. "A top tip is twisting each section in the reverse direction from the previous one. This is called the 'dread dry' because, as it un-dreads itself, it will leave the hair with a really beautiful kink to it."
Need a helping hand with the correct tools? To create this look, we’ve been loving Cloud Nine Hair Dryer The Airshot and Mark Hill Style Addict Blowdry XL Radial Hair Brush.
"Once dried, squeeze through a little more of Arkive The Scene Setter Hybrid Pomade for a really lived in feel," says Adam. "You can then finish by blasting the hair with cold air while screwing your hair into the palm of your hand. This will leave behind the ultimate tousled locks."
Want a little more volume?
"Spray your fingers with Arkive The Mastery Hairspray and rub it directly into the roots and scalp for a rough, textured finish," suggests Adam.
The deep side-sweep for twists & braids with Cantu UK’s natural hair expert, Dionne Smith
Model and influencer Bianca Lawrence has been wearing her hair in twists recently and we’re here for it. "Although it’s nice to leave them loose, I love that you can create a party season look with them. This is easy to recreate, plus it makes for a seriously good hair day," she says.
Here, Dionne Smith, celebrity hairstylist and Cantu UK’s natural hair education expert, shares her step-by-step for the perfect party ‘do. Scroll on for her top tips and some of our favourite product picks.
"To begin, part out a small section at the front of your head near to the hairline and clip it away," says Dionne.
"Next, part the rest of the hair into two halves from ear to ear and divide it into two sections."
Now, it’s all about securing the look.
"Roll the hair in the upper section into a horizontal roll and use bobby pins to secure," says Dionne. "Take your time over this to ensure it stays in place."
"Take the lower section and put it into a side ponytail. Use a hair elastic that blends in with your natural colour for the most undetectable result."
"Next, take the section of hair that is clipped up at the front and sweep it round to join the side ponytail and secure it with another band," says Dionne.
For added lustre, you can run a small amount of Pattern Jojoba Oil Blend through lengths for a nourishing coat of moisture.
Pop on your headband of choice and secure it with bobby pins. The beauty of this look is that you don’t actually need too many products, but if you want, you can neaten up the edges with Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel – it’s long lasting and never flakes, making it perfect for a long night on the dance floor.
Want to keep your twists in tip top condition? Sleep wearing the Cantu Braid Bonnet Classic – it’s brilliant for helping to protect your strands. And if you’re in need of a refresh, you can also give Wakati Re-Activating Conditioning Mist a go. It’s a really great option for boosting moisture in between hair wash days.
Want some speedy make-up tips and tricks to accompany your new ‘do? Check out these three looks that’ll take you from desk to dancefloor in an instant.