In lieu of a salon and a pair of expertly trained hands to do your hair for you, creating an at-home hairdressers in order to prep for all the parties populating the calendar is the next best thing. And while achieving the ultimate party hair might feel like a minefield – where to start to get that volume, bounce, and shine? – following Vogue’s easy five-step guide will help you to achieve the ultimate party hair, in a flash.
Step 1: Wash Your Hair Right
“Shampoo and conditioner is where good party hair begins,” says Jonathon Eagland, senior stylist at John Frieda Salons. “To create a lustrous shine, caucasian hair types should shampoo not once, but twice.” The first wash lifts the accumulated dirt and pollution sitting on the hair, while the second helps remove it while nourishing the hair. “Apply conditioner in mid lengths to ends, avoiding roots to ensure they don’t become lank and void of volume,” says Eagland. Try L’Oréal Professionnel’s Série Expert Vitamino Colour Resveratrol Shampoo to encourage shine and enhance hair’s natural colour, and Living Proof’s Leave-In Conditioner is a good all-rounder.
Afro and textured hair types should steer clear of the double shampoo method, however, because the aim of the game is always moisture. “You need to feed the hair with thicker conditioners and masks or treatments – the more coarse the hair, the more it needs moisture for movement,” explains Eagland. Some of the best are Virtue’s Restorative Treatment Mask and Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque.
Step 2: Prep Hair For Heat
To really elevate how your hair looks and feels, don’t underestimate the importance of a good styling product. Those with straight hair who struggle to avoid it looking flat should try using a volume mousse, like Pureology’s Clean Volume Mousse, through mid lengths and ends to help give hair a ‘memory’ and add movement. “I also love using a volumising root spray because it makes lift easy, but you should avoid spraying too much, too closely,” says Eagland.
Afro and textured girls should stick to the cardinal rule of constantly adding moisture into their curls: “You need to hydrate hair more than you might think. Several pumps of an intense oil or serum – and a curl defining cream [we love Amika’s Curl Corps Defining Cream] will do wonders.”
Step 3: Blow Dry
“For longer, caucasian hair, my top tip for blow drying at home is to use as large a brush as possible,” says Eagland. “Take hair into large sections – for example, at the front of your head split the two sections to each ear – then all you have to do is run the brush into hair and wind it in, making sure to point the nozzle of the hairdryer downwards.” This technique smoothes the cuticle, preventing frizz and imparting that all-important shine.
For curlier hair types, he recommends using your fingers to wind curls into sections, twisting them away from your face. “You can either leave to dry naturally or use a diffuser on a slow speed and medium heat,” he advises. Slow and steady wins the race to avoid frizz.
Step 4: Style It
For some, a blow dry is enough; while for others the hair party is just beginning at this stage. Fortunately some of Eagland’s most requested in-salon styles can be easily recreated at home. For an effortless ‘undone wave’ which is simple enough for even a novice, use a pair of straighteners and, moving down through the hair, bend it from side to side, using the heat to give you a slight ‘s’ wave: “Hold for longer for more resistant or straighter hair.”
For a half-up, half-down style, start by blow drying or tonging for desired texture, then: “Use your thumbs to take hair from behind the ears and bring to the centre of the back of the head, just below the crown. Make a pony, then finish by either wrapping hair around or use fabric or an accessory to secure.” Finish by misting with hairspray, like Kevin Murphy’s Session Spray Flex.
For a low-maintenance option, consider simply changing your parting: “Flip your normal parting to the other side and it usually gives more volume. Then tuck the other side of your hair behind your ears.”
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Lazy girl’s tip: a simple hairband or a barrette can add sparkle to very low-maintenance hair, so try adding them, while a misting of your signature scent behind ears and through ends, to make sure your festive meet and greets are memorable.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk