So you’ve properly prepared (by reading this post) and are touched-up, plucked, bronzed, exfoliated, plumped and painted. Whew! Now it’s time to figure out what the heck you should do with your hair for that wedding coming up.
I have nothing against blow-dry bars in theory—they do provide a fantastic service, after all—and I often think about going to one outside of the times when I’m invited as a member of the media. Except that whenever I let anyone other than this guy style my hair, I tend to walk out happy only about 12 percent of the time. So ungrateful, aren’t I? Well, what can I say—I’m picky. But also, not many people can do a good blow-dry without resorting to the dreaded Mermaid Hair or Anchorwoman Hair or even I Could Have Stayed Home and Did This Myself Hair.
This is why I tend to take the DIY route. And you can too! You just need a little sumpin’-sumpin’ to elevate your usual look and make it a bit more special. So! I found three gorgeous celebs to demonstrate three gorgeous options: a hair-down style, a ponytail and a bun. Here are the deets!
LOOK #1: Olivia Wilde’s bangs ‘n high pony
Olivia Wilde is really growing on me. Maybe it’s because she’s been linked to so many handsome men lately. Or (more likely) it’s because the way she’s styling herself has MUCH improved. It all started with the bangs. And remember how she used to go so overboard on the makeup? Thankfully it’s toned down now.
Anyway! This ponytail look, I think, is a perfect ‘do for anyone with bangs and hair that’s at least shoulder-length or longer. Ponytails can really be hit and miss when you’re trying to look dressed up, but I think bangs can make all the difference. They automatically dress it up!
Here’s the side view—notice how the hair has been wrapped around the elastic to conceal it.
1. As soon as you get out of the shower, style those bangs so that they don’t dry in a weird, annoying shape. Use a round brush to dry them straight, flipping back and forth from one side to the other. (Don’t curl them under, however. If you want, you can go over them very lightly with a flat iron.)
2. Put a volumizing (and ideally, heat-protective) product or two at your roots, flip your hair upside down, and then blow-dry the rest of your hair. When it’s still damp, put in a beach texturizing spray or a mousse such as Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly (or both!) in order to encourage some natural wave. Use your fingers to sort of scrunch your hair as it dries—this will give you Olivia-like texture. If you’re using a mousse, you also want to do the Charles Baker Strahan signature tousling technique: work the mousse it into your roots with the pads of your fingers, vigorously moving them back and forth to create movement in the underneath layers.
3. Pull your hair back into a high ponytail and secure it with a clear elastic band. Take a small section and wrap it around the elastic, securing it with mini bobby pins (ESSENTIAL!) in a crisscross pattern.
4. Copy Olivia’s makeup. Isn’t it amazing? I love the slightly ’60s thing she has going on with the upper lash line only.
LOOK #2: Rosario Dawson’s sideswept waves
Remember how I said retro looks are really in style this season? This is an awesome way to channel the trend without having to execute something as complicated as say, what Emma Roberts did here. Just pulling it to one side instantly makes long hair more special.
But there is an extra touch of interest here—check out the cute braid!
1. Apply a heat-protective product before blow-drying your hair smooth.
2. Create long, loose waves with either a curling iron (harder) or hot rollers (easier). If you’re using the former, make sure it’s a larger barreled one. This is a good little how-to vid. However, I’m still no good at fiddling with hand-held heat tools, so I usually just put my hair up in hot rollers. Spray the sections with hairspray first to help hold the curl, and then let the rollers cool completely before you take them out.
3. Brush out the curls and smooth them with a tiny drop of hair serum or pomade.
5. Take a small section from one side and loosely braid it to a few inches below your ear. To secure it, crisscross your bobby pins (in the same colour as your hair).
LOOK #3: Blake Lively’s textured, braided bun
We praised this look already the other day, but I think it’s worth including here because unlike many of the fancy-schmanzy updos you see in Hollywood-land, this one is actually something we can copy at home. A messy texture is very forgiving!
Here’s the back view:
1. Follow the directions above for getting Olivia’s beachy texture (sans straight bangs, of course). Sprinkle in some hair powder and work it in with your fingers to beef up the texture.
2. Take a small section from the left side of the crown and braid it, leaving a few inches at the end. If it will stay in the braid without an elastic, then don’t use one—but if not, secure with a clear elastic. Repeat on the right side.
3. Leaving the two braids loose, create a third, thicker braid with the rest of the hair at the nape of the neck, again securing it at the end with a clear elastic band. Then, wrap it around itself to create a loose, low bun, fastening it as securely as possible with crisscrossed bobby pins.
4. Finally, wrap each remaining braid around the bun, creating a circular shape and then loosely pinning. Pull away some tendrils around the face to complete the beachy feel.
And there you have it—three seriously DIY-friendly hairstyles. You’re welcome.
Which one is your favourite—Olivia’s, Rosario’s or Blake’s?
What do you usually do with your hair for weddings or other special events?
I found this pic of Anne Hathaway when I was searching for wedding stuff. Obviously not appropriate for a guest… but do you like this for a bride?