The 10 Best Holiday Hairstyles for Any Occasion

Holiday hairstyles don’t always have to consist of sparkly hairbands or pins — unless that’s what you want.

Although glitter may be the unofficial mascot of the season, there’s other ways you can get festive with your hair.

Meeting your significant other’s family for the first time or your office’s Zoom cocktail party are just a couple examples of the situations you’ll be thrown into over the next few months that call for a look that’s a level up from your usual top knot or air-dried waves.

To help get you inspired, we turned to red carpets past to compile a set of hairstyles that work for any formal or informal occasion you might be attending. Keep scrolling for 10 ways to wear your hair this holiday season.

 

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Dakota Johnson 

Dakota Johnson 

Whether you’re headed to a fancy intimate dinner or catching up over drinks with your friends from home, Dakota Johnson’s edgy spin on the bun you usually tie your hair up into when you don’t have time to wash it, is your hairstyle solution. 

Johnson’s hairstylist Johnnie Sapong worked Leonor Greyl Baume Bois de Rose through the actress’ mid-lengths to ends for grit and separation. Next, he spritzed Leonor Greyl Voluforme on her roots for extra lift before pulling Johnson’s hair up into a messy pleat and securing it with bobby pins. 

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Sophia Bush 

Sophia Bush 

If you aren’t feeling particularly festive this year, a sparkly constellation-inspired hair pin is a foolproof way to get into the spirit of the season. For effortless waves like Bush’s, use a flat iron or curling wand starting at your mid-lengths to create bends, then spritz a texturizing spay like R+Co's ZIG ZAG Root Teasing + Texture Spray at the roots for lift and separation. 

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Tessa Thompson

Best Holiday Hairstyles

While Tessa Thompson’s updo looks elaborate, it’s actually easy to nail. Pull your hair up into a high ponytail at the crown of your head. Then, braid the tail into three fishtail braids. Twist the braids around the base to create a top knot, pin them in place, and you’re good to go. To keep the hair from slipping while you’re braiding it, blast each section with some dry shampoo for grit and hold. We’re fans of Hask's Dry Shampoo with argan oil because it doesn’t strip hair of its natural oils. 

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Reese Witherspoon 

Reese Witherspoon 

Logging on to a Zoom cocktail party from your at-home desk? When blowing out your hair in the morning, use a large round brush like this one by Harry Josh. Start at your roots, turning it under as you work down the hair shaft for extra volume and movement that will last throughout the day. For an extra shiny finish like Reese Witherspoon’s, run a nourishing, shine-boosting oil such as Joico's K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock Glossing Oil through your hair once you’ve wrapped up blow-drying. 

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Zendaya 

Zendaya 

Yes, it’s true: The hairstyle that your mom used to give you on school picture day is one of this season’s trendiest hairstyles — and it works for low-key family dinners or New Year’s Eve parties. If you’re going to be using hot tools to create loose, bouncy curls like Zendaya’s before tying your hair up into a high half ponytail, use a heat protectant spray such as CHI's 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray to prevent heat damage. 

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Lucy Boynton

Best Holiday Hairstyles

Have a bob and think you’re limited on style options? No worries, simply embellishing your part like Lucy Boynton did at the 2020 Oscars is an easy way to dress up your cut. Add subtle waves to your bob with a curling wand, then lay down the pearls. Boynton’s stylist Jenny Cho used Gorilla Snot Gel to get the embellishments to stay in place on the red carpet.   

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Serena Williams 

Serena Williams 

Serena Williams’ three-tiered ponytail is guaranteed to be a conversation starter at the New Year’s Eve party you’re hitting up — even if it’s over video call. After sweeping your hair up into a high ponytail, add detail by sectioning it off into three tiers with the hair clips of your choice. The tennis player’s gold-accented updo was created by hairstylist Vernon François who prepped the tennis player’s hair using his Mist Water to lock in moisture, and his Leave-In Conditioner on the ends of her ponytail to protect her hair. 

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Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung 

If you style your lob in messy, textured waves on the reg like Alexa Chung, a simple part switch up is foolproof way to make your go-to look feel special for the holidays. When your hair is damp, use a comb to give yourself a deep side part and spritz a wave spray like Bumble and bumble's Surf Spray to enhance your natural waves. Tuck one side behind your ear once your hair is dry and set. 

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Tracee Ellis Ross

Best Holiday Hairstyles

The secret to Tracee Ellis Ross’s goregous afro is part good genes (her mother is the queen of disco) and part products from her Pattern Haircare Line. For soft, defined curls, try the Styling Cream, which offers deep hydration and hold. 

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Yara Shahidi

Best Holiday Hairstyles

Yes, pigtails can be a formal hairstyle. Just add some rhinestones to your braids. Along with the embellishments, Yara Shahidi finished off her look with laid edges. For the same smooth finish, try Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Edge Gel, which contains hydrating oils that keep baby hairs from getting dried out. 

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