Holidays are filled all kinds of excuses to get fancied up (like holiday parties!). I love to feel spiffy, but, as a mom of young kiddos, sometimes it’s tough to find all of the minutes needed to doll myself up for a special occasion.

In my world the act of preparing to be beautiful is interrupted, rushed and sometimes stressful.  Here are a few holiday hacks that I use daily to create compliment-worthy styles.

Quick Party-Ready Hair

I love styling hair — I even tried to be a beautician, but my dad made me go to college first, and, well, now I run a marketing agency. So I’m not a pro, but I am a hobbyist.

A few tips before you start:
  1. Work with dry hair.
  2. Your hair doesn’t have to be clean — I think second day hair is the easiest to work with. But it does need to look clean.
  3. Spring for the good bobby pins that best match your hair color. I get mine from Sally Beauty Supply: They hold hair much better than the cheap ones, so you can trust your style for longer.
  4. Wear a zip up or button down so you don’t have to mess up your hair after it’s finished.
  5. Try out the style before any big occasion. I do a test run a few times before so I’m comfortable with the steps when it’s go-time.
  6. Get some good firm-hold hairspray to finish off your style. I really like Chi Helmet Head. Use the heavy-duty spray, like Helmet Head, when your style is completely finished. Try not to over-spray though — the stuff is like lacquer. It’s not meant for touchable styles, but your hair will stay put all day (and night) long!
  7. After an intense up-do, treat your hair to some extra conditioner. I jump in the shower after letting my hair down and condition it first, then comb it, then wash and condition it. Otherwise, undoing all the hairspray and teasing is really tough on my hair.

I have long and relatively straight, thin hair. These bun styles work well with hair shoulder-length and longer. Thick, thin, curly, and straight hair are all lovely in these styles.

Simple Bun

Gather Supplies:
1 hair tie
Bobby pins
Hair clip
Hair spraysimple-bun-step-4

  • Part hair from ear to ear. I separate out this hair because it’s easier for me to pin the front of my hair back after I secure the bun in place.
  • Clip front section of hair out of the way. Secure back portion of hair with hair tie.
  • Wrap hair around last loop of hair tie.
  • Put your fingers under the last and loosest loop of your hair tie.
  • Pull the loose hair from your ponytail around the hair tie and through the loop.
  • Use this method to keep wrapping your hair around until you’ve secured most of your hair up. Shorter hair may only wrap once or twice; longer hair like mine will wrap three or four times.

simple-bun-step-5d

  • This is what it will look like when you’re finished.
  • Spread out hair as desired in bun.

    simple-bun-step-7a
  • Arrange front of hair. You can leave strands in front, tease up a big poof, or part your hair on the side. Try braiding a few strands before securing back for more fun! Try to hide your pins under the bun so they don’t show in your finished style.
  • I like to pin back the sides first. I like them fairly tight.
  • Then, for the top, I pin each side of my part back loosely, for a bit more volume.

simple-bun-step-8

  • Wrap hair from front around the base of your bun.

You can also braid it and arrange it around the outside of your bun or arrange it in pinned curls to the side, top, or bottom. I wrap my hair around a finger and then pin to create curls that stay in place all evening long.

simple-bun-step-9-1

  • Pin down bun edges and spray!

Double Bun

Gather Supplies:
supplies
2 hair ties
Bobby pins
2 hair clips
Hairspray
Brush
Comb

  • Part front section of hair from ear to ear. I separate out this hair because it’s easier for me to pin the front of my hair back after I secure the ponytail in place.
  • Clip front section of hair out of the way.
  • Starting around the middle of the back of your ears, part your hair horizontally in an inverted V shape. The inverted V shape is important because it will hide your part once you get the two buns in place.

double-bun-step-5double-bun-step-5-2double-bun-step-5-3

 

 

 

 

  • Secure bottom of hair into a ponytail. Depending upon how high you want to wear this style, place the bottom ponytail about 2 to 3 inches (depending on how thick and large your buns will be) below where you want to wear your top bun. I like to wear this style higher on my head so the top bun can be seen from the front.
  • Put your fingers under the last and loosest loop of the hair tie. Pull the loose hair from your ponytail around the hair tie and through the loop. Use this method to keep wrapping your hair around until you’ve secured most of your hair up. Shorter hair may only wrap once or twice; longer hair like mine will wrap three or four times.
  • Spread out hair as desired in bun and pin bottom bun in place.

double-bun-step-6

double-bun-step-8-1double-bun-step-8-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Create a ponytail with your middle section of hair and repeat step 6 with top bun. This should be very close to the edge of the bottom bun.  This bun won’t have hair pulled all the way around, it will stop about 3/4 of the way. The two buns will look like a joined figure-8 when finished, not two separate buns.
  • Arrange front of hair
    You can leave strands in front, tease up a big poof, or side part. Try braiding a few strands before securing back for more fun! I like to pin back the sides first. Then, for the top, I pin each side of my part back loosely, for a bit more volume. Try to hide your pins under the bun so they don’t show in your finished style.
  • Wrap hair from front around the base of your buns. You can also braid it and arrange it around the outside of your bun or arrange it in pinned curls to the side, top, or bottom.  I wrap my hair around a finger and then pin to create curls that stay in place all evening long.
  • Pin down top bun edges and spray. To keep the bun even, try putting your fingers through a section of hair in the bun then pinning under your fingers. Then spread the hair out under the pin to even out any gaps.

Side Braid

Kylside-braid-hair-descriptionee is modeling this hair style for me. She has long, thick, curly hair. This style is great for thick, thin, curly, and straight hair. It’s best for hair shoulder length or longer. I’m not going to do a French braid tutorial here — I’m just explaining how to get this particular style to come together.

 

 

Gather Supplies:
1 small hair tie
Bobby pins

side-braid-step-3

  • Part your hair on the side.
  • Arrange top hair and pin hair around the back of the crown of your head. If you like a poof, now is the time to tease and secure. On the long side of your part, pin your hair down around back of your head.  This is to keep you from messing up your poof or pulling the top hairs too tight into the braid. It will mark the top edge of your braid.

side-braid-step-4-2

  • Start braiding from the corner on the short side or your part. Continue braiding around the back of your head, picking up hair from the top along the pin line and from base of your hair line.  Incorporate hair from both sides of the braid until you don’t have any hair on the bottom side of the braid left to pick up.
  • Make a one-sided French braid for two to three braid notches. For these, only pick up hair for the side of the braid still hanging from the long side of your part. This will allow you to braid in the rest of the hair and make a tight turn with your braid when you pin it down. Then, finish out the braid and secure with a small hair tie.

side-braid-step-5side-braid-step-6-2side-braid-step-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pin your braid. Remove any pins from the crown of your head that are still showing. After that, pull your hanging braid up in place, along the French braid. Pin it down under the braid to secure in place. Either hide the end of your braid or wrap the loose hairs around and pin so they’re not sticking out.
  • Finish, spray and enjoy! Pull out a few hairs in front and loosen any pieces around the face and crown needed to soften the style. Then rock your style!

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