Last-Minute Holiday Hairstyles You Can Do at Your Desk

by Lexi Novak

Steve EichnerSteve EichnerThe annual Allure holiday party is tonight, which means we all get to show off our snowflake manicures, smoky-eye makeup mastery, and...something cool with our hair. Turning day-old office hair into a fun party style means something as good-looking as a fishtail braid with all the effort of a ponytail. We want sophisticated. We want easy. We want Jessica Alba's stunning wrapped topknot. But since we don't have an hour to create an elaborate look, celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel gave us three ridiculously quick ways to spice up our hair without leaving our desks.


The bun. "A low bun can be both casual and elegant," says Farel, but it can also veer into librarian territory. Add plenty of volume on top to keep the style youthful and fun. Center part your hair just in the front, backcomb the roots at the crown, gather everything at the nape of your neck--strands should cover your ears--and pin into a loose bun.

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The ponytail. An extreme side part and a shiny finish upgrade any ponytail. Part hair way off to the side and brush it back so it's tight and slick before securing, then smooth over strands with a tiny drop of gel for a superglossy look. (Not surprisingly, Farel uses Julien Farel Haircare Sculpting Gel.) You can also "swap out your hair tie for a jewel-toned elastic, accessorize with a crystal headband," or stack several sparkly bobby pins together along your hairline for a click of holiday cheer.


The waves. If you have patience, time, and an available outlet in your office bathroom, plug in your curling iron to create soft, party-ready waves. An easier solution: Start by braiding your hair tightly (ideally before you go to work, when it's still post-shower damp) and leave it like that for as long as possible. "Before you head out for the night, take out the braids and let the waves fall naturally," says Farel. Dab a wax or pomade on the ends (we like KMS California HairPlay Messing Creme) for an edgier, less froufrou texture, then flip your head upside down and, with whatever product is left on your hands, scrunch through the roots for body. For extra credit, try doing a quick French braid along your hairline to frame your face and add a little oomph.

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