Simple, classic hairstyles

French actress Lea Seydoux at the premiere of the James Bond film Spectre in Paris on Oct 29.
French actress Lea Seydoux at the premiere of the James Bond film Spectre in Paris on Oct 29.PHOTO: AFP

The end of the year is fast approaching and with it comes the party plans and festive dinner invites.

Besides the mental and emotional preparation for the inevitable reminiscing and the making of resolutions that these events will spark, there is also the all- important decision of what to do with your hair.

With all the other party preparations competing for time, it is important to be able to achieve a glamorously elegant look that is fuss-free and long-lasting.

Here are three simple yet classic styles that you can easily create and wear for the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.

TOUSLED LONG BOB

The bob was all the rage this season, with celebrities such as actress Sarah Hyland and model Kiko Mizuhara pulling off stunning variations at red-carpet events.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence (above), who has worn her blonde locks at shoulder length for a while now, was seen at the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 last month with this refreshing take on the short style.

"Curls always give a look a bit more glamour and this style is also very easy to achieve," says Mr Gary Chew, 42, co-founder and director of Salon Vim.

How to get the look

  • Wash and towel dry hair.
  • Apply a volumising mousse to the hair from the roots to the tips. This will add texture and lift to the hair. Allow the hair to dry naturally or blow-dry the hair for added lift
  • If the hair is very dry, apply a frizz serum or oil to the ends to help moisturise the hair.
  • Divide the hair into sections of about 5cm wide. Plait each section from the roots until about 2cm above the ends. Tie off each section with a small hair tie.
  • Use a flat iron to heat each braid from the top to the hair tie. This will create the waves needed for the look.
  • Remove the hair ties and run a wide-toothed comb once or twice through the hair. Combing the hair too much will make it look messy.
  • Apply hair spray to the waves to set the style

SLICKED BACK HIGH PONYTAIL WITH CURLS

British actress Kate Beckinsale (above) showed off her sharp features with this sophisticated look on the red carpet of the British Fashion Awards 2015 in London last month.

The style is not only polished but also helps to keep hair neat and out of the way as you dance through the festivities.

How to get the look

  • Apply a volumising mousse to damp, clean hair, working it through the hair from the roots to the tips. Semi-dry the hair.
  • Part the hair into two parts - one at the crown of the head and the other below. The top half should be set with rollers to achieve more volume while the bottom half should be curled with a curling iron.
  • For the top half around the crown, use five or six large velcro rollers. Rollers should be rolled backwards, away from the face, from the ends to the roots.
  • Blow-dry the hair until it is completely dry, leaving the rollers in. Use a medium-sized curling iron to curl the bottom half.
  • Remove the rollers. Tease the set hair at the top of the head for added height, using hairspray at the roots for hold. Tie the hair into a ponytail.
  • Finish the look with hairspray to hold the curls.

LOW CHIGNON

French actress Lea Seydoux (above) was seen on the red carpet of the French premiere of the new James Bond film Spectre in October with this soft and romantic updo.

"This is a very popular style now as it does not need any curling so it is more convenient. It is also very on-trend in South Korea," says Mr Jack Kong, 41, image director at Urbanhair by Ginrich.

"Because it is a looser bun, you do not need a lot of products, which means that the style will look more natural and last longer too."

How to get the look

  • Apply a volumising spray to clean, damp hair. A spray will give the hair a softer finish as opposed to a mousse.
  • Blow-dry the hair, using the fingers to tousle it to give it more lift. If the hair is very dry, a serum or hair oil applied to the ends will help moisturise the hair.
  • Gather the hair into a low ponytail. You can leave a small lock of hair out to frame the face, like what Seydoux's stylist has done.
  • Using a boar bristle brush, gently tease the ponytail to give it more volume.
  • Use another small hair tie to secure the end of the ponytail. This will help to keep the hair in place as you create the chignon.
  • Starting from the end of the ponytail, roll the hair inwards to the nape of the neck, creating the chignon. Use hair pins to secure the style.
  • Apply a little light wax over the hair to keep flyaways in place, then hairspray to finish the look.

More expert tips

Here are some other preparations you can make to cut down on the time you spend on your hair before the big party:

  • Perm: Ms Jennie Sng, 51, creative team stylist at Kim Robinson, says: "If your hair is very straight, I would suggest a body perm or a digital perm before the event.

"When you use a curling iron on very straight hair, the curls do not always last for more than a few hours.

"A curling iron will give permed hair more defined curls that look more polished and the perm will help the curls to hold for longer."

  • Highlights: Ms Sng recommends highlighting the hair to give it more texture.

"Colour always makes the hair look different and gives it more depth."

  • Treatments: Mr Gary Chew, 42, co-founder and director of Salon Vim, also reminds those who often style their hair that it is important for them to get their hair treated regularly.

"It is always easier to style healthy, strong hair and the results look better too. It is worth pampering yourself, not just to keep your hair strong but also to help you keep styling it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2015, with the headline 'Simple, classic hairstyles'. Print Edition | Subscribe