15 Versatile Party Hairstyles Ranging from Sophisticated Waves to Sleek Updos

Everybody has a favorite hairstyle. Our daily hairstyle is likely second nature. Whether it’s down, half up, in a bun or braid, we do it every day. These hairstyles may be convenient but they won’t cut it when you want to look your best. You have to be able to change things up sometimes and try a more party-ready look.

Just because a hairstyle is suitable for a special occasion doesn’t mean that it will be difficult to create. We spoke with professional hairstylists Justin Toves and Marwa Bashir about their favorite fancy haircuts. Find over a dozen party-ready hairstyles, along with tips on how to achieve them.

Bow-Adorned Retro Swoop

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@justinemarjan / Instagram

Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist, is the creator of this half-up hairstyle with a bow. The swooped ends and the bow accessory, which is very trendy at the moment, are what make this look so special. Retro glam is back, and we love it.

French girl Bob

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Bashir’s French girl bob is the inspiration behind Maren Morris. What’s her secret to creating this effortlessly stylish hairstyle? She reveals that she diffuses a wave-enhancing hair product before curling the hair to create a “natural” French girl texture. Dae Hibiscus Wave Spray, Gisou’s Propolis Infused Texturizing Wave Spray are our favorite wave sprays.

Easy Low Party Pony

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A hairstyle does not have to be super complex to make it suitable for the red carpet. Margot Robbie’s low pony is a great example of this. Toves Vincilione says, “This is one of the easiest styles to achieve but it makes a big statement.” It’s like a messy bun but with a ponytail. This style is best for straight hair, or curly/coily straight hair. A fringe with layers that frame the face are required.

The way you use hot tools can influence the finish. Toves Vincilione explains that if you use an iron like a wand you’ll get a more worn-in finish. If you use the clamp you will get more polished curls. You can choose how much polish to use to achieve the desired effect.

Sculpted s-Waves

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Bashir also loves to wear a sculpted S wave style for parties (like Kirstin’s). The only difference between classic S-waves, and sculpted S waves is that the latter is finished with high-shine spray. The texture is also enhanced. This prolongs the look and style. Bashir advises using a firm hold hairspray as a final touch to ensure the wave lasts all night. Here are some of our top hairspray choices.

Beachwaver 3B Waver is a great alternative to a flat iron if you are not good at creating the S-wave style.

Twisted updo

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Consider a classic updo like Gemma Chan has here for a party look. Start by sectioning your face framing strands. After that, you can brush your rest of hair into a ponytail. Then twist the ends into a bun. Pin the hair in place. Finish by lightly S waving your face framing strands. You can choose to part them down the middle, or to one side.

A Headband with Curls

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Toves Vincilione, like us, loves the vintage look Zendaya’s curly hair has with a black silk ribbon. This look is classic and simple, perfect for a party or if you have to quickly transition from day to night wear. The goal of these curls is to have a barely there finish. This hairstyle is best achieved with a 1.5-inch curling tool. If your hair does not hold a curly shape, choose a 1.25″ curling iron.”

To achieve a soft, ethereal look, Toves Vincilione recommends using a boar bristle to smooth the curls. Emi Jay Mini Boar Bristle Brush is a great brush to achieve these results and add a stylish accent on your vanity.

The Perfect High Pony

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When styled properly, high ponytails can be as elegant as a gala. Look at J.Lo. To create the perfect high-ponytail that is free of bumps and doesn’t put too much pressure on your hairline, you need to do it in two steps. Bashir says that she anchors her ponytails by placing half of them up first, to get the right placement. Then she adds the rest before securing it with an elastic.

Braids, Locs and Sculpted Braids

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Toves Vincilione believes that Lupita’s halo hairstyle is a necessity for the party season. He says that this hairstyle is ideal for those who wear protective natural styles like locs or braids. There are many ways to customize these semi-permanent or permanent styles. You can also break your locs or braids down into smaller sections, and then make larger braids from them. You can pin or tie each section down to create an “up style.”

Toves Vincilione says that using a black thread and large plastic needle, rather than bobbypins, is an excellent way to secure braids or locs in updos.

Slicked Back Chignon

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Everyday, slicked-back rolls are the go-to style. If you’re going to a special event, however, you might want to opt for a chignon with the ends out, similar Bella Hadid. Bashir suggests that to create a sleek updo with no flyaways you should gel-dry your hair section by section, using a boar bristle comb. ICYWW – This is also the secret to a middle part at your hairline. Click here to see 17 of our favorites hair gels.

Micro Fringe Moment

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Want to make an impact at your next party? Micro fringe is a bold choice. Bashir recommends using crease-less clip to fix your fringe after styling and drying it. This is particularly helpful for people with cowlicks. Kitsch Eco-Friendly Creaseless Clip Set is our favorite.

Elevated Vintage curls

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Do you like the idea of an old-fashioned party hairstyle? Toves Vincilione believes Kaia Gerber’s Met Gala hairstyle is a great inspiration. He says that this look is a nod towards the ’20s, while also embracing the cool girl aesthetics of today’s most popular hairstyles. He explained how to get the look.

He says that before you curl your hair, use a heat protector to prep your hair.

He says to use a pomade and a smoothing brush with boar bristles. You can use as little or as much pomade depending on the shine and control you need for your hair.

Using your smoothing brush, control any flyaways.

He says that after the hair has been pinned, you can use your fingers to smooth out the curls and a smoothing brush to build volume.

Sleek half-up, half-down ‘Do

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@justinemarjan / Instagram

Who doesn’t like a half up, half down do? This style seems to be in vogue. Take a tip from Marjan to make your hair party-ready. This super-sleek style, featuring a face framing tendril along one side of the hair part and a chignon with the ends out in the back, was created by the stylist for television personality Maria Menounos.

Glossy Bow-Updo

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@justinemarjan / Instagram

We’ve already mentioned that bows are the hair accessories of the moment. This large one Marjan used for Olivia Culpo is one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Start with a braided, slicked back bun. Pin the Ruslan baginskiy Black satin bow Barrette to finish.

Wispy updo

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@justinemarjan / Instagram

This updo is so coquettish and charming on Ella Balinska. Marjan created this look by curling the entire head of her hair, sectioning face-framing strands, and pulling out the rest into a messy wispy ponytail. Try curling your hair with the T3 Ceramic Long Barrel Curling Iron 1.5″.

French Twist

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@justinemarjan / Instagram

We have one more Marjan masterpiece to share with you: the classic French Twist (albeit a super-voluminous version). What’s her secret to getting maximum volume? The perfect placement of Great Lengths USA hair extensions.

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