Q: How can I have hair fit for a holiday queen without too much fuss?
A: Inexpensive ways to look festive are fun and easy, and it all begins with hair. A quick tip: When you decorate your hair, keep earrings and necklaces small. You also can forgo a necklace. The hair accessory should be your focal point. Less is best!
FOR LONG HAIR
Long hair has many options. Try a simple bun-maker for up-dos, like the Hair Donut from Claire’s ($3.50 to $5.50 at claires.com or beauty supply stores). Pull ponytail through the middle hole and tuck around the donut. Leave a piece or two of hair out for a playful look. Jazz things up with a beaded or jeweled metallic ponytail holder ($5 to $25 at beauty supply stores). Or clip on hair braids, like the Braided Bun Synthetic Hairpiece by Revlon (voguewigs.com, $26) or Serenity Hairpiece by Jon Renau’s EasiHair (voguewigs.com, $8). Long hair also lends itself to simple flower clips or butterfly clips – typically less than $10 – at beauty supply stores.
FOR MEDIUM-LENGTH HAIR
Medium-length hair lends itself to headbands and decorated bobby pins that can be used to clip up hair to the back or one side. Headbands come in all shapes, styles and fabrics ($5 to $35 at department, accessory and beauty supply stores). Those with rhinestones or jewels are dressy for the holidays. Stones are good daytime holiday decorations. Try combining two or three skinny headbands. Metallic headbands, like bronze, silver and gold, add an elegant and festive look, too, and are available at beauty supplies and accessory stores, for around $5. Clip-on feathers, ribbons and rhinestone chains blend well with medium-length hair as stylish extensions. Clip them under layers of hair so they blend in. Make your own from items at a craft store or buy them for $5 to $40.
FOR SHORT HAIR
Clip-in hair accessories and decorated combs are romantic and perfect for short hair. If you like crafts, visit your local craft or notions store to buy flowers, and sew or glue them onto combs or hair clips. Almost anything can be sewn or glued onto a comb. I like using little bits of holiday ribbon or small holiday ornaments. Spray starch on them to add firmness. If you like the trend, try a temporary hair-color spray. Pick a few strands and add red, green, purple, blue or yellow to your locks. Color Fiend in Cherry Red ($1.99, HotTopic.com), and many other colors are available and easy to comb in to add a splash of color. Other color sprays are available for less than $6 at Walgreens, beauty supply stores, and even Amazon.com.
Christine Schwab is a longtime fashion reporter and author of Take Me Home from the Oscars: Arthritis, Television, Fashion, and Me (Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2011), in which she chronicles her years of battling rheumatoid arthritis in Hollywood.