3 Holiday Party Hairstyles For Medium Length Hair

Shoulder length hair does not mean you have to forego pretty hairstyles over the holiday season.
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Shoulder length hair does not mean you have to forego pretty hairstyles over the holiday season.

I haven’t experimented much with hairstyles since my big chop in September, but now that I have a little more length and the season of fun sparkly parties is approaching, I figured it was about time to see what I could do.

Shoulder length hair is actually pretty versatile: you can do the tiny ponytail, the tiny bun, the tiny pigtails, and all sorts of other mega-cutesy tiny baby looks. But what about the more serious occasions? What about those days when you want to feel glamorous and grown up?

Here are my three super simple go-to fancy lady styles.

1. The Double Twist

This was one of my favorite easy elegant styles back when I had long hair, and I was super excited to figure out that it translates just as well with shorter hair.

grey short hair

Begin by brushing it all out. 

Start by brushing out your hair and parting it where you see fit. I like to do updos when my hair is as dirty as possible and loaded with Kevin Murphy Dry Shampoo for extra texture. The more textured, the better.

hair twisted back

Do the twist. 

Next, take one side of your hair and start twisting it away from your face toward the back of your head, grabbing more hair as you move back (much like you would a French braid).

twisted hair pinned

Halfway twisted hair. 

When you’ve reached the back and run out of hair, pin the roll you’ve created into place.

hair roll pinned

Pin it in. 

Repeat this process on the other side to create a roll crown all the way around your head. Use bobby pins to hold everything exactly how you’d like, and when you’re satisfied, coat your head in hairspray.

double twist updo

Finished off with a light-colored bow. 

If the bundle of hair at the back of your head is too messy for you, try adding a ribbon or a bow for a bit of classy old world charm. For some reason this one made me feel like a character in Mickey’s Christmas Carol (an all-time Alyssa Christmas favorite).

2. The Half Pin

I’ve been obsessed with the half-pinned-back look ever since I saw Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, and the style actually lends itself quite well to shorter hair.

instyler tulip curler

Lazy curling with the Tulip. 

Start by curling your hair. Because I’m the least patient person in the entire world, I usually suck at curling my hair, but I’ve just discovered the InStyler Tulip ($119.97) and I’m totally obsessed! It’s basically a robot that curls your hair for you. Seriously. Go get one right now.

curled short hair

Once your hair is curled, simply pin one side back in a sexy manner (preferably with sparkly bobby pins), add a swipe of red lipstick, and you’re a total smoldering temptress!

3. The Messy Beehive

This is most complex style on my list. You’re going to need a lot of texture and volume to make this look work, especially if you’re lacking hair like me.

brushed out curls

Lacking hair, sort of care.

Start by brushing out your hair from front to back and eliminating your part

Next you need to add volume. A lot of it.

brushed out hair

Adding volume with the Voloom.

half beehive hair

Check out this height. 

I went in with the Voloom Hair Volumizing Iron, a handy new tool that looks like a straightening iron, but adds volume to your hair. It’s a great replacement for backcombing when you’re trying to add height, and it’s crazy-easy to use: just place it where you’d like volume, press down a few times, and you’re good!

hair pinned back

Pinning back the bouffant. 

With my hair fully voloomed all around the crown and front of my head, I brushed the top half of my hair back into a tall bouffant and pinned it into place with a bobby pin. You can achieve the same effect by backcombing your hair if you don’t currently own some sort of volumizing machine.

hair bouffant back

Sweep it up in back, and pin it in place. 

Next, take the remaining bottom half of your hair and swirl it into a little bun near the bobby pin holding the top half of your hair, and again pin it into place.

beehive hair updo

With the delicately curled front accent hair pieces. 

Last but not least, curl the messy bits closest to your face for added elegance. Giant glittery earrings are also encouraged. 

  • Think you might try any of these looks? 
  • What are your favorite fancy updos when your hair is lobbed?