Effortless Party Hair
Whether for the office holiday party scheduled right after work, a major black-tie evening, or even a red-carpet appearance, few people have the time for lengthy hair prep. The look of super-worked, mega-styled hair is also not so cool at the moment, says New York stylist Harry Josh, whose clients favor his relaxed approach to dressed-up polish. “Nobody wants to look or feel overdone or stiff,” he says. “It’s about a chic, elegant ease.” Here, the founder of HarryJosh Pro Tools gives us his three favorite, incredibly quick evening hair looks for shoulder-length-or-beyond hair. “Shorter hair is even easier,” he says. “It’s about making it look healthy and shiny, period, and maybe adding in a favorite pin or other hair accessory if you like.” The key for all, he explains, is to make the casualness look deliberate. “Dressing up is a little about showing you made an effort,” he adds.
The Low-Slung Ponytail
This look is so simple that making it look “evening” is all in the attention to detail, Josh says: “Focus on creating a super-clean part, making sure everything’s tucked behind your ears, keeping it really low and chic.” Avoiding flyaways is the primary challenge. “A quick minute going over your hair with a flatiron can make a huge difference,” he adds. “Product is also really important with this style, especially serum. Some people use creams, but I love serum for the shine and polish you get. I like Frizz Ease from John Freida on damp hair or, if your hair’s thick, even on dry hair—in that case, you don’t even have to wash your hair, you just smooth a little serum between your hands and press it on to your hair, dry, and it totally makes everything sleek in an instant.”
“This season we’re seeing lots of statement earrings and necklaces, and this is the look to really rock a major accessory,” says Josh. The key here is texture: “Turn your head upside down and mist texturizing spray—I love the one from Serge Normant—all through your hair. Then gather it up in a super high cheerleader ponytail, wrap the hair around the base of the ponytail, and stick a hairpin in to secure it. Whatever sticks out or falls out is supposed to—that’s the beauty of the topknot!” Don’t overthink it, he continues: “Spend less time on your hair and more time on your face—with this look you want to have perfect skin, an impeccable face, so the hair looks intentional.”
Wear Your Hair Down
“To make this look deliberate, you need to put a quick bend in the ends,” says Josh. “Take a curling iron and just twist the last two inches of your ends around it. It doesn’t matter which direction, the bend just telegraphs that feeling of polish and sexiness you want.”
Dress the look up further with a hair accessory, especially headbands, says Josh: “I love them with hair that’s down—Jennifer Behr’s are beautiful, and even brands like Chanel and Balmain did some this year. The thing is, don’t try to make it look retro—you want modern, you want that sense of ease—so no teasing your hair, and pick a headband with a modern detail. There are gorgeous lace netting ones, or something with a little rhinestone can be chic. Think modern, sexy—and effortless.”