Think Carrie Bradshaw in the opening scene of Sex and The City, the movie, or think back even further to the unforgettable Grace Kelly, in other words think of wearing your hair up. And if you think this is something you need the hairdresser for—think again.
Even those with limited dexterity can manage a simple ponytail, and the good news is that many up dos require just a little skill.
For the simple chignon you’ll need a covered elastic (no scrunchies) and some hairpins and bobby pins that are as close to your hair color as possible. For those who want a sleek, tamed look have some gel on hand. For a less constructed chignon try making a ponytail placed at the occipital bone (that large bone that protrudes) of your skull. But do not make the ponytail totally secure with the elastic, instead pull the bottom hair of the ponytail through the elastic, so you’ll have messy knot. If you like, you can leave some of the ends of the hair exposed—poking out. If you want the chignon neat take those ends and tuck them into the base of the ponytail with a few hairpins. But whether neat or messy be sure you don’t leave the elastic showing. You can cover it by wrapping a strand of hair around the elastic and securing it with a hairpin
If your hair is layered, and you have bangs, you can leave them out of the chignon for a more casual look, or slick them back for a more dramatic effect. If the sides of your hair are not caught in the ponytail, you can wet them with a spray bottle and then slick them back with gel. If you want those sides to be extra secure use some bobby pins. Unlike the days of Grace Kelly it’s okay for bobby pins to be exposed in the same way we expose a bit of lingerie.
A chignon is not your only choice when it comes to an up do. If you want a more elaborate style start by parting your hair into sections. Make a clean parting behind each ear, then take the back and roll it into a French twist and secure with hair and bobby pins; and like the chignon the twist can be casual and less constructed. For this look don’t roll the top of the hair into the twist, instead leave those hairs loose—sticking up—almost fanned out. Then take the side sections and feed them loosely into the twist securing them with hairpins. Here is where you can get a bit creative. Take one-inch partings from the side sections and twirl each one several times before securing into the twist. If your hair is long you can rake those sides with your fingers, leaving the ends of that hair loose too, then add it to the hair left loose at the top of the twist and secure with a few hair pins; this will give you a rumpled fun up do. For something less casual once all the hair is secured and the ends are not rolled into the twist you can curl them with an iron. If you’re uncomfortable using an iron, dampen the ends of the hair and roll them in sponge curlers, then let dry, or force dry with a blow dryer.
So on those hot, humid summer nights when you’re afraid your smooth, blow-dried hair will turn to frizz, or if you have just stepped in from the beach and received a last minute invitation skip the blow dry—just put it up.