Celeb-inspired Holiday Hair Tips

1229023591Our hair is a classic underachiever. (Well, just mine. Lots of fellow Bostonistas have wildly successful, popular, fun hair.)

I know I should coax it to greatness, but I am (mostly) busy and generally distracted and also somewhat conflict-averse, so I usually overlook its mediocrity. My patience, however, expires around the holidays. So our December interaction tends to go something like this:

Me: Hey! Holiday parties! Let’s get ready!
Hair: Meh. How about we stay home and make faux-healthy macaroni and cheese and watch Britney: On the Record instead?
Me: Come on! We’ll have fun!
Hair: Not feeling it.
Me: You know what? I don’t ask for much. I don’t force you to change. No highlights. Not much random goop. I even bought the special no-snag hair ties after that stylist accused me of trying to murder you with the regular kind. So will you please do me this one favor and behave passably for a few hours?
Hair: But it’s so hard. And I’m just not naturally good at looking good. So let’s just stay here, and I’ll remain messily stuck on top of your head, and you can wear the college sweatpants with the hole in the ass, and we’ll both be happy.
Me: You are, hands down, the worst.

And then I drag it to the party, where it sulks and demands to be put up in an artless and non-voluminous ponytail.

But, according to SalonCapri owner Nick Penna, our relationship doesn’t have to be quite so dysfunctional. He recommends three low-maintenance, party-friendly looks.

The “Heidi” Braid: The casual side braid Lauren Conrad and others have been sporting forever can easily be dressed up for parties. The key to providing extra polish, he says, is to secure all of your hair into a low side ponytail or bun after you’ve finished the braid, like so.

The Bow: Bows are big right now. But to avoid looking…well, stupid, proper placement is critical. Penna suggests positioning yours slightly-off center, like Ashley Tisdale’s. (Also note that the bow is not the size of her head.)

Informal Updos: I will admit that I was skeptical of this one. As a rule, updos are not easy. And if they are, they look too much like our everyday “I simply did not have the energy to try” pony. But the difference, Penna says, is that the fancy version should have added height at the crown. This can be achieved via good old-fashioned back-combing (aka teasing, aka ratting).

The look works best with long, side-swept bangs. After teasing, leave a section of bang down and tie the rest back into a low ponytail. (See how well it works on our very own Maria Menounos? Although, to be fair, she clearly did some extra curling of the ends, which adds time and effort.)

SalonCapri, 31 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, 617-969-1970; 1207 River St., Hyde Park, 617-361-3830; saloncapri.com.