How to style party hair: up-do's and short hair

Woman with short hair

Creating simple up-dos

Try one of these simple yet striking way of putting your hair up for a night out

1. Sweep hair into a high ponytail.

2. Backcomb hair and spritz with some light hairspray.

3. Sweep the hair around into a bun and secure with grips.

4. Pull out tendrils of hair at the front to frame the face and tease some out of the bun to make a messy look.

5. For extra security, use some decorative hair pins and a final burst of hairspray.

Pony on the side

For a super-simple yet chic style for longer hair, try a side ponytail. ‘Part the hair low and to the side and take the front section across the forehead, holding it with a pin,' says Skyler McDonald at ‘Backcomb the back section of hair to add volume, unpin the front section of hair and bring it over the top. Pull the rest of the hair into a side ponytail, securing with a band and hairspray.'

Do a French twist

This classic style takes just minutes to achieve. ‘Start by blowdrying your hair straight and smooth,' says Stephen. ‘Then brush through and bring hair together in a ponytail, twist, and use a big sparkly clip to keep in place.'

Styling short hair

Award-winning hairdresser Lisa Shepherd's top five tips for glam short looks

1. Go sleek

Using a firm-hold gel, such as Clynol Texture Titanium Extreme Hold Gel, £9.50 for 250ml (01296 314000), sleek all your hair back for a dramatic look. This works on crops and also bobs (just tuck the hair behind your ears). It's also perfect if your hair isn't as clean as you would like.

2. Accessorise

Use a hairband to jazz up your style. Backcomb your crown area and place the band in front of the crown - this gives you the illusion of a glamorous up-do.

3. Change your parting

Low side partings work with either short crops or short bobs. You will be surprised how much difference this will make to your look.

4. Be contrary

If you usually wear your hair quite flat, then add extra volume by blowdrying and using a texturising powder, such as Clynol Powder Punch, £10.60 (01296 314000), or if you wear your hair big, then flatten it down and give it a parting!

5. Add some colour

Use a semi-permanent colour to add lustrous shine and richness to your hair - try Schwarzkopf Direct Colour (available at Schwarzkopf salons). Try a rich, chocolatey crop, or go bold and add red tones - as long as they don't clash with your party dress!

Sleek and chic

‘If you have short hair, rake any long layers forward,' says Stephen Low of Neville Hair. ‘It will make the eyes look sensual, as they're slightly hidden. Starting at the crown, blowdry hair forward, then spread a dab of pomade or cream over your fingers and smooth them through your hair to add an elfin look to cropped hair. Use hairclips to hold in place,' adds Stephen. ‘Blowdrying short hair from start to finish can make it look puffy. Mist some styling spray all over wet hair and don't reach for the dryer until hair is about 90 per cent air-dried. Hold the dryer above your head and aim the air down at the crown to smooth against your head.'

Glamour to go

To give short hair the glam factor, go for Marilyn Monroe-style locks,' says Jonathan Long, co-founder of salon to the stars, Lockonego. Here's his step-by-step guide:

1. Blowdry hair using a round brush, to add volume.

2. Make 20 wands from kitchen foil (8in long, 1in wide).

3. Starting from the bottom of the head, take sections of hair and wind them neatly around the wands.

4. Twist the foil ends together to secure the hair.

5. Heat the hair with a diffuser for 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Let hair cool and spritz with Sebastian Professional Re-Shaper, £14.10 for 400ml (

7. Unravel the curls to reveal a head of bouncy locks.

8. For more volume, run your fingers through the hair to separate the sections, creating more curls.

Shine on

‘Spritz a shine spray on to a blusher brush and buff in for gorgeous shiny hair - it stops too much product depositing and looking greasy,' says Rae Palmer, former Southern Hairdresser of the Year. ‘Many people think that if you have short hair, you're limited on styling and creating different looks, but short hair can be versatile,' says Stephen. ‘Add volume to your crown to create a beehive or a mini mowhawk and pin back the sides.'

Find out how to create styles with waves and volume

See our video how-to guides here - up-dos and blow drys


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