French twist updo

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy C. Johnson

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The Beginner's French Twist
The hardest part about this look: not flattening the bump you created on top. The pinning part is easy, says Johnson.

1. One of the biggest mistakes women make with updos is not creating volume before they start styling, says Johnson. Set freshly washed and dried shoulder-length (or longer) hair in sections with hot rollers and let them cool.

2. Remove the rollers and gently brush out curls. Then tease hair at the crown using a fine-tooth comb and spritz roots with a light-hold hairspray. His favorite: Sebastian Shaper Zero Gravity, $20.

3. Brush the hair along the sides of your head into a ponytail at ear level, but use your hands to gently sweep the teased section back.

4. Twist the tail onto itself (almost as if you're creating a chignon), anchoring it with bobby pins as you twirl and leaving the ends out at the top. To make it extra tight and secure, crisscross some of the pins.

5. Twist and tuck any stray pieces hanging down up into the base of the twist, pinning in place with more bobbies. Use a shine spray to add sheen and tame flyaways.