French twist updo

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy C. Johnson

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.
Undone chignon updo

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy C. Johnson

The Undone Chignon
This woven bun may look complex, but Johnson says it's totally doable. The messier, the better!

1. To keep this style from looking stiff, use Velcro or hot rollers to add body.

2. Spritz all over with a texturizing spray (we like Redken Wool Shake 08, $18, because it leaves hair soft and flexible—not sticky) and pull hair back with your hands into a low ponytail. Secure with an elastic.

3. Divide the tail into four sections.

4. One section at a time, mist with hairspray, twist and wind hair up near the base of your pony—leaving the ends out. Pin in place with bobbies that match your hair color (try matte versions that don't catch the light, like Conair Matte Minis Bobby Pins, $1.50).

5. It shouldn't be perfect, but if your low-do looks too disheveled, pin a few of the ends down. Finish with a few spritzes of light-hold hairspray (like Johnson's go-to, Sebastian Shaper)—a stronger formula can make hair look crunchy and be difficult to brush out if you make a mistake.
Royal half-up updo

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy C. Johnson

The Royal Half-Up
This style reminded us of Pippa Middleton's look on her sister's big day. To keep your hair from looking too "bridesmaid," skip accessories and avoid using too much hairspray.

1. Mist hair with hairspray; then, all over your head, wrap one-inch sections around the barrel of a medium-size curling iron. If your hair resembles Shirley Temple's when you're done, don't worry—tight curls relax into waves.

2. Using a comb, make a short middle part (starting at your forehead and going about four inches back), creating two small sections of hair on either side of your face.

3. Pull both sections in front of your ears and divide each in half so that you're left with two small pieces on your right and two on your left.

4. Grab one of the two pieces from the right side, twist and pin it to the middle of your head. Do the same on the left side, crossing it over to form an "X," and pin.

5. Twist the remaining two pieces back and secure one over and the other under the "X" with bobby pins for a look similar to the photo above.
Glamourous side-sweep updo

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy C. Johnson

The Glam Side-Sweep
Curls are good for updos says Johnson; they act as a cushion and give bobby pins something to grip.

1. If you don't have natural curls, create them with a curling iron and set with hairspray while your hair is still warm. If you're lucky enough to have natural waves, wrap any kinky or frizzy pieces around the barrel of a curling iron.

2. Make a deep side part with a comb and pull a five-inch section of hair in front of your right ear and a three-inch section in front of your left.

3. Swing the rest of your length across your left shoulder and secure at the nape of your neck with a few bobby pins (essentially creating a side ponytail without using an elastic).

4. Divide the smaller section in front of your left ear into two pieces and separate the thicker section on your right into four pieces.

5. Twist a piece from each side back, cross them and pin over your side pony. Repeat this step with another piece from each side.

6. Twirl the remaining two pieces on the right back and secure over the top with hairpins to hide any visible bobbies. Finish with hairspray.
Faux-bob hairstyle

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy C. Johnson

The Faux Bob
Fake short hair for a night with this simple style.

1. If your hair is straight, use a triple-barrel curling iron (like this Hot Tools Professional 3-Barrel Waver, $45) to quickly create waves—clamping the iron onto small sections near your roots and working down to your ends.

2. Leave a few face-framing pieces out and pull the rest back into a loose ponytail just above the nape of your neck. Secure with an elastic.

3. Pull the ponytail holder down so that there is space between the elastic and your scalp.

4. Tuck the tail and the elastic up and underneath the rest of your hair. Secure your length to the nape of your neck with bobby pins and mist with hairspray for extra hold.

For more party hair ideas, check out the rest of Red Carpet Hair or visit Johnson at Privé Salon in New York City.

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