Real Simple: 5 Holiday Hair Looks You Can Do in Under Five Minutes

Make your list, check it twice…and then have a mild panic because you're completely overbooked. Though it’s difficult to find a second to relax, meditate, breathe, or even squeeze in a workout, these self-care habits are essential to your overall state of health. One way to ensure you have a moment to yourself is to take five minutes to style your hair before an event. It’s a short window but enough time to a) freshen up your look and b) give you some much-needed personal time.

Here, hair experts share their favorite easy, festive hairstyles—along with tips on how to get the look in minutes.

Holiday Party at the Office: High Bun

If you want to put your best style forward after a long work day to celebrate with coworkers, a high bun, like the one seen here on Tracee Ellis Ross, can be the happy medium between casual and glam holiday hair. Marshall Lin, a celebrity hairstylist in New York City, recommends a polished look for any work function—especially a seasonal gathering that includes your boss or clients. “A high bun will show off your face—and your confidence,” he says. Plus, you can easily pull it off in the office bathroom when you’re already running late.

How to do it: Lin recommends starting with a texturizing spray to keep your hair looking dry but sticky enough to cooperate. Slowly, take your time and brush your hair all the way up. “The location of the bun is everything,” Lin says. “So you might want to turn your hair upside down to get the ponytail as high as possible.” Then you can use a hair tie and tighten until the ponytail is secure. For some extra dazzle, he suggests braiding your hair or twisting it, then wrapping it as a bun around the pony. To ensure it stays put if an epic dance party breaks out later, choose a hairspray you trust.

Try this: Alterna’s Anti-Aging Perfect Texture Finishing Spray ($23; is multi-purpose, and ideal for a spritz before and after you style. With bodifying polymeters, the formula prevents your strands from clumping together. For a texture spray that also packs major volume for your hair, try NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Volume Texture Mist ($12; Want a hairspray that holds—and dazzles? Try Sexy Hair Fun Bling-It-On Amethyst Sparkle Hairspray ($16; for a hint of glitter.


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