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The Beauty Memo

How To Do Party-Style Hair Accessories

Make a style statement with your hair this party season – GEORGIA DAY explains how to master hairstyle accessorizing with minimal effort

Yara Shahidi, Gigi Hadid and Kerry Washington prove that a hair accessory can be the perfect finishing touch

Party season is the perfect time to play with new accessories and, this year,­ when it feels a little like we’re all making up for lost time in the glamour stakes, there’s no better way to embellish an outfit than with a well-placed hair accessory. Read on to discover how to take your outfit to the next level and dazzle from head to toe.

Start small

If you’ve never worn hair accessories before, it can feel a bit daunting ­– or like you’re playing dress-up. For a more seamless approach, think about what kind of accessory naturally aligns with your own personal style day-to-day and go from there. “Incorporating accessories doesn’t have to feel like you are [channeling your inner] prom queen,” says celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective member Jenny Cho. “There are so many ways to add a little accent to your everyday wardrobe.” With that in mind, opt for something subtle to start with – a simple barrette or clip that blends in with how you naturally wear your hair, whether that’s loose or in a pulled-back pony, will work. By the time it comes to your party look, you should have gained a little know-how (and confidence) in understanding what works for you.

You can keep it classic

Just because you’re wearing your hair with a little more drama than usual, don’t assume your actual style has to be similarly OTT. In fact, some of the chicer statements happen when you pair a bolder accessory with a super-simple look, such as a classic ballerina knot at the nape of the neck or loose, beachy waves. “You don’t need an elaborate updo to provide an excuse for wearing hair accessories,” adds Cho. “Your natural hair texture and parting can be enough.” If you needed proof, take a look at actress Lucy Boynton’s 2021 Academy Awards’ look, where Cho embellished a neat center parting with oversized pearl studs.

Play with color and texture

Although you might think hair accessories are for more flamboyant dressers only, the beauty of this trend is that it can be adapted to suit anyone, whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist. If you prefer something quieter and less dazzling, take Cho’s advice and look for simple statement pieces, such as clips or headbands in tones of gold, silver or tortoiseshell, and place them at the side or back of your head. If you do want to up the ante for party season, try going supersized and add in colorful gems and some sparkle. If you’re still nervous about what to choose, remember that even a textured scrunchie or favorite piece of ribbon can be considered an accessory.

Choose the right tools

As with most hairstyles, what you keep in your styling kit is important, as you’ll need to give your accessory something to hold on to – especially if the occasion calls for dancing. “You want a strong hairspray or texture spray that can keep accessories anchored, along with strong bobby pins or U-shaped pins, plus a tail comb to tease the roots to keep accessories in place,” advises Cho. If your hair is fine, flat and prone to being slippery, you may want to add some necessary bulk via a dry shampoo, which can deliver an instant volume boost and improve grip. To apply, mist directly into the roots, then shake out and rake through with your fingers to disperse any residue.

Tailor your accessory to your party look

The great thing about hair accessories is that rules go out of the window – especially when it comes to party season, when it’s all about daring to wear what you love. If you don’t want your accessory to compete with a detailed neckline or a dress adorned with ruffles, then choose a style and accessory that sits neatly at the back of your hair, which could be anything from a velvet ribbon to a colorful comb. If your outfit is more understated and you want to go bigger and bolder with your hair, have fun with something dramatic. “More is more, so be playful and have fun without limits,” adds Cho.


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