The holiday season is upon us, and your calendar is likely jam-packed with gift shopping, snow-filled getaways, and, most importantly—parties. From your office bash to New Year's Eve drinks with your family, there is no shortage of social gatherings this time of year, so you need tons of inspiration for stunning holiday hairstyles. We tapped Mizani artist and stylist Carla Marcelle to get her expert opinion on the best festive hairstyles for natural hair this holiday season.
“I love creating beautiful and festive looks by upgrading classic styles,” Marcelle says.
Read on for professional insight, plus a curated list of the 20 best festive hairstyles for natural hair and the products you need to pull them off.
20 Festive Hairstyles For Natural Hair
If you’ve got a holiday party every weekend until the end of the year, you’ll want to invest in a hairstyle that doesn’t require much day-to-day styling. Your natural hair can remain in a style like faux locs for up to six weeks, and you’ll wake up every morning with Instagram-worthy hair. What’s not to like?
Zipper Braid Updo
All you need is a strategically placed braid to have a seriously show-stopping hairstyle. This mohawk-inspired zipper braid ponytail is bound to turn heads. Hold your edges in place with Mizani’s Edge Taming Gel.
A wash-and-go is great any time of year, but we especially love the simplicity of this style during the hectic holiday season. The key to a flawless wash-and-go is a product that simultaneously defines and volumizes your curls, like L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Curl Expression 10-In-1 Cream-In-Mousse.
Fluffy Flexi Rod Set
Can’t decide between a sleek blowout and luscious curls? Opt for this fluffy flexi rod set.
First, stretch your hair with a blow dryer, then wrap small sections of warm hair around your flexi rods. Once your hair completely cools, you can unravel them for seriously bouncy and voluminous waves. When you stretch your hair, use a heat protectant like Mizani Style Shifter Heat Screen Heat Protectant Spray.
Looking for a quick and easy way to make your hairstyle more festive? You can’t go wrong with a velvet headband!
“You can also use festive, metallic ribbons to jazz up any braids or use as a roman inspired headband,” Marcelle suggests.
Find more ribbon inspiration by checking out our handy guide.
Box braids are one of our favorite protective styles, and they’re the perfect holiday style. The styling options with box braids are endless, which means you never have to show up to an event with the same ‘do you wore the night before.
When wash-day rolls around, give extra care to your scalp and use a pre-shampoo treatment that refreshes and balances your scalp, like Mizani Style Shifter Society Wonder Crown Scalp Foaming Pre-Cleanser.
Statement Hair Clip
Looking for a way to take your hair from office to office party? Throw a statement hair clip in your bag that you can pop in your hair when you’re walking out the door.
Cornrows are a chic and understated style that will make your stunning face and enviable style the center of attention. As a bonus, cornrows fit perfectly under a wig when you’re ready for another look.
Your tree isn’t the only thing that deserves to sparkle this year. Get ready for the holiday season by heading to the salon for shimmering gold highlights that will make your curls pop.
Keep your new highlights in tip-top shape by swapping out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system for lightened hair like Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo and Conditioner Duo.
The best thing about natural hair is that it literally shape-shifts—you can slay curls one day and sleek strands the next. Winter is an ideal time to get a silk press because you don’t have to worry about the sweltering heat ruining your style. Boost your strand shine with Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray.
This simple yet regal style only takes a few minutes to create and will stay put all night, give this crown braid a try.
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Pearl Embellished Braids
Pearlcore is one of the biggest trends of the year, and these pearl-adorned braids are one of the best ways to embrace it. This style is a bit advanced, so we suggest bringing this photo to your stylist for inspiration.
Half-Up Flat Twist
If you love the look of twisted updos but want to leave some of your hair loose, this half-up flat twisted look is for you.
Glossy Rod Set
Searching for a way to make your curls pop? You won’t be able to get enough of this glossy rod set. Use a foam wrap to set your hair around your rods and dry them under a hooded dryer.
Red is one of the hottest hair colors of the year, and it’s never looked better than on this cute and curly pixie.
Half-Up Bantu Knots
Bantu knots can be a little time-consuming, but you can reap all of the style benefits of this look and do half of the work by opting for this half-up style.
We’re big fans of indulging in blowout appointments during the holiday season, but if you don’t have time to make it to the salon, you have to invest in a tool like L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod. This multi-purpose steam hair straightener and curling iron uses exclusive steam technology to infuse fine water molecules into the hair cuticle with every pass—without ever getting the hair wet. Be sure to use a heat protectant like L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Fluidifier Blow Dry Cream beforehand.
This combination of flat twists and two-strand twists is absolutely stunning. Don’t be surprised if this look quickly becomes your signature style.
Searching for a twist on braids? Two-strand twists are easy to pull off and look gorgeous on all natural hair types.
“I love to wear two-strand twists after wash day,” Marcelle says. “I can wear them in a bun and add additional ponytail length, and by the weekend, I am ready to see my full silhouette, so I unwrap them and wear my new defined curls.”
Use Mizani’s True Textures Twist & Coil Jelly to give your twists hold and shine.
Updos can often feel too intricate to pull off, but this one is so simple anyone can do it.
Use a boar bristle brush and a firm hold gel like Redken Max Sculpting Gel to slick your hair into a ponytail at the crown of your head. Allow your hair to fall forward over your hairline, and use a few bobby pins to keep your hair in place.
Ready to upgrade your hairstyling products to help you create a flawless festive hairstyle this holiday season? Shop all of our natural hair styling must-haves at Hair.com