Thanksgiving, Christmas time, New Year’s – another holiday season is coming up, and many of us will be either hosting or attending a get-together of some sort. An easy way to get a few compliments and keep yourself in good cheer is to do something different with your hair.

Credit: Hair and makeup by Sherri Jessee; photo by Eric Donahue

Since I write for the hair industry, I asked one of my favorite sources, Sherri Jessee, for some ideas about changing up hair for the holidays when you’re in your 60s and older.

Sherri is an award-winning hair and makeup artist who owns Sherri’s Hair Salon in Bristol, Virginia. She’s still solidly in her 50s and looks very youthful, but she has older clients and always offers good ideas for every client demographic.

Up-styles

I asked Sherri first about up-styles, because sometimes you just want your hair safely pinned up. Updos allow you to cook and discourage grandbabies from the grab-and-pull technique they’re so good at. Also, up-styles show off your earrings.

With the approach that “less is best” for most holiday get-togethers, Sherri says even a simple, low ponytail can look dressy if it’s done well. For something a little more dramatic, she recommends twisting the hair up and back or over to one side, leaving out loose tendrils for softness around the face.

According to Sherri, looseness throughout the style will flatter us more than hair severely pulled back off the face. Although we can do a simple up-twist on our own, I’d head to the salon!

Here’s Sherri wearing her own cute up-style.

Credit: Hair and makeup by Sherri Jessee; photo by Nathan Mays

The Blowout

Credit: Hair and makeup by Sherri Jessee; photo by Nathan Mays

Remember your mother’s weekly “wash-and-set” that kept her hair looking good for days? As soon as the blow dryer was invented, our generation shut that down, preferring to wash our hair daily and blow it dry ourselves.

Our children’s generation bridges those opposing habits by going to the salon for a professional blowout. Then, like their grandmothers, they can get through the better part of a week without washing their hair. We can join them!

Using a professional tool and having the strength to hold the hair with a lot of tension, my hairdresser achieves a level of smoothness that I can’t do on my own. Even short hair benefits from a great blowout.

“Your stylist will use a round brush and build body and movement into your hair,” Sherri says.

But if you want to do your own blowout, she advises you to “divide and conquer.” Taking small sections, start from the bottom and work your way up. Make sure you get every strand completely dry, leaving no dampness that might turn into frizz when you walk outside.

Dry Shampoo

What our moms didn’t have was today’s dry shampoo. A few days after your blowout, Sherri suggests applying dry shampoo to absorb the oils from your scalp and extend your blowout yet another couple of days. The product also adds texture.

“It’s almost like a volumizer,” Sherri says. “Some people use dry shampoo the first day for style support.”

Curl

If you wear your hair straight and sleek all the time, switch it up for the holidays by going curly. Again, you can go to the salon or just use your own curling iron or hot rollers.

If you have super curly hair and want to keep the curl, Sherri lists two options for putting in a little extra holiday effort:

1) Smooth it out first, and then put the curl back in, or

2) After shampooing, apply a product designed for naturally curly hair, and dry the hair with a diffuser to maintain and define the curl rather than blowing it out.

Hair Accessories

Dress up your look with sparkly rhinestones, shiny metallics, chic pearls, velvet or satin textures, or festive bows.

“There are so many pretty clips and combs,” Sherri notes. “Are you thinking, ‘Am I too old for this?’ I don’t go by those rules. If you like a certain hair clip and it makes you happy, I say go ahead and use it to pull the hair back or to one side.”

Hair Extensions

Take it up a notch by adding hair! We think of hair extensions as a way to add length – you can have long hair for a day or a month without actually growing it – but extensions also add volume without necessarily adding any length at all. Your hairdresser can discuss that option with you.

“Recently for a client, I put in just five pieces,” Sherri shares. “That can get you through the holiday season, and afterward you can have them taken out.”

Extensions are a good solution if you like fashion shades just for one night. Clip in some pink, lavender, or bright holiday red, and that pop of color will get you noticed.

Sherri also mentions the scrunchies made of human or synthetic hair that you can find reasonably priced on Amazon. They come in lots of shades so you can get close to your own. They can act as extensions if your hair is just barely long enough to pull back.

“These are kind of crazy, but I like them!” Sherri says. “You can create a ‘messy bun’ or make your own up-style. They’re so easy to use – just pull back your hair as if you’re using a scrunchie, wrap the band around your hair, and you have an updo!”

Shiny Hair

At this time of year, when we see lots of people and take lots of photos, simply having healthy-looking hair helps us to present our best selves.

Sherri suggests asking your stylist to apply a gloss for high shine and to give you a deep-conditioning treatment to replace the moisture lost to dryness in the air both indoors and outdoors.

If you color your hair, schedule your appointment as close as possible to any special event you’ll be attending. Treat yourself to highlights or lowlights if you want to splurge a little to have the dimension that enhances hair color and brightens the area around your face.

Your Gift List

If your family is looking for a gift you’ll appreciate, make sure they know the name of your salon. Then you’ll have a gift certificate to continue looking great in the New Year.

What is your favorite hair style for the holidays? Do you manage it yourself or do you prefer getting it done professionally? What other tips can you add to the list above? Please share in the comments below.

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