Celeb Hairstylist Ben Skervin Chats Holiday Hairstyle Tips

Rachel Adler


The holidays may be a great excuse to learn fun new hairstyles for your various events, but in reality, we’re party-hopping all year round. Glam curls, messy buns and fancy chignons are styles that we all want to know how to achieve (with little effort). Celebrity hairstylist Ben Skervin – who works with the likes of Keira Knightley, Emma Watson and Rachel Weisz – gave us some tips on how to get holiday event worthy hair that you can rock all year round.

Check out his answers below for tips quick styles, how to battle hat hair and the age old question of getting those perfect glamorous curls.

BH: If I have a holiday party after work, how can I style my hair to work for both occasions all day?

 A ponytail can be a girl’s best friend for day and night looks. For the day, you can put your hair in a high, straight pony. To give it a little glam for something like an after work holiday party, all you need to do is back comb the pony tail, spray it with a little hairspray, and then twist it into a messy bun (think Carrie in “Sex and the City”). Use bobby pins to secure the bun in place and then finish it with a little more hairspray.

BS: What if I’m in a rush to do my hair and makeup – how can I style my hair for a holiday party in under 10 minutes?

Heated rollers are a great and surprisingly easy way to add a glam wave and some bounce to your hair. You don’t need many; I would say no more than 10 large rollers. Starting at your forehead, take large sections of hair and work your way back in a “brick work shape.” When I say this, I mean you have three rollers at the front hair line, and then two, and then three, and then two, ending at the nape of your neck. Do your makeup while the heated rollers cool down. Once cooled, remove all the rollers and brush your hair, ideally with a boar bristle brush if you have one. One thing that I recommend, that you’ll see stylists do, is to use your hands to put your hair in place. Once you have the desired style, lock your look in place with a little Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Extra Firm Hold Hairspray.

I want to do a bold red lip. What kind of hairstyle will compliment it best?

If you want to do a bold red lip, I find the simpler the hair, the better. Sleek and shiny is the best. I love taking straight hair and creating a low side part with your hair pulled back into a bun and tucked behind the ear. You can also complement red lips by pulling hair back into a sleek ponytail. If you want to get a smooth, sleek look, try using Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Combing Crème. It can be used on dry or wet hair to tame frizz and flyaways, giving a great smooth finish.

How do you suggest styling a pixie cut for the holidays?

There are two routes to go with a pixie cut. The first is the sleek Twiggy look – a deep side part with hair slicked down and tucked behind the ears. Depending on how short your hair is, you may need to slick down damp hair with gel. I like to use a hair net to keep hair in place while it sets; however, be sure to use a fine net so you don’t end up with net marks on your hair.

The other option is to do a messy textured look (think Emma Watson when she first cut her hair). To get this look, I would apply Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Extra Firm Hold Mousse and finger dry hair to give hair some texture. Once it’s dry, I would use a little lightweight wax to define individual pieces of hair.

How can I revive my all-day hat hair to style it at night?

I always find that a bit of a dry shampoo goes a long way. To help revive hat hair, apply dry shampoo or a texturizing spray to give hair guts and hold. Spray it into the roots and let it settle for a couple of minutes. Then give your hair a good brush and you will see your hair come back to life.

Which products should/should I not change up in the winter?

During the winter, hair can become dry and lose a lot of moisture. I would switch to rich, hydrating haircare products like Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Moisture Lock Shampoo and Conditioner. Also think about using a hair mask once a week.

If I have super fine hair, how can I get voluminous, retro-glam curls?

If you have fine hair, the Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Volume Collection is perfect for you. Start by applying a tennis ball-sized amount of the Boost & Lift Foaming Air Mousse which will help add body and volume to your hair. Flip your hair upside down and rough dry with your fingers until it’s 80 percent dry. This will help give hair more root lift. Then finish drying your hair with a medium round brush to smooth hair out. You can then separate hair into 2 ½” sections and curl using a 2” barrel curling iron for big, loose waves.  Once your hair is heated, slide it off the iron and pin each section immediately to ensure the style holds. Spritz the pinned curls with hairspray to give a little extra hold. After the curls have cooled, remove the pins and brush your hair into the desired style. Feel free to finish off your look with a little more hairspray to help hold your style in place for the evening.

[Image via Smart Galleries/Astrid Stawiarz]

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