If there’s one thing Dan Nguyen knows, it’s hair. This hairdressing maestro is principal designer at Lure Salon (170–840 Howe Street) and when it comes to choosing just the right hairstyle for the holiday season, he’s only got one piece of advice: “Glam it up.” Here, then, are his top-three picks for festive hairdos.
This is the year’s hottest updo, and it’s Nguyen’s number one pick for a night out on the town.
“It’s like a ballerina knot but bigger and a little messier, so it’s more urban,” he says. “It’s cute, but sexy at the same time.”
To get this look, he recommends setting your hair in hot rollers first, then putting it up in a ponytail on top of your head. After that, back-comb the tail and start wrapping it around itself and pinning it.
If you want to add a youthful edge to this look, you can fuzz out the baby hairs around your face.
“Then it’s not all clean, not so serious,” Nguyen says. “It’s more playful.”
For makeup, he suggests going “light, but dramatic” with metallic shadows, lots of mascara, and a little bit of contour on the cheeks.
Of course, the real key to this look is making sure the ponytail is secure.
“You don’t want it falling out in the middle of the night,” he says with a laugh. “And if it does, just go with it and be like, ”˜Hey, it was meant to be.’ ”
If you’ve got a classy event to attend on New Year’s Eve, this sophisticated style might be the one for you. For this look, you’ll want to find the ponytail placement that best suits your face.
“If your face shape is more angled, you can go low,” Nguyen explains. “If it’s rounder, you have to go higher.”
No matter what, the ponytail shouldn’t be any higher than the crown because, as Nguyen warns, “It might look too dominatrix.”
To get the glossy effect without looking greasy, he suggests smoothing Bumble & bumble Styling Cream all over the top of your head (after you’ve blow-dried your hair) and then combing your hair back into a ponytail. You can do a deep side part for a more groomed look or pull it straight back for a more fresh feel.
As for the tail itself, you can work with straightened or unkempt hair, depending on what you’re wearing.
“If it’s a frilly dress, I would keep it textured or tussled,” Nguyen says. “If it’s more of a sleeker dress, I would flat-iron the tail beforehand, and then maybe touch it up after.”
And when it comes to makeup?
“Here, it would be a light smoky eye and—depending on the skin tone—some red lips.”
Rock ’n’ Roll Combover
“This is my homage to Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper,” Nguyen says of this unapologetically ’80s look. “Set your hair with hot rollers if you’ve got straight hair. If you have naturally curly hair, work with your curl and just touch it up with a curling iron.”
Then cut a deep part on one side, slick back the smaller side and pin it in place, and then just let your wild curls cascade over to the other side.
The trick to this style? “Don’t be afraid to commit to the look,” Nguyen advises. “Go full on. Otherwise it just looks like Lauren Bacall, as opposed to fun New Year’s Eve.”
But, he warns, keep your makeup really simple. If you go heavy on the ’80s war paint, it no longer looks like a subtle nod to the decade of decadence.
“It looks too literal, like you’re going to a costume party.”