Go Inside Chelsea Handler's Glam Night at the Critics Choice Awards with Hairstylist Adir Abergel

Chelsea Handler 28th Annual Critics' Choice Awards
Chelsea Handler 28th Annual Critics' Choice Awards

Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock, John Salangsang/Shutterstock, Michael Kovac/Getty

Taking the stage at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards, Chelsea Handler showcased her signature wit and style.

As the host of Sunday night's award show, the comedian and actress showed off three different looks, each complete with its own hairstyle courtesy of celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel.

From Handler's loose waves to her glamorously updo, the industry expert tells PEOPLE how he prepped and styled the star's hair for one of Hollywood's biggest nights.

Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair
Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair

Courtesy of Adir Abergel

"Her trust level is immense," Abergel says of working with Handler, who he's known for more than 10 years and considers family. "I came prepared with inspiration and we talked vibes. Then she let me do my thing. Once I have seen the clothes, I prep by creating Pinterest boards with style references that help bring the looks I envisioned for her to life."

RELATED: Chelsea Handler Makes Hilarious James Corden Dig in Her 2023 Critics Choice Awards Monologue

Look 1: Sexy, Side-Parted Blowout

Chelsea Handler attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Chelsea Handler attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty

For the red carpet, Abergel gave Handler what he calls a "sexy side-parted bombshell blowout."

He tells PEOPLE that he had a plan to take Handler's hair through the night to match the three dresses she wore. "I wanted her to start glamourous and voluminous, then undone, sexy and middle parted and end with it up, playful and perky," he shares.

"Before I started styling, I had Chelsea shampoo and condition her hair using Virtue's Flourish for Thinning Hair system," Abergel says. This created a foundation for a strong and voluminous look and to give her hair the lift it would need to last the night.

RELATED: The Best Beauty Looks at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards

Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair
Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair

Courtesy of Adir Abergel

"I started by prepping the hair with Virtue Volumizing Primer all over her semi-wet roots. To add more memory prior to blow drying, I added Volumizing Mousse by the roots and mid lengths and Healing Oil for moisture on the ends. I blow-dried sections of her hair with a round brush to give it volume, movement and that classic blowout shape. As I blow-dried sections of her hair, I set them in a pin-curl shape using a creaseless clip until it was completely cooled down. Then I went over it with my T3 1.5-inch curling iron to pull the look into a sexy realm. I finished by spraying Style Guard Hairspray to set it while keeping it airy and touchable."

The look was the perfect complement to her Maticevski gown and Stuart Weitzman pumps.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair
Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair

Courtesy of Adir Abergel

Abergel had the most time to prepare Handler's first look of the night in her hotel room — the rest were done backstage at the show. He says the vibes during the getting-ready process were upbeat and included drinking ginger ale and listening to Bob Marley tunes.

"I love this human so much and being a part of her day was so special for me," Abergel says of working with Handler for Critics Choice. "In a time where we need less anger and more laughter, I'm honored to be part of this evening!"

Look 2 — Undone, Polished Waves

Host Chelsea Handler speaks onstage during the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Host Chelsea Handler speaks onstage during the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty

For Handler's second look of the night — a fuchsia Marchesa gown and nude Christian Louboutin heels — Abergel only had about 30 minutes to work on the star's hair backstage at the theater. He was going for an "undone polished wave defined by a strong middle part."

"I transitioned her red carpet hair into a more effortless middle-parted loose luxury wave style," he says. "I started the style change by defining a strong middle part. I then took my 1.5-inch T3 curling iron and created cascading loose waves throughout her hair, leaving the ends untouched. I cocktail-ed two of my favorite Virtue shine products: Healing Oil and Unfrizz Cream for extra shine and a lustrous look for the stage."

Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair
Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair

Courtesy of Adir Abergel

RELATED: Christina Applegate Rocks 'Dead to Me' Mani and Matching Shoes with Daughter at Critics Choice Awards

To finish, Abergel scrunched Handler's hair in his hands using Virtue Styling Paste to get a piece-y effect.

"I loved the healthy texture vibe in each of the three looks," Abergel says. "In each style the hair was lustrous and shiny. My secret shine weapons were Healing Oil — along with having Chelsea prep her hair overnight with the Flourish Mask to hydrate, strengthen and thicken hair."

Look 3 — Modern French Twist

Host Chelsea Handler speaks onstage during the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Host Chelsea Handler speaks onstage during the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty

To close out the night, Handler slipped into a Christian Siriano dress, and Abergel styled her hair à la Brigitte Bardot — in just 20 minutes.

"I transitioned the textured hair style to a Bardot-inspired updo and added more height to the crown," he says of the modern French twist hairstyle. "I wanted this third look to feel more playful but also elegant and lifted to complement her outfit."

RELATED: Amanda Seyfried Has Wardrobe Malfunction at Critics Choice Awards as Her Dress 'Keeps Breaking'

Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair
Chelsea Handler Critics Choice Awards Hair

Courtesy of Adir Abergel

"A great trick for adding height is to use Virtue Texture Spray prior to backcombing to add grit and memory to the strands," he adds. "Once I got the desired height at the crown, I deliberately left a few face framing pieces in the front of her hair out and pulled the rest of her hair into a high classic yet modern French twist. I secured it using a few pins and sprayed Style Guard hairspray to finish it up and a bit of Healing Oil for major shine."