Whenever we’re looking for hair inspiration, we can always count on celebrity hairstylist Jenny Cho for fresh ideas. (Her Instagram is packed with sleek sculptural styles and artfully adorned looks on the likes of Emilia Clarke and Kristen Bell to name just two of her high-profile clients.)
With the holidays—and their requisite party circuit—upon us, we asked her to show us two simple styles that we could actually do ourselves. So grab your hair spray and cue the music. We’ll walk you through the rest.
Look 1: Pulled-Back Low Knot
As seen on Cho’s longtime client Kristen Bell, this low-slung knot looks more complicated than it actually is. With a few well-placed pins you can re-create the look in your office bathroom (seriously).
Step 1: Got greasy roots? Lucky for you, this is a style where a little grit comes in handy. (To fake some texture, Cho recommends using a combo of mousse and cream for a soft hold.)
Step 2: Part your hair down the center and pull everything back into a low pony that sits at the base of your head.
Step 3: Tie off the ponytail with a small elastic before splitting it in half. (If you’re prone to flyaways, secure the front with two creaseless setting clips on both sides of your part while you finish getting ready.)
Step 4: Loop the two sections of the ponytail together (as if you were tying a knot) and secure them with pins. (Tip: Cho swears by Japanese bobby pins, which are flatter and have a stronger hold.)
Step 5: Remove the setting clips from the front and lock in your look with a generous misting of hair spray from a safe distance (about six to eight inches away from your head).
Look 2: Half-Up Style with Bow
This playful style was inspired by Lucy Boynton’s look at the SAG awards earlier this year. The key to rocking a bow like a grown woman lies in the placement (you want it just high enough to peek above your head, but not so high that it dominates your dome).
Step 1: This is another style where a little grit (courtesy of day-two strands) comes in handy. Use a 1.25-inch curling iron to bend random pieces for even more texture throughout.
Step 2: Pull your strands back from your temples (just above your ears) and secure with an elastic at the crown of your head. Don’t worry about being precise here; a little messiness keeps things from looking stiff.
Step 3: Snap in your bow. (Tip: If the bow is being uncooperative, coax it into shape by pinning it down to your hair wherever it’s too buoyant.)
Step 4: Finish with—you guessed it—a generous misting of hair spray. (Confession: We slept in this style and then wore it to a holiday party the next day.)
Your tool kit: Suave Professionals Flexible Control Finishing Hair Spray ($3); large black bow barrette ($6); Harry Josh Pro Tools 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron ($139)