Most women enjoy the convenience and ease of care granted by today's shorter hairstyles,
yet when it comes time to attend that special event, they feel forced to
accept the sleek, slicked-back hairstyle. In some cases, sleek is the way to go, and
if that's your personal preference, don't hesitate to grab the gel and go for it.
But if your problem is that your hair is just too short to pull back into the classic
French Twist, consider this: a shorter up-do with more interest.
Remember that freshly washed hair is much harder to work with in up-do styling.
Clean healthy hair is silky and smooth and easily resists confinement with hairpins. The
stylist will need to "rough-up" the hair, and usually add hairspray and other product to give the hair some texture.
To begin, brush out the hair thoroughly to remove any tangles, then section off
the hair along the front and sides, stopping at the crown of the head. Take the crown
hair in hand like a ponytail and divide it into two equal parts. Back-comb (or tease) the
inside of the divided section 8-12 times for each half and rejoin them. Run your comb
lightly on the outside of the section to re-smooth the exterior of the section.
Then, create a small 'French-style" twist with this section and pin it securely using
two large bob pins crossed into an "x" or "+" formation. Tuck the ends of the hair
carefully beneath the twist, mist with hairspray and smooth lightly with your comb or
fingers. This will be the base of your up-style.
Start with the hair at the nape of the neck and section it into segments roughly
1" (2.5cm) wide. Apply a little hairspray to the segment and comb it through until dry.
Try to always comb in the direction you intend the hair to be placed. This will help the
hair to stick together and will make the segment appear ribbon-like.
Slide a bob pin
(wavy side out) onto the segment about one-quarter of the length from end. Holding
the bob pin, flip it over and grab the end of the hair and pull the segment up and slip
the pin into the twist to anchor it. Tuck the ends of the segment under the segment
using the tail of your comb, mist with spray and smooth gently.
Repeat this step until you've worked through all the hair at the nape of the neck.
You can feel free to cross over previously placed segments. Use your own judgment
and sense of esthetic. The more interest you create, the better the hairstyle, generally.
Do the same with the sections of the hair at the sides and top. Use the positioning
of the segments to cover any partings you make. Feel free to lift a pin out and
reposition any segment if you are unhappy with the result. Once finished, mist the hair
again with spray and gently pat down any stray hairs. The style can then be adorned
with jeweled hairpins at the "flip point" of each segment, small flowers tucked into the
folds of the hair, or a single large ornament - or any combination thereof.
The result is a very fanciful style with a lot of interest that looks both elegant and formal, and is sure to please.