Special Occasion Hairstyles

Hair styling for a special occasion
Photo: Esthermoreno/Canva
It doesn't take a genius to know that every woman wants her hair to look good on a daily basis. Female consumers alone spend billions of dollars each year on products to curl, straighten, color, highlight, add body, smooth frizz, thicken, moisturize, and otherwise perfect the look they desire for their hair. But while looking great on any given day is a common goal for today's woman, sometimes you want something extra special.
These are the once-a-year (or once-in-a-lifetime) occasions where you have the opportunity to pull out all the stops and look as glamorous and gorgeous as any movie star (or fairy tale princess). It could be your high school prom, a holiday gala, or simply a rare black-tie event.
The definition of a "special occasion" is largely the purview of the person involved, but if you feel that attending an event calls for obtaining a new dress and spending extra time on your makeup, you can be pretty sure that it's a special occasion.
I know that some women don't feel it necessary to get a fancy hairstyle for a special occasion. They feel that their hair looks good normally, and that a simple updo will serve them well. Given the prices charged in many salons by many stylists for fancy updos, I can't say I blame them. However, I do ask the following question: "If you are willing to spend hundreds (or in some cases thousands) of dollars on a dress for a special occasion, isn't it worth the added expense to make sure your hair looks as spectacular as the rest of you?"
Finding the Right Stylist:
I'm going to go risk offending many of my fellow stylists out there and say that not all hairdressers can do updos. The skills that allow a stylist to give a phenomenal haircut are different from those needed to craft updos. Like any artist, hairstylists have specialties. Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir were renowned painters, but you don't see sculptures by these artists.
Up style for short hair
A hairstylist requires skill and a practiced eye necessary to cut hair in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, and these skills can be trained. Creating and perfecting elegant and beautiful updos requires skill and a practiced eye as well, but it also requires one more thing: imagination. The stylist needs to have the ability to look at your current hairstyle - the length, texture, density and wave pattern - and be able to visualize the almost endless possible arrangements for it.
To find a stylist who can give you the updo you want, the best place to start is with your current stylist. Just because many stylists who give good haircuts and regular styles can't do updos doesn't mean that all stylists fall into that category. Ask your stylist if he or she does updos and request to see a scrapbook or portfolio with samples of his or her work. If you like the styles that he or she has created in the past, odds are good that you'll like the style they create for you.
Grecian up style
Elegant updo
However, if they don't do updos, or if you're not satisfied with the samples they've shown you, explain that you're looking for something a little different and ask if they could recommend someone for this one-time occasion. A good stylist will have contacts within the industry and be able to refer you to a colleague who is skilled with fancier styles. If the stylist works in a salon with other stylists, it's likely that they will refer you to someone a few chairs over.
If this doesn't work, you'll need to approach the situation from the standpoint of finding a stylist in general. Check your local directories and make a few phone calls to inquire whether the salon or stylist offers updos. You may want to specify that you're interested in "special occasion updos" to indicate that you're looking for more than a simple French twist.
Also, be sure to ask if they have portfolios available so that you can see examples of their past work and determine if it aligns with your taste. With a little luck and perseverance, you'll find someone who can give you the desired outcome.
See also:
Grecian Up-Style
Laced-Up & Elegant
Short Hair Up-Style