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Red Carpet Hairstyles

It’s awards season and that means the red carpet is back! Well, sort of. With precautions over COVID-19 still in full force, the red carpet looks a little different this year. Hollywood's faves are attending virtually from their homes. But if celebrity instagrams are any indication, one thing that hasn’t changed about the virtual red carpet, is the appearance of gorgeous hair. Whether it’s something to go with your new favorite LBD, a look for girls night out, or you just want to feel a little glam, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about awards season hair, including the best red carpet hairstyles and hair hacks; and our favorite celebs who rocked them. Read ahead for our favorite hair looks from the red carpet of past Met Galas, Oscars, Golden Globes, Academy Awards and more.

The Best Red Carpet Hairstyles

From flowing waves to updos, braids and headbands, these are the best hairstyles from past red carpets for short, medium and long hair.

Awards Season Styles for Short Hair

Halle Berry's Classic Pixie 

The pixie cut is Halle Berry's signature look and she rocks it on the red carpet like nobody else can. Add volume and texture to short layers by applying a dry wax to get a soft tousled look. 

Kate Hudson's Ribbon Headband

Kate Hudson showed up to the SAG Awards during an in-between-grow-out-stage after shaving her head for a role with a simple ribbon headband. To get her look, rub a pomade for short hair through your hair for volume and texture, then tie a ribbon around your head.

Charlize Theron's Crop Cut

Charlize makes an androgynous crop cut look so dolled up and glam and the red carpet. Ask your hairstylist to tightly crop your sides and leave extra length on top. Use a texturizing spray for fine hair to create some messy pieces at the front.

Michelle Williams' Long Fringe

Try a longer length pixie like Michelle Williams on the red carpet and sweep your longer hair forward. Use a hair primer before straightening your fringe and pushing it forward with a flat iron. Finish with a hair spray to keep it in place.

Danai Gurira's Shaved Head

Danai Guirira makes a shaved head look incredibly chic on the red carpet with a sharp and intentionally sculpted cut. If you’re bold enough to rock a shaved head, ask your hairstylist for a shape that suits your facial structures and features.

Helen Mirren’s Silver Locks

On the Cannes Film Festival red carpet, Helen Mirren showed us how hot the short grey hair trend could be. It’s cool-girl and sophisticated at the same time. If you’re feeling this trend and ready to go grey, see our previous post, Short Grey Hair: the Trend for 2021.

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photo by @goldandglowco

Awards Season Styles for Medium Hair

Jennifer Lawrence's Romantic Waves

One of Jennifer Lawrence’s best red carpet hairstyles is the platinum bob she showed up wearing to the red carpet premiere of The X-Men Apocalypse. To get Jennifer’s romantic waves you can blow dry your hair and use a curling iron or a set of set of rollers to get big, loose bends.Then run your fingers through your hair to soften your waves and with a strong hairspray.

Bella Hadid's Wet Hairstyle

Bella Hadid always looks incredibly cool and her wet hair look on the red carpet is no different. To get this edgy glam hairstyle start with damp hair and get lots of glossy texture by adding a pomade using your fingers. Comb it throughout the back and let it curve around the base of your head — almost like you’ve just stepped out of a shower.

Margot Robbie's Side Parted Lob

Margot Robbie showed up to this year's Oscars looking sharp and modern with her deeply parted side lob. This hairstyle works best if your medium hair is all one length. Create a deep side part and after using a heat protection spray, use a flat iron to straighten your hair. Apply mousse near your roots for volume and finish off with a hair oil for added shine. 

Rose Byrne's Curls

Rose Byrne took a cue from 70’s hairstyles while on the red carpet for the Met Gala. Her big, textured curls took center stage. If your hair is naturally curly, you can recreate Rose’s curls by playing up your spirals up with a curl cream. If not, use a curling iron or set of rollers to get Rose’s big, bouncy curls and finish off with hair spray.

Diane Kruger's Wavy Bob

Diane Kruger always looks amazing on the red carpet with her extreme side part and loose waves. Add just a little bit of volume on the top and spritz a beach hair spray to hair that's already been curled. This will give your curls an airy texture, like you've been at the beach all day.

Chrissy Teigen’s Angled Lob

For Chrissy’s glam medium lob, create soft bends in your hair with a flat iron. Set your lob generously with hair spray and you're ready to rock this red carpet hairstyle.

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Awards Season Styles for Long Hair

Beyoncé's Perfect Ponytail

Beyoncé can do no wrong in our eyes, and her high pony on the Met Gala red carpet proves she always kills it when it comes to glam. To get the look, gather all of your hair at the crown of your head and secure it with an elastic. Use a wide barrel curling iron to curl the ends of your pony. 

Ashley Benson's Textured Bed Hair

To get Ashley Benson's messy red carpet waves, let your hair air dry naturally. Once it’s dry, sprinkle a volumizing powder into your roots. Then part your hair to the extreme side for an effortlessly textured just-got-out-of-bed-look.

Jennifer Lopez' Sleek Low Pony

To get J-Lo’s iconic red carpet ponytail, start by rubbing a hair milk through your damps strands. Blow dry your hair straight and gather it at the nape of your neck. Secure your pony and run through your ponytail with a flat iron.

Anne Hathaway's Chignon

Chignon is the French word for bun, but in its American usage, it's an abbreviated term, originating from the phrase chignon du cou, or bun at the nape of the neck. Get Anne Hathaway’s red carpet chignon in a snap. Part your hair down the middle before creating a low ponytail and rolling your hair around itself. Secure it with some bobby pins and you’re good to go.

Lady Gaga’s Pop of Color

Always one to make a statement, Lady Gaga sported a yellow-and-blonde wig paired with Barbie-pink lips and smoky eyes on the Grammy Awards red carpet, and we couldn’t love this look more! If you’re not ready to fully commit to a bold pop of color, try a temporary color depositing shampoo before your big event.

The Best Red Carpet Hair Hacks

  1. Have extensions on hand. Hair extensions can be used in an updo, ponytail, bun, or braid for volume or dimension. And you don't need to use a full set, it's just a matter of pieces in the right places. You can use extensions strategically when you're trying to grow out your hair or as an accessory like a braided headband. 
  2. You don't need a lot of products or tools. A blow dryer, a set of rollers, a good hairspray, and a few well placed bobby pins are all you really need to get your hair red-carpet-ready. When you’re on the go, take a travel-sized hairspray and some bobby-pins to maintain your look.
  3. You can rock dirty (or unwashed) hair. Dirty, or second or third (or fourth or fifth) day hair is the perfect base for wet look red carpet hairstyles. And using less water with your hair products makes them work better. Lots of wax and gel used together are all you need to make this look work.
  4. Stay static-free. To prevent unwanted static in your hair, spray a brushable hairspray onto a brush before brushing it through your dry strands before styling. This will keep your red carpet hairstyle free of flyaways.
  5. Fake a fuller hairline. Here’s a pro tip you probably didn’t know- celeb hair stylists use eyeshadow on the hairline to create the illusion of a fuller hairline. The sparse areas are filled with an eyeshadow color that matches the actual hair color, creating a perfectly full hairline. This hack is perfect for when your hair is tied back or pulled up from the face.

Wrapping up red carpet hairstyles

No matter what it looks like, red carpet season will always be a time for glam. Get inspired by our favorite awards seasons hair looks and find a reason to go out — because these red carpet hairstyles are too good not to rock!

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
cover photo by Ash and Oak Salon and Spa

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