Beautiful blonde woman at a black tie event with friends

We all love a messy bun and popping on our cosiest pair of leggings at home - but sometimes an extra-special occasion comes along which calls for a show-stopping outfit, shoes, and most importantly, hair.

If you’ve been invited to a black tie event and you’re unsure how to dress your tresses, we’ve got a carefully-curated list of classy, super-smart hairstyles you can do at home with just a few tools and techniques. Red carpet hair doesn’t have to be a headache - here’s how to create your own smart hairstyle.


The classic chignon is a timeless hairstyle where your hair is gathered at the nape of your neck, and secured into a neat bun or knot. To create a chignon, gather your the hair at the nape of your neck, and secure it with a thin non-snag elastic band. Twist your ponytail and wrap it around the start of your ponytail to form a bun, then secure with bobby pins and tuck in any loose ends.

Your hair needs to be clean to pull off this look, but it also needs volume and texture - use our Thickening Blow Out Spray to amp up fine, flat hair.

Brunette woman with elegant chignon

Fishtail braid

Mermaid-inspired fishtail braids (they’re also called fishtail plaits) look equally beautiful at black tie parties and festivals - their charm lies in their interwoven herringbone pattern, which looks ultra elegant. This hairstyle looks complicated, but it’s possible to do it yourself - start by dividing your hair into two equal sections.

Take a small strand of hair no thicker than 1.5cm from the outer edge of one side and cross it over diagonally, joining it with the other section and holding it in place. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides, pulling the strands tightly, until you reach the end, then secure with an elastic band.

Woman with a long fishtail braid

Hollywood waves

If you’ve got long hair, make like an A-lister and go for glam Hollywood waves - you don’t need to have wavy hair to start with, but it can help. These waves are fairly high-maintenance and can take up to two hours to style - but it’s worth it.

Start by applying a heat protectant to your hair, then use a large-barrel curling iron to create soft, loose curls away from your face. Once your curls have cooled, gently brush them through to form soft waves. Set with our Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Intense Hold Hairspray for all-night glamour.

Woman in a gold dress with long wavy glamorous hair

Half up, half down

A half up, half down hairstyle combines the polished sophistication of an updo with the gracefulness of free-flowing locks. It’s a versatile look which allows your hair to frame your face while keeping it off your shoulders, so it’s always popular in summer.

To create a simple half up, half down hairstyle, start by parting your hair horizontally near the crown. Gently gather the top section, and secure it with an elastic band or clip. Leave the remaining hair to flow freely; you can curl your loose hair for added volume and bounce. Use our Volume Lift Lightweight Hairspray to hold your style in place without weighing it down.

Woman with dark blonde hair styled in a half-up, half-down hairstyle

Slicked-back ponytail

The key to any slicked-back style is remembering less is more - so go easy on your styling products, and avoid tugging too hard on your hair, which will make your look too severe.

Start by working a small amount of our Frizz Ease Hair Serum through your lengths and ends, and gently brush through. Smooth your hair back and gather your ponytail to the middle of the back of your head, being careful to avoid bumps and flyaways. Secure with an elastic and add a few face-framing strands to soften the overall effect.

Brunette woman in a white jumper with a long slicked-back ponytail

Braided crown

A stunning, regal look which can take time and effort to get right, a braided crown is where your hair is plaited around your head to create the appearance of a crown. It’s an elegant, intricate style which you can do by yourself - but we’d advise you to ask your stylist for help if you have thin hair, or hair which doesn’t style easily.

To create the look at home, start by parting your hair down the middle. Take a small section of hair from one side and begin braiding it along your hairline, adding small sections as you move around your head. Repeat on the other side, secure both braids with bobby pins and hide the ends for a seamless look.

Blonde woman with messy braided crown hairstyle

French twist

Part Bond girl, part 60s siren and all class, the French twist is the ultimate updo for pairing with your best little black dress. To create a French twist, start by gathering your hair at the nape of your neck, and hold it with one hand. With the other hand, twist the hair upward towards the crown of your head. Keep the twist tight and secure it with bobby pins as you go.

Tuck in any loose ends and use hairspray for hold - our Frizz Ease Secret Agent Touch-Up Crème is ideal for smoothing flyaways when you’re out and about.

Blonde woman in a houndstooth dress with a French twist hairstyle

Curly updo

If you’re blessed with natural curly hair, make the most of your strands’ volume and texture to create a curly updo with attitude. Curly updos tend to work well on mid-length curly hair, but they can be done with longer hair - your styling time may increase, though.

Start with clean, dry hair (use our Dream Curls Shampoo and Conditioner to cleanse, define and detangle your curls) , and gather your hair slightly above the crown of your head, leaving some loose curls or tendrils to frame your face. Twist or loosely gather your hair, and secure it with bobby pins. Don't worry about making it too neat; a structured, slightly messy look is disarmingly charming.

Redheaded woman with an elegant curly updo

Ballerina bun

The balletcore trend shows no sign of slowing down, and a neat ballerina bun is perfect for black tie events - especially if the sun’s out and you want to keep your hair away from your face. Top tip - if you have a round face, this clean look works best when you have a few strands placed around your face to soften the look.

Start with clean, washed hair and smooth some of our Frizz Ease Hair Serum through your lengths to add shine and smooth flyaways. Gather your hair into a high ponytail, twist the ponytail tightly and wrap it around the base, forming a bun. Secure with bobby pins, tuck and wispy, loose ends under the bun and pin. Finish with our Moisture Barrier Intense Hold Hairspray to keep your bun in place.

Brunette woman with a sleek ballerina bun with flowers

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