Festive hair tips from the best this Christmas

Christmas Hair with Rob Eaton
Christmas Hair with Rob Eaton

Raising cups of Christmas cheer, nibbling on M&S vol-au-vents and smooching under the mistletoe - Christmas Party season has finally arrived!

But as you’re slipping into that sparkly party dress this festive season, don’t forget to spare a thought for your most important fashion accessory.

Christmas Hair with Rob Eaton

Christmas Hair with Rob Eaton

“So many people spend lots of money on a new Christmas outfit and then don’t think about the importance of finishing the look off with their hair,” says South Yorkshire hair stylist Rob Eaton as he runs his fingers through my tired locks, which are well in need of a little TLC.

“This season is all about great condition and great textures. Women these days are wearing their hair longer than ever before so knowing how to create those fast and effective up-dos is going to help you perfect your Christmas look.”

And believe me, this guy knows what he’s talking about. As the son of hair legend Russell Eaton, he’s grown up in the hairdressing industry, beginning his training in his father’s Barnsley salon nearly 20 years ago. The 35-year-old has been named North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year on no less than three occasions and brought the L’Oréal Colour Trophy home to the region twice. He’s travelled all over the world, working with the best in the business, and created catwalk looks at London Fashion Week. So who better to hit up for tips on Christmas hair?

Within minutes my split-end-ridden mane has somehow been transformed into a shiny Twisted Chignon, which Rob creates by separating my hair into two sections, twisting them both in the same direction and then coiling the two pieces around one another.

“Sometimes, if you have a lot of hair, a style is just about getting rid of some of that bulk,” says Rob.

“Simplicity always looks best and this is a really simple but effective style, perfect for throwing up after work before you head to the pub with your work mates. The key is to keep the hair smooth and, if you like, you can even twist the coil and pin it up into a loose side bun using kirby grips. This is great if your hair has been down all day for a quick transformation.

“A big tip is not to go crazy with the hairspray. Get the shape and style right and then just add a bit of shine spray or hairspray to hold it in place. I like to spray a little on my fingers and then smooth over the surface of the hair to control flyaways.”

The second style Rob creates is the deceptively simple Fishtail Braid.

“Again, we pull the hair to one side and separate it into two pieces – simple sections are the foundation of a lot of styles,” explains Rob.

“Then take a small piece of hair from the outside of one section and take it behind and over to join the other section. Then repeat the other way. Keep doing this all the way down and don’t worry about the top looking too tidy. The key with hair is not to be scared of experimenting, long hair can be a bit safe if you don’t have some fun with it. Hair doesn’t have to be perfect and, in fact, these days the worn-looking styles are on trend, so a little messy is good.

“Waves and texture is good too; if you have access to curling tongs or straighteners, and time to do it, I’d recommend curling small sections and holding each curl in place with a grip until it’s cooled, so it holds the shape better. And always curl all the hair in the same direction for a more polished look.

“Once you’re done, rather than leave the hair hanging in perfect ringlets, give it a really good brush, which creates a gorgeous vintage wave look which is very glamorous and old Hollywood.

“Another look I love at this time of year is adding a little wet-look gel to the front of your hair, brushing it back to keep it out of your face, and adding a little glitter. It’s a catwalk inspired look but, if you’ve got the confidence to carry it off, it looks fantastic.”

Happy Christmas Hair everybody!