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3 Chic and Easy Party-Ready Hairstyles

  • Elegant Side Ponytail

    Make a deep part on one side of your head and pull hair into a low, loose ponytail on the other side. Secure with an elastic, then wrap a small section of hair around it. Hold in place with a bobby pin.

    If you have fine hair, work in a thickening lotion to help the ponytail stay put. Our pick: Bumble and bumble Thickening Spray, $25, for store information.

    Polish the look with a shine spray. Our pick: Garnier Fructis Style Brilliantine Shine Glossing Spray, $4.

    Prefer a smoother finish? Use a paddle brush instead of your fingers to pull hair back. Our pick: Stance paddle brush, $4, Sally Beauty Supply stores.

  • Classic, Chic Bun

    Blow out hair so it's smooth. Pull it back into a low or high ponytail and secure with an elastic. Twist the tail into a bun, tuck ends under, and secure with bobby pins.

    When you're in a hurry, skip blow-drying and apply a leave-in conditioner to damp hair. Our pick: Pantene Pro-V Silkening Transformation Creme, $5.

    Tame flyaways with a strong-hold hair spray. Our pick: TRESemme Tres Two, $4.

    A dryer with 1,850 watts or more will do the job fast. Our pick: Infiniti by Conair Cord-Keeper blow-dryer, $35.

  • Sexy, Loose Waves

    Start with clean, dry hair. Make a deep side part and use a curling iron to roll 2-inch sections from the ends up to the middle of your head. Run your fingers through curls to separate them.

    Apply a thermal protector before heat styling to prevent damage. Our pick: Redken All Soft Velvet Whip, $15; for salon information.

    To make the style last without stiffness, use a flexible-hold hair spray. Our pick: Aussie Sprunch Catch the Wave, $3.

    A medium-barrel iron will give you just-the-right-size curls. Our pick: Revlon Tourmaline Heat Nano Ceramic 1" Styling Iron, $25.

    Unless otherwise noted, products are available at drugstores or department stores.