The cheat’s guide to away-from-home holiday hair

If you’re visiting family this festive season, master your away-from-home holiday hair with our ultimate guide from the experts

Got plans to visit the family this festive season? If you’re channeling your inner Chris Rea and are driving home for Christmas, then it’s time to starting thinking about how you’ll keep your hair looking fab-u-lous from start to finish on the trip. From packing presents to bringing plenty of fizz, there’s a lot to consider when getting prepped for your festive adventure. Luckily, we consulted the experts to get the lowdown on nailing your away-from-home holiday hair. You can thank us later!

Before you go

“I like to add JOICO Dream Blowout throughout damp hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. When drying your hair, make sure to hold the nozzle downwards on your hair. This will smooth the cuticle and help avoid flyaways and unwanted texture.”

“The key to ensuring your hair lasts for a number of days over Christmas time is all in the products you use,” says Paul Watts, JOICO European design team member. “The shampoo and conditioner you use can help give your hair the best start possible when it comes to creating long-lasting styles. I recommend JOICO JoiFul or HydraSplash, depending on your hair type and needs. Follow with a heat protectant before blowdrying,” he says.

Day One

When you arrive, your hair is the cleanest it will be for a while, so make the most of a simple style. “I like to keep the styling of hair quite simple and chic,” says celebrity hairdresser, Jay Birmingham. “Adding a bouncy wave throughout your hair using a large barrel tong, like the Beautyworks x Molly Mae Curl Kit, works really well. This creates the base for lots of different styles over the next few days.”

Similarly, Simon Hill, owner of SESH Hairdressing, says a soft wave throughout the hair is the ultimate in festive glam. To keep it looking effortlessly cool, Simon suggests adding the Corrinne Strass Barrette to one side of the hair loosely. “Allow some strands of hair to naturally fall loose around your face to frame your style.”

Day Two


While product build-up is still minimal, now is a good chance to still let your hair down (pardon the pun). “Start by spraying your waves with L’Oréal Professionnel Paris TECNI.ART Pli Shaper,” says colourist Katie Hale. “I recommend using a soft bristle brush or wide tooth comb to revive the hair, without pulling at the curls.” To give the hair a little more life, lightly blow-dry the hair by tipping the head over, if using a hairdryer is an option. Finally, Katie suggests adding a few extra waves with a curling tong.

If your strands need some extra help, Jay advises being generous with your dry shampoo, as well as changing the parting of your hair. “Try a deep side parting, and tuck one side of your hair behind your ear,” he explains. “Brush your hair out and apply some hair oil through the ends to create a sleeker and more glamorous look to your waves.”

Day Three

After back-to-back days of socialising and sipping on many glasses of prosecco, things may no longer be feeling quite so fresh. Luckily, there’s still many styling options to keep your locks looking their best. “For day three, add some dry shampoo to your roots and tie your hair into an undone bun,” says Brian Leo McCallum, owner of ROAR Hair and Beauty.

Likewise, Katie suggests opting for the classic ‘Sienna Miller look.’ After spritzing the Kérastase Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo, which has a great fragrance, “use a silk hair tie to create a low bun, pulling out few sections at the front”. Next, Katie advises using a tong on the front two sections, “waving away from from the face to frame it”.


Day Four


By the final day of your festivities, it’s all about keeping it quick and easy but still with a stylish edge. This is where your trusted ponytail really becomes the star of the show. “For something that’s more understated and ‘cool girl chic’, I love using the Corinne Bendable Hair Tie,” says Simon. “Wrap this around a textured ponytail for a glam edge on an otherwise casual hairstyle.”

Similarly, a slicked-back bun is a great option. “Create a clean middle parting using a pin tail comb, then grab some gel and a oil. Brush the hair behind the ear to get the slicked-back vibe, then use a hair for the bun,” says Katie. “My top tip is apply hairspray to a spoolie brush, before running it over the baby hairs at the front.”

Get more Christmas holiday hair styling inspiration >