The Most Glamorous Way To Style Your Bob For Parties

Shorter hair can be a styling challenge, but I came up with a cute curly style guaranteed to get you through all your holiday parties.
Publish date:
December 11, 2013
hairsprays, How-To, curling irons, brushes, bobs, barrettes, combs, curling

Even though I never really adjusted to the cold, I love Northern Hemisphere winter.

Snow is so beautiful, for one thing. I love wearing coats, for another. And holiday parties? Come on. Those are the best of all possible parties! You get to wear ugly sweaters and silly hats, and everyone eats and drinks too much, and sometimes there are presents.

Now that I’ve cut my hair short, my question has been “How can I style this for maximum holiday festiveness?” And, like so many things, the answer turned out to be “Relatively simply, but awesomely.”

I test-drove A LOT of hairstyles, and had the curling-iron burn on my neck to prove it. But bob-length hair is tricky, and it takes a lot of really elaborate work to accomplish styles that would have been simple when my hair was long.

Our time is valuable. I know you guys don’t have three hours to spend just on your hair, and neither do I. So I took some inspiration from one of my favourite previous looks and served up a festive curly style that manages to be retro and totally modern at the same time.

You will need:

•A narrow-barreled curling iron. I’m talking 1” or smaller


•A fine-toothed comb

•A paddle brush

•Some clippy things to hold your hair back

•Fun pins. I didn’t make these, but you can do that if you want.

Start by brushing your hair, then separating out a section underneath. This is the bit we are going to curl first. As always, the thicker your hair is, the narrower this section should be.

Now we’re going to curl.

No matter your preferred method of curling--iron, rollers, the firey heat of dragon’s breath--wrap a 1” section of hair from root to end so that the curl is going up (as in, wrap the hair UNDER the curling iron, then around). This will help to give the style a lot of volume, especially if maybe your hair is a little thinner in the back lately and you feel a bit vulnerable about it (like yours truly).

Once you have a bunch of happy, bouncy curls, spray them with some hairspray. Leave them in their little Shirley Temple rolls for right now!

Next, pull out another horizontal section of hair. You want it to be about two or three inches wide, depending on the thickness of your hair. Start curling small pieces, this time with the curls wrapped facing down (so the body of the hair goes OVER the curling iron).

Once you’re done, spray everything with hairspray.

Repeat this--separate, curl facing down, spray--until your entire head is done. I have very thick hair and it took me about 20 minutes to finish this the first time I tried it. You will look something like this when you’re all done…

I know, it’s very Toddlers and Tiaras. But we’re about to fix that.

With your wide paddle brush, gently brush out the curls. As always, please do not use a round brush--if it gets stuck, it will HURT.

You will notice them start to fall out and become a little looser and softer (and bigger). This is what you want.

The curls have likely given you a little volume on the top of your head. That is awesome! But you also might have some dents or flyaways, so let’s smooth those suckers out by gently combing through our hair with the fine-tooth comb.

Don’t go all the way to the ends--comb to where the curls begin, then stop. Any bumps or imperfections will melt away under the force of your mighty comb! You can add some hairspray when you’re done to make sure everything stays smooth.

Have a look at how your curls are laying. Sometimes I need to go back in and recurl some sections, especially the pieces nearest my face, but this time I was pretty happy with how everything looked. HAIR JUST RIGHTY!

Once you’re happy with how your curls are placed, it’s time for my favourite part: We are gonna tease the curls.

Use your wide paddle brush for this, because the comb will rat them a little TOO much. Take a medium-sized section of hair--exactly how much will depend on your hair’s thickness--and gently tease it towards your scalp with the brush. You’ve teased it enough when your hair is voluminous; if you hit beehive-ratty, you’ve gone too far.

Once you’ve done one section, you pretty much know what you’re doing, and you can go all around your head, teasing like crazy, until it’s all done! Pay special attention to the back of your head; it’s really easy to not get it quite as “big” back there as at the sides.

When you’re all done, smooth the top with the comb again in case you’ve got some mess happening up there. Spray everything with hairspray to keep it lookin’ fly!

Now is the time to add your sparkly pins for extra glamourousness. I like mine to sit right above my curls and just a little bit back from my ears, so that is where I clip them.

And I’m done! I have a really cute, festive hairstyle that will take me through the hundreds of Holiday parties that one must attend this time of year. Life truly is hard.

This look is a little retro without going full-costumey. It looks really good with a dress or a suit. And, like I said, it takes about 20 minutes to do. Then you can spend the rest of your time doing awesome glittery makeup!

You don’t need bangs or a center part for this to work. Deep side-parted hair looks more '40s, but still amazing. And the best part is, you can wear it with whatever kind of outfit you like. Dress! Suit! Bikini, ski mask and Ugg boots!

Just kidding, please don’t wear Ugg boots.


I am still on my NYC vacation, but I will be checking in on the comments. So tell me, what’s your go-to hairstyle for holiday parties? Are you overwhelmed with festive cheer yet? I know I am.