Party Pretty: Special Occasion Styling Tips and Inspiration from Oribe’s Kien Hoang

Silhouettes for special occasions come in all shapes and sizes. Whether up, down, formal, sleek, textured or undone, the goal is to add the icing on the cake: a beautiful hair design to make the day that much better.

The guest looking for the perfect finish for her special occasion may need a bit more attention during the consultation. If she has come to the professional, she is looking for that professional touch.

“The first thing you must ask is where she is going,” says Kien Hoang, owner of the Umbrella Salon and Oribe director of content and training. “Will it need touch ups throughout the day or night? Is it indoor or outdoor? You must see her outfit, or at least a photo of the outfit, and get as much information as possible.” Hoang adds that these details should include knowledge about accessories and how she plans to wear her makeup.

Once armed with these details, Hoang says just about any silhouette should start with a strong set.

“A great set allows for base structure, offers you more control and will ideally maintain the shape throughout the event.” Hoang allows 90 minutes for each special-occasion finish and charges accordingly.

Kien Hoang’s top five common mistakes stylists make when creating special-occasion hair:

  1. Overstretching: “The hair will lose elasticity.”
  2. Not allowing the hair to cool long enough: “You will lose the set quickly.”
  3. Overuse of product: “Don’t spray until perfect.”
  4. Inconsistent backcombing: “This will cause an asymmetrical and uneven finish.”
  5. Not reading the texture properly: “Work with your hands. A brush can only do some much.”

Hair: Kien Hoang, assisted by Davide Marinelli
Photographer: Roberto Ligresti
Makeup: Nam for Oribe Beauty, assisted by Mark Phong
Fashion styling: Rod Novoa and Carlos Contreras

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