Prom Tips with George Papanikolas: Hair Up or Hair Down?

Lauren Quick | March 9, 2015 | 9:15 AM

If we've said it once, we've said it a million times—loose, lived-in looks are the way to go for prom and bridal season this year. No one wants to look like they spent countless hours having their hair blown out, curled, pinned and sprayed within an inch of its life. 

Matrix Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas is with us there; perfection is for surgeons, and a few tendrils around the face look romantic and natural. He shares some tips for both up and down special-occasion styles. 

Up Style: Softly Waved, Gathered Look

"If my client wants an upstyle, I recommend a softly waved, softly gathered look," Papanikolas says. "I find it works with most facial shapes, necks and body types. It's dressy but not severe. The foundation is critical for this style; it must be touchable with movement but not too perfect!"

STEP 1: Start with a cocktail of Matrix Style Link Volume Builder Volume Mousse and Style Link Gloss Boost for volume plus shine. 

STEP 2: Blowdry, then divide the hair into subsections. Mist each section with a flexible hairspray (try Style Link Volume Fixer) and curl each section around an iron. 

STEP 3: Release each curl, then leave intact and clip to the head. Set the whole head this way, then mist all the hair with a texturizer spray, such as Style Link Texture Builder Messy Finish Spray. This gives hair some texture; it shouldn't be too glassy.

STEP 4: Create a 3x3-inch-square section in the back of the head, above the occipital, and gather into a ponytail. This will be the anchor for the style. 

STEP 5: Release curls, back-comb the top sections, and gently drape each curl back to the ponytail and secure with pins. Work from bottom to sides to top with everything going into your anchor.

STEP 6: Tuck in the original ponytail and mist with a firm-hold finishing spray such as Style Link Style Fixer Finishing Spray.


Down Style: Loose Waves

"Right now, the most up-to-date waves are loose," Papanikolas says. "They start about 3 to 4 inches from the scalp, and the ends are omitted."

STEP 1: Prep with Matrix Style Link Smooth Setter Smoothing Cream and Style Link Hold Booster before drying and curling.

STEP 2: Divide hair into vertical subsections after drying.

STEP 3: Curl midshafts and allow each section to drop and cool.

STEP 4: Finish by misting with a flexible-hold hairspray (try Style Link Volume Fixer). 

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