Top 10 Hairstyles for Thanksgiving

Like most of 2020, the holidays are probably going to look different this year. As the coronavirus pandemic settles into its second wave, the CDC recommends against traveling or congregating indoors to celebrate Thanksgiving. Nestled in between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and celebrating with loved ones. This means that if you live in a colder climate or have friends and family spread out across the country, your usual in-person Thanksgiving dinner will likely be replaced with a virtual celebration. But that’s no reason not to still look holiday-ready — in fact, it’s even more of a reason to! Pick out a cute outfit, swipe on some lipstick and make sure your hair is on-point. We’re breaking down 10 outrageously pretty Thanksgiving hairstyles ahead. Get ready for some turkey day holiday hair inspiration.

Top 10 Hairstyles for Thanksgiving

Get inspired by the 10 Thanksgiving hairstyles and tutorials below.

1. Big Volume

One of the simplest and most low-maintenance ways to achieve party-worthy hair is to amp up the volume. For this hair look, a texturizing spray may be all you need. Spritz your strands liberally and rough them up with your fingers. If your hair isn’t quite big enough for your liking, or still looks limp, backcomb a few sections on top. Backcombing, also known as teasing, is a great way to add instant volume and lift. Not sure how to backcomb? Follow this tutorial:

  • Section the front of your hair off into strips of around 1-2 inches in width. Use slimmer sections for more volume or wider ones for a looser look.
  • Hold each section taut and backcomb the underside down in three short strokes. Focus on the area closest to the root to create powerful volume. 
  • Use the same three-short-strokes technique for each section of hair, and make sure each section is roughly the same width. This will keep your sections even. 
  • Be firm but gentle; tearing through your hair will result in follicle damage, as well as risking the classic bird’s nest vibe that you’re trying to avoid.

2. Add a Hair Accessory

If your hair color needs a touch up or your roots have grown out, adding an accessory like a scarf or a headband makes for an easy (and not to mention, festive) Thanksgiving hairstyle. Use a velvet bow, or some embellished clips to jazz up a simple look like a ponytail or topknot.

3. Slicked-Back

This Thanksgiving hairstyle is a chic option for curly haired girls and those with natural texture. Plus, it couldn't be easier to pull off. Work an anti-frizz oil through your damp curls and then use a strong hold gel to smooth them down to about your ears. Reinforce with a few spritzes of a strong hold hairspray. Let your naturally curly hair do its thing from there down.

Davines knotted ponytail holiday hair tutorial

photo by @melanieguille_

4. Knotted Ponytail

More than your average ponytail, a knotted version looks like you put way more effort into your hair than you did. Here’s an easy guide to follow:

  • Split your hair down the middle, into two even sections. 
  • Grab each section, one in each hand, and crisscross them, flipping the right over the left (you’ll need to switch hands) and pull each section taut. 
  • Slide your grip down and use your fingers to find the opening in your hair to loop one side through. 
  • Lift one tail up and thread it through the opening. 
  • Then pull each side tight to secure your knot.
  • Transfer both tails into one hand, and tie off your pony with a hair tie just below the knot. 
  • Grab a bobby pin and insert it down into the top of your knot. This will disguise any separation between the two sections, and keep your knotted ponytail secure.
  • Grab a small piece of hair from the underside of your ponytail and wrap it around the hair tie. 
  • When you can’t wrap it anymore, tuck the ends in and secure them with a bobby pin.

5. Braided Bun

As the temps drop and winter approaches, you may be stressing over how to repair damaged hair. A braided bun is a Thanksgiving hairstyle perfect for hiding and treating damaged hair. Throw on a mask for damaged hair, part your hair down the middle and fishtail braid both sides of your hair. Once your braids are finished, place the ends together and twist them into a bun at the nape of your neck. Secure your bun with as many bobby pins as needed to hold it in place. And if you are dealing with damage be sure you’re using a hydrating conditioner and incorporating products for damaged hair into your haircare routine through the colder months. Here’s an easy tutorial for how to fishtail braid your own hair:

  • Grab the section of hair you want to fishtail and split it in half, holding one section in each hand. 
  • Grab a tiny subsection of hair from the outside of the ponytail in your right hand, cross it over top, and join it together with the section in your left hand. 
  • Then, cross a small sliver of hair from the left section and add it to the right side. 
  • Continue grabbing tiny sections of hair, crossing them over, and joining them to the other half until you've reached the bottom of your strands. 
  • Secure the ends with a hair tie.

6. Half-Up Bun

A half-up bun makes the perfect Thanksgiving hairstyle for every hair texture and length. Gather the hair above your ears into a high ponytail at the crown of your head. Keep it messy. For this hairstyle, the messier it comes, the better it looks. Twist the ponytail around itself and then coil it toward the base until you have your bun. Use a few bobby pins to secure it to your head and pin down any unruly pieces of hair. Finish with a few spritzes of a strong hairspray.

7. Messy Topknot

Could there be an easier Thanksgiving hairstyle to master than a topknot?! The key to the messy topknot is texture. Curly-haired girls already have a leg up here; straight-haired girls will require some dry shampoo. Spray it into your roots and rub it into your scalp with your fingers. Next, part hair down the middle, and lift it into a high ponytail, wrapping it into a bun and securing. Leave a few intentional pieces out and wrap the ends of your hair around the ponytail.

8. Crown Braid

Wrapping braids around the top of your head in a crown is a perfect laid-back hairstyle for a cozy Thanksgiving Zoom celebration. Pair this hair look with one of the year’s hottest apparel trends and you’ll feel as cool as you look. Follow this easy tutorial on how to do a crown braid:

  • Part your hair down the middle and separate it into two sections. Secure one side while you work with the other, so they don't get mixed up. 
  • Take the loose side and start at the nape of the neck. Split this section into three strands. You can add a hair clip to each of these while you are preparing for the next step. It can be hard to separate three strands all at once.
  • Cross each of the strands underneath each other instead of over one another. Work your way around the side of the head, keeping the braid fairly tight. If the braid comes loose, it won't appear as a tight crown.
  • Work across the top of the forehead until you finish the braid. Secure the end with a hair tie in order to keep the braid secure. Let it down until you complete the other side. Or you can clip it to the top of your head until the crown is ready to be made.
  • Take the opposite side of your hair in hand. Start at the top of the head, instead of the bottom. Split this section into three parts and do the same inside-out braid you did before. Braid around the side of the head, finishing near the nape of your neck. 
  • Create the crown by pulling one of the braids from left to right, over top of your head. The braid should sit a few inches from your forehead. Secure this braid with a bobby pin. 
  • Now pull the other braid from right to left, pushing it up against the previous braid. Secure this braid with a bobby pin as well. Rough up your hair at the hairline with your fingers and finish with a beach hair spray.
  • Or try a french braid crown by replacing your 3-strand braid above with a french braid across the crown of your head. 

9. Loose Waves

This is another easy Thanksgiving hairstyle that you can literally do in your sleep. Right before bed, flip your head over like you’re going to make a high ponytail at the crown of your head. Separate into three equal sections, and braid it. Don’t make it too tight; this will prevent the volume you’re working for while you sleep. Leave an inch or two out at the bottom so your waves gently fade out at the ends. Gently unravel your braid and shake out your hair from the roots. Finish with your favorite hair shine product.

10. Chignon

A chignon is a classic updo perfect for any occasion, Thanksgiving Zoom celebrations included. Part your hair down the middle and gather the rest of your strands into a low bun. Clasp it with a hair clip and bobby pins as needed to prevent strays from popping out. Keep your chignon in place with a brushable hairspray.

Things may look different this year, but that’s no reason not to rock a pretty holiday hairstyle. Celebrate Thanksgiving virtually with friends and family, and know you look good on camera with an easy hairstyle from our list.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

cover photo by @vintagesplendor

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