New Year’s Eve is a big night. There's something inherently celebratory about sending off the old year and ushering in the new one that deserves breaking out the bubbly, dance moves, and party hair. This is the one marathon evening for which you'll want to look your best beyond the stroke of midnight—whether it be for friends, onlookers, or yourself.
So for those of you who are trying to find the most inspiring New Year's Eve hairstyles to rock at home or out on the town, you've come to the right place. In the spirit of the New Year, we’ve turned to hairstylists Laura Polko and Joanna Zee and rounded up 26 show-stopping looks guaranteed to last well throughout the festivities.
Meet the Expert
- Laura Polko is Aquage's Brand Ambassador and a celebrity hairstylist. Her clients include the Hadid sisters, Priyanka Chopra, and Adriana Lima, among others.
- Joanna Zee is a stylist with more than 20 years of experience in the hair industry. From cutting to coloring to consulting, she does it all.
Keep scrolling for major New Year's Eve hair inspo.
1. Messy Bow Pony
If you're looking for a New Year's Eve hairstyle you won't have to think twice about, a messy ponytail wrapped in a giant bow is it. It's stylish, low-maintenance, and let's not forget, cutely packaged. To achieve this look, Polko instructs:
- Prep hair with a sea salt spray.
- Then curl hair using a T3 curling iron by wrapping sections loosely around the barrel.
- Once hair is curled, shake out with hands and apply Aquage Dry Texture Finishing Spray ($24) to add instant boost and texture.
- To style, wrap hair in a low ponytail, secure with a clear elastic, and place a bow, either a clip or a ribbon, on top.
- Lock in the look by spraying some more Aquage Dry Texture Finishing Spray on fingers and working into the root and forward-facing pieces to loosen up the pony.
2. Straight and Shiny
Even if you're planning to watch the ball drop at home, that doesn't mean a night in can't be glamorous (silk PJs, anyone?). All it takes to get that Insta-worthy hair is applying a small amount of shine product to your straightened mane. This will give you the perfect glossy base to complement a dazzling pair of rhinestone bobby pins.
3. High Twisted Ponytail
A jumbo twisted ponytail will stay put and look dreamy as can be the entire night. Like Amandla Stenberg, you can try a chic high pony with a twisted tail, or opt for a more demure, low-slung look. "New Year's hair should be a showpiece to start the year off feeling good! With this look, I'd get a long, clip-in extension and style it the day before; that way, on New Year's Eve all you have to do is a quick slick ponytail and clip on your extension," says Zee.
4. Modern Chignon
A classic braided chignon gets a modern makeover when you weave an of-the-moment leopard scarf into the mix. For extra hold power that can stand up to all your dance moves, secure hair using bobby pins and the tail end of your scarf.
5. Sleek Wet Look
"Wet" hair has become a favorite look among A-listers gracing fashion runways and red carpets. Fortunately for us, the hairstyle is easy to recreate. According to Polko, a wide-tooth comb, gel, and long-lasting hairspray are all you need to pull off this trendy style:
- On damp hair, comb hair straight back and work a mix of Aquage Fortifying Ultragel ($22) and Straightening Ultragel ($50) throughout hair, section by section, until hair is fully saturated.
- From there, place setting clips from ear to ear across the entire hairline and blow dry on low heat with a low airspeed to set the product. (Allow to sit while doing makeup and getting ready, removing clips at the last minute.)
- Seal in the style with an ample application of Fekkai Sheer Hold ($38) to ensure the look lasts all day and night.
6. Pearl Braids
If you're searching for a way to rock a protective style this New Year's Eve, look no further than these pearl-adorned braids of varying sizes. Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway is responsible for the head-turning hairstyle, which we have but one word for: stunning.
7. Half-Up Hollywood Waves
Elevate your typical half-up 'do by pairing it with voluminous Hollywood waves and a celebratory hair accessory. To prevent it from frizzing out during the festivities, be sure to finish the look with an anti-humidity spray—we love Amika's The Shield ($25).
8. Braided Topknot
A sophisticated updo always pulls an outfit together—especially when complete with matching scrunchie. To keep it from looking stale, go with a sleek hairline and dial up the height with a three-tiered braided bun.
9. Bobby Pin Designs
This bobby pin creation is perhaps the most creative and resourceful hairstyle to grace our list. It's proof that a holiday-ready look need not cost you any time or money. All that's required, in fact, is the simplest of beauty tools—and some out-of-the-box thinking.
10. '70s Tucked Pony
What better place to rock the '70s throwback look than at a New Year's disco to close out the year? To look especially on theme, opt for a scarf that's silver, gold, or black—even glittery if you're down for that.
11. Crown Braid
You'll feel like royalty toasting to the new year wearing a crown braid. Not only is this style fit for a queen, but it's also super practical by being party-proof. Zee also dishes that this style gives way to amazing second-day hair. Come New Year's Day, "Just take the braid out and tousle with some clay or fiber cream for simple waves," advises Zee. Living Proof Style Lab® Molding Clay ($26) and American Crew Fiber Cream ($19) work wonders.
12. Loose Updo With Headband
Gemma Chan's romantic updo with loose face-framing strands gets a dose of holiday merriment with a bejeweled headband. This is a versatile look will that will transition well into New Year's Day with just a few sprays of Tigi Bed Head Oh Bee Hive! Matte Dry Shampoo ($12) and a simple hair accessory swap.
13. Beachy Waves
News flash: Beachy waves are making a splash at holiday parties. It's all about tousled texture these days, didn't you hear? Just ask Polko who shares her step-by-step instructions for how to get Lily Collins's look here:
- Prep wet hair with Aquage SeaExtend Silkening Oil Foam ($27) and blow out with the T3 Fit Dryer for volume and hold. Work a round brush in from section to section until fully blown out.
- Follow with an application of Kenra Professional Platinum Silkening Mist Hairspray ($16) and then wrap hair around a T3 wand to achieve beachy curls.
- Loosen up the look by brushing out, applying a dry texture spray, and then tousling hair with fingers to toughen up the style.
- Part hair to your desire and place an accessory to add polish to this tousled, beachy look.
14. Braided Bun
Kiki Layne offers a fresh take on retro finger waves with her chic braided bun. The texture of her braids adds a whole other dimension to your standard updo. Best of all, you'll ring in the New Year without a single hair falling out of place before midnight.
15. Cascading Curly Updo
In order to maximize your NYE enjoyment, you gotta let loose—curls included. Yara Shahidi's head of cascading curls is fun and flirty—and isn't that what New Year's is all about? Make sure to work in a Byrdie-approved curl product for hydrated and defined tendrils that will keep their shape as the party carries on.
16. Tousled Pony
Sometimes less is more as is the case here with Freida Pinto's high tousled pony. It's the best example of elegant bedhead that we've seen in a while. And if it gets a little messier as the night goes on, who cares? The key to this look is imperfection, after all.
17. Glittered Hair Twists
Not only is Halsey's glittery hair updo out of this world, but it's also party-practical. Hair twists will remain effortlessly intact while you dance or fight over champagne and appetizers (for the record, we'll be doing the latter).
18. Low Bun With Bling
The low bun is the ultimate low-maintenance look. But don't use just any old hair tie or bobby pins to fasten your hairdo in place. To keep with the spirit of the New Year, we highly encourage reaching for rhinestone-studded accessories instead.
19. Textured and Accessorized
Stylist Jenny Cho is the genius behind Lucy Boynton's dreamy 'do. To keep hair from falling flat, work in a small amount of volumizing mousse to damp hair before drying. Texturizing spray like Oribe's will give you that perfectly undone finish while a hair accessory will bring it all together.
20. Sleek Waves
As foolproof as they are party-proof, glamorous waves befit shindigs of New Year's past, present, and future. To get Laura Harrier's undulating tresses, curl hair using a two-inch wand and top it off with some shine pomade like Carols Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey ($11).
21. Stellar Bun
22. Voluminous Waves
Va-va-voom! "If you love big statement hair, this is it!" says Zee. These voluminous waves beg onlookers for a double, if not triple, take to properly take them all in. To recreate, "Take time to section with a small waving iron and lots of dry shampoo and hairspray," instructs Zee. You can't go wrong with Revlon Salon Ceramic ¾” Hair Waver Iron ($24).
23. Accessorized Wet Look
Those with short hair will appreciate this wet look served up by Kate Mara. It's simple, yet makes an impact. A pearl barrette works to soften the edginess a bit and add a touch of glam while at it.
24. '90s-Style Updo
We didn't realize we were missing out on beauty trends from the '90s until snap clips ($7) made their reappearance. As you might have guessed, now we want to wear them everywhere. Thanks, Solange.
25. Textured Waves With Stacked Pins
Here is another example of the power of hair accessories. To really get the full effect of this style, opt for casual-cool waves which will add a nice contrast to the refined assortment of hairpins. It's fête fabulous.