Despite the myriad, fleeting beauty trends that we encounter on the daily, there’s certain classics that astound us with their staying power. And it’s high time that the case was put forward for half-up, half-down hair to join the likes of the classic red lip and precise cat eye.
The in-between style is certainly not new, but particularly since the mid-2010s, we’ve seen various versions trend in waves. Cast your mind back: remember a then-rising Ariana Grande defending her signature, high half-ponytail as her chosen daily look? Spawning a thousand reiterations, we then started to see similarly voluminous half-updos popularised by celebrities including Khloe Kardashian and Gigi Hadid. You may even recall the kitsch half-bun that quickly followed suit by appearing everywhere.
As this decade opened, accompanied by the explosion of Y2K style and beauty looks, ’90s-style takes were in full swing. There was Kim Kardashian and of course, reigning songstress Ariana Grande, who brought out thick side parts, flipped tips and micro-ponytails to boost their half-half hairdos.
However, we’re calling it now: the style of this season harks back to a more classic, elegant version of the look. Most recently seen on Sydney Sweeney at the Venice Film Festival and Blackpink’s Jisoo at the Video Music Awards, the latest rendition of this ‘do says goodbye to hyper-trending details and hello to classic varieties that wouldn’t look out of place in any decade. Think flowing locks, wispy baby hairs, loose curls and sweet accessories for an unabashedly feminine result. Below, peruse five celebrities who have sported half-up hair in recent months, alongside their hairstylists’ tips for replicating the effect with your own pulled back tresses.
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Blackpink's Jisoo at the 2022 VMAs
At the recent VMAs, Blackpink’s Jisoo appeared with a romantic, soft take on the style. The effect was achieved courtesy of tiny details including the minimal black ribbon securing her low ponytail and plenty of loose, face-framing strands.
Follow Jisoo’s lead and emulate the sweet style by using a simple ribbon to pull back a quarter of your hair in a low ponytail, among the rest of your loose locks. Finish by ensuring your face is framed by small sections of loose hair. This detail serves to relax the look while also dialling up the charm of the ‘do.
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Anne Hathaway at the Cannes Film Festival 2022
Anne Hathaway set the Internet alight with her stunning Cannes looks, not in the least due to her turns of mane. Hairstylist Adir Abergel was behind Hathaway’s red carpet locks, including this ’60s-inspired, bouffant style.
Additionally drawing from “the effortlessness of the supermodel era” as Abergel told Vogue, it was all about volume at the crown of Hathaway’s hair. Boost and lock the height of your own half-‘do by using a volumising primer and efficient hairspray, while securing half of your hair with bobby pins to keep the focus on your crown.
Abergel used a curling iron for enhanced waves, including the pieces of hair framing Hathaway’s face.
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Sydney Sweeney at the 79th Venice Film Festival 2022
Sydney Sweeney’s red carpet turn at the Venice Film Festival was polish head to toe. As such, her half-style was the definition of sleek.
Hairstylist Glen Coco pulled half of Sweeney’s hair back completely away from her face, slicked close to the scalp and with a clearly defined middle part. Top off your own take with an ensemble-matching accessory to add interest—for Sweeney, this was a large bow by Jennifer Behr—and consider adding length and layers like Coco courtesy of extensions (Coco used extensions from The Hair Shop).
Paramount to this effect is ensuring your hair is shiny and smooth, achievable with the aid of an anti-frizz serum or cream that also prevents flyaways.
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HoYeon Jung at the 2022 Met Gala
For HoYeon Jung’s Met Gala look, hairstylist Jenny Cho created a playful, expressive half-up hairstyle. Cho took inspiration from the Gilded Age: “It was a playful time when women had fun with their hair.”
Take heed by pulling half of your hair into a half-up knot, scooped away from the face, and allowing the rest of your hair to flow free like Jung’s cascading waves.
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Nicola Peltz at her wedding to Brooklyn Beckham
Hairstylist Abergel was also responsible for Nicola Peltz’s bridal tresses. He revealed to Vogue that supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the ’90s and French siren Brigitte Bardot were the inspirations for this look.
Just like our island climates, Peltz’s Palm Beach, Florida wedding location was humid. As such, Abergel used Virtue Labs’ Restorative Texture Mask, Repairing Oil and Un-Frizz Cream to keep her hair smoothed down.
Copy the cool girl effect of Peltz’s low half-ponytail by using a large barrel curling iron to add minimal texture to your hair, a trick Abergel used to make her mane “a bit more undone”.