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Hot hairstyles for Melbourne Cup Day

It’s the race that stops a nation but, for the ladies, Melbourne Cup Day is more about the fashion than it is the race! Whether you’re celebrating at the racetrack, going to an elegant luncheon or attending a work-related function, you can celebrate Melbourne Cup in style with these hot, on-trend hairstyles. Best of all, you can do them yourself.

Hot to trot at the big race
Sleek hair for Melbourne Day

This is no time to play it safe. In fact, hair guru Tracey Hughes, creative director of Mieka Hairdressing in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast, says Spring Racing Carnival season is an opportunity to really let down your hair (get it?!) and try something a little wild.

Headwear is just as important as your frock on Melbourne Cup Day, so before you decide what to do with your hair, you need to know what headpiece strategy you’re going with.

If you’re wearing a hat…

The hat is the hero of your look, so don’t go for anything too fancy, Hughes says.

“When you’re wearing a hat, I believe straight hair works best. We all know the feeling of dreaded ‘hat hair’ so if you have opted for something sleek, when the hat comes off at the end of the day your hair can be easily smoothed,” she advises.

Her preference is to keep locks shiny and straight when pinned under a hat, as it allows your spectacular headpiece to be the focus. It also sits more evenly on a flat hairstyle and avoids compressing an overly elaborate or fussy style.

How to achieve the look

“When blowdrying your hair straight, ensure that you first apply a heat protecting product such as GHD Heat Protect, to keep your hair in optimal condition,” Hughes says. “This will not only increase shine but it will also keep your hair silky smooth and manageable over a longer period of time.”

Hair: Tracey Hughes, Colour: Olivia Zynevych, Photography: Nicole Corbett, Make-up: Merton Muaeremi, Fashion Stylist: Melvin Royce Lane

Curly hair for Melbourne DayIf you’re wearing a fascinator…

Fascinators come in all shapes and sizes so the best hairstyle for you depends on the complexity of your headpiece. If you’ve chosen an oversized, feathery, glittery number, then a low-key hairstyle is probably best. If you’ve opted for a chic mini-fascinator with a few small adornments, then a fussier hairstyle may be a better fit.

Either way, “Hair looks great let down when you’re wearing a fascinator,” Hughes says.

“When your hair is let out, it means you can choose to wear your fascinator on any part of your head, or pin it all through to one side for a simple, stylish racing look.”

How to achieve the look

“Try creating soft, bouncy curls, and you will find attaching a fascinator is relatively easy,” Hughes says. Here’s her quick guide for achieving perfect curls:

  • Blowdry your hair using a nourishing mousse for volume and to help the style last.
  • Using a medium-sized curling tong, hold the tongs vertically, then wrap large sections of hair around the wand.
  • Hold for a minimum of 10 seconds then let the curl fall.
  • Allow it to hang without touching it to cool down.
  • Tip your head upside down and shake your hair about using your hands. Spray in Redken Woolshake to give a beach look with incredible fullness.
Hair: Tracey Hughes @ Mieka Hairdressing, Colour: Olivia Zyneych @ Mieka Hairdressing, Make-up: Claudia Qunonez @ Mieka Hairdressing, Photography: Andrew Maccoll, Styling: Elaine Marshall

Curly hair for Melbourne DayIf you’re going a la natural…

There’s no reason why you have to follow the crowd and invest in a sparkly new hairpiece. Instead, why don’t you let your hair be the focus by creating a fun, whimsical up-do?

How to achieve the look

Blowdry your hair using a nourishing mousse for volume and to help the style last. Then, Hughes suggests you set a soft curl for extra volume and hold by following the guide mentioned earlier.

“Next, flip your head upside down and do a loose plait on the lengths and secure the end,” Hughes says.

“Pop your head back up and gently pull the plait apart. You can loosely wrap your hair into a twist and secure with pins on the top of your head.”

Hair: Tracey Hughes, Photography: Amber Toms, Make-up: Sue Marshall, Fashion Stylist: Elaine Marshall

More Melbourne Cup Day tips

Esty Finds: Fascinators
Melbourne Cup racewear tips
Top celeb hairstyle inspiration

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