Making (and keeping!) hair red-carpet-ready

Feb 20, 2012 at 4:43 a.m. ET

Even those who aren't famous have those lovely red-carpet moments in their lives. From weddings to special work engagements, knowing how to rock out some seriously stunning hair is crucial to making sure you and your outfit look your very best. Here are a few tips for getting and maintaining perfect, red-carpet-worthy hair.

Marion Cotillard

Put in the prep work

When you're styling your hair for everyday wear, you might skip these steps -- but when you're getting ready for a high-end event, make sure you take these extra little precautions to ensure your hair stays in place. The first step is to wash your hair. Some types of hair style better when washed the day before. Decide if freshly washed hair or day-old locks work best for you. If you just washed your hair, start with a root-lifting mousse before drying to help create the appropriate voluminous lift for your look.

Blow-dry with purpose

If your hair is wet, keep in mind that you can achieve many effects with blow drying:

  • Add volume by drying your hair with your head upside down, or by lifting the hair at the root and applying heat while twisting a round brush.
  • To get shiny hair, angle the blow dryer downward on the hair shaft. Repeat this process until you see some sheen start to appear.
  • For curls, simply use a low heat and scrunch your curls upward to make sure those little ringlets stay intact.
  • For sexy, side-swept bangs, use a round brush and dry the opposite way you want your bangs to go. For example, if you want your bangs to land over your right eye, round-brush your bangs out and to the left. Soon, you'll have those sexy Jessica Rabbit bangs.

Classic Oscar hairstyles

Post-styling necessities

You probably have a good idea of the style you want to achieve, whether it's a pretty updo or long, seductive curls. Once that style is created, make sure it stays that way. Forget expensive products!

  • Just a dab (and we're talking a very small amount) of traditional petroleum jelly can help reduce the number of flyaways that make your hair look less-than-perfect.
  • Pack extra bobby pins when you head out the door; they have a habit of falling out of very sleek, fine hair.
  • A small container of hairspray will help with this, too.

More red-carpet beauty

Tips for keeping skin red-carpet-ready
After the glamour: Best ways to repair damaged hair
Secrets to keeping your hair on the hot list

Photo credit: Apega/WENN