5 Stunning hair-up ideas for summer events

Summer is all about socialising. With the arrival of weddings, festivals, garden parties and holidays, you've got plenty of excuses to get dressed up.

Once you've got your outfit sorted, it's all about finding the perfect hairstyle to compliment your look, and when it comes to special occasions, what could be better when wearing your hair up?

"With your hair up, you're guaranteed it will look great from when you arrive at your event until the evening, even if the weather's not great," says director Lizzie Hearn.

Recently, Lizzie has noticed a rise in clients asking for more relaxed up-do styles: "It's more of an effortless hair-up, rather than too structured. Especially for daytime events, like people going to the races, for instance, they don't want to look too 'party.'"

She also spotted some fabulous celebrity up-do's at the recent Cannes Film Festival that can be adapted to suit a variety of hair types and lengths.

As we head into the summer social season, here Lizzie talks us through five beautiful hair-up ideas to try, either at home or with the help of our pros in the salon…


British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley appeared on the red carpet at Cannes with her hair scraped back into a super-sleek low bun with a middle parting.

"The reason I like this is because it's very elegant, it's chic, and it pretty much goes with any outfit," Lizzie says. "It's very classic and would look sophisticated with a hat as well."

To recreate Rosie's look at home, start by washing and blowdrying your hair with a priming product.

"I would use Shu Uemura Shiki Worker because that's going to give you the moisture that you need and heat protection," Lizzie explains.

"Apply Davines This is a Medium Hold Pliable Paste straight onto the roots, then using a comb, slick the hair back to your desired parting and tie at the bottom. I would leave a piece of hair out of the ponytail to wrap around the hairband, then twist the rest of the hair round into a bun."

The easiest option is to create a neat 'ballet bun', or you could try a more elaborate twist and leave the ends spiked out with a spritz of Shu Uemura Kumo Hold.


"If you're someone who likes to have hair framing your face and not to feel too exposed, a half-up style is a good way to keep some of your hair down but still be elegant when you're wearing a hat or fascinator," Lizzie says.

Plus, this style works on everything from bobs to super-long locks. 

To create a wavy half up, half down do, start by blowdrying your hair with Shu Umeura Tsuki Shape, Lizzie says: "This is your prep spray, it's going to give hold so the hair is much easier to work with."

If you have straight hair, apply Oribe Balm d'Or Heat Styling Shield before tonging the hair in sections: "Using a medium tong I would start at the front and work my way back, curling away from the face on both sides."

Leave the waves to cool and set then run your fingers through the hair to to give it more of a natural look.

"Don't be afraid to really break it up, because it does make the blow-dry look better," Lizzie says.

"Next, you take the front two pieces on either side and use either a clip or bobby pins to pin the hair away from the face. if you've got shorter bits around the front, you can leave tendrils out. That looks really nice."


Cate Blanchett showed off a beautifully undone up-do on the Cannes red carpet, a style which can be adapted for short, mid-length or long hair.

"I like this one because you get the height and body but it's a bit more lived-in, it's not too bridal or structured, but it's still very elegant," Lizzie says. 

"This is best done on second-day hair - you don't want it too freshly washed when you have an up-do like that otherwise it's going to be too floppy. You need a bit more texture."

Unless you're a dab hand at backcombing, you'll probably need help from a professional for a celeb-worthy style like this.

"When backcombing I used Davines Texturising Dust to give volume, then I'd go in with a fairly small tong and curl the hair, then comb out the curls so it looks a bit more undone," Lizzie explains.

"To get this height I think the hair would be tucked into more of a roll shape at the back with bits pinned onto it and finished with Davines Extra Strong hair spray."

She adds: "If you're not going to wear a hat you can dress this look up with some really nice hair jewellery."


A fun festival option, double French braids can be tailored to your style.

"You could go really extreme with the braids, have them really long and really thick," Lizzie says.

"You can go crazy with accessories, you can add colours to the braids, You can dress them up as much as you want… The great thing is they're not going to move. Even with all the partying or if it's raining, you're still going to look great."

To get perfectly symmetrical braids you'll need to enlist the help of a stylist, and Lizzie recommends leaving your hair for at least 24 hours after washing before your salon appointment.

"It's best to leave it so it's not so soft and slippery," Lizzie says. "To style these braids I would also use a gel or cream so the hair's definitely going to hold in place and you're not going to get any flyaway bits."

For extra volume or if you have shorter hair, she recommends adding some temporary extensions: "You can tie a hair piece under the braids and then you wouldn't see that it was extension hair. When the braids are finished you can add shine spray, glitter or whatever you want."


Anya Taylor-Joy showed off one of the coolest hair looks of Cannes with her sculptural blonde up-do.

"This looks like a slicked back ponytail with a hair piece added and then the hair is twisted in on itself to create that thickness," Lizzie says. 

"It's not as complicated as it looks. I think it looks really elegant as well.  It's quite a statement."

Start by smoothing the hair with Oway Glimmering Bond and pulling it back into a high ponytail.

"If you've got any bumps, don't be afraid to go back in with the comb, take the pony out and do it again," says Lizzie. "Tie up your high ponytail and then hairspray the top section."

Unless you have very thick hair you'll need to add a colour-matched hair piece at this stage, she adds: "Clip-on ponytails are really simple to use. They just tie onto your natural hair."

To create the curved shape, Lizzie says: "Split the ponytail into two and twist together both your hair and the extension hair. Get a small rubber band to tie the end then use a bobby pin to secure it into place so the end is hidden."

Finish with a generous spritz of Oribe Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray.

It's party time

Whether you're jetting off to attend a luxurious destination wedding, raving in Ibiza, or a bit of both, up-do hairstyles are a fab way to get party-ready.

You might be surprised how easy it is to emulate your favourite celebrity or influencer looks when you've got the right products and had a bit of practice. 

For more elaborate hair-up options, head into the salon and let the pros work their magic.

Head into the Salon for more magic

Got a glitzy event coming up? Book a blow-dry or hair-up appointment at Paul Edmonds London.