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Long Hairstyles You Can Dress Up Instantly


One of the biggest dilemmas that everyone faces is how to dress up their hairstyle for formal events.

In many ways long hair can offer lots of different options that is not available to other hair lengths.

Normally I let my own hair just flow long and loose around my shoulders. Sometimes I will dress it up a little by adding a loose cord around one side forming a modified set of pigtails.

superlongbnda.jpg (5688 bytes)Sometimes long hair can be dressed up by simply making a change to the bangs, the part of the overall texture. Straight long hair can be curled or waved while curly or wavy hair can be straightened.

Bangs can be slicked back off the forehead or clipped back with a jeweled hair clip or barrette.

Doing something different, no matter how small, has often helped me get through the dilemma of how to wear my long hair differently.

I have included some of the various different styles that I have tried recently to add some elegance to my own long hair.

Add An Unusual Braid Or Wrapped Accent

Adding a braid or twist is always a way to add instant hair glamour. One of the hottest looks for 1999 was to add a variety of hair twists, braids and wraps to give hair a different look.

Adding an angled braid or braids woven from the front of the hairline was a favorite of many stylists.

The "add an angled braid" style is still very hot and it offers the advantage of instant, but temporary change, to anyone that wants to dress up their hair. Adding an angled braid works great for just about any length of hair including very long.

This look is easy and simple to create. You don't have to braid for hours and then worry about balancing massive coils or plaits to hang in unusual shapes.

twistedbraidB200.jpg (2556 bytes)The "add a braid" style is beautiful, classy and can be created in a matter of minutes. Most people can create this look without any assistance from a stylist.

The accent braid look can be modified in a variety of ways to give it a unique look.

Take the hairstyle to the next level by wrapping it with tiny threads to make the French braids "stand up" higher against the scalp.

SilverHairTieA200.jpg (2335 bytes)Instantly dress up this look with shiny silver, gold or glittery ribbon. You can also try wrapping your braid with Haywire (shown to the side). For more information on Haywire hair jewelry call 1-800-328-0849.

I have also wrapped my own accent braids with velvet to match a favorite long black velvet dress.

You can also add instant class with hair jewelry pinned at the end of the braids or embedded in the hair near the braid.


The angled braid look is easy to accomplish. You can create the braid with either dry or wet hair. Keep in mind that "day old" hair often does better holding a braided shape.

If you want to add accent thread or ribbon you will need to create the accent braids on dry hair.

  1. Using the tail of a rat toothed comb section off one or more angled, horizontal sections, from the front or your hairline.
  2. The braided examples above include one or three small angled braids. You can create more or less braids depending on the look you would like to ultimately create.
  3. Clip off the sections that you are not working with so that you can focus on one section of hair at a time.
  4. Start at the forehead and "French braid" the sectioned hair into approximately 2 inch plaits. You can experiment with smaller or larger sections to achieve different looks.
  5. Tie off each individual braid with a "user friendly" hair tie. Use ties that are the same color as your hair so that they blend into the hair. Allow the same "tail" at the end of each braid. Make sure there is enough "tail" left so that the braid stays securely tied off. Be careful not use rubber bands that can tear fragile hair.
  6. Thread a large sized standard needle with silver or gold thread or other decorative materials and weave the thread from the hairline to the end of the braids. Make a small knot at the end of the braid.
  7. Make the stitches as thick or thin as you desire.
  8. Dress up the braids adding twinkly hair jewels such as rhinestone hair pins or other rhinestone jewelry.

LisaMariePresA250.jpg (2811 bytes)If you prefer, you can weave one or many tiny French or English braids along the front sides of your hairline. French braids tend to stand up higher off the scalp so if you want subtle accent braids use a flat plait as a soft accent.

Lisa Marie Presley was recently spotted with one tiny accent braid woven into her long hair extensions (see side photo) in keeping with the current "add a braid" hair rage.

Lisa's flat three strand accent braid falls at a slight angle in front of her earlobe and blends in with her overall length.

Instant Dress Up Hair

If you want to dress up your hair but it is super long and too thick for a French Twist or other updo, you can wear your hair "half up and half down".

Russian tennis ace Anna Kournikova has been known to appear with one simple, but elegant, rhinestone hair clip clipped to hold her gorgeous long blonde hair off her forehead.

Anna has very long hair and will often pull part of it high up at the back of her crown into a high ponytail and then wrap the very top of the ponytail with a section of her thick blonde hair. She lets the ponytail fall to one side of her shoulder.

CrystalHairA150.jpg (3471 bytes)Anna also wears beautiful long braids that she will dress up with a variety of hair jewels and clips.

If you want to take the quick and easy road to changing your look you can follow Anna's guide to adding a new barrette or hair clip.

Another option is to pull your hair back into a ponytail gathering only the top part of your hair into the tail and leaving part of your hair free.

You can then wrap the top part of the ponytail into a single soft bun and let the rest of your hair hang free down your back. Another option is to set the hair on rag curlers for lots of waves.

VeryLongBrunButA250.jpg (3221 bytes)The long dressy style shown to the side is decorated with eight tiny silver butterfly clips that are carefully arranged on the hair to appear as if they just landed on the hair.

This long but elegant look is created by pulling an equal section of approximately 2 inches of hair up from either side of the scalp above the ears and then softly clipping the hair to form a "half ponytail" at the top of the crown. The rest of the hair is allowed to flow freely down the back and is adorned with silver hair clips.


There are many ways that long hair can be instantly dressed up from adding accent braids that are angled from the crown to adding flat side braids and rhinestone hair jewels. Long hair provides many options for ways to dress up the hair. The key is to experiment and be creative.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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