While watching celebrities pose on the red carpet at this year's Do Something Awards, Jennifer Lopez certainly made our mouths drop. But it wasn't the pop diva's killer curves (squeezed into a cobalt blue Edition by Georges Chakra strapless dress) that gave us pause. It was her half-up, half-down hairstyle.
Framed by her famous baby hairs, J.Lo gathered the front section of her brond locks into a high ponytail and allowed the rest to fall down into super teased waves. While the style seemed appropriate for an event celebrating young "do-ers," she looked more like a teen idol on the cover of J-14. But is it possible to pull off half-up, half-down hair when you're not the prom queen or bride-to-be?
Hoping to prove the potential in this hairdo (and convince my fashion editor Christina that it can work beyond middle school), I sought advice from the pros. Read on as celebrity hairstylists Oribe and David Babaii explain why this look transcends time and age and the trick to not ending up with teen-era hair. Then keep scrolling down for celebrity inspiration (including a style worn by Jennifer Lopez herself).
Keep it real... and simple
Half-up, half-down hairstyles can complement any face shape, texture of hair, age or event, according to Babaii. But when overdone or overworked, it looks like a teenage nightmare. "Over-combing it or using too much hairspray to get that structured last for hours style is a no-no."
To avoid this disaster, Oribe stresses tailoring it to your needs. "Brigitte Bardot used to wear this style in a softer way with bangs and it looked great. Adding too much texture or barrel-heavy curls can make it look too young or bridal-like."
Pump it up without bumping it up
We can always expect to see at least one star take it to the extreme when sporting this hairdo -- ending up with a towering bouffant at the front that makes them look alien-like. Oribe's solution to not ending up with a point at the top of your head is by pulling the crown into a sleek ponytail and balancing out the back, so that you see an even amount of hair on both sides of your head. This will also help to balance the face shape.
Braids are another option for the half-up, says Babaii. "Creating a French or milkmaid braid from one side and wrapping over the top like a modern-day Gretel, can create height while dressing up the look. Even bobby pins crisscrossed across the sides and top can a different spin."
Know when to "just say no" to hair tools
Unless you're going for a sleek finish, straightening and heating tools should remain off, says Babaii. Air-dried hair can enhance naturally wavy and curly hair, or help to build texture in straight strands. He adds, "I feel women should just use a great shine serum like IT&LY Pure Water Drops and their fingers to bring the top and sides up; allowing hair to fall naturally is very sexy and flattering to all. Sometimes when we simplify beauty, we achieve greater results."
Oribe echoes this and stresses the importance of starting with lustrous and healthy-looking locks. "Well-conditioned hair looks great, so prep hair with a moisturizing mask like the Signature Moisture Masque."
What do you think about half-up, half-down hair? Can it be worn for any occasion? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.
Meanwhile, see what a difference a hair part makes.