Create volume to make the style last: Divide hair into six to 10 sections and wind them over jumbo hot rollers; spritz with hairspray and let the rollers cool fully. (If you're short on time, use a wide-barrel curling iron.) Unroll and use your fingers to loosen the curls.
Pull aside a 2- to 3-inch chunk of hair near the front of your head. Rub a small drop of pomade between your hands and smooth it through the section. Braid it and tie it with a clear elastic band where the shortest piece ends.
Make a low side ponytail, incorporating the braid you made, and secure with another elastic band. To tie the pony back even more securely, hitch a bobby pin to either end of the elastic and bury them in the base of the ponytail after tying.
Twist the ponytail to form a bun, leaving it as tight or as messy as you like. Secure with bobby pins or another hair tie. Give the final look a blast of hairspray.
Skip the shampoo. "Hair that was washed and blown out the day before the event -- not the day of -- will hold an updo best," Gretta says. The hair is less slippery (and less likely to slip out of its style) when your natural oils have developed.
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