Beauty


We’ve all been there before: You find the perfect dress for a special occasion, you look amazing trying it on, but then, slight panic sets in. What the hell are you going to do with your hair?

Narrow down all the infinite possibilities with this one tip from Herbal Essences celebrity hair stylist Bridget Brager: it’s all about the neckline. Brager, who works with countless stars including January Jones, Kristen Stewart, and Margot Robbie, tells ELLE.com the pre-red carpet plan for her clients always involves evaluating the cut of a chosen outfit. Is it off-the-shoulder? Strapless? Plunging? Each one calls for a different look.

“We’re creating balance. Our eyes are drawn to balance,” she tells ELLE.com, “With every single look, whatever geometry of the dress you have, you try to create balance with the hair.” Ahead, allow Brager to break down the most flattering style for every neckline.

If You Have a High Neckline…

“The first thing we would say is put your hair up. Why? Because we don’t want to shorten the neck or make your head look like it’s floating,” Brager explained. “We elongate your neck further by putting your hair up — it gives the illusion of length,” she added. At the 2018 NAACP Awards, Issa Rae nailed it in an updo made of buns and and twists.

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If You Have an Asymmetrical Neckline…

“With an asymmetrical [neckline], I feel like you always want to balance it out. I’d fix your part so it opens and balances you,” Brager said. She demonstrated what this looks in a style she recently created for Diane Kruger at TIFF.

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If You Have a Strapless Neckline…

“You really can go anywhere and make it your own,” Brager said, “I think pulling your hair back into a low pony is really gorgeous in a strapless dress.” Priyanka Chopra went for this particular style back at the 2016 Oscars.

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If You Have a Plunging V-Neckline…

“Bring one side of the hair over, and tuck the other side behind the ear,” Brager suggested. Karlie Kloss styled her hair exactly this way at the 2017 Country Music Awards. “What that does is make it feel a little more glam, but gets you just enough sex appeal,” the hairstylist continued. “I feel like V-necks are usually low-cut, and this [hair] offsets the look and makes it a bit cooler.”

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If You Have a Plunging V-Neckline…

“The other option is putting your hair all the way up and giving the audience a bang,” Brager added, “Tons of skin.” Halle Berry’s hair at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival certainly fit the bill.

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If You Have an Off-the-Shoulder Neckline…

“All hair down, brushed off the shoulders so it’s like a sheet or waterfall behind you — no hair in the front,” Brager suggested for this ever-popular dress style. At the 2018 SAG Awards, Kerry Washington showed how its done with sleek, straight hair pulled back to leave her chest and shoulders open.

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If Your Dress Is Backless…

“You want to make sure your hair is up and you have a beautiful statement style in the back because that’s where the show is,” Brager said. See: This stunning long fishtail braid Brager did for Kate Bosworth.

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If Your Dress Is Backless…

She also offered another alternative for a backless dress, as seen on Jessica Chastain at the Interstellar movie premiere in 2014: “Everything pulled around one side with a beautiful, glam, and textured wave.”

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If You Have a Scoop Neckline…

“I think anytime you’re opening your chest at all in that way, you want to show it off,” Brager said. “Softening it with curls or a glamour wave is pretty.” Natalia Dyer did just that at the 2018 SAG Awards.

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