The Hair Channel

Create your own classic Audrey chignon

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Anna Brech
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Want to channel a little Holly Golightly glamour this party season? Follow our step-by-step tutorial to conjure up the classic Audrey lift. 

With the festive season fast approaching, we’re on the hunt for hairstyles that deliver pizzazz. And who better to look to for beauty kudos than one of our favourite cinematic icons, Audrey Hepburn? As the inimitable Holly Golightly in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn laid claim to a legendary updo admired by style mavens everywhere. 

The star of stage and screen immediately won a legion of fans with the effortless chignon, which continues to make waves to this day.

Why the fuss? Well, this versatile style delivers on a number of levels. You have the height for glamour, the beehive for added oomph and the swept-back crown for a touch of romanticism. Throw in the sparkle for a hint of festive spirit, and you can’t go wrong.

Behold, our step-by-step guide to going retro, with your own version of the Audrey lift.

The Audrey ‘do: a DIY guide

1. Brush the hair out flat and straight, to get rid of any kinks or tangles

2. Section off your hair into five parts: a large central section at the back, two smaller sections either side and two slim strands of parting hair either side of your face. Clip the side sections to separate them off, and keep the parting strands hanging at the front

3. Lift your central section and tie into a high ponytail on the top of the head

4. For this step, you have a choice to create the beehive lift. You can either build volume by pinning a foam volume shaper into place, or you can backcomb the section using this guide (it’s also worth paying attention to these no-nos)

5. Once you’ve created your beehive, liberally spritz with hairspray and hold the pony below in place with a band

6. Take the left section of hair, brush it out and wrap it around the top part of the ponytail, below the beehive. Pin into place

7. Take the right section of the hair. Along with the ponytail, brush both sections out and sweep up and across, into the left-hand side of the beehive

8. Tuck the section of hair behind the beehive and pin into place.

9. Pin up any excess strands of hair (apart from the front strands), taking care not to upset the smoothness of the styling. Hold in place with hairspray

10. Take the left strand of parting hair and twist to form a loose coil. Lift this up along the left side of your hair and pin into place above the beehive.

11. Do the same with the right strand of parting hair.

12. Hurrah, your Audrey ‘do is complete. All you need now is a sparkly accessory or two for a festive edge, and you’re good to roll. Bring on party time…

Photos: Rex Features and iStock

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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