For special occasion hairdo, consider weather, activity

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Spring is the season for weddings, proms and graduations, all of which are good reasons for a new hairstyle.

I spend just about every weekend from April through November doing hair and makeup for weddings and special occasions. I have done it for so long I can almost do it with my eyes closed.

In fact, my favorite customers have crowned me Queen of Up-do's. I find these styles, in their many versions, to be suitable for many ages, and suitable for our humid climate as well.

Loose up-do's are still very popular, which makes me happy because I know once I put the hair up, it won't go anywhere. It can still be loose, with braids and controlled messiness.

These up styles will be pretty much the same from the start of the event to the finish without getting stringy, wilted or frizzy.

Braids of all sizes and configurations are very popular. They are attainable if you have an adequate amount and length of hair. Hairpieces can be added to enhance the style, but doing so is time consuming.

The "beachy waves" are requested constantly. Many people don't realize that our beachy climate is not totally conducive to that style with all the salt and moisture in the air. Gravity, perspiration, wind, movement, etc., work against any "hair down" styles.

For up-do's, the low, side bun with the braid remains quite popular for both prom and weddings. It can be done more structured, on the side versus the middle back, with a side part or straight back, or higher on the head, among other possibilities.

Another popular look piles curls on top. It is a very pretty style for a more mature girl, i.e., mother of the bride or matron of honor. It is also extremely pretty if the girl has highlights because the back of the hair is woven, and the highlights make that part stand out, giving it a lot of interest.

Once again, this style can also have different versions, including a look without the curls on top, straight back or with more sculpted curls.

Finally, the half up-half down style is universally popular. Unfortunately, this style is the least likely to hold. The humidity, gravity, wind, people hugging and dancing are all factors that can make the "down" part get messy and stringy.

For brides getting married on the beach, humidity and salt air can wreak havoc on a style that is not somehow contained.

I can assure you the part that is up will stay the whole day. I can also assure you that the down part won't last more than a half hour. I can't use enough product to make it hold without it getting sticky.

Add just the right amount of makeup and the special occasion look is complete. Contrary to what some might think, more is not necessarily better.

Polished, finished, pretty makeup is what's in right now. Play up one of your features, not every feature.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. www.styleitsalon.com

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