Your hairstyle is an extension of your millinery and needs to be taken seriously. If you are one of the lucky ones, with magical mane tamers for hands, I envy you.
Fortunately, I have found a fantastic hair stylist I refer to as ‘The Wizard’ because making sure your hair compliments your outfit and millinery is a must.
To Wash or not to Wash?
The jury is still out on whether to wash your hair the day before, or on the morning of, but most professionals recommend that day-old hair is best for styling.
Freshly washed hair is dry and fluffy, whereas day-old hair contains natural oils which help it to mould and stay in place.
How to Wear a Fascinator
Traditionally, millinery is worn on the right side of your head, but these days there really is no right or wrong side. Some are even designed to wear right in the centre.
It also depends on how your milliner has made your hat; trims and details will look a bit off if worn on the opposite side to what your milliner intended.
Try it on ahead of time to make sure it looks and fits naturally.
Personally, I think my best side is my left side (I have more hair on that side due to my part) so when I get a hat made, I make sure it sits on the right side of my head.
Should you Hide your Hat Elastic?
It is not necessary to hide your elastic. You might want to be able to remove your fascinator after the competition and still have your fabulous hair-do in place.
Also, it makes it 100x easier to travel to and from the races without having to have your car seat leaned all the way back because you can’t take your hat off! Getting out of the car once you arrive can be quite the struggle …
Personally, I like to get my hairdresser to work my elastic into my hair-do, hiding it, as I think this looks neater. This also adds extra security by keeping my hat in place on windy days.
I don’t think it would lose you points with judges if they could see your elastic, but it always looks so fab having a hat on your head that looks like it’s just floating there.
If you’re still looking to rent or buy a hat, I recommend checking out Millinery Market.
The Best Races Hairstyles with Fascinators
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at some of the most popular race day hairstyles.
Some of these you’ve probably tried. Others will be new. As you go through the styles, I encourage you to pick one to try at your next race day!
The Go-to Style | Donut Bun
The donut bun is an easy and sleek hair style that can be mastered at home with the use of a hair donut accessory.
Even I can usually pull together an acceptable looking bun for days where I’m unable to book my hair stylist. I like to curl my hair first as I find it makes it easier to manoeuvre around the donut.
Choose the size of the donut, depending on the length of your hair.
See how the BIG hair compliments the height of Cobie’s millinery, which she created with a large donut accessory.
Donut buns can be worn at any position on your head – high up, centre middle, down low or off to one side- it depends on where your millinery will sit.
So always try your fascinator on first and then decide on the position of your bun.
Teasing the hair as you place it around the donut creates a bigger bun even if your hair is not that long. My hair is just past my shoulders in length, but in the photo above it appears like I have much more.
I did this bun myself with my hair curled first. I left out the front part of my hair from the bun, then swept the side curls back and pinned them for a feminine look.
Wearing the bun on the left side balanced out my millinery, as it sat on the right.
The side donut is very popular and looks great in photos!
The Braid into a Bun | Donut Optional
This is also a great way to add interest to your hairstyle. A simple braid finished with a bun looks eye-catching and elegant.
You can braid your hair on the side or straight down the back.
You could even do two braids either side into a bun. Once again, try your hat on and then decide.
Ali did this herself, I’m very impressed! I like how the texture of the braid compliments the rosette details of the hat.
Alla created this loose centre back braid and bun. It evens out the fascinator, worn at the front of the head, so it’s interesting from behind too.
Don’t you hate dresses that are super detailed and fabulous at the front and then you turn around and the back is just plain black? Hair is the same- make it beautiful from all angles.
The Textured Bun! Crimp for Added Volume and Interest.
Belinda crimped her hair before styling to add texture and added volume. A crimped pony could also look very cool!
Thin hair? Curl and tease.
If you have thin hair you can still give the illusion of a voluminous up-style by curling and teasing your hair as seen below on Dimity.
Curl your hair, then tease it, placing individual strands up and securing them with bobby pins.
Tina’s hair is naturally curly, so her hair dresser uses it to her advantage for a voluminous look.
The Elegant Roll
A great alternative to the donut bun, the roll is feminine and classic and can also be done at home with a hair tie and some bobby pins.
Great for feminine styling! Melissa’s big roll is perfection <3
Dimity is lucky enough to have her personal hair stylist.. her mother!!
Wearing Your Hair Out
Contrary to popular belief, you can wear your hair out on Race Day. Just make sure it’s gorgeous!
Kacey’s hair looks sleek and shiny here, beautifully complimenting her millinery.
Loose curls look beautiful and feminine as seen here on Abby.
Race Hairstyles for Short Hair
You might be feeling a bit limited if you have short hair, but a bit of research can lead to some awesome ideas. I’ve found plenty of fabulous do’s!
You can still manage great volume with short hair, or even just a chic blow dried bob looks great.
Chrissy had her hair pinned back in different layers for her winning 2013 Melbourne Cup look.
Kate’s short hair looks fab in a quiff and she bagged herself a FOTF win!
Lisa shows us how to rock the pixie cut!
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The Sleek Bob
Your hair doesn’t always have to be up! Wear your stylish bob out like Kirsty and Kerrie .
Bobs look great with boaters, as seen on Angela.
Love the shoulder length hair too!
The Sneaky Hair Piece
Adding a hair piece to short or thin hair can look really lovely, just make sure it matches your hair colour.
You can get a pre-plaited piece to curl around a pony tail or even a clip-in pony tail that you can then style into a bun etc.
Danielle has a short small pony tail and on top is a plaited hair piece. You can’t tell it’s not her own and it looks beautiful!
Angela’s hair stylist added a clip in pony tail which she then styled into a bun.
A hair piece can also be left out in a pony tail or braid. Absolutely love this look!
You would never know it but Lisa rocks a blonde wig that her talented daughter styles up for her before a race event!
A wig is a fun way to mix up your look, quickly change your hair colour and it can be fun playing around with different styles as you can put it on a mannequin!
The Sculptured “My Hairdresser is a Bloody Genius” Do
For a while I used to go to a hairdresser and I always came away with a plain styled donut.
At the time I thought this was great, but my eyes have since been opened to the endless possibilities of having a hair dresser who doubles as an architect!
I absolutely adore this do on Melissa! Her hair itself is a work of art.
Don’t forget to wear your outfit to the hairdressers if it will be hard to get dressed after your hair is done.
Alternatively, wear something that slips off easily if you are changing into your outfit. I once had to get a pencil skirt over my head, and over this hat with the delicate feathers. Highly not recommended!
Melissa’s hair artist followed the lines of the wire in her millinery to create this stunning look!
My Hair Wizard, Kirsten, matched the long ribbon shape of the flower petals to my hair. I received a lot of compliments on my hair that day. You can see some progress photos of my hair being styled in my Magic Millions outfit video.
Jen’s Hair matches the willowy look of her flowers.
Did you know it’s possible to get your hair styled the night before, put on a shower cap, sleep in it and still have it looking this fresh the next day? Don’t believe me? Well that’s exactly what Amanda did.
I hope this gets you excited to try a new hairstyle at your next race day.
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Spring Trends Report
The 2018 Spring / Summer Racing Fashion Trends Report. A 39 page comprehensive guide to what's trending this race season. Plus, you'll receive exclusive weekly fashion tips to help you stand out at your next race event.