Celebrity Hairstylist Mark Townsend Shares The Ultimate Special Occasion Style For Summer

updo with fresh flowers

Since spring started, fresh flowers have been having a major moment in beauty. We’ve seen everything from eye makeup to nail art designed with real petals, and while both looks are beautiful, they aren’t exactly practical. However, one way you can wear fresh flowers without wilting is in your hair. What was once reserved for brides or music festivals, floral hairstyles add a seasonal touch to summer soirees.

“Fresh flowers in your hair may have been co-opted by the Coachella crowd, but when executed the right way, there is truly nothing more elegant,” says Mark Townsend, a celebrity hairstylist for Dove who has worked with Dakota Johnson, Elizabeth Banks, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and more. “I expect to see tons of romantic updos peppered with fresh flowers this year.”

And because there are Pinterest boards full of pretty ideas, we asked Townsend to share a breakdown of his favorite updo with fresh flowers. “This look is classic, striking, and easy to achieve on your own,” he says of the style, shown below. Whether you are attending a wedding, outdoor garden party, or birthday brunch, with its delicate floral accents, this hairstyle will take your special occasion look to the next level. It pairs perfectly with super-feminine silhouettes and whimsical sundresses.

Keep scrolling to learn how to style it yourself.

updo with fresh flowers

Photo: c/o Mark Townsend for Dove

Start by bringing as much natural texture to your hair as you can by applying a large dollop of mousse, like Dove Curl Defining Mousse ($7), to damp strands and diffusing with a blow-dryer, he says. Once hair has dried, spritz on a dry shampoo or dry texture spray for added hold and texture. If your hair is fine or tends to fall flat, Townsend recommends curling the hair around your hairline and crown with ¾-inch curling iron.

Next, section hair from temple to temple all the way back to your crown, and clip it up on the top of your head so it’s out of the way while concentrating on the sides and back. Then, take the sections of hair that were left down on either side of your head and twist them back from your hairline until they meet at the back of your head; secure with bobby pins. “If you can French braid, go for it,” says Townsend. “But you want this to look effortless, so keep it loose.”

After securing the twists with bobby pins, create three knots (aka mini buns) on the back of your head, using the sections that were twisted back and the hair that is still left down, and secure. “They don’t have to be perfect or uniform, but you want them in a vertical row, like a traffic light,” says Townsend. Remove the clip from the top section of hair and twist it back, in and around the knots in an uneven fashion and pin in place.

Now, it’s time to add the fresh flowers. To prevent this look from going in a festival direction, Townsend recommends using smaller and more delicate blooms. “I love freesias, roses, and orchids, but depending on your dress and vibe, you can make your own decision,” he says. Spray bobby pins with a dry shampoo for extra grip, then pin the flowers in and around the buns as you please — in no particular order. Finish by spraying a lightweight hairspray (try Dove Extra Hold Micro-Mist Hairspray, $7) throughout to tame flyaways and keep the fresh flowers in place.