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How to do hair like Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Updated February 21, 2017

Audrey Hepburn is the star of the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," a story about a New York socialite named Holly Golightly who eventually falls in love with her neighbour, Paul Varjak. The updo hairstyles Hepburn wears are perhaps even more iconic than the film, which remains a cult classic in modern times. Hepburn's famous hairstyle is a take on the chignon and French twist buns. This classic hairstyle is easy to create with a few hairpins and curlers. It works best with long hair that falls at least to mid-shoulder and is perfect for formal or semi-formal occasions.

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  1. Dispense a 2p-sized amount of mousse into your palm, and work it through your hair with your fingertips. The mousse will expand into foam larger than a 2p piece soon after you dispense it.

  2. Roll hair into large hot rollers to add volume and curl to your hair. Work from front to the back, curling the hair under.

  3. Let the hot rollers cool completely to set the curl, and then take the curlers out.

  4. Spray the hair with a light amount of hairspray to help hold the curls in place.

  5. Brush through the hair at the root, and back comb with a rattail comb to create as much volume throughout the hair as possible.

  6. Gather the hair into a low ponytail.

  7. Twist the ponytail up and inward to create a vertical twist. Pin the twist into place with hairpins, but leave the ends loose at the top of the twist.

  8. Take 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inch) sections of the loose ends, and brush them back to boost volume. Bend the sections back toward the twist, and secure into place with hairpins.

  9. Pull the sections gently to loosen them and make them uniform with the other pinned top sections. You want to create a large round bun on top with a vertical twist going down the back of your head.

  10. Comb your fringe forward onto your forehead. You may need to apply a bit of mousse to reduce frizz and hold the fringe in place.

  11. Spray with hairspray to hold the hairstyle.

  12. Accessorise with a small tiara placed in front of the bun to achieve the authentic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" look.

  13. Tip

    If you don't have Hepburn's short fringe, you can create a side part with the front of your hair, sweep the fringe across your forehead, and tuck into place with a hairpin. If you have very long fringe, you may need to incorporate the ends into the bun in the same way you pinned back the top sections of the twist.


    Removing the curlers before they have time to cool will prevent the curl from holding and may make your hairstyle fall flat.

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Things You'll Need

  • Volumising mousse
  • Large hot rollers
  • Hairspray
  • Rat-tail comb
  • Medium round brush
  • Hairpins

About the Author

Amelia Allonsy

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.

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