Up-dos For Everyone (Go Beyond the Bun)
Whether you need to look sleek and put together for a company dinner, or wispy and romantic for a springtime wedding, there are chic up-dos for everyone that go way beyond the basic bun.
And no matter what they tell you in the stylist’s chair, even a girl who lobbed off her hair can get in on this action!
Learn how to make this elegant style your own with 12 of our fave looks – no matter what your hair type happens to be:
1. Halo Braids
A little bit milkmaid and a little bit princess, these halo braids are the perfect solution if you want to look elegant but casual.
“Do not fear the crown braid,” suggest Chloe Metzger and Ashley Okwuosa at StyleCaster. “Just braid, braid, braid until you’re out of hair, and wrap it around your head like a crown,” the style reporters write.
Learn how to pull this look off here.
2. French Twist
This style is perfect for getting swept off your feet – it says elegance and romance and “I have crazy-beautiful hair” all at once.
“Using your nondominant hand, sweep your hair off to that side, just slightly off center,” explain the editors of InStyle. “With your other hand, slip in a bobby pin vertically, up from the bottom.”
There’s a lot more pinning – and a lot more twisting – involved. But you can totally learn how to finish this classic look here.
3. Twisted Ponytail
Not all ponytails are for the gym. The twisted pony can help you look oh-so-put-together with minimal effort.
The Beauty Department’s take on a fancy ponytail mixes the chicness of a French Twist with the ease of a one-and-done pony.
Follow their guide to an effortless look here.
4. Low Knot
You have *just* enough hair to pull off this loose but gorgeous style if it sits at or below shoulder-length.
Simply divide hair into two sections, as if you were going to make pigtails, cross the left section under the right, and loop the right tail up through the small gap near the nape of your neck.
Tie a loose knot with the two sections, and pull the ends together with a band. Tuck ends in at the nape of your neck and bobby pin, if necessary.
For a visual aid, head over to BuzzFeed.
Sweep your hair back from your eyes, so you can bat those lashes with this quick and easy take on the twist.
This is the perfect style to try if you’re in the middle of a pesky growing-out phase, says Christina at HairRomance.com
“If your hair is also prone to frizz, this easy hairstyle is perfect for twisting your hair back out of your face,” the blogger writes.
Learn how to do the twist here.
6. Quick Twist
Have to go from an office to a drinks date across town? No problem. The quick twist is a simple way to change your style for a night out.
“Take the entire left side and start twisting near your ear,” explains Kristin Ess at The Beauty Department.
“Best to twist it kind of tight and then loosen it up after you pin everything. Stop just past the middle and add a large bobby pin for extra support.”
Twist from the other side, pin, and voilà! A pretty style for medium-length hair. Read Kristin’s full post for more details about how to rock this style.
7. Side Braids
When you have a sleek bob or pixie, you’re pretty much already guaranteed to have the coolest hair in the room – even if that means you can’t shake things up a whole lot.
Still, side braids are a simple way to embrace a new look and sweep hair up and away from your face.
“Braid both sides back, until they reach the nape of the neck where you can secure the remaining hair into a pinned up messy bun,” describes Julie Ricevuto at Glamour.
Read more about how to texture your hair for the optimum, romantic tousled look.
Okay, this is kind of cheating, but a great headband goes a long way when you have short hair.
“If your hair is short, the right headband is an easy way to make it glamorous,” confirm the editors of InStyle. “Choose one that’s slim and lies flat against the head, like Michelle Williams and Evan Rachel Wood.”
Plus, you can experiment with bumps, pompadours, or straight, sleek locks when you rock this accessory.
Check out the looks the editors mention here – and roll through the whole slide show for even more ideas.
9. Braided Mohawk
Ready to take a walk on the wildside?
We love this braided mohawk Kristen Stewart wore back in 2012 to promote Snow White and the Huntsman. It’s just messy enough to look cool, while still giving off an air of devil-may-care glamour.
“I wanted to add a punk edge to a traditional Victorian updo,” celebrity stylist Adir Abergel told PopSugar.
She explains how to recreate the look here.
10. Pineapple Ponytail
Show your hair who’s boss with a pineapple ponytail. This style is fun, simple, and a great way to protect your hair if it’s feeling a little dry.
“I’ve done this look for Rihanna a few times, it’s our go-to,” hairstylist Yusef Williams told InStyle. “She loves it because it’s very free like her, and it should feel pretty natural and easy.”
Learn how to embrace your inner Ri-Ri here.
If Janelle Monaé can do it, why can’t you? Have a little fun with this style – and bring it for your best James Brown impression.
Check out the video tutorial and play-by-play for this mile-high hairstyle at Refinery29.
12. Romantic Updo
This look is perfect for weddings or any date that wasn’t scheduled via an app. (Hey, we love Tinder as much as anyone, but come on.)
Head on over to OnceWed.com, where the hair geniuses behind their site give you a peek into the prettiest updo for natural hair we’ve ever seen.
Getting Ready for Your Updo
Even if the style you choose is simple, prepping for an updo takes a little bit of foresight.
Since updos require the natural oils from your hair to help them stay in place, it’s best to use “day-old hair,” or hair that hasn’t been recently washed.
Curly hair will need extra protection against frizz, while most other hair types will need some kind of product to help smooth fly-aways and keep the style in place.
“Before styling, run a hair serum through your strands to combat frizz,” suggests Kate at TheHairStyler.com. “After styling, spritz a large, clean makeup brush with hairspray and ‘paint’ over your strands to keep little fly-away pieces of hair at bay.”
And always remember to take your updo out at the end of the night, since hair that’s pulled back too tightly from the face – over a long period of time – can cause damage.
“Wearing your hair up every day strains the hair at the root and can actually cause hair loss,” celebrity stylist Julien Farel warned Good Housekeeping.
Try not to pull too hard when braiding or twisting your strands while styling your updo, as this can also cause strain in all the wrong places.
No matter the occasion – or your hair type – we hope you’ve found a new style to rock at your next event.
With a little bit of extra prep and some help from these tutorials, you can DIY your own updo in no time flat.