From casual events to formal events, a good updo can compliment any look and can offer a stylish and elegant alternative for ladies looking to do something out of their comfort zone. This list will walk you through how to do six easy updos that can be altered to fit any face shape and any event. Once you’ve mastered these looks, you’ll be able to do them in no time flat whenever you need a quick updo for the office, a night out of a special event. Six isn’t enough? Don’t worry. In coming weeks we’ll walk you through how to do even more great updos in the comfort of your own home. Enjoy!
Easy Updo #1: How to do a Top Knot
The top knot is a great look whether you’re going to something simple and casual or looking for something you can dress up for a more formal event as Kate Bosworth has done in the photo above. The greatest part about this style is its simplicity. Anyone can learn how to do a top knot regardless of their experience or knowledge level with hairstyles. You don’t even need anything all that fancy in terms of products. To do a top knot, you’ll need:
- Hair elastic
- Bobby pins
- A comb
Step One: Brush your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic. I would recommend using an “ouchless” elastic (without a metal clip) because it will do less damage to your hair. Before you move on to step two, make sure the base of the pony is where you want the center of your knot to sit on your head. If it isn’t, take the pony out and reposition it.
Step Two: If you want to give your knot a little more volume but haven’t been blessed with thick, wavy hair, separate your pony into three smaller sections and gently tease the roots at the base of the pony. Once the hair has been gently tease, pull it back together into your pony. If you do have thicker, wavy hair or curly hair, you can skip this step.
Step Three: Wrap your hair around the base of the pony. If you’re going for a cleaner looking knot, make sure you smooth out the knot as you wrap your hair around the base. It’s much easier to make sure the end product looks smooth if you don’t let it get messy in the first place. Tuck the ends into your elastic and secure everything in place with the bobby pins.
Step Four: Finish up with a misting of hairspray to tame any fly-aways and to give your knot a nice, sleek look.
Easy Updo #2: How to do a Messy Top Knot
What is better than the top knot? The messy top know, of course – at least for casual occasions. This look is fun, flirty and youthful but will look great on women of any age. It’s no harder to do than its more formal counterpart and is just as bold and daring. The variation Demi Lovato is sporting in the above photo is great for hanging out with friends, casual drinks after work, a workout at the gym or just lounging around the house. To do a messy top know you’ll need:
- A hair elastic
- A comb
- Bobby pins
There honestly aren’t that many differences between doing a messy top knot and a clean, smooth top knot. For the messy top know, you’re going to do the same things we talked about doing in steps 1-3 in the top knot tutorial except you’re not going to brush your hair up into the high pony tail. Instead, just gather your hair up into the pony tail leaving it looking a little bit messy. If you prefer, you don’t even have to brush your hair before you start doing the style. This is a messy look so it’s okay to leave your hair messy while you’re going it. Once you have your hair up in the pony tail, you’re going to wrap your hair around the pony tail base again but this time, you’re not going to worry about smoothing out the hair. Leave a strand or two to fall loose. Finish up with your bobby pins to secure the knot but skip the hair spray. If it’s not messy enough, pull a bit of hair out of the knot around the hairline and you’re all set.
Easy Updo #3: How to do a French Twist
The thing about french twists is that there are tons of different variations you can do on the style. While I like Anna Paquin’s french twist hairstyle in the photo above, you don’t have to go for the exact same look. To do a basic french twist, you’ll need:
- Bobby pins
Step One: Gather your hair into a pony tail that sits somewhere between the crown of your head and the nape of your neck. Don’t secure your pony tail. Just hold it in place with your hand.
Step Two: Twist the hair you’ve gathered into a pony tail twice making sure the twist is tight but making sure you leave room above the pony tail to pull the hair through. You may want to hold out a bit of the hair above the pony tail to ensure where will be enough room.
Step Three: Tuck the ends of your hair through the top part of the twist. Secure everything in place using bobby pins.
Step Four: Smooth out the hairstyle by gently brushing over the twist and making sure any strays are securely in place, pinning them into the twist if necessary.
Step Five: Finish up with a little bit of hairspray to keep the style in place and you’re all ready to go.
Easy Updo #4: How to do a Chignon
Ah, the classic chignon. Delicate, beautiful and versatile, this is easily one of my favorite updos. You can wear a side chignon, a braided chignon, a high chignon or a low chignon. You can wear a chignon with bangs (as Alexis Bledel demonstrates in the above photo) or without bangs depending on what you prefer. The best part about the chignon is that once you learn how to do it, you can easily do any of the chignon variations we just discussed. It’s also simple, elegant and low fuss – no fancy hair products required. To do a chignon, you’ll need:
- A brush
- A comb
- Bobby pins
Step One: Brush out any tangles in your hair using your brush.
Step Two: Part your hair in the center with the tip of your comb, starting at the front of your hairline and continuing the part all the way to the nape of your neck. Separate to two distinct sections of hair so they’re in two separate, unsecured pony tails. Hold one pony tail in one hand and one pony tail in the other.
Step Three: Smooth out your hair so it looks nice and neat and tie the two sections of hair together in a loose knot just like you were loosely tying your shoelaces. Make sure you keep the two end sections distinct after the knot has been tied though.
Step Four: Wrap one section of the hair around the base of the chignon (just above the loose knot). Pin this section in place using your bobby pins.
Step Five: Wrap the other section of hair around the base of the chignon, wrapping the hair in the opposite direction as in step three. For example, say you wrapped the hair to the right in step three. For step four, you’d wrap to the left. Pin this section in place using your bobby pins.
Step Six: Finish up by spritzing the chignon and the rest of your hair with a light misting of medium hold hairspray.
Easy Updo #5: How to do a Braided Bun
I love the braided bun. I fell in love with it when Jessica Simpson wore it a while back but I had to choose Kim Kardashian as my example for this one because she definitely nailed the look. The hairstyle compliments her face beautifully but she’s also paired it with the perfect makeup and jewelry. I love the bold statement earrings, smokey eyes and bold red lips with such an understated but glamorous hairstyle. Of course, the braided bun can also look beautiful for casual occasions as well. It’s versatile like the chignon and can be worn low or high, to the side or in the center. It also looks fabulous with bangs. To go a braided bun, you’ll need:
- Hair brush
- Two hair elastics
- Bobby pins
Step One: Brush your hair into a high pony tail and secure it with an elastic. Make sure you smooth out any bumps in your hair before you put the elastic in. If you missed bumps, take the elastic out, smooth out the bumps and put the elastic back in. It’ll take a few moments but it will also save you the trouble of having to try to fix the bumps after the style is in place.
Step Two: Separate your pony tail into three equal sections and smooth out those sections. Once the hair is smoothed out, start braiding – continuing to smooth as necessary throughout the braiding process. Secure the braid with another elastic.
Step Three: Pull the braid up and wrap it around the base of the pony tail just like you would do with unbraided hair if you were putting your hair in a bun. The base of the pony tail should not be visible when you’re done.
Step Four: Pin the braid in place using your bobby pins.
Step Five: Tame fly-aways and any loose hairs with a little bit of pomade and finish up with a light misting of hairspray.
Easy Updo #6: How to do a Loose Waves Updo
This is an absolutely gorgeous look that any woman can look great in. You can do a lot of different things with this style to make it work for you which is definitely a big selling point for this look. In the photo above, Eva Longoria has left a few curls by her face loose to compliment the shape of her face. You could leave more loose or you could leave none loose at all. It’s up to you and what makes you feel most comfortable. This look is a little more work than the other ones we’ve talked about and you’ll need a few more tools but if you’re looking for a soft romantic look that is still flirty and youthful, this is a great style for you. You’ll need:
- Heat safe styling gel
- Curling iron with one inch barrel
- Bobby pins
- Styling wax or pomade
Step One: Work a small amount of heat safe styling gel through your hair from root to tip.
Step Two: Separate a small section of hair from the rest of your hair and wrap your hair around the barrel of your curling iron. Continue this process until you’ve curled all of your hair. Make sure you stick to small sections though. It can be tempting to start curling larger sections of hair because your arms will probably get tired and the process can be a little tedious but resist the temptation. You want small, delicate curls and larger sections will make the curls too big.
Step Three: Start separating single curls from the rest of your hair and pinning them up at the crown of your head using your bobby pins. Leave as many curls loose as you’d like. Loose curls around the face always look nice and give the whole look a lovely romantic feel.
Step Four: Pinch the ends of any curls you leave lose with a little bit of styling wax or pomade to weigh down the curls just a little bit so they’ll have more bounce and will stay in place all night.