Simple Updos for Long Hair
Who doesn’t love long, Rapunzel-length locks? Whether you’ve got hip-skimming hair or something shorter, lengthy styles are certainly having a moment. And, although we think you should showcase your bountiful tresses with pride, it’s always useful to have a few quick and simple updos to hand for those days (or events) when free-flowing hair just isn’t an option. Whether you’re looking for a no-fuss wedding updo or a sleek, office-appropriate option, try these easy updos on for size.
Messy Top Knot
When it comes to 5-minute updos, nothing comes close to the top knot bun. This simple style has a nonchalance that’s really modern; keep it messy with a few loose tendrils for an on-trend finish. This look works particularly well on those no-wash days; freshly washed and dried hair can actually be more difficult to style into this high-knot hairdo, simply because it’s too silky-soft.
How to do a messy top knot:
- Add some texture and grit to your hair by spritzing over with a dry texture spray and brush through to distribute evenly.
- Create a high ponytail and secure with a hair elastic.
- Take the length of your hair and wrap it around the base of your ponytail, pinning it with a couple of bobby pins. Don’t worry about any loose tendrils – after all, it’s meant to be a little messy!
- Tuck the end under the bun and tease out some strays to softly frame your face.
- Mist over with a light hairspray, et voila!
Half-Up, Half-Down Top Knot
Like its predecessor, the half-up, half-down top knot (also known as the ‘hun’ FYI) has an effortlessness that’s perfect for no-wash days. You can wear it however polished or pared-back you want, but we especially love the messy bun/tousled waves combo.
How to do a half-up, half-down top knot:
- As with a full top knot, you’ll need to add some grit to your hair by applying a dry texture spray first.
- Sweep your hair back off your face; you don’t need a parting for this look. Then, starting from the front of your head, section off the hair that’s going to make up the top knot with a comb. You can add a little volume at this stage too by teasing the roots for a slightly ‘undone’ appearance.
- Lightly twist this section and secure it at the base with a hair elastic.
- Coil the ponytail into a top knot and secure it with bobby pins. Try to keep the bun a little imperfect to achieve that coveted messy look. Mist over with a light-hold hairspray to keep your top knot in place.
- Get a beachy, boho finish by spritzing your loose (half-down) waves with a sea salt spray and separating with your fingers.
This ultra-quick updo takes no more than 10-minutes to achieve, so it’s great if you’re pushed for time in the mornings. Unashamedly feminine, it’s got a romantic charm that can be styled to suit any occasion; an embellished band will elevate this simple ‘do for your next formal event – just make sure that the band stays plain just over halfway.
It tends to work best on hair that isn’t quite so hip-skimming (just below shoulder length is ideal), so it’s a good one to do if you’ve just had a trim.
How to do a headband updo:
- Put a thin elastic hairband over your head like a crown.
- Twist your hair front the back and roll it into the headband.
- Continue to tuck your hair into the headband until it feels secure; don’t forget to tuck in the sides too!
- It should stay in place, but you can use a little hairspray for some extra hold if needs be.
French Twist Ponytail
This hybrid updo brings together the runway-ready appeal of a ponytail and the elegance of a classic French twist. And though it may look like magic, it’s actually very simple to do. Perfect for switching up your ponytail for the office, it’s a great way to showcase your hair length whilst keeping your look a little more polished.
For a modern finish, your ponytail should be slightly tousled; create loose, workable waves the night before by applying a texturizing spray to damp hair and then braiding it into two loose pigtail plaits.
How to do a French twist ponytail:
- Brush your hair back into a low ponytail, so that it sits just above the nape of your neck.
- Using both hands, twist the ponytail into itself to create a French twist down the centre of your head; hold it in place with one hand.
- Using your other hand, secure the twist with bobby pins (you should place a pin every half inch down the curve of the roll).
- Mist over the twisted section of hair with hairspray to hold it in place.
Beautifully bohemian, milkmaid braids are a red-carpet favourite for celebrities like Sienna Miller, Florence Welch and Mary-Kate Olsen. It’s one of those styles that manages to be pretty and a little bit edgy all at once; paired with your favourite floaty dress, it’s got 70s haute hippie written all over it. This braided ‘do always looks best with a few loose tendrils framing the face, so don’t worry about everything looking too neat when it comes to recreating this famously free-spirited updo.
How to do milkmaid braids:
- Prep your hair by applying a defrizzing styling serum to towel-dry hair before blow-drying. Once hair is dry, section your hair with a centre parting from the hairline to the nape of the neck. Make sure you have an even amount of hair on each side.
- Braid your hair into two basic (three-strand) plaits on either side, starting just above your ear. Remember to leave a couple of tendrils loose at this stage.
- Wrap one braid over the crown of your head so that it sits behind your ear; secure it with a bobby pin every few inches along the plait.
- Do the same with the second braid, placing it behind the first. If your hair is really long, you’ll find that the braids don’t meet in the middle; just bring them down behind each ear instead.
- Mist over with hairspray to set your milkmaid braids in place. You can leave the tendrils as they are or curl them into loose waves with a hot styling tool.
Braided Low Bun
The slicked-back, facelift-inducing ballerina buns we all used to wear have been replaced by something a little less polished (not to mention painful!). Today it’s all about loose, low-slung knotted or braided styles that aren’t meant to look too perfect; think cool girl hair, not school girl hair.
How to do a braided low bun
- Start by creating a simple low ponytail; secure with a hair elastic.
- Section the hair just above the base of your ponytail (on your scalp) by separating with your fingers; pull the length of your hair through the gap to create a twist at the base.
- Make a loose braid out of your ponytail and fasten with a hair elastic.
- Taking the end of your braid, roll it into the base. Shape the braid into a symmetrical bun and secure it with a few bobby pins.
- Mist over with a light hairspray to finish.