quick and easy updos for long hair

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 […]

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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:

  1. Add some texture and grit to your hair by spritzing over with a dry texture spray and brush through to distribute evenly.
  2. Create a high ponytail and secure with a hair elastic.
  3. 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!
  4. Tuck the end under the bun and tease out some strays to softly frame your face.
  5. 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:

  1. As with a full top knot, you’ll need to add some grit to your hair by applying a dry texture spray first.
  2. 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.
  3. Lightly twist this section and secure it at the base with a hair elastic.
  4. 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.
  5. Get a beachy, boho finish by spritzing your loose (half-down) waves with a sea salt spray and separating with your fingers.

Headband Updo

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:

  1. Put a thin elastic hairband over your head like a crown.
  2. Twist your hair front the back and roll it into the headband.
  3. Continue to tuck your hair into the headband until it feels secure; don’t forget to tuck in the sides too!
  4. 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:

  1. Brush your hair back into a low ponytail, so that it sits just above the nape of your neck.
  2. 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.
  3. Using your other hand, secure the twist with bobby pins (you should place a pin every half inch down the curve of the roll).
  4. Mist over the twisted section of hair with hairspray to hold it in place.

Milkmaid Braids

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. Start by creating a simple low ponytail; secure with a hair elastic.
  2. 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.
  3. Make a loose braid out of your ponytail and fasten with a hair elastic.
  4. 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.
  5. Mist over with a light hairspray to finish.