The word updo often evokes fancy, elaborate hairdos and a major time commitment. But updos really can be casual and easy!
“Updos can be easy for everyone,” says Jacqueline Bush, a celebrity and editorial stylist for Rene Furterer in New York City who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow and Faith Hill. Rumpled, imperfect updos require the least amount of time and are versatile and long-lasting, she says. Try these four easy updos that work for day and night.
For Fine Hair: A Casual Knot
It’s important to roughen up soft, fine strands to keep them from slipping out of the style, says Bush. Apply about three fingertips’ worth of a strong-hold gel to damp hair from roots to tips before blow-drying. Tousle hair with your fingers as you dry, then spritz 2-inch sections with a styling spray before you start pulling it up.
Beginning at the front of your hair and working your way toward the nape of your neck, randomly pull pieces back (some small, some large), and pin them into an off-center knot. Pin some pieces loosely, others tighter, till you achieve a pretty look that’s also a little crazy and free. A key tip when pinning back each section of hair: “Use two pins to create an ‘x’ formation,” says Bush. “The ‘x’ will act as an anchor for the hair.”
For Thick, Curly Hair: A Romantic Chignon
“Allow the look of undone curls to work in your favor,” says Bush. Start by pulling your hair into a low, slightly off-center ponytail and securing it with an elastic, leaving the front sections loose around your ears. Then, gently twist the tail as you loosely wrap it around the elastic, creating a sort of relaxed chignon.
Secure all four corners of the chignon with hairpins. (Again, be sure to use the “x” formation when placing the pins.) Don’t worry if a few strands fall out — it’s all part of the look. Next, divide the remaining hair around your ears into a few pieces and pin them back one at a time to either the chignon or your head. Again, it needn’t be too neat! Finish with a flexible-hold spray.
For Straight Hair: Go High
A high chignon is a simple way to add polish to straight hair, says Bush — and it’s even easier if you use a hair donut the same color as your hair (available at beauty supply stores).
First, apply a volumizing mousse to damp hair before blow-drying. Spritz the front and sides with hairspray and pull hair back into a high ponytail with an elastic. Then, take the donut and slide your ponytail through the hole of the ring. Pin the donut on four corners at the base. Gently tease the ponytail with a fine-tooth comb, and then spread the hair around all sides of the donut. Tuck hair around the donut and pin hair on all four corners again before giving a final spray.
For Ponytail Lovers: A New Twist
If you’ve fallen into a ponytail rut, try shaking up your routine. Place it someplace new: just below the crown, at the nape of the neck or over to one side, securing with an elastic and leaving a few pieces loose around the front. Done!
Or take it to a new level: After spraying the front and sides of your hair, brush your hair back into a ponytail that’s high enough to be seen when you look straight into the mirror. Tease the base of the ponytail, spray each teased section with hairspray and gently smooth the top and sides. “A ponytail done right can look fresh, effortless and youthful,” says Bush.