How to create a bow hairstyle: Your ultimate guide

Think a bow hairstyle looks too complicated? It's actually a piece of cake. We reveal how to master this pretty updo.  

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Hair bow blonde girl with back to camera



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Perfect for the festive season and beyond, a bow hairstyle is one of the cutest ways to update your coif. A magnet for “Ooh, how did you do that?” comments, this half-up, half-down look is worth learning how to conquer. Short on hair ribbons? No problem. The beauty of this technique is that it allows you to use your own hair as a DIY accessory.

I love a look that’s quick and easy. This one is so simple to recreate. – Snowy

As simple as it is sweet, nailing a bow hairstyle is all about getting your prep right. Starting with freshly-washed, full hair will help add volume to your locks and allow you to secure the look with the right styling products.

If this super cute updo is not totally your taste, put your own spin on the style by gathering the lower section or your hair into a ponytail, braid or bun. However you wear your bow hairstyle, the possibilities are endless!

Ready to get started? Follow our in-depth tutorial below learn how to achieve this look and watch the video above to see the techniques in action.

How to create a classic bow hairstyle


Section and backcomb the hair.

Section the top one-third of your hair starting at about eyebrow height and pull it into a ponytail at the back of your head. 

Next, lift your ponytail and backcomb the top section gently back towards the hairband. This will help shape and hold your style by adding extra volume. 

Bow hairstyle Hair bow tutorial blonde girl

Smooth it out.

Gently smooth out the surface of your ponytail with a brush so that there are no flyaways or frizz, making sure to keep the volume of your backcombed section intact.

Bow hairstyle Hair bow tutorial blonde girl brushing ponytail and smiling

Create a loop.

Create a loop in your ponytail by loosening one section of the hairband with your finger and passing the hair back through it until you create a mini looped bun. 

The size of the loop you create will determine the size of your hair bow so adjust it to your preference. Leave the ends loose and make sure your strands are tangle-free. 

Bow hairstyle Hair bow tutorial blonde girl with half updo bun in a loop

Form your bow.

Separate the loop down the centre with your fingers and fan it out into a bow.

Secure it with pins to create your desired shape, fanning out each side of the bun with your fingers to add volume as you go. 

Bow hairstyle Hair bow tutorial blonde girl

Tuck the remaining strands behind your bow.

Attach a bobby pin at the bottom of your remaining ponytail and then pull it upwards and over the top of the centre of the bow. 

Then tuck it back under the bow and pin into place behind your updo so that there is no remaining hair showing. 

Bow hairstyle Hair bow tutorial blonde girl securing ponytail with bobby pin

Set the style.

Neaten up the finished look by double checking your bow looks full and use extra pins to secure any remaining loose hair.

Spray the TIGI Bed Head Flexi Head Hairspray directly on your bow and then along the length of the hair to help secure the style. 

Bow hairstyle Hair bow tutorial blonde girl spraying hairspray over finished hairstyle

You're done!

Pat yourself on the back ladies, you’ve just mastered the hair bow!

As this is a half-up half-down look, you can try styling the bottom half of your hair into a braid, extra bun or with loose waves to up the impact.  

Bow hairstyles blonde girl smiling at camera

Want to add an extra twist? Team your hair bow with loose curls

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As if a hair bow wasn’t feminine enough already, we’ve found a way to up the ante by adding romantic waves. Styled loose for just-back-from-the-beach appeal or styled tightly into corkscrew curls, it’s completely up to you how you add a tousled touch to the look.

Style your box braids with a voluminous hair bow

Bow hairstyle Easy hairdos for long hair: All Things Hair - IMAGE - hair bow
Box braids + hair bow = so cute. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

If you’re rocking a protective hairstyle like box braids, try giving your plaits a stylish twist by adding a big or small hair bow at the top of your head. Sound too complicated? Don’t fret, it actually only takes 5 simple steps to achieve, so whether you’re a hair novice or a total pro, follow our easy tutorial to see how to take your updo to the next level.

See how to create a bigger bow hairstyle for longer locks

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If your tresses are waist-length or longer, you can still rock a beautiful bow hairstyle. Simply work with the weight of heavier locks by using extra pins to keep your style in place, and seal in the look with a final spritz of hairspray. If you want to see how its done, follow our step-by-step guide above to see how long, full hair gives this pretty style some extra Princess vibes. Rapunzel, who?




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