11 Half-Up, Half-Down Hairstyles Perfect for All Occasions

Want a half-up, half-down top knot? Or perhaps a elegant half updo for a wedding? We have both of these (and more) in our ultimate half-up, half-down style guide...  

There is no question that half-up, half-down hairstyles are pretty and practical. And because of their versatility, these ‘dos can be easily adapted for a wide variety of occasions.

Still need convincing? Then have a look at our top half-up hairstyles, below. Whether it’s for a social soirée, a festival, a casual brunch with the girls, or just a normal day at school or work, we’ve got something great for you!

Braided Crown

Credit: Dvora long dark haired model with a half-up, half-down hairstyle braided crown
Go Grecian with a half-up braided crown. Credit: Dvora

Want a summer-ready hairstyle? Look no further! This braided crown epitomises a cool, feminine festival attitude, plus, it’s also pretty easy to style.

Start by creating a middle parting and taking 2-3-inch sections of hair near your temples. Plait one into a standard 3-strand braid and secure with a clear elastic. Repeat this process on the other side.

Once you’re done with your 2 braids, cross them behind your head to the other side, to create a back crown effect. Tuck the ends in and use bobby pins to discreetly hold them in place. For extra security, finish with a spritz of VO5 Classic Styling Firm Hold Hairspray and you’re ready to go!

Half-Up Waves

Brunette woman with long waves in a half-up half-down with scrunchies
Credit: Rupert Laycock

Deep mermaid waves are having a massive moment right now and there’s no better way to show them off than with a stylish half-updo. Top off the look with a scrunchie for a nod to the ’90s fashion trend and you’ve got the perfect look to take you from day-to-night.

Half-Up French Braid

back view of model with light brown hair and a french plait middle braid
Show off a little with a half-up French braid. Credit: Dvora

Really want to show off your styling skills this season? Then you need to try this hybrid half-up, half-down look, which incorporates a French plait and a regular plait!

Divide your hair horizontally from near your temples, creating 2 sections. Then begin weaving a French braid with the top section, until you reach the back of your crown.

From here, stop French braiding and, instead, weave a standard 3-strand plait all the way down to the end. Secure with a hairband and don’t forget to pancake your plait for a more relaxed, effortless look.

Half-Up Beehive

model with light brown blonde hair in a half-up beehive hairstyle wearing a denim jacket
It’s all about those retro vibes!

Got lengthy locks you want to show off? Also love retro-inspired looks? Then you’ll be pleased to know that half-up hairstyles for long hair can totally be rocked with vintage vibes – just like this half-up beehive ‘do!

To create this look, start by using the Toni&Guy Flawless Finish Straightener to produce soft waves, before horizontally dividing your hair into 2 sections.

Now tease the top section and lightly brush it, gathering it at the back and twisting it inwards towards your head. Secure discreetly with hair pins and finish with a touch of TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray for a longer-lasting style.

Vintage-Inspired Victory Rolls

back view of model with long ombre hair in curls and victory rolls
Celebrate your hair with some half-up victory rolls.

One of the prettiest and most elegant half-up, half-down hairstyles we’ve come across, this ‘do has drawn inspiration from 1940s pin-ups, yet has modernised the retro victory rolls.

Begin by creating glamorous curls using a large-barrel curling iron. Then take 2-3 inches of hair near your temples to produce your victory rolls on each side. From the bottom up, roll it back on itself and hold in place with bobby pins. For a more detailed step-by-step tutorial, have a read, here!

The Half-Up Fishtail Crown

side view of blonde model with a half-up half-down curly fishtail crown
Max out your tresses with a voluminous fishtail crown.

As half-up hairstyles go, this is a firm favourite with the All Things Hair team. Embracing one of this season’s hottest braids (the fishtail), this ethereal-looking ‘do makes the perfect choice for all sorts of summer occasions, so it’s a sure winner.

To get the look, start by creating a deep side parting and sectioning off a 2-3 inch portion of hair from either side. Now weave a fishtail braid or inverted fishtail braid (whichever you prefer!) in both sections, securing with a clear elastic hairband.

Join your 2 braids together at the back to create your “crown” and pinning in place with some bobby pins. If you have particularly thin or fine strands, try gently tugging at your braid to make it appear fuller and loosely curl the strands left down.

Half-Up Top Knot

woman with long box braids in natural hair styled into a half up top knot
Tie up your box braids in a casual top knot!

Looking for a style that is quick and easy to create? Then the half-up, half-down top knot is the perfect option. Just divide your hair horizontally into 2 sections and put the top one into a ponytail, before twisting and wrapping it around its base, using bobby pins to hold it in place!

Tip: Worried that this ‘do might not flatter your square or round face? Just add a few subtle waves for a softer, more flattering result.

The Waterfall Braid

model with pastel pink hair in a waterfall braid half up half down curly hairstyle
Go with the flow this season with a waterfall braid.

Playful and feminine, a waterfall braid makes the ideal half updo for a wedding, date night or just a casual catch up with the girls!

We’ve toyed around with this hairstyle in so many ways and discovered that what makes this style so special, is that it works amazing in most hair lengths, as well as an array of bold colours! But if you need a helping hand in weaving this cascading style, just follow our step-by-step guide, here.

Pinned Back Twists

Woman with long wavy brunette hair in a half-up twisted hairstyle
Credit: Rupert Laycock

This pinned back twist look is a great example of how sometimes it’s the simplest styles that can look the best. Growing out your fringe? This style is perfect for clipping back your bangs while they’re in that awkward in-between stage, or simply keeping your hair out of your face.

Twisted Half-Up ‘Do: Hair How-To by Soph Does Nails

Now, if these half-up hairstyles for long hair have piqued your interest, yet you feel that your styling skills aren’t quite up to scratch, say no more.

We’ve enlisted the help of beauty vlogger Soph Does Nails to show you how to get an easy-peasy twisted ‘do! Nothing complicated about this look…

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ATH Video


Short Hair Half-Up ‘Do by Maddie Bruce

Loving all these half-up hairstyles, yet feel your cropped tresses will hold you back? Fret not, style lovers, because you can totally rock this look, even in a bob or a lob (AKA a long bob). And to show you how, we have an exclusive video tutorial by the lovely Maddie Bruce!

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ATH Video


Now you know how to create all the best half-up hairstyles, go forth and spread the word! And since we just love to treat you guys, go check out our New Hairstyles page, where we’re delivering all the latest styles from the beauty scene.

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