Formal Updos: 15 Modern and Easy Updo Styles for All

Easy, formal and chic.

Formal updos used to be known as hairstyles that had a stuffy feeling that required the help of a stylist and loads of hairspray. The tables have turned and in this day and age, formal updos have a new meaning, feeling, and they can be done in the comfort of your own home. Women are wearing formal hairstyles just for fun when they are feeling fancy, and they’re trading the salon appointments for easy D.I.Y. styles they can find on YouTube.

If you don’t already have your go-to easy hairstyles handy, we have a treat for you! Scroll through the gallery of our top formal hair updos for any hair type:

1. Braided Bun

Formal updos: braided bun
Coil your braid into a chic bun.

Here’s one more reason to love braids if you didn’t love them already! The style can be dressed up or dressed down. If you just can’t seem to part with braids as a hairstyle, here’s a chic way to wear it to a formal event.

2. Croissant Bun

formal updos: croissant bun
When food inspires your hairstyle.

Whether you’re looking for up hairstyles for prom or a simple but not super basic formal style, this one is for you. Try this croissant inspired bun as your formal updo. The look is pretty easy to create with our croissant bun tutorial. To finish your look you can set with TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hair Spray Smooth Hold Level 2 for a soft and smooth finish.

3. Curly Bun

formal updos: curly bun
No heat needed at all.

Looking for formal updos that don’t require any heat styling to your naturally curly hair? This curly bun is your pick. Gather your hair into a loose low chignon and pin in place. Set your updo with TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Boost Hold Level 3 finish the look.

4. Donut Bun

formal updos: donut bun
A new take on the donut bun. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Take the donut bun to new heights with this new and formal version of the look.

5. Formal Fauxhawk

formal updos: faux hawk
Turn the faux hawk into a formal updo style. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

Have a last minute formal event and your hair is already styled into a casual fauxhawk? We’ve got a quick fix! Add a barrette to turn it into a formal updo.

6. Fishtail Bun

formal updos: fishtail braided bun
Braided bun but better.

This is yet another fishtail braided style to add to your list of favorites. Wear this fishtail braided bun to any formal event. To give your braid a bit of texture, apply Bed Head by TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray before braiding your hair.

7. Floral Bun

formal updos: floral bun
Create a pretty bouquet in your hair.

Flowers just seem to fix everything, right? Dress up your updo with flowers of your choice to recreate this look.

8. French Roll

formal updos: French roll
Try a French-inspired updo style.

This is one of the classiest formal updos of all. Learn how you can create this French updo here.

9. Wrapped Chignon

formal updos: wrapped chignon
All wrapped up into a bun.

Leave the exposed hair elastics for casual styles. Formal updos are all about hiding the tools used to create the look.

10. Beehive-Inspired Updo

formal updos: beehive updo
Turn an old-school look into something a bit more modern.

Looking to recreate some formal updos from the past? Start with the beehive! Give this look a modern twist by toning down the height of the look just a bit.

11. Side-Swept Updo

formal updos sideswept
Create movement by focusing your updo on one side.

Give your face a new frame by creating a side-swept updo. This look can be created with a bun, braid, or ponytail. Add a floral clip to give the side with less volume a pop of color and balance.

12. Diamond Accessory

formal updos diamond accessory
A pop of diamond always adds some drama to a look.

Go the extra mile with a diamond accessory in your updo. The shimmer from the clip will put all eyes on you.

13. Side Braid Updo

formal updos side braid
Simple, but very elegant.

If you are a beginner with updos and are creating this look by yourself, a side braid is an easy style to create and still looks fabulous.

14. “Coral” Bun

Formal updos coral bun
This look is unique and reminds us of coral!

This look is as complicated to create as it looks, but the outcome is totally worth it! This style requires a sheer hairnet to keep the “coral” pattern in place. We love the movement in this look and think it’s the perfect show-stopping style for a formal event.

15. Braid and Twist Bun

formal updos braid and twist bun
A combo of a braid and twists makes this updo look complex and sophisticated.

This updo incorporates a loose start of a braid on top and turns into an elegant, twisted low bun.