Do you love romantic hairstyles, or do you flirt with edgy, punky looks? Are you a bun-and-run kinda girl, or into creating more detailed, intricate styles? Or, maybe you’re all of these, depending on the day/weather/your horoscope for the day? Thankfully, there are tons of fun looks out there for long hair that can cater to every hair mood! The following braided updos for long hair show just how many styling options you can try out by simply updating a classic bun with a cool-looking plait.
Read on to see our massive roundup of braided updos to fit every style profile and occasion. Talk about versatility!
1. Center Plaits
Skinny French braids on either side of the head upgrade the look of a basic bun.
2. Curly Top Knot
The curls give this five-minute look some much-needed edge. Click here for a full tutorial.
3. Low Dutch Variation
Dutch braids, or braids that cross under rather than over the middle, are a cute tweak to your regular three-strand or French. Recreate this look by doing it on pigtails and pinning them atop each other, or by sidewinding one plait and affixing it to your scalp with pins. Keep your frizzies tamed with a hair spray that provides touchable hold, like Dove Style+Care Strength & Shine Flexible-Hold Hairspray.
4. High Bun
Recreate this look in three minutes by pinching some hair at the hairline, French-braiding, then coiling your hair into a bun.
5. Low Space Buns
Part into pigtails first, then braid each section using your stitch of choice. Create two knobs and secure in place with a hair tie or pins.
6. Milkmaid Braid
Swiss misses, take heed! Create two regular three-strand simple plaits, then criss-cross each across your crown and pin behind the opposite ear for a headband effect. Follow our milkmaid tutorial for more guidance.
7. Side Braided Bun
French-braid from your part down to your nape, then switch to a three-strand stitch till the ends. Loop around to create your bun. Tutorial here!
8. Side French Bun
Similar to the previous style, this look features a side-winding French braid but gathered into a slightly more casual-looking bun.
This milkmaid version features a wispier hairline and tighter-pulled braids on each side—tug upwards carefully to prevent the base of each ponytail from fanning out at the ears.
10. Twisted Updo
Hair is twisted from each side, then pinned in the center from the crown downwards to create this look. Follow the tutorial here.
11. Mixed Cornrows
Skinny Dutch braids (or cornrows) on the side of your hair paired with a fatter plait on top give a cool fauxhawk effect. In case you need help in the volumizing department, a small ping-pong ball-sized puff of mousse before blow-drying, such as TRESemmé 24-Hour Body Foaming Mousse, helps infuse strands with body and provide a fuller base.
12. Box-Braided Top Knot
Box braid styles on natural hair get even more directional with the addition of colored extensions.
13. Cornrow Pony
Do as many (or as few) sections as your heart desires, then gather it all up into a high ponytail for maximum fierceness.
14. Staticky Dutch Updo
A texturized version can be achieved with a bit of backcombing or a hair sponge.
15. Dutch Pigtail Updo
Pile the plaits on top of each other to create a fun horizontal bun.
16. Hair Rings
Clip onto your links to spice up your entire look. #prettyinpunk
17. Box-Braided Half Space Buns
Less tension than a full space bun, but with the same amount of cuteness.
This throwback look features a simple twist-around bun that’s secured at the crown. Ed’s tip: A leave-in conditioner, like Suave Professionals Avocado+Olive Oil Smoothing Leave-In Conditioning Cream, helps keep your strands (and roots) moisturized while wearing protective ‘dos.
19. Multiple Upside-Down Braided Bun
Recreate a faux undercut feel with a group of trendy upside-down braids. View the tutorial here.
20. Single Upside-Down Bun
Don’t stress about this, and simply flip your head over before starting your French plait.
21. Bleached Buns
Box braids give way to rope twists in this unique, punky look.
22. Accent Plait with Croissant Bun
Flip the lengths over to create a satisfyingly lush-looking bun at your nape.
23. Basket Braid
A French braid on steroids, enlist a friend to help with this basket braid tutorial.
24. Coiled Bun
Begin an easy half-updo braid till the ends, and coil it around to create your bun. Pin to one side for extra interest.
25. Crown Halo
Like the milkmaid, this looks more complex than it really is. Start with a regular three-strand braided ponytail and pin across your head, recreating a crown effect.
26. French Braided Bun
This classy look features two “feeder” braids from each side of your hairline that switch out to braided pigtails after the nape.
27. French Halo
This look starts from a French braid on one side looped around till it reaches the opposite ear, and pinned at the point it switches to a three-strand braid.
28. Waterfall Halo
Highlights make this look all the more dimensional, and give cadence to the “waterfall” effect at the hairline.
Curl hair before looping it around into a low bun for more texture, and hide the seam between the braid and the bun with your glittery accessory of choice.
30. Low Bun with Flowers
A simple look, this features another set of feeder braids from each temple that come together to form a neat little ballerina bun.
Start with a waterfall braid at the hairline, then loop the tail around on top of your original hairline plait for a high-impact look.
32. Multiple Headband
Hack: Start with the thick plait, then circle it around the bump in your crown as it thins out, creating a de facto baby beehive.
33. Two-Sided Braided Bun
Start with two French braids on either side, taking hair from the nape hairline. Loop both into a central coil and secure with pins.
34. Side French
We’re loving the vintagey, slightly 1920s take that this side French braid evokes.
35. Low Croissant
Twist your hair from both sides before gathering it all together in a low, shiny, wedding-worthy bun.
36. Bow Bun
Hair that’s fashioned into a literal ribbon (get it?) is giving us all of the feels. Learn how to emulate this cutesy look here.
37. Oversized Plaits
Create a regular Dutch braid, then tug the edges to fatten each link. Next, cross the ponytail horizontally across your crown once, then repeat underneath, so you end up with two rows of plaits.
38. Fishtail Bun
That trademark herringbone stitch is just so pretty against highlighted hair, don’t you think?
39. Fishtail Crown
Part hair in the middle and proceed with a regular fishtail braid, then circle it, milkmaid-style, across your crown, pinning the two layers together.
40. Fishtail Top Knot
You can start with one fishtail plait or do two (one on each side) before gathering everything up into a high bun.
41. Flower Buns
This is another literal style we can definitely recreate without too much work. Tip: Pancake your plaits to create more realistic “petals.”
42. Partline Waterfall
Do a half-French braid right on your hairline by pinching new strands from the back of your forehead (to create that telltale “waterfall” look), and weave the hair directly on your fringe using a normal three-strand stitch.
43. Messy Fishtail Crown
Yet another example of how wisping it up (on your fringe area, throughout the plait) can make such a huge difference.
45. Box-Braided Turban
Why bother with a wrap when you’ve got yourself covered… literally? This cool hairstyle features box-braided hair looped around in a turban style and affixed with strategically-placed hairpins all throughout.
45. Wispy Bun
Create two Dutch braids from your hairline, leaving your entire fringe area loose. Incorporate the braids into the rest of your hair and loop into a bun, curling/texturizing the hairline pieces as you see fit.