16 Easy Updos + an Updo Idea from Zoella

All Things Hair | 30 September 2016
easy updo looks zoella
5mins Style Easy

Check out some of these fun, flirty, all-occasion updos.

We’ve all been there: your alarm doesn’t go off (or you hit snooze) and all the sudden you need to be dressed and out the door in less than five minutes (eek!). But, no need to stress–that’s what easy updos are for! Not only will they allow you to look profesh and stylish, they’ll make it easier for you to conceal your hair as you cover up any greasy strands. To help you out, we’ve complied some of our favorite easy hair updo ideas that you’ll have you out of the house quickly, plus an easy updo idea (and video tutorial from Zoella). Bonus: no one will be the wiser that you hit the snooze button.

Fun Easy Hair Updos We Adore

messy easy updos
Try out a fun messy bun for the weekend.

1. Messy Bun

You may think you were born knowing the messy bun, but you’d be surprised: This top-knot style actually requires a little bit of skill. To start, brush hair and gently gather strands into a ponytail. Since the look is a little more tousled, don’t worry about the strands that get left behind—they actually work wonders in softening the entire look. Use your non-dominant hand to twist your hair around in a circle and secure the loop with a hair tie or several bobby pins. Lightly tease the strands at the crown for some slight texture.

Wear it while: running around to get groceries

ballerina bun easy updos
Chic ballerina bun for to wear during your busy weekend.

2. Ballerina Bun

If you’re looking for a slicker, more refined easy updo hairstyles for long hair, the ballerina bun is probably your best bet. Dabble some Bed Head by TIGI After Party Smoothing Cream into the palms of your hands that you lightly coat throughout your hair, making sure that the front of your head is slicked back and free of frizzies and cowlicks. Next, gather your locks together to create a high ponytail. Your dominant hand will hold the ponytail as your other hand works to twist it around into a circle. Once all your hair is looped around, adjust and tighten the strands around the loop so that they are securely in place. Hold them together with a hair tie or some bobby pins, and be sure to spritz everything in place with hairspray.

Wear it while: soaking in culture at the museum

half-up easy updos
A half-do is an easy way to change your look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. Half Updo

Another no-fuss style to try over the weekend is the half-updo. This style can vary based on your preferences such as a half-pony, half-bun or by simply tying it together with a clip or hair tie. Start by brushing your hair and horizontally sectioning a half near the crown. Next, refine the separation of the top half from the bottom with a fine-toothed comb and work into your preferred style. You may also need some serum to tame any frizz or flyaways that acclimate along your crown.

Wear it while: running around town, from the gym to a coffee date with your bestie

braided easy updos
Gorgeous braids in natural hair.

4. Braided Updo

Those who have natural hair with braids already have some serious style so we get that you don’t want to have to deal with your hair over the weekend. Those with long braids can work their long locks into a low pony/quasi-updo as you look effortlessly cool.

Wear it while: grabbing a casual dinner with family

milkmaid easy updos
Milkmaid braids are a fun, flirty weekend updo.

5. Milkbraid Updo

We love this look but it does require a little more work to achieve (check out our milkmaid tutorial for some extra help).  This look is particularly darling with loose pieces of hair that acclimate along the sides of your face. Be sure to lock this look in place by using a non-sticky hairspray.

Wear it while: grabbing brunch with the girls

easy updos with a bandana
We won’t tell your greasy hair secret.

6. Bandana Updo

For a casual look, cover up those oily roots with a bandana! This fun bandana updo is easy enough to create, you probably don’t even need a mirror. Just pull your hair into a high ponytail and create a big bun. If you need a volume boost, use a hair doughnut to fill out your bun. Then just tie on a bandana to match your outfit. We love this style all year long!

easy updos chignon
Twisted updos are beyond pretty.

7. Twisted Chignon

For more office-friendly easy hair updos, try a twisted style. Taking two seconds to twist your hair takes any updo up a notch. Start off by refreshing your roots by using some dry shampoo. Then, take a section of hair from behind your ear and twist once or twice before securing into a ponytail with the rest of your hair. You could wear this in a pretty, twisted low ponytail or take the tail to create a bun at the nape of your neck.

top knot easy updos
This spunky top knot is too cute!

8. Piecey Top Knot

To get a voluminous top knot with a little bit more interest, try making it piecey. To create this look, start off by hydrating the ends of your hair with a few drops of the Nexxus New York Salon Care Oil Infinite Nourishing Hair Oil. Then pull all of your hair into a messy top knot. To create the piecey texture, you’ll need to apply another drop of oil to your fingertips. The oil will help to create the little pieces as you pull out small sections of hair from the top knot.

easy updos low braided bun
Fishtail braids make this updo much more interesting. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

9. Easy Fishtail Updo

If you have time on a train or about 10 minutes, you can create this pretty fishtail updo. Start this style by parting your hair all the way down the center. Then, taking each side in turn, create a fishtail braid all the way down to the ends of your hair. Secure each with one of those tiny clear hair elastics. Then just pin the braids around the nape of your neck. The more bobby pins, the better! Trust us.

faukhawk easy updos
Casual, but totally cool. Photo credit: Dvora

10. Curly Hair Fauxhawk

We’re a little obsessed with this curly fauxhawk. And guess what? It’s really only a series of ponytails! Yep, you could do this style with your eyes closed. You can follow along our curly fauxhawk tutorial to recreate this one at home. Just make sure to have some hair oil on hand to help you achieve glossy, hydrated ends.

low braided easy updos
Two-trick pony: Update your everyday ponytail with a quick, slightly tongue-in-cheek rope style. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

11. Roped Ponytail

We’re all about some chill, tropical vibes this time of year, and looks like we’re not alone: Catwalkers at runway shows clearly had some island lovin’ on the brain as they paraded rope-twists, scarf braids and three-braided ponies. This style works—coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago—because of its foolproof yet chic simplicity. Smooth on some shine cream such as Bed Head by TIGI After Party and secure hair in a tight ponytail, with no part. Divide the ponytail into two sections and proceed to twist them around each other, securing the end with a hair tie. Intermediate levelers can proceed with a simple three-strand braid too.

easy updos bangs
A healthy sheen elevates the entire look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

12. Bangs with a Bun

Before the sight of that babybun gets you running for the hills, hear us out. A fringe is the most requested haircut of the summer, and when teamed with a chignon (of all sizes, we don’t judge), it’s a fast-pass into instant It Girl territory. At least several grungy, street-style fashion labels thought so, as they paraded down the runway with tiny, punky bangs-and-bun combos that we are sure will be taking the festival circuit by storm. Keep frizz and grease from driving you nuts by spritzing your fringe with some dry shampoo.

space buns easy updos
Also pictured: phase 1 of awesome overnight waves. Photo credit: Dvora

13. ’90s Knots

With these kinds of easy hair updos, we mean both the funky bantu version (see our girl Zoella work them into her #FestBest) and the messy, fresh-from-errands kind we spotted on a lot of downtown beauties at the S/S 2016 shows. Either way, the principle remains: Gather your hair into a secure ponytail and begin coiling it around itself, securing the ends with a hair tie or pins (tug some ends to peek out from under for a truly authentic look). Some light-wearing hairspray is enough to offer all the control you need for this perfectly undone-done look.

easy updos messy bun
Extra cred for loose, Noughties-era spiky ends. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

14. Polished Drama

Since we basically think teen beach dramas are real life (#sorrynotsorry), we envision that all summer days start off frolicking with cute surfer boys and end at an evening charity gala. On a yacht. Which means, looking put-together on balmy nights will always require some kind of a classy, uptown chignon that has some kind of hold because again, we’re on a yacht! Create a side part and ensure hair is dried and super-shiny before creating a low chignon at the nape. Secure with a hair tie, tame down any cowlicks via a rat-tail comb and spritz on some maximum-hold hairspray for major staying power. Leave some ends out to wisp out, melancholy-like, into the wind.

high ponytail easy updos
Ready? OK! Swing into summer style with a neck-freeing, humidity-defying hairdo. Photo credit: Dvora

15. Cheerleader Ponytail

Have fun with this flirty, swingy hairdo. Make like those homecoming game cuties—all other grown-ups can look to WASP-ier, more polished ponytails—and gather freshly washed and blown-out hair into high, easy ponytail hairstyles at the crown (give it some grip and extra bounce with a texturizing spray).  Secure with a hair tie, leaving one lock to discreetly loop over your hair accessory. Blow a kiss for good measure.

easy hair updos faux dreads
The dreadlock half-updo remains a true summer staple.

16. Half-Updo with Dreadlocks

Rev up this street-style look by gathering your dreadlocks in a loose half-updo. Why we love it: It’s a true surf ’n turf easy hair updo, and can easily transition into something we can wear while hanging ten to something equally at home atop the boardwalk Ferris wheel. Start off with prepping hair with wax, and twisting your hair into baby sections, then running them over with a flat-iron. Gather all twisted sections into a half-updo, and secure with pins on the side, a fabric covered hair tie or funky clip.

Tutorial: 3 Easy Updo Looks for Everyday Glam


Triple bun updo

For the first look, brush your hair thoroughly and create three vertical sections. Begin a regular three-strand braid on each, securing each end with a clear elastic. Next, coil each braid around itself into a bun at the nape of your neck, fastening in place with bobby pins (make sure the buns somewhat align side by side for a neater look). Wisp out some tendrils near the temple to soften the look, and you’re done!

Tip: Zoella suggests fancying the braids up with a twist or fishtail braid if you so desire, but likes a three-strand plait for a chic, sophisticated touch for the triple bun.



Braided ballerina

The second look is a modern take on the classic ballerina bun. To recreate this dainty look, first start by pinching a skinny section of hair from each hairline and starting a regular three-strand braid on each. Secure the ends with clear elastics (that you can snip away with no regrets), and gather everything into a snug, medium-height ponytail at the back of your head.

Once hair is fastened into a ponytail, remove the clear elastics from your previous two skinny braids and create one jumbo three-strand braid on the entire ponytail. Tie off with an elastic at the end and then coil this big plait around itself, creating a ballerina bun. Secure with as many bobby pins as necessary at the base.

Tip: You can adjust the neatness and/or roughness of this look as you wish, simply by tugging at some tendrils to wisp out at your temples or pancaking the bun for more texture.


Dutch-braided side bun

To achieve this super-Instagrammable easy updo, begin with a side part. Using your fringe or the section right on your forehead hairline, start a Dutch braid downwards towards the ear (switch to a regular three-strand braid once you run out of scalp). Secure with an elastic and pancake the braid to as much as it can go — the wider the better, as it gives this look a more boho feel.

Next, take the rest of your hair and incorporate this with your plait into a low ponytail on the opposite side of your braid. Secure with an elastic, and then twist it around itself, forming a bun at your nape. Secure with some bobby pins and finish off with an even coating of hairspray. You’re done!



Want more blogger-approved easy updo hairstyles? Check out more awesome fashion-forward tips from our Style It On series.