Tressed to Impress: Fancy Wedding Updos for Every Hair Length

Did your ideal wedding hairstyle make our best-tressed list?

So you got the ring. Now what are you going to do about your hair? That edgy modern shag you got last week might have seemed like a great idea at the time, but you’ve always wanted a specific, more romantic look for your wedding, a day that might not be as far away as you think. Typical wedding updos usually need longer lengths to work, and you’re doing the mental math: Unfortunately, chances are your hair is going to be right smack in the middle of that blasted awkward stage during the big day.

Understand: Weddings are just like a bigger, grander celebration of a couple’s personal style (with just a lot more cake and happy tears). The thing to remember is that no matter how stressful it is to aim for classic, long-haired perfection as dictated by Pinterest, the latest over-the-top celebrity wedding, your frenemies and even your parents, it’s no one’s call but yours.

Your celebration, and especially your look, should always, always loop back to your own everyday style.

This applies to your makeup and hair in particular—because what use are those clichéd wedding updos if they look nothing like you whatsoever during the other 364 days of the year?

Read on for a list of fancy updo inspiration for different hair lengths and personalities that we hope can help with your conundrum. Good luck and best wishes to the bride and groom!

Wedding Updos for Short Hair

wedding updos faux French roll
Skip the wispy tendrils in front if outdoors—they’ll just grease up as the day wears on.

For the Classicist: Faux French Roll

If you have a pixie cut with long bangs or a chin-length bob or longer, this hairstyle can work for you (just bring on the bobby pins). After blow-drying and prepping hair, make a side part and pin the minor side away from the ears. For the bigger parted area, create some lift by teasing the lengths at the crown and sweeping them off to the side, pinning the ends to the scalp as you go, and tucking longer flyaways underneath combed sections. Affix any errant edges with a sturdy hairspray like TRESemmé Climate Protection Finishing Hairspray to ensure all-night hold. 

 

fancy wedding updos on short hair include vintage waves
Evoke some ’20s drama with a glam, Flapper-inspired hairstyle.

For the Drama Queen: Finger Waves with Accessories

Cop that beautiful Roaring Twenties Flapper look on hair that’s chin length or shorter (or fake it with a faux bob). Prep hair with thermal protectant (we love Nexxus New York Salon Care Promend Heat Protecting Mist) after rinsing, and blowdry till damp to infuse strands with some volume. Create a side part and starting with the thicker section, wrap parts around a flat iron to create zigzag waves. Pin the opposite side up with a sparkly barrette or a 1920s-themed fascinator or feather clip, and allow your major parting to fall softly alongside your face.

 

fancy wedding updos for short hair puny bun
Remember to spritz those cowlicks in place with a fine-mist hairspray.

For the Pretty Party Girl: Shiny Bun

Give your “punytail” some evening-worthy glitz by blow-drying hair that’s chin-length or longer sleek and straight (a volumizing mousse like Dove Style+Care Volume Amplifier Mousse works wonders for this look). Part hair to one side—low and sexy is best—and gather all strands into a tiny ponytail with a clear hair elastic at the middle or base of your skull, wherever your hair reaches most without splaying. Secure all loose strands with bobby pins and tease the crown area slightly for a mini-bouffant effect, taming down any flyaways with hairspray as you go. A humidity-resistant version: Slick it back with some gel in a chic chignon.

Wedding Updos for Medium-Length Hair

fancy wedding updos for medium hair include retro victory rolls
Side-parted rolls impart a glamorous pin-up effect.

For the Old-Fashioned Gal: Victory Rolls

A fun 1940s-inspired hair roll on each part of your head is not only a glamorous #throwback, it’s also a great way to keep grease away from your hair and forehead during the festivities. Start by doing pin curls all over your hair, and then create a deep side part. Section hair into parts 2” wide and start finger-rolling your hair back towards the scalp, closing the curl once you reach your head. Secure with a bobby pin and repeat on the opposite side of your part. You may opt to do the same with the lower half of your hair or simply curl the bottom ends with a curling iron for a true vintage feel. Finish with some hairspray, like TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Flexible Finish Hairspray, for hold with some lift.

 

fancy wedding updos for medium hair include the braided side chignon
A herringbone plait (as on a fishtail braid) elevates any chignon.

For the Pinstagrammer: Braided Side Chignon 

Let your hairstyle reflect your romantic yet super trendy leanings with a low braided side bun. Start with creating loose waves on your entire head with a 1”-barreled curling iron, and matched with a soft side part. Gather hair in a low ponytail and begin a simple, medium-thick braid on the lengths. Once finished, coil the braid around itself and affix behind one ear with a bobby pin or sparkly hair barrette. Secure in place with some firm-hold hairspray like Nexxus New York Salon Care Maxximum Finishing Mist. Take it a notch higher with a fishtail variation.

 

fancy wedding updos for medium hair faux beehive
Flip the ends outwards (and pair with killer cat-eye liner) for a true-blue mod aesthetic. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

For the Model-Off-Duty: Faux Beehive

Elevate your edgy-cute style with a fun hairdo that’s got serious sex kitten appeal, all while staying on-trend. Prep and prime your lob with some blowdry spray or mousse, such as Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray, and dry straight, creating a deep side part before you finish. Gather the top half into a ponytail and secure with pins or a hair elastic, and repeat with the lower half, incorporating the top ponytail into the lower ponytail. Knot the lower ponytail into a nape-touching bun, and secure the entire look with some hairspray. Low-maintenance gals (and those with off-the-shoulder wedding gowns) can work this style as a half-updo for even more style points.

Wedding Updos for Long Hair

fancy wedding updos for long hair include crown twists
Secure twists under each ear with bobby pins. Photo credit: Dvora

For the Princess: Crown Twists/Halo Twists

For a truly regal and refined look—you are queen for the big day, that’s for sure—part hair as desired, spritz with some styling spray (we love—what else?—Bed Head by TIGI Superstar Queen for a Day) and loosely blowdry till shiny. Starting at the hairline on one side, begin twisting sections in twos: first section is taken from the top while the second section is from underneath. Incorporate a new small section with each twist for a French braid-like effect till you reach the ends of your hair, and secure the first pigtail with a clamp while you do the next side. Repeat on the second side, then loop both braided pigtails across the back of your head to their respective opposite sides, securing with bobby pins.

 

fancy wedding updos include a neat top knot
A top knot best flatters oval, heart and square faces. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

For the Glamour Girl: Top-Knot

Channel your inner diva (and give yourself some freedom on the dance floor) with a tight, immaculate top-knot. Blowdry hair straight and gather hair up into a clean high ponytail on the top of your head. Loop the ponytail through a hair donut and conceal the sponge with the strands, either by coiling hair around it or tucking the ends under to cover. Secure all around with bobby pins and finish with some firm-hold hairspray like Bed Head by TIGI Hard Head, ensuring the front, back and sides are smooth and flyaway-free.

 

 

fancy wedding updos include a sleek ponytail
A super-sleek ponytail is the chic downtown bride’s hairdo of choice. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

For the Showstopper: Sleek Ponytail

A fashionista like you likes to do away with traditional buns. Instead, wow your crowd with a Hollywood-worthy shiny ponytail that catches every camera flash from the ceremony to the reception. Start with a shine-inducing and smoothening oil, such as Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil, and blowdry hair straight. Refine each strand with a meticulous pass through a flat iron, and gather strands into a middle ponytail. Using the end of a rat-tail comb, pick on a horizontal area near your crown, releasing it from your ponytail slightly for create a tiny bump. Spritz with hairspray to hold.

Which of these wedding updos are you willing to try for the big day?