Half Up Half Down Hairstyles in 3 Ways and 18 of Our Favorite Looks

All Things Hair | 10 July 2017

Some of our favorite variations on the classic half-up half-down style.

As far as trendy looks go, half up half down hairstyles are taking the cake lately, particularly as we move into the blustery days of autumn. Not only are half-updos a completely wearable—and on-trend—throwback to ’90s hairstyles, they’re also a hit for practical reasons: This hairstyle is never too overdone and always has your back, whether for work or the weekend. We also love that you can wear the half-up, half-down look in so many cool combinations. To inspire you to try out this look, we’re sharing three hair tutorials that you can easily master and a few of our favorite inspirational styles featuring this classic look.  Read on to discover how to create one of the easiest hairstyles out there.

Look 1: Half Up Half Down Hairstyles: A Triple Dutch Braid Tutorial


Start with clean, freshly washed hair.

Rinse with a moisturizing, shine-enhancing system to prep your hair for a healthy-looking half-updo. We love the lightweight nourishment we get from Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Shampoo and Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Conditioner.


Section off the front.

Prep hair with a thermal protectant, like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, and blow-dry till hair is almost completely dry. Next, using the end of a rat-tail comb, create a sharp U-shaped section from your crown to your bang area, as you would when sectioning off your hair for a half-updo. Make sure to define both your left and right partlines!


Set aside the side sections.

Divide your half-updo part into three sections for your braids. Clip up or tie the left and right sections off, and leave the middle section loose to start.


Start Dutch-braiding.

Begin weaving a baby Dutch braid from your hairline to the top of your crown. How to plait: Split your section into three slivers, and cross the sides under each other towards the middle (instead of over), so you end up with a raised, banana-like braid. Secure with an inconspicuous hair tie.


Repeat on both sides.

Braid the left, then the right side sections in the same manner, securing each Dutch braid with a hair elastic. Make sure the elastics are all aligned in one row for a neater effect.


Gather into one pony.

Take the ends of your braids and gather them up into one ponytail. Secure with a hair tie.


Tease it!

Backcomb your ponytail slightly to give your bun more traction and to create more texture and lift.


Secure into a bun.

Coil your ponytail around itself to create a top knot. Secure the ends with bobby pins tucked in the folds, or loop a stretchy hair elastic around your knot to keep it really snug.



Finish with light coating of humidity-resistant hairspray, such as Nexxus New York Salon Care Frizz Defy Finishing Mist, to keep the frizz and flyaways at bay. You’re all set!

Look 2: 1970s Half Up, Half Down Curls for the Holidays


Refresh your hair.

Refresh your second or third-day old hair by spritzing on Dove Refresh+Care Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo. Spray the dry shampoo around 8 to 12 inches away from your hair, focusing on the roots, as it works to revive your locks and soak up any excess oils. Don’t forget to spray your fringe!


Brush or fingercomb your hair.

Brush or fingercomb your hair to ensure that the dry shampoo has been evenly distributed all throughout your locks.


Apply serum to the ends of your hair.

For a sleek half up, half down curls look, apply some serum, like TRESemmé Keratin Infusing Smoothing Serum. Apply a tiny pump to the ends of your finger tips and apply it to the ends of your hair to help eliminate frizz as you seal in some shine.


Curl your hair.

Use a curling wand to create loose curls throughout your hair. Start by using a small section of your hair as you wrap your strands around the wand, working at an angle.


Separate your hair from your bangs.

Use a comb to separate a piece of your hair away from your bangs. Repeat this process on each side of your head.


Tease at the roots.

Using your comb, start at the front of your hair (right at the base of your bangs) and tease at the front and work your way backwards.


Structure your bouffant.

Use one hand to hold hair into a half up hairstyle while the other hand works to comb your hair. Paige Joanna like to have pieces of hair frame her face. Then, smooth down any flyaways in your half up bouffant using your comb and your hands.


Pin your hairstyle in place.

Hold your half up hairstyle as if you are about to place it in a ponytail. Since you have the extra volume, make sure that you use your hands to lift your hair before you pin it in place. Gather a small section of your hair from the side. Twist that piece of hair and bring it around to the back where your half up hairstyle is. Pin it in place with a bobby pin. Repeat this on each side. Use some of the TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray to lock in your style. Not only will you get a strong hold, it also helps protect your hair against humidity and flyaways.


Accessorize your look.

Add some festive flair to your look by adding a velvet headband. Start by placing it on the top of your fringe as you carefully place it over your bouffant. Next, bring the back of the bouffant over your headband. Then use your comb to clean up the top of your bouffant.


Create a center part.

Use a mini hair straightener to create a center part for your bangs. Then, use a comb to tease the bottom of your hair and your bangs to create a messy look. Then, lock in your half up, half down curls by using some more hairspray.

Optional: add some glitter to your face to fully rock this party look!

Look 3: The Sexy Twisted Half Updo at Alice + Olivia F/W 2017

twisted half up half down hairstyles
The twisted half-up look is both work and play-appropriate and easy to achieve on the go. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Step 1: Start in the shower.

Wash and clean hair with a smoothening system that imparts a pretty, healthy-looking shine and bounce, such as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo and TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Conditioner. Rinse well and towel-dry.

Step 2: Prep locks.

After washing and drying, prime hair with a pre-styler, like TRESemmé Expert Selection Repair & Protect 7 Pre-Styling Spray to help prevent breakage and split-ends. Blow-dry till hair is at least 90% dry.

half up half down hairstyles waves
A flat iron can create more tousled waves for a more laid-back feel. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Step 3: Create your waves.

Use a flat iron to create soft, deconstructed waves—don’t forget to urge in a bit of texture at the fringe area too. A curling iron can be used for bigger, more structured bends at the back of your head.

Step 4*: Hack your way around all this with a dry shampoo.

If you’re on the go or want a quick day-to-night hairstyle, the twisted half updo can also be achieved on day-old hair with the help of some dry shampoo. Apply TRESemmé Fresh Start Basic Care Dry Shampoo while lifting the hair slightly to refresh the scalp and help urge in some freshly washed traction and volume.

twisted wave half up half down hairstyles
A bit of texture and “mess” adds to the look’s appeal. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Step 5: Create your twists.

Part hair in the middle, and then grab a strip of hair from each side, a few inches from your forehead (leave the tendrils free around the fringe area). Twist your strips around your finger and bring each to the back of your head. Fasten them together with bobby pins.

half up half down hairstyles bronde hair
This Early Noughties-inspired look can be both dressed up or down. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Step 6: Finish with hairspray.

A firm-control hairspray that also has a non-sticky finish is key to locking down this look without looking overdone. Spritz a bit of TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray on a toothbrush or spooley, and gently smooth down any errant frizz or flyaways away from the face. Spray allover your head around 12” away for good measure, and your twisted half updo is done!

Hair Inspo: Half-Up Styles We Love

simple half up half down hairstyles
This simple twisted half-up look is a crowd pleaser. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. Simple Twist

Creating a center part, gathering your hair back and securing it with a clear hair tie, and flipping the ponytail in through itself creates an elegant twisted style. Understated and chic on its own or the perfect base for summery floral hair accessories.

half up half down hairstyles top knot
A half-up top knot is about to be your new go-to. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

2. Half Top-Knot

It doesn’t get any easier than this half up half down top knot. Gather your hair into a ponytail at the crown of your head and twist from the roots to the ends. Wrap the coil around itself and secure with a hair tie. Loosen the bun with your fingers and pin any loose strands in place. If you are currently rocking a layered style, you might find that some pieces poke out of the knot.

half up half down hairstyles braids
Braids on braids on braids. Photo credit: Dvora

3. Braided Half-Up

A braid within a braid? Sign us up. Grab a two inch section from the back of your part and braid it in a three-strand braid all the way to the ends. Using this braid as one of the three strands for the next one, take two thick pieces from either side and loosely braid all the way down. Secure the end with a clear hair tie.

half up half down hairstyles twisted
A coiled twist completes this look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Twisted Sides

The key to getting this look licorice-like tight on both sides? Wrapping the twisted strands in the opposite direction. Taking two thick strands from above your ears, twist them both around your fingers down towards your shoulders. When you’re ready to wrap them around each other start up towards you ears. This will lock the twists into place for all-day wear. Repeat on the other side of your head and secure them together in the back.

half up half down hairstyles fishtail braid
An inverted french fishtail? Try saying that five times fast.

5. Pulled Fishtail

Starting at the front of your hair, create an inverted french fishtail braid. What does that mean exactly? Cross the strands under each other instead of over and add hair as you work your way down. Pull each strand tightly and every few inches while holding the bottom securely, use your fingers to lightly pull at your previous work. This will create the ever-popular boho vibe, making it look like you spent hours on our hair.

half up half down hairstyles messy part
A chic way to wear your hair half up. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

6. Messy Twist

If a contained twisted half-up style isn’t your thing, check out this messier version that allows your parted hair to have some carefully places wisps out along the sides of your face.

space buns half up half down hairstyles
A modern way to rock the half up half down hairstyles. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

7. Half-Up Space Buns

A fun style for the modern gal, we love this take on the space bun trend that features two signature buns as the rest of your hair stays down.

top knot style half up half down hairstyles
A new way to wear a top knot style.

8. Wide Top Knot

Up your top knot game by including more hair into your bun. We love this look, when paired with a pop of color, really gives your hair some seriously dimension and texture.

half up half down hairstyles accessories
A chic way to upgrade your half-up style. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

9. Accessorized

Enhance your half updo with a fun accessory! We love the look of bows to complement your style and outfit!

60s half up half down hairstyles
A retro look that’s totally glam.

10. Retro Half Up Half Down

Take notes from the past in the 60s-inspired half up hairstyles for long hair. We love how polished and elegant this style is that makes it perfect for weddings or special events.

middle part half up half down hairstyles
A stylish look we can’t get enough of. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

11. Middle Part Half-Up

For another take on a polished look, try out this middle parted style where you bring your hair to the back for a half-up style. Up this style even further by curling your hair.

half up half down hairstyles flower hair
A circular style that shows off your hair. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

12. Flower Updo

This style truly shows how versatile the half-up look is where you can rock two (or more) braids that you wrap around into a bun. The rest of your hair is free, gorgeous and flowing as your buns take center stage. Master how to create this look in our celtic knot hair tutorial.

half up half down hairstyles short hair
Rock a half-updo on your short hair.

13. Beehive

Mix up your short hair with this fun beehive style. Be sure to have some hairspray on-hand to lock in this gorgeous style.

braided half-up half down hairstyles
A fun way to wear your box braids.

14. Box Braids Updo

Another take on the top knot, this look is all about twisting your box braids and then showcasing on the side of your head.

unicorn half up half down hairstyles
This look is all about the middle top knot. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

15. Middle Top Knot

Yet another take on top knot, this look is all about its unicorn style middle part where you leave some hair out on the sides. Paired with some crimps makes for a very stylish look to try out.

curls half up half down hairstyles
Accentuate your curls with a half-up style.

16. Curly Half Up Style

We also adore this look on curls as you can showcase your awesome hair-both in your clip and outside of your half-up style.

half up half down hairstyles face framing
A half-up style with face-framing wisps. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

17. Face-Framing Pieces

Rock your half-up hairstyle by taking out pieces from the front of your hair.

Looking for more ways to wear half up hairstyles? Check out this half up hair for day to night.