Tutorial: The Half Up Half Down Bun with Box Braids

Eunice Lucero | 06 July 2016
half up half down bun finished style
10mins Style Easy

Great for surf, turf and anywhere in between (even if it’s just looking super-cute on the daily).

Part of the reason braids are so popular is that they can give hair the structure needed for more elaborate looks. This is acutely true for the natural hair community, where hairstyles such as box braids can offer normally curly or afro-textured hair some heft and length. It also provides a stunning starting point for longer-haired looks such as the half up half down bun.

Don’t get us wrong: The half up half down bun is a hairstyle that can very much work across the board—it is basically just, you guessed it, a half-ponytail with a top knot—but really long, straight to wavy hair usually showcases the nuances of this look the best: namely, strand and scalp quality, and a remarkable sheen. It’s an updo that can highlight a not-so-healthy scalp or put dry, frizzy hair on the spotlight, so if you’ve got all these things on lock, you’re well on your way to rocking this queenly ’do! Read on to discover how to make a fun half up, half down bun on box braids.

Tutorial: The Half Up Half Down Bun (Box Braids Version)

styles with box braids like the half up bun

Start with your hair down.

Start on freshly (and gently) washed braids for the best, most shiniest results. To do this, use a co-washing system. Blot away any excess moisture, especially focusing on the scalp area.



styles with box braids twisted into a bun

Twist the top-front section.

Section off the top 1/3 or 1/4 of your braided hair and start twisting them in one direction, up and away from your face. Grabbing more braids results in a trendy, boho-chic turban/wrap effect too.



styles with box braids twisted into a loop

Coil your twist around.

Coil your twist around its own base, creating a loop. You may need to make more than one full revolution, depending on the thickness of your braids (or your hair!).


styles with box braids and a bun

Secure your bun.

Insert several bobby pins around the base (and any other wobbly seams) to secure the loop. Feel free to use a hair elastic if your bun feels shaky without one, but make sure the elastic has got quite a lot of give and won’t cause unnecessary tension on your crown.


styles with box braids and a smooth updo

Refine your edges.

Apply a tiny amount of hair oil or serum (we like how the polished, salon-smooth shine provided by TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum is great for cowlicks and frizzies) on your palm.


styles with box braids and smooth edges

Smooth 'em down.

Using your fingertips or a brush, smooth down any cowlicks, halo frizzies or sideburns that stick out for a truly refined finish.


styles with box braids final


You’re all set! Try to keep your braids in for up to six weeks max just to give strands a breather. Otherwise, keep rocking your new on-trend updo!


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