Rolling out of bed every day to blow dry and style your hair shouldn’t be a challenge, but some days it most certainly is. You stare in the mirror, wondering what you could possibly do with your strands today that you haven’t already tried a dozen times before.
That’s where the easy updo comes in. Cute hairstyles don’t have to be complicated, intense, or require 30-minute YouTube tutorials to master. In our dream world, everyone can be a hairstylist with the aid of a hairbrush, a handful of bobby pins, and a can of dry shampoo.
Have we piqued your interest? Keep reading to discover the ’dos you definitely haven’t tried yet.
Messy Rolled Chignon
The traditional chignon is elegant, sophisticated, and totally easy. We love this laidback version for post-work events and meals out with friends. Instead of pinning until your hair is basically an immovable medieval fortress on your head, let your hair fall where it wants with a loose updo.
Begin with second-day hair that’s been lightly spritzed with dry shampoo or texturizing spray for added grip. Create a low ponytail, sliding your hair band down until it sits just an inch or two above your ends (a thick elastic that matches your hair color will work best). Begin rolling the tail in and upwards, stopping when you reach your head. Pin your bun in place (we aim for a maximum of five pins) and pull out one or two face-framing strands.
Protective Space Buns
Ladies with natural hair know that trying to avoid chemicals can be a struggle. If you’ve already taken the trouble to create the perfect curly twist out, preserve the style for another day with protective space buns. This look may belong to the club kids at EDM concerts, but you’ll be happy to see how stylish it looks in an office setting.
To make your buns, use a long-tailed comb to create a straight part from hairline to nape. Separate your two sections into two ponytails at the high point of your head. Using a gel-based hair product, smooth the edges of your part. As a final step, twist and tuck the ends of each pigtail into a bun shape.
Middle-Parted Top Knot
We’re always on the lookout for fresh, exciting hairstyles, and the middle-parted top knot is our latest obsession. This style seems to be the 2017 iteration of last year’s “hun” (half bun), one that makes the middle part seem extra stylish.
To recreate this celebrity-inspired style, begin by carving a very straight center part with a comb. Smooth a shine-enhancing product through straight, clean strands, gathering your mane into a ponytail at the crown of your head. Be sure to leave the style loose enough that your part clearly shows—that’s half the fun. Secure the look with a hair elastic, then begin to twist and pin a top knot. Leave your ends loose.
Two-Part French Braid
While we’re on the subject of the glorious, unique styles worn most frequently by A-list celebrities, we have to talk to you about the two-part French braid. This style is ideal for summer nights when you’d like to look dressed up without overheating. (Heavy hair on the neck has never done favors for anyone.)
Begin your French braid just behind the hairline, braiding back to the crown. Secure this section of your braid with an elastic, then commence your second braid. Picking up the tail from your first braid, begin a plait from your crown to the nape of your neck. Fasten this braid, too, then braid the final section of your hair. Pancake the style all the way down your hair.
Wavy Lion’s Mane
Some days, styling your hair just seems like a dismal prospect. When that mood strikes, it’s time to try something new: the oft-ignored diffuser attachment for your hair dryer. To get the most out of your diffuser, start by applying soft mousse throughout damp strands. Working in small sections, you’ll want to gently twirl each strand before resting it on top of the diffuser for a few seconds.
By the time you’re done, you’ll have a texture-heavy, wild style we affectionately call a lion’s mane. Create a deep side part, add a touch of hairspray, and own your new look.
Romantic Side Braid with a Wrapped End
There may be dozens of different braid varieties in this world, but it always seems as if women only wear one. If you’re looking for a feminine, beautiful take on braided hair, try a style with a refreshing modern touch. Working with second-day hair, create a traditional or fishtail braid that wraps over your shoulder. Pancake the style so it looks loose and effortless, finishing with hairspray.
Here’s where the unexpected touch comes in. Free a small segment of hair from just above your hair band, then wrap it around the elastic to hide it from view. A small change is all it takes to create an entirely new (more visually interesting) take on an often-stale hair look.
Double Braid Reverse Crown
Here’s an easy updo that’s equally beautiful on both straight and curly hair. It’s a laidback play on the braid crown, one that doesn’t involve any bridal flowers or extensions. If you’re having a stressful week and need to stretch your hairstyle another day before shampooing, the double braid reverse crown is the best way to do it.
Beginning with a deep side part, French or Dutch braid one side of your hair all the way around your head. Secure it just above your nape, then start on the other braid. When your braids meet, hide the ends by tucking them under. Pin the two strands in place, then loosen the style as much as you’d like. Quick and easy!
We’re madly in love with the banana bun, a cool girl take on the French chignon style. Instead of tightly pulling your hair back from your face, you’ll have the opportunity to embrace your natural texture. Hairstyles should flatter, not restrain.
Starting with second-day hair, divide your mane into three even sections. Bundle your center strands like you’re about to make a low ponytail. On your third twist, pull the tail halfway through the hair elastic.
Now comes the fun part: Twist one side section over the bun, and one under. Pin them in place in a fashionably disheveled way, aiming to make an elongated shape like the style’s namesake fruit—the messier, the better.