26 Beautiful Updos for Black Women

Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

#1: ’90s Updo with Barrel Curls

This hairstyle will definitely attract attention! This 90s updo with barrel curls looks great. The key to getting a 90s look for your updo is to structure it well. Keep your hair high with eight distinct curls for a standout look.

Sleek Updo with Coils for Black Ladies' Short Hair
Instagram @curlsidoadore_

#2: Sleek Updo with Coils for Short Hair

A slick hairstyle with curly details looks great on short hair! The hairstyle adds an old-age feel with its pearl accessory.

Low Twisted Updo for Black Women's Natural Hair
Instagram @adannamadueke

#3: Low Twisted Updo for Natural Hair

A twisted updo is an easy hairstyle for natural hair. This style makes use of your natural hair’s texture and thickness by interlacing sections to achieve a full and large bun.

#4: Twisted Knot Updo on Red Locs

A twisted knot updo looks stunning when combined with red locs! Each twist and turn of the updo brings out the contrast in red and copper tones.

#5: High Bun with Curly Curtain Bangs

Natural locks look stunning with a high bun and curly curtain bangs. Styling is simplified by the romantic nature of the coils and curls in curly textures.

#6: Half Up Half Down Flip Hairstyle

A half-up, half-down flip hairstyle is ideal if you wish to replicate a Barbie or pop star look. This sleek hairstyle will give your hair a glossy sheen, shimmering under the sunlight or street lights at night.

Romantic Curly Updo with Sleek Edges for Black Ladies
Instagram @joaovictor.cabelosnaturais

#7: Romantic Curly Updo with Sleek Edges

A romantic curly updo with smooth edges is an easy hairstyle without making your entire hair smooth. While smooth hairstyles are lovely, adding and experimenting with texture keeps your curly updo romantic and soft.

Afro Updo Puff with Twist Bangs for Black Women's Curly Hair
Instagram @dionoire

#8: Afro Puff with Twist Bangs

Everybody loves an Afro puff with twisted bangs. The best part? Wearing your natural hair texture enhances the Afro puff with twisted bangs look.

Pinned Updo for Natural Black Hair
Instagram @adannamadueke

#9: Pinned Updo for Natural Black Hair

We adore a pinned updo on natural black hair. Natural hair is perfect for styles like this. The key to maintaining voluminous and full-bodied styles like this is to make sure the hair is smoothed but not pressed.


Low Bun Updo Style with Middle Part for Young Black Ladies
Instagram @khadajeeee

#10: Low Bun Style with Middle Part

A low bun style with a middle part offers a chic, gorgeous option to showcase your natural hair texture. If your hair is not dense enough for a larger bun, you can add wefts of hair to your bun to make it bigger.

#11: Thick Hair Ponytail with Side Braids

Revamp your usual high ponytail with a thick hair ponytail and side braids! The inclusion of two side braids provides the high ponytail a distinct and elegant look.

Rooted Brown Space Buns Updo with Side Bangs for Black Ladies
Instagram @_macxrosee

#12: Space Buns with Side Bangs

Space buns with side bangs are the perfect edgy yet cute updo for any occasion! This modern look is totally unique and will make you stand out amongst a sea of standard updos.

Medium Blonde Twists and Dreadlocks Updo with Side Bangs for Black Women
Instagram @_macxrosee

#13: Blonde Twists and Dreadlocks Updo

An updo hairstyle does not require smoothed hair! A formal updo with blonde twists and dreadlocks is the perfect style for those embracing dreadlocks.

Black Weave Updo with Money Piece
Instagram @hairbyniaya

#14: Weave Updo with Money Piece

Adding a money piece to your weave updo can enhance your daily hairstyles. You can choose a money piece in blonde, blue, pink, or purple – whatever color complements and inspires you.

Long-Length Puffy Ponytail Updo on Natural Kinky Black Hair
Instagram @_otuure

#15: Puffy Ponytail on Natural Kinky Hair

A puffy ponytail on natural kinky hair is an effortless and gorgeous upstyle! Adding accessories by way of a scrunchie or wrap is a popular way to increase the impact of this look.

Textured Weave Long Hair in Ponytail Updo for Black Ladies
Instagram @hairbyjazmeen

#16: Textured Weave Long Hair in Ponytail

Adding long textured weave hair to a ponytail is an easy way to take your standard pony from drab to fab! This wild and wavy style looks great tied up or worn down.

#17: Medium Pony with Textured Waves

When making a wavy, medium-length ponytail, ensure the edges are neat. A smooth, side-swept style around the face provides balance with the messy ponytail.

Extended Ponytail Updo with Long Deep Side Part Fringe for Young Black Ladies
Instagram @hairbyjazmeen

#18: Extended Ponytail with Long Deep Side Part Fringe

A long ponytail paired with a deep side fringe is a classic hairstyle fit for the red carpet. This classic red carpet hairstyle is designed to keep the hair sleek and secure for a durable finish.

Black Women Long Sleek Ponytail Updo with Voluminous Waves
Instagram @hairbyjazmeen

#19: Sleek Ponytail with Voluminous Waves

A sleek ponytail with big waves ups the ante on your usual style, where the hair is half up and half down. This extra touch of style is great when you wish for fancier hair without fully tying it up.

Curled Weave Updo with Side-Swept Hair for Black Women
Instagram @touchedbykee

#20: Curled Weave Updo with Side-Swept Hair

A curled weave updo with a side-swept fringe is the sleek, ultra-glam style you’ve been searching for! This expertly placed coif looks like it walked right off the red carpet.

Very Long Chunky Dreadlock High Ponytail Updo with Bangs
Instagram @locnationtm

#21: Chunky Dreadlock High Ponytail

For a fancy occasion, wearing your dreadlocks in a chunky, high ponytail is a neat yet unique idea. You might need help to create this hairstyle, but you will love looking and feeling like a goddess when walking around.

Mid-Length Low Afro Pony Updo with Flat Twists on a Black Woman
Instagram @khadajeeee

#22: Low Afro Pony with Flat Twists

A low afro pony with flat twists is the best choice for more sophisticated occasions. The combination of flat twists and a naturally textured pony creates a super chic contrast.

Protective Twist Bun Updo on Older Black Women
Instagram @ulaniewilson

#23: Protective Twist Bun Updo

protective hairstyle can be glamorous, too! This protective twist bun updo is not only gorgeous, but it’s also good for your tresses.

High Messy Updo Bun with Front Curls for Black Women
Instagram @hairbyjazmeen

#24: High Messy Bun with Front Curls

A high, messy bun updo with front curls is an elegant and classic way to wear your hair up. This look evokes the sultry vibes of the 90s with a modern twist.

Curled Ponytail Updo with Face Frame on Black Women
Instagram @stylingbellaa

#25: Curled Ponytail with Face Frame

A curled ponytail with face frame tendrils is a pretty way to put volume back into your updo.

Petal Bun Updo with Two Strand Twists for Black Women
Instagram @bienaimebeauty

#26: Petal Bun with Two Strand Twists

A petal bun with two-strand twists is a unique and eye-catching hairstyle perfect for anyone who wants a look that stands out from your standard bun.

Looking to elevate your hair game with the perfect updo? You’re in for a treat! We had the opportunity to speak with the renowned hairstylist Shanna Mcghan Anderson, a wizard when it comes to updos for black women. She generously shared her valuable insights, tips, tricks, and product recommendations to help you achieve a flawless updo.

Meet The Expert

Shanna Mcghan Anderson
Shanna Mcghan Anderson
Shanna is a professional braid stylist with over 11 years of experience.
You can find Shanna at her own studio in Kingston, Jamaica

Understanding Textures

Anderson strongly notes, “Most black women have natural 4c hair, their hair textures are mostly coily and thick.” Whether thin, aging, or naturally coily hair, the key to an updo is balance. To avoid tension or a receding hairline, consider the bulk of your hair and shoot for a medium-sized updo that respects your natural volume.

Updo and Face Shapes

Picking a flattering updo means keeping your face shape in mind. Anderson advises, “For oval and long-shaped faces, lean towards an updo that falls more to the back of the head.” This keeps your face from appearing longer. Meanwhile, a heart-shaped face matches well with any updo style. If you have a round face, aim high. An updo on top sidesteps a too-short or rounded look.

Styling Tips and Product Picks

Anderson shares three straightforward tips for styling your updo. First, find a style that flatters your face. Avoid long-lasting styles, and when in doubt, opt for a messy bun or curls.

To maintain an updo, Anderson recommends a few key products.

Photos of the Most Gorgeous Updos for Black Women