Gone are the days of the tightly slicked-back updo styles. These days, it’s all about loose, flowy styles that look relaxed and understated yet put together and chic. Curls, braids, side ponies, and more can combine to create the perfect loose updo! Here are our favorite loose updos that you can wear anywhere.
#1: The Hidden Gem
I call this style “the hidden gem” because it looks like a typical low ponytail/bun from the front. Once you see the style from the back, the intricacy of the loose braid is visible, and it looks like a completely different style! This look is perfect for you if you have shorter hair that’s fine to medium in texture and hair that’s layered minimally. These loose hairstyles will flatter you if you have an oval or heart-shaped face. If you have fine hair, you will want to spray your hair with a working hairspray before you begin the braid. This will help to avoid pieces slipping out of the braid. I love Spray de Mode by Bumble and Bumble!
#2: Voluminous Updo for Mother of the Groom
The mother of the groom can wear a voluminous updo. This gorgeous loose-style updo suits a soft, elegant woman. This style complements curved faces because it adds fullness to the lower crown, the back of the neck, and the base of the skull. You can create this style by tying two vertical ponytails at the nape, curling small strands with a 1-inch barrel, and pinning the curls into an appealing shape. For some added elegance, leave out face-framing bangs or side pieces.
#3: Loose Textured Updo for Mother of the Bride
The loose textured updo is a graceful and stylish hairstyle for the mother of the bride on a special wedding day. This elegant updo blends loose, textured waves and well-placed hair strands for a soft, romantic look. As a timeless and flattering option, this hairstyle carries a romantic and soft vibe with braids, making it perfect for any special occasion.
#4: Top Knot Updo with Bangs
The top knot updo with bangs is a chic, effortless hairstyle. It mixes a messy high bun with wispy, trendy bangs. This versatile look blends sophistication and casual style, ideal for a daily look. A soft face frame gives the illusion of a longer face and defined cheekbones.
#5: Soft Blonde High Bun
A soft blonde high bun is a boho chic way to do any easy up-do style. You can use this style on many different occasions. These loose bun hairstyles are perfect for bridesmaids or school dances. Staying away from super sleek styling is important when you want that lived-in texture. It’s crucial to keep this style very organic. My favorite way of doing that is adding small bun anchors to the base of the pony. This is a wonderful trick to help keep the volume of up ‘dos without lots of heavy products.
#6: Versatile and Soft Updo
I love the pieces left out around her face and toward the back. Her hair was quite fine, so Kevin Murphy Doo.Over spray was used all over before curling with a flat iron. After everything was in place, I used Kevin Murphy Session.Spray to set and a spritz of Shimmer. Shine to finish. This is a versatile and soft updo that anyone with some face-framing layers can wear.
#7: Fancy Loose Updo in a Bun with Floral Pins
A fancy loose updo in a bun with floral pins and face-framing tendrils is a great style for any formal occasion. To detail it, start by curling your hair with a large-barrel curling iron. Next, create loose waves by softly brushing out the curls. If you gather your hair into a high bun, secure it with an elastic. Add a few floral pins throughout for an extra special touch. Consider leaving out a few tendrils to frame your face. And spray your style with a Design.ME Hold.ME Three-Way Hairspray.
#8: Barely Braided
This mini side braid is a great way to add an intricate touch to your loose updo for bridal events or any romantic occasion. This look is good for you if you have medium to long hair with minimal layering. Any hair texture will work for this style! This look will complement you if you have a long and narrow face shape. If you have finer hair and have trouble getting a braid to stay tight, apply a working spray (like Session Spray by Kevin Murphy) to the hair before you braid it.
#9: Beautifully Bunned
This sweet and simple low bun is the perfect combo of undone and glam. It frames the face perfectly and virtually works for any hair type! Suppose you have naturally curly hair. Lucky you! You can avoid step 2! Virtually any hair texture will work for this, and as long as your hair is about shoulder length or longer, this style is an option for you. Any face shape will work for this look. A good curling iron is necessary for creating this updo and many others. Try a Hot Tools curling iron. They are good, affordable, quality products that will last a long time!
#10: Simple & Romantic
This look is soft, simple, and romantic. Many brides love the natural look, and I love to create it for them. The little touch of a small clip or brooch can complete a romantic look like this. This look can always be achieved! My client here had very fine hair. We added 14-inch brown extensions that matched her hair perfectly. The hair was lightly curled first to create a base for me to work with. I used What a Tease to create soft volume. I prepped the hair with Shaper Plus by Sebastian and finished the style with Hard Head by TIGI to ensure the look lasted all day for her big day!
#11: Stunning Loose Updo with Pearls
Try a stunning loose updo with pearls for your next formal event! This romantic hairdo will have heads turning no matter the occasion. Pro Tip: Bring some extra bobby pins to keep your look secure. But, also avoid touching your hair too much as it can deflate some of the volume.
#12: Messy Bun + Fishtail Braid
This is a messy bun with a scalp fishtail braid. This updo is textured and intricate yet undone, which makes it suitable for any event. This style is a statement on its own, without additional embellishment. If your hair is fine, consider clipping in a few hair extensions to add fullness to the plait. You could also crimp your hair with BaByliss PRO Spectrum White Crimper, creating lots of volume to make your plait more 3D. The key is to make this look textured and playful. Once you complete your plait, pull on each fold to open up the braid. Lastly, pull out some tendrils to frame your face.
#13: Sophisticated & Very Glam
This updo was for a bridesmaid for a winter wedding. It is sophisticated while still being glam. I love the flow of this updo! This look was done for a formal event with a black formal dress! It made for a timeless, soft, and classic look. To make it more casual, I would probably make it a little higher and add more teasing, texture, and frizz.
You’ll need teasing powder, hairspray, a shine spray, and a one-1/2-inch curling iron to style this look. The trick is to hide all bobby pins and tease the base before sweeping the hair over!
#14: Bohemian Messy Updo
This look is a bohemian messy updo. My favorite part about it is the fanned fishtail braid and how it looks effortless and fun. My advice for a client would be to have fun with this look! Let loose and let your personality shine through. This particular updo is ideal for someone who wants to stand out and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
#15: Effortlessly Elegant
This look is effortlessly elegant. My favorite thing about this updo is how easy and quick it is to create such a romantic hairstyle! This look can be dressed up or worn casually, and the twist braid creates some interest.
For anyone considering this look, it can be customized depending on how loosely you pull out the braids when styling. This look can be done with short hair for a fun and edgy style or with long hair like these loose, romantic curls into a low bun in the back. Even though this is a loose and effortless style, once you get the braids pulled out a little and everything looking how you want it, make sure to spray spray spray with a medium to firm hold hairspray so everything stays in place nicely!
#16: Undone Updo
This look is a loose or undone updo. I mainly love these looks for brides or bridesmaids, but they would work well for any semi-formal event. This loose messy updo is classy but not overly polished and works great on long to medium hair.
I start by blow drying a holding product into the hair. My current favorite is Mr. Fantastic by EVO! Blow drying a holding product into the hair is important to hold the curl. I curled by wrapping random sections around a 1-inch curling rod. I love these updos because they look unique in each hair texture!
#17: Romantic Transitional Updo
This hairstyle is soft and romantic. My favorite thing about this updo is that its softness of it makes it easy to wear anywhere. It could be considered on the bridal side of just a fun night out. This particular client has TONS of hair, but this look is easily transitional from day to night for anyone with shoulder-length or longer hair. It won’t move on you with enough bobby pins and hairspray!
#18: Romantic & Modern
My favorite thing about this hairstyle is how versatile it is. You could go casual or formal with it! You can wear it for a girl’s night out or to walk down the aisle. When I look at her hair, I see undone, playful, romantic, and modern. This style does not require super long hair like so many updos can, so medium-length clients are in luck! This model’s hair is shoulder length, and it worked perfectly.
I used a good amount of Bumble and bumble Thickening DrySpun before putting the hair up to give it an airy and undone look instead of being slicked back. I also used MoroccanOil Hairspray to give it hold, but not too firm of a finish. I pulled some pieces out at the end to complete the perfectly imperfect look!
#19: Romantic Textured Chignon
This is a romantic textured chignon with a braid accent. My favorite thing about it is its whimsical feel and complex look, although it is effortless to achieve. Having the proper haircut is important to pulling off this look. Angling and layering are crucial to achieving texture throughout the crown and softness around the face. I used Puff Me texture spray to achieve texture and movement. This style would be ideal for an effortless and lovely upstyle. It is perfect for a whimsical wedding!
#20: Glam Textured Loose Updo
This is a beautifully textured updo. I loved the use of this bridesmaid’s natural curls! We did not need to use irons on her hair and were still left with gorgeous texture. This style works best on girls with natural curls that can be used for a no-heat updo! For those girls that want this look without the natural curls, I recommend using a smaller iron to curl the framing pieces and loosely pinning them back for added volume and texture. This style is perfect for those naturally curly girls that want to look like themselves by preserving their curls but still glam it up a bit!
#21: Undone & Organic
Loose updos that are feminine are perfect for formal occasions. Ask for softness and texture to give a modern feel. A low-nape bun looks romantic with face frame waves and a few locks left out. If your hair isn’t long enough, think about a few clip-in extensions to give it a fuller shape.
#22: Romantically Chic
This updo is romantic, timeless, and chic. I love the lived-in feeling about it. After setting the hair, I used Bumble and bumbles Pret-a-Powder dry shampoo to add texture and body to the hair. I recommend this style for a client with medium to long hair and hair that holds a curl well. It is perfect for a woman who wants to look sophisticated but still stylish.
#23: Beautifully Braided
This dreamy braided look is a great way to get your hair up and out of your face without compromising style. This look is ideal if you have thick hair that’s medium length and isn’t cut into a very layered haircut. A heart-shaped face will be complemented by this look. Spray a bit of hairspray in the braided sections before you braid them. This will prevent you from having any flyaways or frizzy pieces! Try Classic Hairspray by Bumble and Bumble.
#24 Lovely and Laid Back
This relaxed style is super easy to create and looks incredible. This look is perfect if you have short hair that’s finely textured. A round face will be flattered by this style. The perfect finishing touch on this look would be adding texture cream to the ends of your curls once you’ve finished pinning it up. Try Brilliantine by Bumble and Bumble. This look should be messy and undone. Don’t get too hung up on creating the “perfect” messy bun. Just go with it!
#25 A Sweet Side Pony
This incredibly easy-to-create side ponytail updo is super sweet and simple. It’s a great option for a casual day date or a day at the office! This look is great for you if you have medium to long hair of any texture. It will work especially well for you with a round face shape. A great finishing spray will be the cherry on this already stunning style! Try Classic Hairspray by Bumble and Bumble. It’s light and won’t leave your hair feeling crunchy or sticky.
#26 Two Times the Twist
This stunning updo comes with a twist…make that two twists! This look is awesome if you have long, thick hair. Minimal layers are best for this style. If you have a heart or oval-shaped face, this style will be ideal! Before you start styling your hair like this, you may want to apply a bit of a pomade or gel. I love Undressed by Kevin Murphy. The texture is smooth, so that you will get beautiful, shiny twists. No need to apply any of this product to the ends of your hair where the curls are, though. Keep that part sans product!
#27 Perfectly Pinned
This loosely pulled-back updo is easy and a great way to show off your new face-framing highlights or long swoopy bangs. This look is best if you have medium to long hair that’s thick. A layered haircut will work well for this hairstyle. This is a good option for you if you have a heart-shaped or oval-shaped face. Before you dry your hair and start to heat style it, it’s always wise to use a heat protectant so you don’t damage your hair. Try Damage Manager by Kevin Murphy. It’s a wonderful product!
#28: Stunningly Side Swept
This stunning upstyle is a total crowd-pleaser. It’s a trendy take on your average to-the-side look! This look is perfect if you have short to medium-length hair with a finer texture. A square face shape will be complemented by this look. I know it may seem silly, but when creating updo styles, you want to be sure to use a good bobby pin to hold your hair in place. My favorite is by the brand Goody. They come in a variety of colors and won’t bend easily!
#29 Ravishing and Romantic
This relaxed yet totally chic loose updo makes my heart skip a beat! It’s so simple and understated but has so much style and class. It’s a must-try! I love this style on those with short to medium hair of any texture. It’s very versatile, but it will probably be easier on those without a ton of hair! Try this look if you have a round face shape or want to disguise asymmetrical features.
This look will require a strong hairspray so it stays securely in place. I love Air Control by Aveda. Add some of this stuff, and your hair won’t go anywhere! If your hair is extra fine and you have trouble getting it to stay to one side like this, apply a bit of a light gel and comb it to one side. This should help it stay.
#30: Easy and Edgy
This edgy and fun look is an all-purpose style. It will work for every event or scenario that presents itself! This look is fitting for you if you have hair that’s of a thicker texture. This style will complement a round face shape.
#31 The Sassy Sidewinder
This style is a must-try for those with thick hair that want it up and out of their face! This look will also especially complement stunning facial features or blingy accessories. This look is awesome if you have thick hair that’s medium to long length. It’s a good way to get your hair out of your face without compromising style. This look is so versatile and will complement any face shape.
Try an alternate approach if you’re to create this style with too much h. Gather your hair into three ponytails, starting at the back/middle of your head and continuing down to the last ponytail, which should be at the bottom of your hairline on one side. Then, begin pinning the curls from there. This approach should avoid you having to use hundreds of pins to get your hair to stay in place!
#32 Loose and Laid Back
This sweet style has a braid to add to its beauty and uniqueness. It’s also fairly easy to create and will have all eyes on you! This look is ideal if you have medium to long hair with minimal layers. If you have hair with a fine to medium hair texture, this look will work for you. A square face shape will be complemented by this look.
This look is easiest to create if your hair isn’t super clean. Trying this the day after you wash your hair is ideal. If you have trouble with greasy roots, spray a little dry shampoo on them. I love Fresh Dust by L’oreal!
#33 Tastefully Tousled
This loose, romantic updo is super tasteful and trendy. It draws all the attention to your beautiful features and face. This loose curly updo is perfect for you if you have medium to long hair that is fine to medium texture. This could be a great way to show off your long, swoopy side bangs. A square face shape will be complemented by this look.
We can’t see the back of this photo, but I assume it’s a casual, not too-perfect, situation to match the front of this style. Keep it neat when pinning the curls, but don’t aim for perfection. Let your hair take the lead!
#34 Twisted Temptress
This understated ‘is easily one of my favorites of all these loose updos. It’s simple to create and defines the art of “messy but perfect!” This look is perfect if you have fine to medium hair of any length. A bit of a natural wave would be great and give other body, but hair of any texture will work. A round face shape will be flattered by this look.
If you are working with second-day hair and want to absorb some of yesterday’s oil that has collected at your roots and create additional volume, use Unite’s Expanda Dust. Sprinkle at your roots, but remember to use it sparingly because a little bit goes a long way!
#35: Half and Half
This beautifully done half-up half-down look is effortless and chic! This half up half down style is one of the more versatile looks. It will work for any hair length and texture. A heart-shaped face will be complemented by this style. If you have a side bang or straight-across bangs, you may want to leave them out for this look! Just style them and place them as you desire before you pull back your half-pony.
#36: The Pin Curled Princess
This sweet and intricate look would be perfect for a date night out. It’s easy to create and a great addition to any great outfit. This look is great if you have medium to long hair with minimal layers. Fine to medium textured hair is ideal. A square face shape will be complemented by this look. To make your pin curls stay in place well, apply gel to each section before creating the curl. I love Gellac by Bumble and Bumble!
#37 Big Lovely Hair
This look is your ideal big lovely hairstyle. It has plenty of volume and body and doesn’t compromise on trendiness! If you have naturally curly hair, all the better! If not, hair with a thicker or coarser texture will hold up better in this style. This style will complement a narrow or oval face shape. If you have naturally curly hair, use a diffuser to accentuate the curls and create this look without a curling iron!
#38 Short and Sweet (Well, kind of!)
This look is short…sort of! It’s another take on a faux bob and can be created very simply. It’s loose, lovely, and the perfect amount of flowy! This style will be easiest to create for those with short to medium hair with finer textures. If you have a round face shape, this look will complement you. If you want a bit of extra texture in your hair, apply just a tiny amount of Aveda’s Texture Paste to your ends before you pin them up. A little bit goes a long way here, so keep it on your ends only!
#39 Superbly Side Swept
This romantic and face-framing look is one you want to try. This look is super versatile and will work for almost anyone! Long, medium, or short hair could work for this style. This look will slim down a round face shape.
Before you curl each section of hair, spray it with a heat-protectant spray. Damage Manager by Kevin Murphy is light and will keep your hair healthy and soft! Loose updos are the wave of the future. I predict that we will continue to see the trend going in the direction of romantic, soft styles, so hopefully, these loose looks have inspired you!