32 Cute & Easy Updos for Short Hair for Special Occasions

Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

Updos for short hair are a stylish and simple way to keep the strands out of your face and showcase your stylistic diversity. These are available in several styles to accommodate your every whim.

Furthermore, updo hairstyles are more resistant to humidity, wind, and rain than other hairstyles.

Heather Hider, a bridal hair specialist in Portland, ME, showed me how to get classy updos even with short hair. Read on for her advice.

💡 Key Things to Know First

  • Find a stylist you are confident with and schedule an appointment to try out your chosen hairstyle!
  • You can rock any updo if your hair is thick and longer than your chin.
  • If your hair is too short and thin, opt for a cute half-do or some fun textured waves, or consider clip-in extensions!
  • A lovely short hair updo may be achieved with the help of tiny elastics, bobby pins, the right products, and a determined hairstylist.
  • Get the most out of your stylist appointment by discussing your goals, setting reasonable expectations, and being flexible.

Check out these pictures of the classiest updos for short hair so you may copy one the next time you feel like revamping your look!

Short messy updo with headband braid
Instagram @hair_cw

#1: Short Messy Updo with Headband Braid

Give a short, messy updo with a headband braid a try if you want an updo that looks like you have long hair. Braids are fantastic for giving the illusion of length and thickness because they can be pulled apart or ‘pancaked’ to appear bigger. Styling short hair with a braided updo allows an elegant look beyond the basic curls. Add a colored extension to the braid for a temporary pop of brightness and interest in the updo.

Messy Updo for Short Curls
Instagram @rabichepow.fuuji

#2: Messy Updo for Short Curls

Flaunt your ash brown hair and curls in an intriguing short hair updo that will be perfect for a formal event. A loose messy curls updo like this can make your thin hair seem fuller.

Sexy Short Updo with Hair Accessories
Instagram @tonyastylist

#3: Short Updo with Hair Accessories

When you are piecing together your bridal look, I suggest you follow after your dress and venue. Updo hairstyles for short hair are a great option for showcasing your open neck and shoulders. With hair accessories, it’s easy to elevate a simple style. They are often used to camouflage pins and elastic and conceal your veil.

Feminine Short Wavy Updo
Instagram @theupdodarling

#4: Feminine Short Wavy Updo

This textured swept-away short hair updo looks very feminine and romantic. It gives details through the texture and keeps things soft and elegant throughout. This chic updo for short wavy hair is achievable using the right combination of products and techniques with hot tools. Evaluating your face shape, accessories, and dress style will help determine whether such formal upstyles for short hair are best for you!

Short Curly Hair Updo
Instagram @liezelstyles

#5: Cute Short Curly Hair Updo

Add dimension and body to your short curly hairdo by adding a little texture to your hairstyle. This messy pinned updo isn’t complete without the small white flower hair accessories.

Elegant updo for older women
Instagram @alaine23

#6: Elegant Updo for Older Women

An elegant updo for older women gives a playful and youthful look. A loose low bun is a great way to style short hair for a formal event. Leave a few hairpieces out to drape softly over the ear and neck. It will give a modern look to the formal updo.

#7: Bouffant Half Updo for a Bob

A bouffant half updo for a bob gives new light to a haircut that can become boring when styled the same daily. If you have short hair, an asymmetrical bob or similar cut will give you a fresh look and spice up the style. A thick haircut in a bob can be managed by utilizing a half-up hairstyle, as it takes width away from the face. Add a dry texture spray for fine hair and pull the curls or pinned parts out to expand them and give a fuller look.

#8: Feathered Updo for a Short Bob

Short bob hairstyles are perfect for the carefree “I woke up like this” elegance. Feathering makes messy look elegant and thin or fine hair look fuller. If you don’t know how to style your bob, this is perfect because mistakes or flyaways can lend themselves to the overall relaxed elegance style. Fine-haired ladies should try a volume powder for fullness, volume, and longer-lasting hold.

French twist updo for shorter hair
Instagram @avantsalon

#9: French Twist Updo

A French twist updo for shorter hair gives a timeless elegance to a more mature client. If you are attending a black-tie event or like to dress up with timeless elegance, a French twist makes the perfect formal hairstyle. Make sure to use a very light finishing hairspray to tame flyaways for a more polished look, and avoid heavy or wet hairsprays that will separate pieces and take away from the overall smooth, polished elegance.

#10: Amazing Asymmetrical Braided Updo

An asymmetrical braided updo is an excellent choice for women looking to give the illusion of a full head of luscious long locks. Short hair lends itself well to messy hairstyles, and adding an asymmetrical braid brings an element of class and romance to the overall look. You can avoid flyaways by using shorter layered pieces to add volume and texture to the braid while keeping a disheveled elegant updo.

Low-maintenance updo for shorter hair
Instagram @junebughair

#11: Low-Maintenance Updo

Try a low-maintenance updo if your hair is hard to style or loses curl quickly. If you have very layered, coarse, or hard-to-style hair, a low-maintenance updo is an easy and effective way to go. Fine-haired women should use texture spray or powder for grit, hold, and volume. Coarse-haired women should use a dry blow cream and a round brush to smooth flyaways and unruly hair.

#12: Chic High Ponytail for Short Locks

A high ponytail for short locks is a bold and powerful hairdo that can be worn sleek, dramatic, messy, and casually. The everyday businesswoman could easily utilize a sleek high ponytail on dirty hair to keep it professional and dynamic. Pair such hair ‘dos for short hair with your favorite office outfit, and you’ll be ready to show the world who you are. To maximize a sleek look, the natural oils from greasy hair can help, or apply a shine oil and tame flyaways for a bold and polished look.

#13: Elegant Twisted Bun Updo

An elegant twisted buns updo can be a fantastic way to create a chic hairdo with the ability to be worn for both classy, elegant events like a prom as well as a relaxed everyday style. Simple twists and buns are perfect for short hair, fine hair, or a busy lifestyle. If you have long hair, start with a low ponytail before making it a messy bun.

Trendy Top knot for short hair
Instagram @chloenbrown

#14: Trendy Top Knot for Short Hair

Try a top knot for short hair for that perfectly carefree style. Half-up styles are perfect for second-day hair and can add height and volume. Pull some small pieces out to frame your face and give an even softer, more natural appearance. Try dressing it up with some soft waves and pulling pieces around your face for a romantic and elegant hairstyle that is still carefree and natural. If you have very thick hair, this is a great way to reduce bulk and lift the face’s overall appearance.

#15: Twisted Bouffant Updo for Short Hair

Try a twisted bouffant updo for short hair to give the illusion of full hair. If you want to add the illusion of long hair done up in an elegant updo, the twists in the updo create the illusion of length. Customizable to match your hair length and style needs, this is a quick and beautiful way to add elegance to your style. To add lots of volume, use Puff me Powder while twisting and gently pull the twists apart to expand them.

Modern Short hairstyle with fishtail braid
Instagram @calirae_beauty

#16: Modern Short Hairstyle with Fishtail Braid

A short hairstyle with a fishtail braid is a perfect way to do a simple and elegant style than can be done on fine or thick hair. Fishtail braids are a great style for short hair because they do not require a lot of lengths to stay in place. Dress it up with beautiful accessories, or keep it casual by pulling the braid slightly to mess it up. Finish with beachy waves, and you’ve got a perfect short style.

Loose Side Braid Updo for Short Hair
Instagram @wb_upstyles

#17: Loose Side Braid Updo for Short Hair

This charming hair weaved through blonde highlights and brunette roots creates an enchanting loose side braid updo hairstyle on short hair with various dimensions.

Chic and Formal Updo for Short Hair
Instagram @hair_vera

#18: Chic and Formal Updo

Wow your guests on your special day with glistening short hair. Finish your updo hairstyle for short hair with a cute accessory or earrings for a flirty look!

Twisted Chignon Low Bun for Shorter Hair
Instagram @hair.by.nata

#19: Twisted Chignon Low Bun for Shorter Hair

This chignon updo for short hair is a popular choice. The best thing about this low bun style is that it’s effortless and beautiful simultaneously. It looks elegant, and it’s comfortable to wear.

I would recommend this chignon updo for shorter hair to ladies for the following reasons: it’s suitable for any kind of event where you want to look classy and can be done on any hair type or length. To recreate this hairstyle, do one or two low ponytails to twist them together. Curl your hair if needed to add texture and slight movement.

Whimsical & Fun Updo
Instagram @tonyastylist

#20: Whimsical & Fun Updo

This unique but casual updo for shorter hair is whimsical and fun. It can work for a casual or formal occasion. If your hair is thin, this style may look different and require more effort and product. The look consists of a combo of twists and braids pulled out to create a fuller look or fill any gaps.

#21: Romantic Braided Crown Updo

This short hairstyle is a fun, romantic, braided crown updo with pinned ends. It’s polished enough to ensure it would hold up for a night of dancing! Having shorter/fine hair can be challenging to create an updo with. However, braids that show off the dimensional hair color while adding texture and hold to your hair can be the perfect solution!

Short hair updos are easy to style if you consider the outfit and setting. Hair length and texture make a huge difference, but if you have at least shoulder-length hair, you could achieve something close to this look. Products are amazing in helping achieve any short updo hair styles.

#22: Edgier Braids on Short Hair

The best thing about this braided updo hairstyle on short hair is that it boosts super textured hair! For such a hairdo for short hair, preparation is key! My number one tip is to get the braids to look neat as possible, so it won’t be very difficult to smooth the hair out later. I used a ‘dust’ product to make her hair ‘dirty,’ so it had some grip. Use enough to hold the style in all day because short hair braids tend to fall out if not tight enough or if enough product isn’t used.

All-Occasion Fancy Updo
Instagram @bllushbeauty

#23: All-Occasion Fancy Updo

This updo for short hair can be used as a look or for a special occasion. This style looks great on girls with shoulder-length to long hair. For styling, have a good hairspray and a smaller barrel curling iron. I used the Aveda Air Control hairspray for this look. If you’re the type of woman that likes the messy but elegant look, these updo hairstyles for short hair are for you! It’s so much easier to achieve this style if you have a strong base of the hair to secure your hair pins and your bobby pins. To make it look like you have more hair, start the style further down on the head and ensure the short pieces’ ends are tucked in and secure.

#24: Stylish Short Pixie Updo

This is an easily styled short updo worn casually or formally on a night out. Most women with short pixie hair believe nothing can be done other than a nice blowout or some beach waves. But it can be easily done with bobby pins and hairspray.

Keep your natural hair dirty (textured naturally, meaning curly hair, or even with some dry texture spray). I recommend Oribe Swept Up or Dry Texture Spray. Hairdos for short hair like this can give anyone the feeling that they took a good amount of time doing their hair, even though it only takes five to ten minutes. Whether you’re late to work and have bedhead, you can easily cover it up by adding curls or waves and some braids on both sides and bobby pinning them up.

#25: Princess-Like Laced Style for Short Mane

This short hairstyle is a laced updo style with long side bangs. I love how the shortness of the hair didn’t affect the detail of the style. The layering of the individual pieces over each other gives a floral twist to the style rather than an overly structured feel. I didn’t want to add more height but wanted the hair off the face to keep it comfortable. Soften your updos for short hair with a sweeping side fringe.

Twisted Chic Updo
Instagram @dollhousedo

#26: Twisted Chic Updo

This look can be dressed up or down and is best for shorter hair. It’s one of those easy updos for short hair. If a woman with long hair is considering this hairstyle,  the back would look fuller and need more twists.

This is one of the easy hairstyles for short hair that will last. This should be your go-to if you need something to stay in all day or all night! The twist in the back helps secure the hair so you don’t have shorter pieces of hair falling.

#27: Cute and Fun Braided Updo

Who says you can’t have fun and cute updos for short hair? This style works great on shorter hair! This an elegant updo that’s suitable for all sorts of occasions. Part off a rectangular section at the top of the head, starting wide at the forehead and gradually narrower until stopping a couple of inches past the crown. Then use a texturizing powder and tease the section lightly. Now it’s prepped to do your French braid. Keep the braid loose and use a clear rubber band to secure it. Pull apart the braid to make it as thick as you’d like. Roll the end of the braid and attach it with bobby pins.

Section off both the front sides from ear to ear. Loosely pull your hair from both sections back and secure. Loosely braid the ends of those sections and twist and secure how you’d like. Part off three sections at the nape of the neck. Stagger the sections a little to hide the part lines. Braid each section and secure it with a clear rubber band. Pull apart the braids to loosen and attach.

#28: 40s-Inspired Victory Roll Style

This is a 1940s-inspired victory roll style with a side part. It’s an old Hollywood updo for short hair, created to mimic the fighter plane maneuvers. Women wore it to support their husbands at war and keep hair out of their faces when they first entered the workforce.

Victory rolls are commonly associated with the “pin-up” look. I love what these short upstyles represent and how something so classic looks great with a limited length. For shorter hair, you want to make sure to curl the hair with a smaller iron (3/4-inch) to get the needed hold to create the roll. For the back, you want to keep the small curls intact without brushing them out to give it that pin-curled look.

Simple Short Bohemian Updo
Instagram @jennymitchhair

#29: Simple Short Bohemian Updo

This is a simple half-up half-down style with a small pop of boho flair. A good texturizing powder is a game-changer for any braided style. We used Kristin Ess Working Texture Loose Styling Powder at the crown, followed by a small tease for volume. After creating the braid, I applied more texture powder directly to the braid and pulled it apart to get a thicker and fuller appearance.

This bohemian updo for short hair is perfect for any lady with fine hair density looking for something simple with a little twist. Women who are limited on time are the perfect candidates for a pop of fun to a simple style like this DIY look.

#30: Textured and Braided Updo for a Bob Cut

This braided look has texture, is versatile, and is great for women who need their hair off their faces. Sometimes it’s hard to develop a sophisticated updo that works with a short bob, but with the look of this braid, short-haired girls can be included!

The braid is an inside-out braid, or the Dutch braid. Each strand is brought under one another instead of over. The tighter you braid in the beginning, the more likely it will stay. Once you’ve finished the braid and have it pinned, you can gently pull the hair to give it a bigger, more textured style. Have extra bobby pins to pin little pieces that stick back into the braid. Short updos like this work well for any hair type and texture (fine to coarse, straight or curly, etc.).

#31: Elegant Date Night Side-Bun on Short Tresses

Here’s an elegant side bun with movement. Updos for short hair are for date nights or wedding days! After looking at various ideas of updos for short hair, I decided to do the plaited style made into roses. The best thing about it is the movement and how it swirled, which is used to finish the ends. The result is simple, yet not boring at all.

I recommend short hair updos for ladies wanting to make the most of short layers at the sides rather than gluing them down with hairspray. The back of the hair could be for any length, but it would do best on shorter hair.

Easy Low Messy Bun Hairstyle for Short Hair
Instagram @krystal_marquez

#32: Easy Low Messy Bun Hairstyle

Go for an easy low messy bun created by twisting the hair. I recommend that your hair is not too long or short. The shoulder-length cut was enough. If only it were not too layered. Huge amounts of super sleek and thick hair are tricky to work with when it comes to updos for short hair. This short hair updo was made for a female guest attending a lovely summer wedding. Looser buns are perfect for many occasions and styles since they can be personalized in many ways.