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Pulling your hair up might be the first choice for a jog in the park, but there’s a direct correlation between updos and feeling fancy, elegance, and formal affairs. The evidence is there, as these hairstyles so often reign on red carpets, the heads of those in wedding parties, and on prom night. They also have a reputation for being time-sensitive (a shout-out to the curly tendrils of the ’90s), hard to pull off in daylight or without an LBD, and way less carefree than those glossy waves the HAIM girls wear (and we envy) so well. Luckily, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. Longer in production they may be, but there are cool updo options out there, whether it’s a messy milkmaid braid or a ‘do that’s meant for a whole lot of accessories. Because we’re all about bringing back the ballerina bun in a runway-worthy way, we rounded up 15 of the coolest updos for you to try this year, whatever your fancy schmancy event be.
Possibly one-upping those braided, fabric adorned ponytails at the Chanel show a few seasons ago, this Dior ponytail is what’s up. It reinvented the idea of hair accessories by attaching links to hair extensions—and we dig it.
Looking for a look? A low side ponytail with a French twist on the other side will do it. Make sure to book a solid amount of time at the salon to get this ‘do right.
Extensions are a voluminous bun’s best friend. Wrapping them around the base of your bun, whether you’re doing solely that or pinning curls as well, will make your look all the more dramatic.
Twisting sections of hair and wrapping them over each other creates a really cool knotted effect—and it should be your go-to if braids are a “been there, done that” for you.
Wearing a boho-inspired dress to prom? Keep the vibe going strong with a milkmaid braid, a style that can easily be done at home by following a tutorial.
In a new twist on the milkmaid braid, instead of having your plait rest over your head like a headband, try securing the look in a U-shape in the back. You can layer multiple braids to make it standout. If you can create two French braid pigtails, this will be a cinch.
For the girl who can’t make up her mind between a messy bun, braids, and a decorative detail on her hair line, there’s this edgy style.
This faux-bob (which would be ideal for anyone with medium-length hair!) feels like something straight out of ‘The Great Gatsby.’ To get this ‘do to stay all day, you’ll want to stock up on the bobby pins.
Giving the Coachella crown a run for its money, this braided bun with floral veins draped through it is all things feminine and beautiful.
Control just how many flowers you want to decorate your ‘do with embellished bobby pins secured in an updo of loose, undone curls.
This look appears as if it has no seams, and if it does, the dramatic black bow completely hides it. Nonetheless, it’s an avant garde approach to updos.
The key to this twisted updo hairstyle is really the texture and the purposeful fly-aways. Because we all know the “woke up like this” trend isn’t slowing down any time soon, this style is a prom must-have.
Breaking up a ballerina bun that is secured at the back of the head into layered, tiny twists feels chic and futuristic.
MORE: Messy Prom Hairstyles
And the award for the easiest updo DIY goes to Celine with this slicked-back, twisted coil. To keep your hair from fanning out, make sure to saturate it with a styling serum when it’s still damp and set it in place with a finishing spray.
Tousled updos are hard to come by. Bookmark this pic when you’re looking for something that’ll start a conversation but won’t remind you of a pageant past.