Summer Updos

We are rapidly approaching the hottest part of the season, and I don’t know about you, but I need my hair OFF MY NECK.

Now, I’m a little bobby-pin challenged, but the beauty of current summer updos is that a messy, imperfect look is the ultimate goal. Long gone are the days of stiff, hair-sprayed helmet heads. (Thank God.)

Just remember:

Perfect updo = Matronly

Messy updo = Soft and feminine

Here are three fail-proof summer updos that are absolutely fun and fresh.

What you need:

Bobby pins (if bobby pins aren’t your thing, try these tiny jaw clips)

A brush (to smooth out any tangles, although we didn’t use one)

That’s it!

The first video is a modern side bun.

Updo – Single Side Bun from Hair Thursday on Vimeo.

When placing the bobby pins, be sure to use the flat side of the pin against your scalp and DON’T TRY TO GRAB TOO MUCH HAIR WITH THE PIN. That’s the common mistake many (um, ME) seem to make – just push the pin into the hair, grabbing a little bit of hair at a time. For thick hair, you will need to use many bobby pins. (Or try the mini-claws shown above. Just make sure that the claws are well hidden.)

If you have thick hair, try creating two side buns on top of one another.

Updo – Side Bun For Thick Hair from Hair Thursday on Vimeo.

Asymmetrical not your cup of tea? Try these double knots.

Updo – Double Knot from Hair Thursday on Vimeo.

If you’re new to updos, these might take a little practice, but I promise you’ll be donning modern and feminine updos in no time!

What about you? Do you have any easy updos that you love?

  • The Muse

    July 30, 2008 at 9:07 am

    I love doing a ponytail with a little bit of teasing at the crown on a day where I dry my hair naturally (so I get some texture to the tail), or pulling the top half of it back, teasing it and pinning it back, then doing a low, asymmetrical ponytail over one shoulder. Quick, easy, and off my neck, which, in this Georgia heat & humidity, is all I can ask for!

  • Jaclyn

    July 30, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Awesome. I love messiness. Going to practice now. Thank you!

  • Rebecca

    July 30, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Help! I have hair that is just above my shoulders. I’d love to put it up, because it sticks to my neck, but a bun just isn’t an option. Could you do a post on updos (or partial updos) for those of us who are length-challenged?

  • jenvictoria

    July 30, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Very, very helpful! Thank you!

  • sizzle

    July 30, 2008 at 9:54 am

    See I just have super short hair and skip all this hair fussing. :-)

  • jora

    July 30, 2008 at 10:01 am

    I really like the look of these. Especially the off-center ones.

  • Chiada

    July 30, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Great videos! Thanks for sharing this with us. I just scrounged up a couple bobby pins from my makeup bag and did the side updo from video one in the bathroom at work. It looks great! I never would have thought of twisting the hair to get it over to the side. I would have just swept or brushed it over to the side. But the twisting gives it a nice look.

    Since I’ve almost always had long hair I’ve used my imagination over the years to keep things different and fun. A couple updos I like are: 1) the very high pony tail with the Gwen Stefani type rise in the front. Kindof rockabilly-ish. Sometimes to finish it off I’ll wrap a small section of hair around the elastic to hide it. 2) The pulled-through pony. Where you secure your hair very loosely with an elastic. Then split the hair above the elastic in half and pull the pony through it so it creates twists on either side of the pony. This can be modified in several ways. (the topsy-tail look http://www.1worldmall.com/hairstylingtool/ ); 3) the pony with several elastics spaced evenly down the length of the hair for a retro look; and 4) the barrel roll updo where you first make a ponytail anywhere you like. then separate the hair into 5 sections. Roll each section around two fingers and then pin it against the head going around the ponytail holder so it sort of makes a flower. Kinda mid-90’s, I know, but hey, anything can look good depending on how one wears it.

  • amy

    July 30, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Ooo, see I LOVE bobby pins. I usually twist n’ pin smaller sections of hair in a similar “low bun” style, but since it’s smaller chunks (hence lots more bobby pins, closer to a dozen) it creates a funky, hip piecy look with all the ends sticking out. I guess it wouldn’t create the same effect on really long hair, but for those of us with a little below/or at shoulder length, this is a nice alternative. Especially if there’s not quite enough hair to do an actual knot.

  • jolie

    July 30, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Nice! Going to try one of these beauties for work tonight.

  • rosalicious

    July 30, 2008 at 11:57 am

    I’ve totally been rockin’ the side bun this summer! Glad it got the HT seal of approval! :)

  • Groovymarlin

    July 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    I suppose I’m terribly passé, like those chicks who use the clamp on their curling irons and get French manicures, but when it’s really hot I twist my just-below-jaw-length bob and clamp it to the back of my head with a jaw/butterfly clip type thing. No crazy colors or decorations – plain black or faux tortoise works for me. It keeps my hair off my neck, out of my face, and the curvy ends coming out of the top of the clip bend over and swing rather gracefully.

    This is a casual look though, for shopping or doing whatever on weekends. I never wear it like this to work. Am I banned for admitting I use such an implement?

  • Kristin

    July 30, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I totally miss my long hair and will now start growing it out, hope these are in style next summer!

  • caleal

    July 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I am so in love with these videos. I sat here and did the double side bun, with no mirror, just mimicking the hands on the screen.

    It it looks… good!… How did that happen?

    We definitely need more of these!

  • Leticia

    July 30, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Love these videos. You are such a hair goddess.

  • bethany

    July 30, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Great, these come three days after I cut my hair and am pretty sure it’s too short to twist o bun:( whaaaa! Love these videos though!

  • Katrina

    July 30, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve been rockin’ these Heidi braids all summer after seeing a friend do them. They are excellent, and so much easier than they look.


  • Stefpie

    July 31, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I’m sporting the double buns today!!

    With slightly neater buns, I find its totally acceptable for work! (But then again, my office is slightly more casual than some might be.)

    OH, and Groovymarlin, I use those jaw clip thingies all the time!! It does the job of a ponytail (out of face and off neck) while looking slightly more sophisticated.

  • sunny

    July 31, 2008 at 2:38 am

    this is a great post – thanks, whoorl!

    I like Sarah Michelle Gellar’s look here:

    you french braid the font of your hair and then sweap the rest up.

    There are a lot of tutorials on the web about french braiding and when you are only doing a small section – its not too hard.

    There’s also something about french braids that allows you to pull off funky/chunky earrings with it!

  • Danielle

    July 31, 2008 at 6:48 am

    With curls and layers and frizz and OMG TOO MANY MOVING PARTS, this simplicity is right up my aisle. And excuse to be messy! ‘Cause, seriously, my hair just will.not.do what I tell it. I want to try the double buns in the video of your hair so badly that I’m considering leaving work to buy bobby pins and setting up camp in the bathroom. I’m beach-bound on Saturday, so this is perfectly timed for taming my locks while on vacation.

  • Liz

    July 31, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Ooohh, thank you! I love these videos, great ideas.

    It’s not inventive at all, but on really hot days I blow-dry my bangs and leave the rest of my hair wet, then twist it into a bun in about the middle of my head. When I get to work and un-twist it, it usually looks nice and wavy. If it doesn’t back up it goes! But these will be great to try for variety.

    Oh, and I’d love to try to french braid my bangs to the side (a la Lauren Conrad), but I can’t french braid for the life of me! A video for us french braid challenged, maybe?


  • Gia

    July 31, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I think these tutorials are a fresh way to do a messy look. Loved them. More, more pleeze!

    My favorite look that can be sleek and elegant OR messy and beachy is a low ponytail and separate it into one inch sections. Twist a section at a time until it collapses into a little knot and then pin it. If you have thin hair do like 4-5 and thick hair like me do 6-8. Pin all around ponytail and leave ends poking out. It gets me compliments all the time. It also works no matter the length. I will try it off to the side now because of these side buns you showed. Awesome!! :P

  • Amy

    July 31, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Super helpful! Thanks for posting these! I get tired of a ponytail everyday. These videos have given me new ideas.

  • sallysitwell

    August 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Dude, wait, what? You’re supposed to put the flat smooth side of the bobby pin against your scalp? Like…always? Or just with these? I never, ever have the flat side to my scalp. The wavy bumpy side is against my scalp and the flat side is up.

    Anyway, these are all super stinking cute but since my very-thick hair is just now finally hitting my jawline, I think these will wait for next summer.

    In school, we used to do the very super cool sock bun. You take a sock (logically in one in a similar color to your hair color but whatever, everybody just used white) and cut off the foot section. Then you roll up the ankle part so it looks like a sock donut. Then you put your hair in a ponytail and put your ponytail through the sock donut. Then you take all the extra ponytail hair and cover the up the sock with it, wrapping around also depending on how long your hair is. Then you hold it all down with more rubber bands OR if it’s 1998 and you’re in 5th grade, a giant scrunchy in a plaid that matches your school uniform and shoelaces. Oh, yes. We were cool. I mean…well, except for the “cool” part. But we were something, all right.

  • Sandhya

    August 1, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Okay, why won’t the videos work for me anymore?? They’re not even showing up on my screen! HELP!

  • miguelina

    August 5, 2008 at 7:03 am

    *smacks forehead*

    Even *I* can do that – and they’re super cute. Thanks!

  • Jennifer

    August 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I have long (hitting the middle-bottom of my shoulder blades), thick hair, and what I’ve done for the past.. oh, umpteen years, is what I think of as a modified French twist/bun. I started doing this because I hated the kink I’d get if I left my hair in a ponytail the entire day. I divide my hair in half horizontally, twist the bottom portion around the top, then keep twisting until it doubles back on itself. All this twisting means that I only need a small jaw clip to keep all my hair up, which people find amazing. (I have a lot of hair.) Also – super-nice waves when I let my hair down!

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  • megan

    June 30, 2009 at 8:33 am

    love these do’s!!! i am alwats looking for ways 2 do my hair up and this helps cause in florida its like in the 90’s everyday!!!! thanks alot and im hopeing you make more!!!!:)

  • megan

    June 30, 2009 at 8:35 am

    hey i just typed one and it said i did it at 8:33 but its 11:34 here so it must just be the time zones lol

  • Katie

    August 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

    hi! i just found your website! these look like perfect styles this summer. i have a quick question to ask. Is it still stylish to have two pigtail braids or is it still old-fashion? Thank you!

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