Elegant Updos

Woman with an elegant updo and pin curls
Vintage can be elegant.

Whether you are attending a wedding, a formal dance or a black tie party, elegant updos are feminine and sophisticated hairstyle choices that are always in style.

Types of Elegant Updos

Adding that touch of sophistication to your hair is certain to help you feel more pulled together and chic when a special occasion calls for your best. While many elegant styles are best suited for medium to long hairstyles, there are a few classic looks that will also work for shorter hair.

The Twist

A French twist is hands down the easiest and most versatile of all the updo styles, perfect for a job interview, a casual date, or even a formal wedding.

Not only is a French twist a good option for shorter hair lengths, it's also an easy look to create at home. To create a simple French twist, brush hair to the back of the head, gather in a low ponytail, flip the end up and twist. Tuck the end of the twist into the middle of the head and secure with bobby pins or hairpins. Spray heavily and smooth flyaways with a firm hold hairspray.

To add adornment to a classic twist, you can add a faux flower or a sparkly rhinestone clip.

Half Up

Another popular style in the elegant updos category is half-updo looks. Half updos work great for layered hairstyles since hair will have lots of fullness and the opportunity to show off loose tendrils.

To create a half updo, set day old dry hair in heated hot rollers. Make sure rollers have reached their peak temperature by allowing them to warm up for at least 30 minutes. Roll hair and secure at the base for added volume. Mist heavily with hairspray and allow rollers to cool for another 30 minutes. If you have the time, let rollers cool as long as possible. The longer they stay on the scalp, the more secure the curl.

Once rollers are removed, grab the top section of the hair right above the ears. Pull hair up and secure in either a French twist style or with a fancy or adorned barrette. You can also create a simple half bun and insert a hair stick for an artsy look. Half updos are fun to create and always look soft and feminine.


The bun is a very chic and simple choice for gals seeking elegant updos. Buns can be worn in sleek or curled hair, allowing this style added versatility. To create a bun, gather hair in a ponytail and twist in a circular coil. Secure bun with a bobby pin, stick, or hair clip. To create a Geisha-like high bun, start with a high ponytail. For a nape-hugging bun, start with a low ponytail. No matter the height of your bun, it will always look fashionable and elegant.


Braids are another popular choice for elegant updo styles. Braids and plaits can accessorize a feminine or ethereal flowy gown or dress, so this choice is perfect for the romantic girly girl. Braids may require a professional stylist to look their best, and hair length plays a great role in the success of these styles. Long hair is best suited for braids. For a playful look, you can braid two pigtails and twist them into side buns. For a Grecian look, you can braid plaits across the top of the head, meeting on the other side. For a high-fashion and elegant look, opt for a side swept fishtail braid. A braided chignon is another option that always works for a modern bride.

Hire a Professional

Although a set of hot rollers, a can of hairspray, and a bundle of bobby pins are the only tools needed for creating many of these elegant updos, the skill of a professional stylist will ensure your look has staying power. If you have the time and the budget, book an appointment with your stylist prior to your special event and rely on their skills to create a sophisticated and feminine style.

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Elegant Updos