25 Updo Hairstyles For Black Women
Wearing your hair up can feel tired. If you find yourself thinking, “ugh, another ponytail”, it’s time to inject some new life into your updo hairstyles. Whether your hair is natural or weaved, long or short, there’s a huge variety of updo styles you can wear. Styling your hair so that it rests on top of your head is commonly referred to as a “crown” style, so why not embrace wearing your own crown? We’ve put together a list that incorporates everyday styling techniques like braids, twists, and dreadlocks that have transformed the updo from boring to beautiful. Try one out for your next date night, special event, or any day when you wake up feeling like a queen.
1Chunky Pony Braid
This high ponytail in a jumbo braid was made popular after featured in Beyoncé’s video for “Upgrade U”. To recreate this style for yourself, put hair in a tight, high top knot (or small ponytail if it’s too short to twist into a knot) and loop Kanekalon hair around it. Fan Kanekalon over your top knot to hide your natural hair, and then braid down to the ends to complete the look.
2Roll and Tuck Bun
Known for being fierce and fabulous, leave it to Tyra Banks to turn a simple bun hairstyle into something new and interesting. Instead of twisting hair around in a typical top knot shape, individual sections of hair have been rolled and pinned to add multiple levels of definition. This is a great updo style for women with round faces, or anyone looking for a unique style for their next special occasion.
3Twisty Top Knot
An updo look that’s popular for both casual and dressed up looks, this version of the top knot is sleek and elegant, with no stray hairs out of place. The defined middle part is a simple but unusual addition that’s a standout detail on a classic style.
4The Princess Bun
In this gorgeous style, we get to see the softer side of Rihanna while she puts in another memorable red carpet appearance. Wearing an elegant hairstyle reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour, the side swept bang seen here is universally flattering, and classic makeup choices match the tone of the hair, complimenting rather than distracting from the overall look.
5Simple Braided Pony
Kerry Washington is keeping it simple with this sleek, mid height ponytail in a three strand braid. This chic updo has tons of styling options, and will match your style whether you’re wearing dramatic makeup and a gown with a plunging neckline, or keeping it fresh faced in skinny jeans and a crop top.
An easy style to wear with natural hair, Janet Jackson proves that messy curls can leave you looking very put together. To get this look, mist your hair with water, then apply an ample amount of curl mousse through your hair to smooth edges. After product is distributed, simply tie hair up to your desired height, and this simple updo is yours all day.
A super easy technique to do on your own hair, this updo is made up of many small flat twists that converge on the top of the head. With hair piled up high, this is the perfect style to show off your favorite oversized earrings and new bold lip color.
8Pinned Braid Updo
A lover of braids in their many forms, Alicia Keys put an elegant twist on the staple hairstyle with this loose braided updo that’s delicately pinned to the side. The overall look is more polished than a free hanging braid, and creates height that helps lengthen the face and slim the cheeks.
9High Class Low Bun
Another vintage inspired look, Lala Anthony’s red carpet style includes a big side bun that covers one ear, and an artfully swept bang that covers part of the forehead and shows off some chocolate brown highlighting.
Not only has Janelle Monae become an inspiration for women who wear their hair natural, but she’s done it while styling her hair herself. Janelle’s signature style, this rolled updo in a pompadour shape is bold enough to be attention grabbing, and the pompadour shape that’s typically seen in men’s styles contrasts with her feminine choices in bold lip color and bright, sparkly earrings.
11Updo With Heavy Bangs
Bangs are a simple way to change up your look in a young and fun way, and can help any updo style to better compliment your face. This heavy bang is especially flattering for women with oval faces, and longer pieces on the sides are a nice added detail for extra face framing.
12French Braided Bun
This style puts a twist on the french braids that we’re used to seeing towards the front of the head. With a braid running up the back and a bun piled high right against the hairline, this style has lots of interest, but doesn’t feature any difficult styling elements. Try it with or without the undercut nape, depending on how edgy you’d like your style to be.
Locks can be difficult to wear up once they’ve reached a certain length, as hair becomes quite heavy. This look puts hair in a half bun, half ponytail style that keeps hair out of your face without piling it all heavily on top of your head. To add some glamour to this style, try adding loc beads or jewels.
14Braided Bridal Style
For the ultimate special occasion, why not try a braided style on your wedding day? This bride has her box braids twisted into a side swept updo held together by a jewel embellished hairpiece, for a braided bridal style that’s as unique and chic as you are.
Showing that natural hair is anything but boring, this style features cornrowed sides to create a mohawk silhouette without any shaving or cutting required. Hair is left naturally curly on top, creating a nice mixture of braids and curls that look perfect with a flowy maxi dress for the ultimate summer style.
A wonderful updo choice for women of all ages, this sophisticated braided bun mixes ancient Greek style with modern elegance. This is a great wedding day style, and you can dress it up even more by adding a headband full of jewels or flowers.
This style looks classic and simple from the front, but the back view reveals this adorable, trendy bow. If you’re feeling more playful, try wearing the bow up high for more of a statement style.
18Jumbo Box Braid Bun
This gravity-defying bun takes trendy, ultra long box braids to the next level, and fits right in with Solange’s avant garde style. When paired with a tailored outfit, this is the perfect meeting of cutting edge trend and classic style.
With so many women going back to wearing their hair natural, the classic puff style is being seen more and more frequently. If you’ve given up on the puff, try styling it with headbands or wraps, hair jewels, or temporary color to breathe some new life into this classic style.
20Double Braided Puff
Adding two french or dutch braids to the front section of hair is an easy way to jazz up a simple puff style for women of any age.
21Double Puff Style
With all things ’90s coming back in vogue, double bun and pigtail hairstyles are an ultra trendy choice. If you’re feeling bored of a single puff hairstyle, this is an easy way to update the style without adding any more work to your morning routine.
Swap out your old ponytail for Beyonce’s chic version by adding big curls at the ends and wrapping the base of the pony with a piece of your own hair. This is a great style for showing off contrasting ombre color with lighter ends and darker roots.
This version of an updo for shorter hair features shaved down sides and the longer hair on top styled into a high volume pompadour.
24Pinned Up Messy Curls
Use a bold red lip and messy curls to create the ultimate vintage vixen style. To get this look, set hair in medium to large sized curls, and comb out with your fingers to loosen them slightly, then pin to one side, being sure to let some hair sweep across the forehead for added romantic detail.
25High Fashion Pony
Making appearances on almost every runway and red carpet this year, this ultra high, luxuriously long ponytail is a vamped up version of one of the most basic and popular hairstyles. By pulling the hair back all attention is placed on the wearer’s face, and this is a great styling option when wearing dresses with daring and interesting necklines that you don’t want your hair to distract from.