What is a Half Updo?

Jessica Ellis

A half updo is a hairstyle in which half of the hair is styled, tied back, or fastened up, while the other half remains loose. With dozens of variations, half-up hairdos are popular styles for everyday wear as well as for special events. Half updo styles can take minutes or hours, depending on the look desired.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Typically, a half-up hairstyle uses the top and sides of hair to create the up portion of the look. This hair is typically gathered and further styled by braiding, tying into buns, or simply clipping together. The bottom layers of hair are usually allowed to cascade loose, creating a finished section on the top or back of the head with a waterfall of hair below. Because the lower half is left loose to create a full or dramatic effect, half updo styles are often easier and more effective when done on longer hair.

To prepare for making a beautiful half updo, wash hair and dry normally. If hair tends to frizz, use a small amount of smoothing lotion or frizz-fighting products. Keep hairspray and a brush handy to help lock style in place, and use clips and hairbands that are gentle and will not damage hair or scalp.

One extremely easy half updo is called the flip or pull-through. To create, take the front layers of hair above the ear on each side and pull together in the back with a ponytail holder, bobby pins, or clips. Using fingers, pull hair apart to create an opening just above the band or clips. Take the remaining, undone hair and tuck over the top, pulling through the opening and allowing to cascade down the neck and back. The finished look, which takes only minutes to create, can be elegant and reminiscent of classic 1940s style.

A far more complicated version of a half updo is a princess-like look, that may be easiest accomplished with the help of a friend or hair stylist. Pull top half of hair back and secure in a loose bun, allowing some hair to fall free in the back. Pull a few strands out of the bun to frame the face. Curl face-framing tendrils, loose ends, and the lower layer of hair to create a wavy, flowing style or straighten hair first for a more formal, smoother look. Accent the bun with a fresh or fake flower, or bejeweled clips. This type of style is quite popular for formal events like weddings and school dances.

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