How to Style an Elegant Updo in 5 Minutes or Less

How to Style an Elegant Updo in 5 Minutes or Less

Running late? Try this five-minute updo for your next party.

By: Sarah James

Who says you have to wait until the new year to refresh your beauty and fashion repertoire? Between company parties, friends’ soirees and family gatherings, now is the time to debut some new and improved looks, and this five-minute updo is perfect for the holidays. It’s easy, lovely and just about anyone with shoulder-length or longer hair can achieve it. If you’re thinking that styling an updo is never as easy as tutorials make it look online, rest assured. This look can be created in five minutes or less!

Step 1
Section your entire head of hair in half, and secure each half with an elastic at the back of your head (not the side).

Step 2
Braid each section of hair and secure at the bottom of each braid with an elastic. Don't worry if the braids aren’t perfect — that’s the beauty of this hairstyle!

Step 3
Tie the two sections of hair into a knot — it doesn’t matter which side goes over the top and which is on the bottom.

Step 4
Take the ends of the braids and tuck them into the base of the knot area. Depending on the length of your hair, you can tuck them above or below the knot. Use spin pins or bobby pins to secure both sections of the hair.

Step 5
Voilà! Simple, easy and elegant.

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when creating this style:


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  • Hairspray is your friend
  • Light teasing before pulling your hair into sections will make it more pliable and easy to style
  • Day-old (or third- or fourth-day) hair is much easier to style
  • Don’t worry if little flyaways stick out — the charm of this hairstyle is the lovely, undone look

Now, go forth and enjoy your holiday shindig!

Sarah can be found contributing her musings on style, beauty and parenting at her personal blog, Whoorl, as well as the popular beauty website Hair Thursday. Her blogs have been featured on “The Rachael Ray Show,” ABC’s “Nightline” and in The New York Times.

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