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Curly Updos You’ll Love

Has anyone here ever gone to the salon to get curly updos?

It’s kind of the most insane experience. First they have to straighten your hair (which they charge you extra for), and then they spend another hour, re-curling your hair.

Can someone please explain to me how on earth that makes sense?

Oh right, it doesn’t.

And guess what? You don’t have to live this way! You can actually start with your natural hair when you want to create a formal curly hairstyle. Shocking I know.

“Natural, curly hair is instant updo hair,” says Mia Emilio, Senior Stylist at Devachan NY, and curly updo QUEEN.

From prom to a sweet sixteen to a wedding, you have options for curly updo hairstyles you won’t even have to pay for (except for the extra bobby pins). To prove to you it’s possible, we teamed up with Mia to create four simple curly hair updos you can do at home. Yes, really.

Supplies you will need: Hairspray. A lot of Hairspray.

Bobby pins – the really strong, large ones. If you think you have enough of them at home, you probably don’t. Go out and buy another pack. Be prepared to never see them again after this. You guys know the drill.

Curly half updo

This simple romantic style takes ten minutes, and approximately 25 bobby pins.

Step 1: Start with second day hair, that way your curls are fuller and more voluminous. Section your hair, by drawing a line behind one ear, over to the other.

Step 2: Create a base, for some added height. Take the middle of your top section of hair, lift the curls up, and gently tease with a comb, raking towards the scalp in short strokes. Bring the hair down to create a slight bump for height, and secure in place with bobby pins.

Step 3: Even out the “bump” by using the tail end of a comb, or a smooth chopstick, to lift curls within the section.

Step 4:  Take the top left section of your curls and bring it across towards the right side, the hair should cover the bobby pins from bump. Pin the hair in place. Repeat on the other side. You can leave a few curls out in the front or pin them all back.  Finish with a lot of hairspray.

Curly wedding updo: low side bun

Fun fact this look took 47 bobbypins. Yes. Forty seven. #CurlyHairProblems.

Step 1: Create the half up, half down look from earlier.

Step 2: Take the right side of your hair and loosely roll it in towards your nape, and to the left. As you roll place pins in vertically from the nap of your neck towards the top of your head. This will secure the roll in place.

Step 3: Gather all of your hair, and starting from the ends roll your hair up, over itself towards your ear until a bun is formed.

Step 4: Secure with pins. Finish with a lot of hairspray.

Surprisingly easy curly hair updos: high bun

Ever tried to put a sock bun into curly hair? Bet you regretted that decision. Turns out curly girls have enough natural volume to create this look, sans spongy accessory. But you will need bobbypins. Obviously. I used 45.

Step 1: Create a slicked back ponytail, to get the edges extra smooth, mist the back of a comb with hair spray, and smooth it over your hair.

Step 2: Split your ponytail into four quadrants.

Step 3: Tuck and roll the first section up and over towards the center of the ponytail. Then secure with pins. Repeat with each quadrant, to create a “four leaf clover.”

Step 4: Use bobbypins to blend the section together and pin down any pesky curls that stand up.

Perfectly suited natural curly hair updos: slicked back bump

A little bit edgy, this fierce look plays up the dimension of curly texture. Start with second day hair for extra volume.

Step 1: Start by sectioning off the front of your hair. Draw a line up from the middle of each of your eyebrows towards the crown, creating a triangle like shape, secure up and out of the way with a clip.


Step 2: Of the hair that remains, section from the front to behind your ear, pull this hair forward. Mist it with water. Use a comb or a brush to smooth these curls back towards the center of your hair. Secure by pinning bobbypins vertically. Secure with hairspray. To make it extra smooth, mist the back of a comb with hair spray, and smooth it over your hair.

Step 3: Take the “triangle section” of your hair and divide it in half, pulling one section forward and another back. Use a comb to tease the back section as much as possible. Bring this hair back and create a “bump,” securing it in place with pins.  The ends of your curls should lay over the vertical bobbypins from the previous step.

Step 4: Use a chopstick to elevate the teased part of your hair, creating a dome-like shape. Cover the teased hair, with the remaining front section and pin in towards the scalp to secure.

Coming up with updos for short curly hair

Though I obviously don’t have the short hair to show you any awesome styles, I promise that some rocking updos for short curly hair exist. Pinterest can back me up here! From faux hawks to smoothed and pinned braids to a pushed-forward tumble of curls, there’s plenty out there for you to learn. Besides, if all else fails, there are some amazing decorated pins and headbands that you can slide into your hair for an easy glow-up.

Which of these looks is your favorite? Do you have any go-to curly hairstyles for formal occasions? Share with us in the comments below!

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