How to Master the Ubiquitous Updo


There’s been a little bit of backlash toward hair being left down and undone,” says New York hair- stylist Harry Josh about the season’s styled-bun trend. “You show more intention and innovation when you put your hair up.” Bicoastal hairstylist Jennifer Yepez adds that an updo can lend an edgy or laid-back element to an outfit, depending on how you style it. No matter your preference, your ideal bun can be achieved in a few simple steps.

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One Bun, Two Ways

“Many of my clients want a cool ’90s look,”Yepez says. “It shouldn’t seem too done.”


Rose Huntington-Whiteley

Stefanie Keenan

  1. “It’s almost impossible to get this style if you don’t begin with some texture,” Yepez explains. Start with second-day hair, or spritz on a product like Garnier Fructis Style Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray. For straighter strands, Josh recommends curling dry hair haphazardly with a one-inch iron (try T3 Defined Curls Clip Barrel) to add dimension.
  2. Section off the top layer of your hair, then twist the remaining layers into a bun aligned with the tops of your ears. You can play with proportion by pinning it loosely or tightly.
  3. Pull out a few face-framing strands from the part you sectioned off, then gently tuck the rest into the bun with pins to preserve the relaxed vibe. “It’s supposed to be messy but still have structure,” Yepez says.
  4. Finish with a spritz of light hair spray (try Sachajuan Hairspray Light and Flexible). “When the style appears sticky and untouchable, it ruins the whole effect,” Josh warns.

    Gigi Hadid

    Nicholas Hunt


    Karlie Kloss

    Edward Berthelot

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    “A fierce, tight bun instantly makes you appear pulled together,” says Josh, who coiffed Kate Bosworth.


    Kate Bosworth

    Andrew Toth

    1. Begin with clean, damp hair for maximum workability. Yepez, who styled Bella Hadid’s bun at far left, always preps with a combination of a heat protectant (we like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, $5) and her favorite mousse, Kérastase Mousse Bouffante. She notes that mousse isn’t just for creating volume: “If you use it when you’re doing a slick look, the style will last longer.”
    2. Blow-dry hair in sections, pulling it taut with a large, flat brush, such as Harry Josh Pro Tools Premium Oval Brush, while aiming the dryer nozzle downward along the hair shaft to smooth out waves. Use the brush to pull hair either straight back for a no-part style, or to the sides to create a part that flatters your face shape.
    3. Gather hair into a high ponytail, being sure to check the sides and back for bumps.
    4. Twist the ponytail into a bun, pinning underneath the elastic as you go to anchor it firmly.
    5. Mist with hair spray, then follow with shine-enhancing dry oil. “That’s what makes it red-carpet worthy,” Josh says. His pick: Serge Normant Meta Sheer Dry Oil Finishing Spray.

      Daniele Venturelli


      Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock


      Stephen Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

      This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of ELLE.



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