Hairstyle How-to: Easy braided updo tutorial

Hair Romance hairstyle how to - easy braided upstyle

Hairstyle how to - easy braided upstyle

This braided hairstyle tutorial was inspired by an Instagram photo I posted. It’s a quick and easy braided updo that anyone can do. It looks complicated but they are just basic braids (plaits) so it’s very simple to do in your own hair.

On that day, I had planned to wear my hair out, but the weather changed and my hair was a bit of a mess. I decided to wear my hair up and threw this braid together. I took a photo just to show my fave new trend – the back badge – but you loved the hairstyle and asked for a tutorial so here it is!

Here’s the photo that inspired this post and the tutorial is below. Please note the back badge, my favourite new way to wear brooches and badges, but more on that later.

Hair Romance braided updo via Instagram

Hairstyle how-to: Easy braided updo tutorial

Hairstyle how to - Hair Romance easy braided upstyle tutorial


  1. Leaving a section loose on either side of your face, and gather the rest of your hair back into a ponytail. Pull gently at the top of your ponytail so it’s not too tight.
  2. Braid half of the hair on the left hand side, and wrap it over your ponytail. Repeat with the right hand side.
  3. Braid the lower section of hair on the left hand side and wrap over your ponytail. Pin in place with a bobby pin underneath your ponytail. Repeat on the right hand side. Important: Stretch out your braids! Pull at the sides to make your hair look thicker and fuller.
  4. Loosely braid your ponytail and roll it under to form a bun. Pin in place with bobby pins.

If you have long hair you could leave your ponytail loose, or split it into several braids to make a large bun underneath.

Will you try this hairstyle? And more importantly, try wearing your badges on your back! It’s a fab way to draw more attention to your hair :)

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  1. says

    I think this updo looks awesome! Just tried it on my own hair though and I can’t get it to look anything like yours – I have such thin hair that I can’t get my braids to look lovely and wide like yours!! Definitely wish I had thicker hair or that it was curly! I’ll have a go at your next one instead (and keep going back to the 30 days ones, some of which definitely work really well!)

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks for trying it Madison! How long is your hair? I’m working on some new tutorials for different hair types as part of a project for later this year

      • says

        At the moment it sits about 6 inches below my shoulder – it’s probably about time for me to get it cut, but I like being able to braid it and it looks better when I curl it if it’s long! I look forward to seeing more tutorials – I’ve got both your ebooks and love trying them out.

  2. says

    I love how this is a really sleek way to get some detail into your hair. What do you find is the easiest way to tuck the bun section underneath? Do you just shove and pin and hope for the best? I find that my braid ends/falling out layers end up sticking out all over the place!
    Rachel recently posted..DIY Pineapple Face Mask/ScrubMy Profile

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Rachel! I roll the braid up and pin it underneath but you can see in the original photo my layers were popping out too. If you have lots of layers it’s best to curl the ends of your hair under before you start like I did for the tutorial. You can do this with a round brush and your hairdryer or a curling wand. When the ends are curled under they curve into the braid, rather than out, so it will hold better. Alternatively, you can back-comb your ponytail and just make a bun underneath the braids

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Melissa! You can vary it to suit your hair. Criss-cross braids work even in short hair too. Let me know how you go! X

  3. Maria says

    I absolutely love this updo, I think it’s one of the prettiest styles i’ve seen in a long time.
    I’ve got curly hair not unlike your own in length and texture.Do you think it would work just as well with curly hair or would you recommend straightening it first?
    Absolutely love this website,I credit you with making me embrace my curls! Looking forward to see whay you have planned for 2013. :)

    • Hair Romance says

      Thank you Maria! Yes it will be beautiful with curls, and you may only need to do one braid from each side. Curly updos don’t need as much detail, and look great when worn a little bit looser x

  4. says

    Love, love this! I saw this all over Pinterest yesterday, so obviously other ladies do, too. :) My hair is a bit too long for those tuck under styles, since I have tried that before. I’m sure next year I will get my hair cut “short” and donate it again, so I will definitely be stalking your old posts for new updos.
    Stacy recently posted..Boring office wear…but I was warmMy Profile

  5. Louise says

    Love this one!!!

    Quickly becoming my new favourite thing to do on a saturday morning while Im lazing around in bed is to check out the latest styles you have put up… even searching through and checking out some of the older ones!!

    Gives me some ideas on how I can try and do my hair for the weekend :)

  6. Kristen says

    I did it yesterday, and got so many compliments. I definitely will do it often now, because it´s so easy and looks so romantical. Thank you for this tutorial. :)

  7. says

    I was super excited to try this style this morning, but it didn’t work nearly as well as I hoped! My hair is really thin, and so even with stretching the braids out, it didn’t look nearly as full as yours did. Any tips on how to thicken up thin hair or get brads on super thin hair to look more full?
    Sarah recently posted..Resolved.My Profile

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Sarah, start with a volumising shampoo and only apply conditioner to the ends of your hair. Blowdry your hair with your head upside down and you can also use a volumising mousse to add more hold to your hair. You can stretch out braids a lot more than you think, and instead of braiding the ponytail, just make a large bun. Backcomb your ponytail, gently smooth the top and pin it under as a loose bun. Good luck! X

  8. says

    Some days I just don’t have the energy to get up and do my hair. So I love styles that are simple and easy to do yourself but still look beautifully intricate. Plus braids are a safe way to protectively style your hair without damaging it.

  9. Martha says

    I seriously just did my hair in my office…I look better now than when I came in and I only used 1 pin instead of 2 and a hair tie. I think it is heavenly to have this site show people like me (not so girly) how to braid. I am always just tying it up and it damages my thin hair so much. Thanks so much for all your information. I look forward to seeing all the pages in your ebook!

  10. Alexandra says

    Wow, this looks lovely!
    Unfortunately, I can’t keep the last, big braid in place. It always falls down, even though it feels like I’ve put a thousend pins in it! Also, my hair falls out of the braids, but by now I’m used to my always-messy hairstyles. Maybe you have a solution for me? I have pretty thick, withstanding, somewhere-between-curly-and-straight hair which never does what I want.
    Until then, I’ll keep enjoying your blog! :)

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Alexandra, try putting at elastic at the end of the last big braid. Then when you roll it up, place a pin over the hair elastic and pin it to the rest of your hair. Don’t take too much hair in the bobby pin or it won’t close and won’t have a strong grip. As for braids falling out, I often have layers that poke out of my braids. You can curl the ends of your hair before braiding which makes the layers less obvious. If your hair is soft and won’t stay in the braid, a little spray of dry shampoo or hairspray adds grip to help your hair stay in place too x

  11. ally says

    I have pretty long hair – it’s waist length, any tips on how to do the bottom braid bit and get it to stay up and not look as bulky?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Ally, there’s a trackback link below to Stacy’s blog where she has a great variation for long hair. She also has amazing waist length hair and has done a twisted bun variation x

  12. ally says

    would you reccomend this for a prom updo? as in, would it stay in the whole night, or is it a bit too delicate for that?

    • Hair Romance says

      This would be a perfect prom style Ally! Great idea. If your hair is very long, you will need to use strong pins to hold up the braid or try a couple of spin pins xx

  13. Emily says

    I love this hairstyle. I’m going to attempt it tomorrow! But one question how do you secure the first two braids that wrap around the pony?

  14. Amanda says

    I LOVE this hair style! Unfortunately my hair is a lot thinner than yours so I doesn’t look near as cute as yours. Any tips on how to get my hair to look thicker? Also, could you possibly show some hairstyles for thinner hair? Thanks!!!

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Amanda! Try stretching out your braid, this always makes hair look thicker. You pull at the outside of the braid while holding on the end and it will double or triple in width. I am also working on a series for fine hair with a good friend of mine so stay tuned for that coming soon x

  15. says

    My hair is VERY long, but thin, and I was able to reconfigure this to get it to work. Maybe not as neat as the original, but still looks close and something I was proud to wear!

    One thing I’ve found to be a great help when securing sections, like these braids, are the hair scroos. They can hold like glue and you can get by with only a couple, instead of a head so full of pins you set off the metal detector at the airport!

    • Hair Romance says

      Great top Peggy! Are they like the spin pins? They’re great for holding up long or thick hair x

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks! It would be great for a party hairstyle. It’s easy to do in your own hair as you only need to do a basic braid, no French braiding required x

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Maryam, it can do but your’ll need to vary it for really long hair. In the comments here you’ll find a link to Stacy’s blog. She has amazing long hair and modified this style for her hair xx

  16. Tianna says

    I am a server and a medical assistant, this requires me to keep my hair up pretty much 7 days a week. I get really bored of the standard pony or bun. This hair style is very easy and absolutely beautiful! you definitely just gained a follower! Thank you so much!!

  17. Meredith says

    I know this is lame, but tucking the ends of a tied braid makes me itchy all day…ideas for smoother tucks? Also my hair is HEAVY, how do I pin it up without pulling the hair I pin it to? I usually use spin pins bc they hold my hair up wit out 3,000 pins…

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