Holiday Hairstyle How To: Easy Braided Updo

Learn how to do an easy braided updo hairstyle for a Holiday party with our step-by-step hair tutorial.

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Braided bun/updo

The holidays are finally here! For most of us, this means in addition to our already hectic schedules, we have festive holiday soirees to attend. The season calls for family gatherings, visits to church, New Years Eve, ugly sweater parties, and many more merry celebrations.

Trying to find party dresses and outfits for all these occasions is hard enough, so we often stick with our routine hairstyles. However, just as the season calls for sparkly clothes that stand out, your hair should make a statement as well.

For this hairstyle, I decided to take a simple bun an add a twist to make it more interesting. Follow along with the steps below to create an Easy Braided Updo.

1. Create a high ponytail.

Braided bun tutorial step 1: Put hair in ponytail

I started with clean, dry hair that was straightened, but curly hair would work great for this style, too. Simply pull hair into a high, slightly messy ponytail and secure with an elastic. I tried to keep the hair in front of my ponytail loose, so I could slightly tease it for some more volume.

2. Separate + braid.

Braided bun tutorial step 2: Create two separate braids

Next, I separated the ponytail into two halves, then braided each section, creating two braids. I did this using the classic braiding technique, but you could also do fishtail braids; choose whichever technique you are more comfortable with. I used small hair bands to secure the ends of the braids, but removed them during the next step.

3. Twist + Place braided sections.

To create the updo, I pulled the braids apart slightly to make them more loose. Since I’m not the perfect braider, I figured I’d keep the entire look more messy and casual.

Then I simply twisted the two sections around the base of my ponytail to create a “braided” bun look, and used bobby pins to secure the braids.

You’re Done!

Here’s an above-view of my final look:

Braided bun hairstyle: Above view

Here’s how the back of the bun looked:

Braided bun hairstyle: Back view

And here’s a close-up, so you can see the unexpected twist the braids add:

Braided bun hairstyle: Close up

Additional Tips:

Even though I wore this hairstyle the same day I washed my hair, I think it would be great for day-old hair because the hair would have more texture and be easier to braid.

I removed the bands on the ends of my braids when pinning them in the bun, but clear rubber bands would work well if your hair seems to fall out easily.

Also, I did keep the overall style more messy and casual, but a more sleek and dramatic look could easily be achieved. You could pull back all of your hair – even side-swept bangs – into the ponytail and add some serum to keep it shiny. Then, instead of pulling the braids loose before pinning them up, you could just keep them tight.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think of the easy braided updo? Will you try it out for your next social engagement? Do you like trying new things with your hair for holiday parties or do you prefer playing it safe? Are there any special updos you regularly wear during the holidays? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

19 thoughts on “Holiday Hairstyle How To: Easy Braided Updo”

  1. Very beautiful!! I am 12 so I like to make styles fun for the holiday, So maybe you could add a green/red scrunchie to make it more festive! But, I am totally going to wear this hairstyle to school tomorrow.

  2. Ooh! I’m so going to try this tomorrow! I think, to add something unexpected, I’ll do this with a 4-strand braid!

    Thanks for the idea!! 🙂

  3. I couldn’t get the cute messy look with two braids, it just looked awkwardly round and braid-y, so I braided one half of the ponytail and left the other half regular and the look worked out well 🙂

  4. love love love this hairstyle! I love a high bun but sometimes that comes off as too formal but this can easily be made less formal/casual.

  5. I tried it out now. Your description works perfectly. But I have a little problem. My hair is pretty fine and so my ponytail isn’t that full. So the bun is just little and I think it looks a little bit special… What can I do, that the bun looks bigger and fuller?
    (Sorry for my bad English. But i hope you can understand what I wanted to say.)

  6. @ Kathy– I twisted one braid then the other to try and fill in empty spaces left by the first braid to make the entire bun look fuller. However, feel free to experiment and let us know how it works for you!

  7. I just tried this and couldn’t get mine to look as nearly as good…my bun keeps sticking up and looking really dumb.

  8. I love this look! I’ve waiting my whole life to have really long hair (I wasn’t able to grow it out until I starte using this crazy voodoo Chinese herbal shampoo, haha) but now I’m always looking for new things to do with it. And I agree, your hair color is gorgeous!


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