Half Up to Full Updo

This is one of my favorite ways to style my hair, especially when it’s styled curly to begin with.
All you need is a few good bobby pins and hairspray!

1. If your hair doesn’t have any product in it, go ahead and spray a little bit a hairspray all over so it has some “grab”.
2. You can tease at the crown for a little extra lift (see this video for teasing)
3. Begin by sectioning off a small section at the back crown of your head and secure with two bobby pins running parallel.

 4. Loosely grab a section on one side of your head and pull it back and over the bobby pins in the center. Essentially, you are covering those first pins so you don’t see a mess of bobby pins it the back.

5. Do the same on the opposite side and cross over the section you just did. Secure with a pin or two and your done with the Half Up part. You can leave it just like this!

6. If you want to continue into an updo, swirl your hair in a circle, hold in place with one hand, and begin adding pins to the circle to hold it in place. 
(see those pins in there? If you stick them in perpendicular to your head you won’t see too much of them!)

And there you have it! Perfect simple updo that anyone can do! It helps to have hair approximately shoulder length or longer for the updo part, but anyone with shorter hair can always do the half up!
Good Luck and let me know how it goes!


  1. Laura says

    you make it look so easy! I can never get my hair to stay with just bobby pins – I must be doing something wrong!

  2. says

    I love this hair idea! Would you be interested in doing a guest blog entry for us? Our blog focuses on brides on a budget. We’ve followed your blog, follow us back? Thanks for the great ideas for hair, so cute. -Heather

  3. Laura says

    Kate – I tried w/ the bobby pins zig zag side down and it worked beautifully. I had several people ask me if i got my hair professionally done! Thanks for the tips!

  4. says

    I am so trying this, this weekend for a wedding. my date and I are getting ready together in the hotel so it may be a lil more difficult with someone watching – might need to practice :)

  5. says

    Chelsea: Definitely practice! And make sure you’re hair has hairspray on it BEFORE you try to put it up. It will work much better that way! Good luck and let me know how it goes!!

  6. says

    I used to call the first hairstyle “up and down” when I was a kid. My mom would ask, “How do you want your hair?” and I’d say, “Up and down.” Gorge hair, and gorge do!

  7. says

    Found this on Pinterest thank goodness!! I will be trying this out!! I’ve looked through your other posts….great blog!! And now on to your Etsy!!
    Newest follower! :)

  8. says

    Brandi: It’s because it was curled, hair sprayed about 10 hours “old”. If you try the curling your hair with a curling iron tutorial you’ll see that you don’t brush out the curls, you just separate them with your fingers. Hope that helps and thanks for reading!! :)

  9. says

    Well. I LOVE this half-up style and tried it, but maybe my hair’s just not right for this one. (?) I have long fine, straight hair, no bangs. My problem was figuring out how much hair to start with in that initial section at the back of the crown. Too much and the pins won’t hold it. Not enough and I end up with weird extra hair around my face that just hangs there. *sigh*

    I do a half-up messy bun a lot of the time (with an elastic band, no pins) but I could definitely use some ideas for something that looks a little more finished…


  10. says

    Kristofer and Ivy: Sorry you are having trouble. Sometimes certain styles won’t work with certain textures. My sister has longer hair than mine so maybe the styles I do on her will work better for you!

  11. says

    Hello I am new to your blog and i love it.. the first thing i saw was your apple pie! WHOA DELISH!!! anyway i have extremely long hair.. like down to sacrum. (top of booty) I usually do braids, fishtails, and buns/ponytails. but as you would probably suspect all that hair is so heavy and causes aches. what other hair styles would you recommend? ps, my hair is layered, but could use a “re-shape” as i call it. Much love!

  12. says

    Melissa: sounds like you have long hair! Have you considered cutting it to your shoulder blades? Sometimes long hair begins to “take away” from the hairstyle since it’s just sooo looong, you know?

    That might help give your hair a little life! :)

  13. says

    I just spent two hours watching you tube videos and trolling your site! How awesome!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could just take a class and figure out how to do something – anything with my hair. But it’s embarrassing to admit you need help! Now with three daughters, I really need ideas. Thanks so much – you make it easy and so do-able! Love it!!

  14. says

    I did this today and it looked amazing! And my hair -never- looks amazing, haha! So thank you so much for posting this! however, my hair typically doesn’t stay curled for very long, no matter how much hair spray I use. Is there another product I should be using before I curl my hair to help with this? Thanks so much!!

  15. Courtney says

    I tried doing this on my hair, but I have naturally very thick curly hair and the bobby pins won’t stay. I love this hairstyle and would love it to work with my hair, is there a trick to using bobby pins on curly hair? Thanks!

  16. says

    This is great! Thanks so much for the tutorial! I usually have a mess of bobby pins showing…now I know how to polish my half-up style! I’ll be following you!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  17. says

    Thanks for the tutorial. Wore my hair in the half-up style to a wedding this last weekend. It was so much fun and I loved that it went up with only 4 bobby pins!

  18. says

    My reaction when I saw the finished style “whoa my God thats beautiful”. I really love your hair styles they are so nice and the tutorials are ‘recreate friendly’ Thanks a bunch for sharing.

  19. says

    Hi kate! i got the half part just fine… but the circle part i’m really confused on how you got it to look like a circle and how you put the pins in. i tried the zig zag part of the pins down and still it’s coming out a blob. any hints?

  20. says

    You’re just the best thing ever. It helps me too that your hair is similar in color and length to mine, so when I’m futzing through the tutorial it looks just like what I’m working with :-)

  21. Chelsea says

    Kate! I just found your blog on pinterest and I LOVE IT. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do cute updos and curl my hair with a straightening iron! Well.. I tried curling it with the straightening iron… I only got a few real curls and they didn’t hold (any tips?). Soo I tried this style with my half curled/bouncy hair and it’ll be awesome for the holidays.

    I’m a college student and over break I’m planning on tackling some of these hair dos.. Wish me luck :)

  22. Sarah says

    Thanks for this tutorial! I did my hair like this last night for a military ball. I’ve never done such an easy (and time efficient) updo that made me feel so elegant!

  23. says

    Do you have any suggestions for people with thin hair? My hair is pretty thin. How do you get the bump, my hair doesn’t do that because it is so thin, do you do the flat iron, and tease like in your video first?

  24. Anonymous says

    Kate, your blog is incredible – I am loving looking at your hair and trying to do this myself! I have naturally wavy hair and I always try and do different things so these are great ideas!

  25. Anonymous says

    Awesome!! Used this hairstyle on my hair at Christmas and I got many compliments!! I am thinking about using this updo for prom, with my hair straight!

  26. Laura says

    I need help with the curling process! Not sure what is wrong with me but I just can’t do it and I love your curls…HELP :)

  27. Laura C says

    I tried this this morning and it turned out alright for my first try. my hair is probably a little shorter than yours and I have layers but this is a nice trick for something different, I just have to practice perfecting. At least it’s stayed in so far! Thanks for posting!

  28. says

    You are my new favorite blog and I’ve recommended you to so many friends who are now asking me how come my hair always looks so cute now. :) You are fabulous! Keep the hair style videos coming! I LOVE THEM!!!

  29. says

    Thank you for this! I tried this last night for my date with my husband and it was so easy to do and looked great! Can’t wait for more hair tutorials!

  30. Shewee810 says

    Could not make this work for the life of me – zig zag sbobbypins hairspray my hair is naturally curly so that wasnt it.. it almost seemed as if my hair was too short.(even though it is like the same length as yours..lol)but if was just like different layers popping out and looking extra hideous! so I’m Bummed.

  31. says

    Thanks for sharing this style. I have a LOT of hair and, using a few more pins, am able to pull this off. Planning to use your idea for an upcoming job interview :)

  32. Anonymous says

    absolutely gorgeous & simple. thank you! i’m new to long hair, just moved back to the south, & unfortunately just hanging it natural is not very pleasant in south texas heat. thank you!

  33. Anonymous says

    I have never been able to make my hair look good. Just long, curly and just hanging there. You have made this so easy and I need to say thank you!!!! I will always keep an eye on your blog and its a favorite. Thanks again.

  34. Anonymous says

    I pinned the updo to my pinterest board last year and I get a repin almost every other day…100’s so far!

  35. Anonymous says

    Your site is my go to site for hair now. I have been trying to figure out how to get soft curls since I was in high school and I finally got it after watching your video. Thank you so much!!!!!

  36. Anonymous says

    wow this is beautiful fantastic i love it on my hair it camee out soo great , i love this page thanks for the adives & tips

  37. Anonymous says

    How do you do this all by yourself?? I think you’re hiding 2 extra arms somewhere…or maybe…eyes in the back of your head!! LOL anyway…LOVE it!!!!

  38. Stephanie says

    Hey Kate, I actually didnt know you had a blog until the other day when I saw it on Justins facebook, that yall went out and 4 people recognized you from the blog. I’m his cousin. Anyways, I have absolutely fallen in love with this. Yesterday I did the pretty ponytail, it was too freaking cute and today I did the half updo with a messy bun at the bottom. I love how you break it down into steps and make it do able for just about anyone!


  39. Anonymous says

    omg how do u do that im 11 so in middle school u have 2 look great it looks so eazy but hope it will work on my wavy hair :) 😮
    thanks 2

  40. Anonymous says

    This looks beautiful!! I can never do anything with my hair. its shoulder length at the front and about an inch shorter at the back but is also really really soft so never stays up. ill give the half up do a try though to see how it goes! Beth X

  41. Erin says

    I love all of these hairstyles but none of them work on my hair because I have extremely thick straight hair, that is cut in a bob with straight across bangs. Do you have any suggestions for me?

  42. says

    My hair is a long a-line, but it’s really thick! I don’t think 4 bobby pins could hold my hair. Maybe I should start at the top with less hair and do more sections?

    I love your blog and tutorials! I’m here via Pinterest :)

  43. says

    Question, my hair is straight and will nit hokd a curk, wave nothing..urrr. any suggestions on how I can successfully master this fabulous up do. Oh. And BYW I have a cowlick in a widow’s peak I know lucky me you’re jealous..~Thanks Jamie, Trussvilke, Al

  44. Amy says

    Hi Kate-
    Just a quick FYI I found these pictures on Pintrest today and when I opened the link a VERY naked woman showed up. Someone has hacked something somewhere on Pintrest or elsewhere using your photos.
    Thought you would want to know.

  45. jovana says

    OMG! you literally saved me with this updo! I have a wedding to go to in T-35 MINUTES and i just got home from work. i love you.

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