Twisted Updo

Updo’s. They are tough, aren’t they? So often I hear stories of updo disasters on bridesmaids, or even the bride, on the day of a wedding. And nothing makes you feel worse or sick to your stomach, than hating your hair during a fancy occasion.
So I want to help. If you can style your own hair for an event, it may bring you a sense of calm and control. And help you feel great about the way you look that night. 
This style takes a bit of practice. Especially Step 2. But, if you need an alternative method for the Step 2, try pulling that hair into a Double Bun. Or a Knotty Updo. Or try the Wrapped Bun. Be creative. Try new things with it. You may find that you like your own version better than mine.

And if you are going to take the time to do your hair, you may also want to consider adding false lashes! It’s a great way to boost your look without going too heavy with makeup. I’m wearing Winks No. 1, for length + definition
Winks went on easily and didn’t budge. They come in a great little compact with lash glue and a mirror so you can keep them in a safe place when you aren’t wearing them. 
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Comments (99)

  1. Lyndsey says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Love the lashes! My lashes are blond πŸ™ …can you put the false lashes on with mascara? Never tried them before and would love to

    • Kate says
      Posted June 5, 2012

      I already had mascara on when I added these lashes, so yes! I’d go pretty light on the mascara though.

    • Anonymous says
      Posted June 6, 2012

      You should totally do a tutorial about how to get those lashes on! πŸ™‚

  2. Rebecca says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    That’s very cute!

  3. Posted June 5, 2012

    LOVE this hair tutorial! If I didn’t work at home, I’d do this just to wear around town ;]

  4. Allyson says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Perfect. Love it.

  5. Katy says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Beautiful! I like your videos and use them all the time! It’s nice that I can do a pretty updo if I’m attending a wedding, too. πŸ™‚

  6. Jen says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    You look great, I hope you made Justin take you on a date! I also love your tutorials and did a style last weekend for a bachelorette party! Love your blog, thanks!

  7. RW says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Love the lashes! I get eyelash extensions which is super costly! I would love go use these instead! How often do you wear lashes? How long do these last? I’m so used to buying lashes that only last a few wears.

  8. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Another awesome DIY tutorial, and for me, just in time for a wedding that I am attending this Saturday!!

  9. erin says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Hi Kate! I love your hair and your blog. I have very similar hair but I don’t think mine holds a curl as well as yours (it could be my curling iron though – it’s pretty old). I bought all of the SAME hair products you use and have been trying them for two months. I absolutely love the equage uplifting foam and I really miss it when it’s not in my hair after a blow dry. I also love the Kenra line. I ventured out and bought the Kenra Thermal Styling Spray and love that too. My first impression of your hair was that it was too high maintenance for me, but what I realized was that I could go 3-4 days between washes. I refresh my hair style or put it up in a cute pony the last two days. I’m so glad I could give myself a professional look all on my own. Thanks for making this stuff so available to us.

    • Posted June 5, 2012

      What do you use to “stretch” your hair to several days? I’m using the Kenra hairspray and the Aquage foam. I can go 2 days but sometimes could really use that third day. ha ha. (And thank God for Kate and the cute pony tutorials!)

    • erin says
      Posted June 6, 2012

      Kate has a post/video about using dry shampoo. I’ve also seen youtube videos showing how to use your foundation powder along your part lines and forehead line. Both work really well. I then re-curl or re-flat iron and backcomb the same way. I normally like my bangs out of my face so I twist them back with pins – this seams to hide the oils if I am oily. Kate has lots of videos on those styles as well.

  10. Posted June 5, 2012

    Such a cute hairstyle! I love your dress too πŸ™‚


  11. herriot says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Lovely, especially like the twisted sides!

  12. Emily says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Oh my god. THAT is the style I want for my wedding! Nailed it! You seriously rock. What would all of us wayward hair-incompetent folk do without you?!?


  13. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Hi Kate! I enjoy your blog everyday. I have the hairspray you love and I love it too. Have you ever used L’Oreal Elnett (I use the unscented) hairspray? I switch these up depending on the day….you are such a good reviewer that I wanted to see what you thought. πŸ™‚ Keep those hairstyles coming. People ask me about my hair more since I have followed your tutorials!

  14. Posted June 5, 2012

    girl you make it look so easy!!

    -simply megan

  15. Posted June 5, 2012

    Do you happen to know if that Target necklace is still available? I’ve searched their website several times over and can’t seem to find it. It’s lovely and your entire look is so pretty and polished!

  16. Posted June 5, 2012

    Bad updos are the worst. (What a serious problem, I know). For my junior prom (about 11 years ago) I had a hair stylist attempt an updo. My hair was fairly short, but I was determined to have an updo. It looked terrible. This was at a time when most updos looked terrible (and cheesy), anyhow. Looking back I wish I would have just worn it down. Live and learn. (Your updo is pretty cute, though!)

  17. Chrissy says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Thanks for another LOVELY updo idea, Kate! And, I must say, I LOVE the colors you’ve been rockin’ in your outfits lately! Your grey favorites are lovely but the bright cheerful bursts of color look great on you too.

  18. Posted June 5, 2012

    OMG when I first saw the pic, I thought it was going to be a pretty complicated process… but it wasn’t. I love how you can make something look so detailed, with it being a few simple steps! Awesome! πŸ™‚ Great video, love your dress! and necklace! πŸ™‚

  19. Posted June 5, 2012

    Could u another straight tutorial? It looks as though ur hair is longer than the previous ones and I would love to see how ur styling it straight at this length! Thanks

  20. Posted June 5, 2012

    Hi Kate! I absolutely love your hair tutorials! Personally I have always been a lazy hair stylist but always interested in learning (I guess I’m not lazy, just not educated :D) But I was wondering what do you do after you take a shower.. like the products to put in your hair before you blow dry.. after you blow dry and etc… When I try to tease my hair it doesn’t do as well as yours and I wonder if its because I don’t have the right products in it. Could you please educate me on this? I would really appreciate it! I finally did my hair with curls last week and the curls stayed in all night (which is unusual) and I even had curls for the next morning!! It was all because of your blog! So thank you!!! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day with making this tutorials! You should make a CD with all of these tutorials on it.. I would buy it πŸ˜€

  21. Posted June 5, 2012

    Gorgeous hair, as usual! Will need to try this once my hair grows out a bit more… why did I cut it again?


  22. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    This is so pretty and I hope I can pull it off! Thank you for thinking about the season we are entering and designing a hairstyle to work for that season.

  23. Jamie says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    You are so amazing at what you do – your hairstyles are always favorites of mine!! And you may have heard this a thousand times before, but you look so much like Mary Elizabeth Ellis (and I think she’s gorgeous!). Thanks for sharing your styles!

  24. Haunani says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Love the twisted bun! Doing that today! Thanks for the inspiration and the step by step instructions!! AND…I honestly have never seen anyone with such a beautiful profile. You are so pretty and photogenic anyway, but the profile pictures of you are always the most stunning. Thanks again!

  25. Posted June 5, 2012

    Omg this is so cute! I absolutely hated my hair for my highschools Christmas dance! I really had a meltdown. Wish you wouldn’t posted this back in December!!

    -Rachel { A Dash of Southern }

  26. Jasmin says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    This hairstyle is so great! I´m attending a wedding in late summer this year. Even if I don´t have a clue what to wear until now I´m sure I now know how to put my hair up. Thankfully I have enough time to practise. Thanks a million Kate πŸ™‚

  27. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    I always look forward to reading yours and Laurens blogs everyday. I love the hair tutorials and I love that you post where you get your cute clothes. I was just wondering where you got that cute print in your bathroom? You bathroom looks to be the same color as mine and I love the colors in it.

  28. Posted June 5, 2012

    Omg this is so cute! I absolutely hated my hair for my highschools Christmas dance! I really had a meltdown. Wish you wouldn’t posted this back in December!!

    -Rachel { A Dash of Southern }

  29. Posted June 5, 2012

    i’m going to wear this look at my daughters high school graduation this thursday!! thank you!!

  30. Joanna says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    I could hug you for this! My hair is in that weird after pregnancy phase, and I have my cousin’s wedding to go to in 2 weeks. It’s a garden wedding in south carolina, and I think this will be perfect!

  31. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    I love in the world can you make it look so easy with a beautiful finished product in under 10 minutes?! I have a dinner to go to tonight and I will try it but I don’t think it will end up looking half as good as yours!

  32. Katie says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    THANK YOU! Perfect updo for a wedding I’m going to this weekend… Already tried it twice and both times turned out great, the second the better but practice makes progress so I’m excited to show off my new hair do!

    I wish I lived in NC so I could go to your salon!

  33. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Thank you for doing this,I’m going to be in a wedding this July.And I to save money by doing my own hair,but didn’t know how to do it and with something that wold stay put and not fall out all day and at the dance,this looks very promising.I do have troubles doing my own hair(I can do others just fine) so I’ll have to practice it.I might be doing my sisters (shes the bride)hair and she wants something just like this. DO you think that you could do another tutorial of a up-do? In case it doesn’t work for my hair I’ll have something to fall back on.Thanks again
    Much love

  34. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Adorable!! I have followed you for about a week and you have inspired me to try to be cuter :). You are amazing!!!

  35. Tara says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    How are you styling your bangs now that they are growing out some? I have longer bangs than you in your ‘How I style my bangs’ tutorial and it just doesn’t work well for me. Just wondered if you were doing anything different.

  36. Posted June 5, 2012

    Kate!!!! THANK YOU for another great updo tutorial! I used the “messy bun” (only not so messy – wink) for my sister’s wedding and it saved me $35 by doing it myself!!! I have another wedding to attend this Saturday so was hoping for something different (I’ve been wearing the messy bun quite often – both for dressy and casual events). This one is perfect! Love the twisted sides. I’ve been doing my hair that way with it down after seeing your tutorial on that. My husband loves my hair long — he says he likes the “variety”! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for all your great ideas! You’ve saved my hair life!!!

  37. Posted June 5, 2012

    Love it! I only wish you had long hair, My hair is so fine and thin, I can’t get volume. YOu make it look so easy.

  38. Carly says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    I’m going to practice this, we have a family wedding later this month, and this would be PERFECT!


  39. jbricks says
    Posted June 5, 2012


  40. Anonymous says
    Posted June 5, 2012

    Love your tutorials, Kate. Here’s a suggestion…you know those big mirrors they use at cooking shows that show what the chef is cooking on the counter? Any way you could have something like that behind you so we could see both front and back while you style? That would be so helpful!!


  41. LizB says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    I recently had a cute updo done professionally for a wedding. It turned out great but since I had a picture and a very detailed description it was pretty low risk. (I pulled up your blog on my phone)

    Two of the other bridesmaids did their own hair and all three of us used styles from your tutorials (the braided bun, half up braids and fancy side pony)

    I have a quick question about this style… the hair in front of my ears is too thick to do the exact twist you described. How would you recommend I work around that?

  42. Posted June 6, 2012

    Love this look!

  43. Amanda says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    Can you please show us your hair straightened at the length it is now

  44. Anonymous says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    Thank you thank you thank you this will work perfectly for a wedding I’m in:)

  45. Donna says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    Kate- I always love your tutorials! Can you tell me what texture your hair naturally has? I’m finding my styles always end up a little flatter than yours and require twice as many pins. πŸ™‚ I’m wondering if this is because of my texture (thick but very smooth and straight), or because I’m not using enough product when I initially blow dry/style my hair. You always look darling, and I’m dying to emulate!

  46. Joy says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    I LOVE this one!! Turned out so adorable!!

  47. Posted June 6, 2012

    You are just too cute! And have the best hair! I’m actually taking some photos of you to my hair stylist for her to cut my hair like yours.
    P.S. Found via Pinterest! So glad I did. πŸ˜‰

  48. Monica says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    Thanks for all these great tutorials! I’m terrible at doing my hair. I have a question though, I have 2 young kiddos (aka, not much time to do my hair most of the time). I have naturally curly hair (medium sized curls) and normally I just use a diffuser to dry it a little bit and then let it air dry. To do most of these styles you show, would I have to straighten my hair and then add the bigger curls to it, or could I just work with my curly hair somehow and skip a few steps?

  49. Posted June 6, 2012

    Oh, this Hair style πŸ˜‰ Looks really chic

  50. SC Crew says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    I’m wearing this today at work and have had so many compliments on it! It was super easy, especially for this wash and go girl. I’m going to a wedding in August and plan to wear my hair like this to show off the back of my dress (and keep me from fiddling with it all day!). Thanks for all the great tutorials!!

  51. Jamie says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    Thank you so much for all the tutorials. My hair is FLAT on the thinner side. I am going to order the Aquage and kenra hairspray. I have never been much of a product user,probably why I have flat hair, so I am going to give it a try thanks to you! Love your whole blog keep it up! God Bless!!!!!!
    Jamie Drake
    Lakeland, Florida

  52. Anonymous says
    Posted June 6, 2012

    I did this undo today just to try it out for fun, and it turned out great! I substituted pinning up the random strands of hair for the double bun. LOVE IT! It’s definitely my new favorite!

  53. Posted June 7, 2012

    You look gorgeous! The twist is amazing, can’t wait to try it!

  54. Casie says
    Posted June 7, 2012


  55. Posted June 7, 2012

    Can I ask a REALLY dumb question that I hope you can either answer here or address in a post or something: Can you explain a good way to apply hairspray? I know this sounds elementary but I’m inept apparently. I often will create a hair style I love but it needs to be hair sprayed to hold in place. I’ve yet to figure out how exactly to spray the life out of it so it will hold without making my hair then look crunchy and crusty. The hair spray I use Bed Head if that matters at all. Thank you in advance!!

  56. Posted June 7, 2012

    Do you take your own photos or does your hubby help?

  57. Jessica says
    Posted June 7, 2012

    I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and I finally got the courage to attempt an updo. I usually wash my hair every other day so this is the perfect “day 2” do instead of a boring ponytail. I got so many compliments. Thanks so much!!!

  58. Posted June 8, 2012

    I used to call my mom “pancake face” for wearing too much foundation/makeup. You remind me of that.

    • Anonymous says
      Posted June 12, 2012

      LOL !

  59. Posted June 8, 2012

    Hi Kate- I have been following your blog for the last few months and love it. I also have the problem of kind of blah lashes. I worked at a salon during college and stated using a product called Lilash that we sold which promotes lash growth. The stylists using it had amazing lashes that looked fake. Within 3 months of using the product, I grew AMAZING lashes and still get questions if I am wearing fakes all the time. I would highly recommend the product! I now work as a cosmetic chemist and have researched the safety (my only concern about the product) and found nothing hazardous about the product. Also, I asked my optometrist and dermatologist and got the approval! πŸ™‚ Maybe I’ll see a review on here someday! Thanks for the awesome blog–I really enjoy it!

  60. Jen says
    Posted June 12, 2012

    I absolutely love this hairstyle! I tried for a casual night in the bar last weekend and it didn’t look too overdone, but definitely can be dressed up with the right outfit. Thanks for all the tutorials! Still working on being able to tease my hair to get half the body you do.

  61. Andrea says
    Posted June 13, 2012

    I just got winks in my birch box! So excited to try them!!!

  62. Anonymous says
    Posted June 15, 2012

    hey i love this can do some touturials with longish hair????? if not that is ok

  63. Posted June 16, 2012

    I tried out a modified version of this style today and loved it! My hair is long (about mid way down my back), so, on curled hair, I started out with the bump, did the twists and pinned them in place, then gathered the length of my hair into a ponytail beneath the twists and finished with a loosely twisted, messy bun bobby pinned in place. Not quite as lovely as your style, but I was so glad to figure out a way to modify this to work for my long hair (that would be secure enough to last me hours). Thank you for all the gorgeous ideas and tutorials!

  64. Posted June 19, 2012

    Thank you Kate! I follow your hair tutorials religiously and have tried many of them! I love how you explain everything so well! I love being able to do my hair myself rather than pay $65 to get my hair done. I am using this one for a wedding I m in this weekend! Will be mentioning your blog in my status:) You are the greatest!!

  65. Anonymous says
    Posted June 22, 2012

    Love this! Will be great for my university graduation this month. Xxx

    P.s Your blog has made it to Scotland!

  66. Anonymous says
    Posted July 2, 2012

    I tried this look today, it was so easy and I loved the results. Thanks for sharing!!!

  67. Anonymous says
    Posted July 9, 2012

    I have naturally curly hair and I never know what to do with you. I’m trying to stop straightening my hair so I have to wear it naturally and you have saved my life! I love these hair styles and they work awesome with my hair. πŸ™‚

  68. Anonymous says
    Posted July 10, 2012

    Don’t know if you already have one but will you please make a “my hair care routine”. I really want to know hair you get your hair so shiny,non greasy,and well just flat out beautiful!!

  69. Anonymous says
    Posted July 14, 2012

    I think I saw you the other night, I wasn’t sure it was you or not so I didn’t say anything.

  70. Anonymous says
    Posted July 29, 2012

    Found you on pinterest a few months ago and was only looking at your tutorials, I just recently started reading your blog! You seem like a very beautiful person inside and out! I start cosmetology school in September and I’m so excited about it. I can’t wait to see more of your posts, thanks for such helpful tips and tricks!

  71. Anonymous says
    Posted August 1, 2012

    I did this hairstyle today and I love it! Super easy to do and super cute! It kept my hair off my face and neck in the this 100 degree weather! Thank you for all your cute hairstyles! Love trying to do them!!

  72. Anonymous says
    Posted August 3, 2012

    Hi Kate!
    My name is Angie and I absolutely LOVE this hairstyle (as well as all your others). I tried it but for some reason it doesn’t seem to work very well.
    My hair is a fair big longer (roughly 6 inches below my collarbone) and I think maybe heavier? I can’t get the actual bun part well. It just doesn’t seem to sit right, no matter where I put the bobby-pins in and it never looks as nice!

    Please help

  73. Posted August 6, 2012

    I love this tutorial! I can’t wait to try it.


    Fashion and Beauty Finds

  74. Posted August 20, 2012

    So cute. Love this. Might be trying it this weekend… if I’m brave enough!

  75. Posted October 3, 2012

    This is gorgeous! I might practice it to see if I can pull it off in time for my cousin’s wedding later this month. πŸ™‚

  76. Posted January 1, 2013

    wore this for new year’s 2012 and it only took me 15 mins. Thanks Kate! held all night and looked fab πŸ™‚

  77. Posted April 17, 2013

    I am going to be a bridesmaid this summer and I think this updo is super cute and perfect!! Just did my first practice try and it was pretty easy. I gave to practice twisting the sides but other than that it was not hard. Your video is so easy to follow and I love how it turned out. Thanks again for another great video!!

  78. Melissa says
    Posted May 18, 2013

    This really does not work with long hair. It only works with your length because the curled ends barely fall out of the pins. On long hair half of the strand hangs down and looks silly.

  79. Posted June 26, 2013

    Thank you for sharing! I have long hair and was able to pull this off! I was so excited to have a “salon style” for a wedding that I was attending without having to pay the price. I was surprised at how easy this was. Your videos and creative styles are great – thank you so much for posting!! πŸ™‚

  80. Posted July 18, 2013

    I did this! It turned out SO cute! Thanks so much for sharing this (and all) of your hair tutorials. I have such a great time trying them out.
    Ashley Rane Sparks

  81. Posted September 8, 2013

    Do you think this style would work for longer hair?

  82. Posted September 8, 2013


    Thank you soo much for your amazing hair tutorials! I was in a wedding in August and I was majorly stressing about having to do my hair in an up-do without the money to pay for it. I watched this video and was able to have fabulous hair for the wedding! I loved it so much, I may just do it again for the next wedding in November! I love your blog and your tutorials. THANK YOU! YOU’RE A LIFESAVER πŸ™‚

  83. Posted September 20, 2013

    This summer I went to a wedding, and I wanted to do something special with my hair. I found this tutorial on your blog, and pretty much followed it step by step. I thought it looked decent, but during the wedding that thought was confirmed when two different ladies asked me if I got my hairstyle idea from the “Small Things Blog”!! I was so happy they recognized the style! They both had said that they unsuccessfully had tried to do the same thing!! Thanks so much for your helpful and easy to follow tutorials!!

  84. Posted April 22, 2014

    Love this. Tried it on my hair today, I have a blunt cut bob that sits just above the shoulders and it worked perfectly

  85. Linda Γ–hman says
    Posted May 30, 2014

    First of all, I love your blog, and I love all your tutorials! The night I found your blog I think I was stuck for about 2,5 hours πŸ™‚
    One of my absolute favorites are the Low Chignon, I have worn it several times and not once have I not gotten comments about it πŸ™‚
    However, saw this Twisted updo now in my search for the perfect hairstyle to wear to a wedding I’m attending in a couple of weeks but I find it challenging putting the bottom of my hair up like this since I have quite a bit longer hair than you do (I see a lot of the other comments here have the same problem), it is hard to make it look messy like that. My thought was then maybe it would be possible to do a mix between the Low chignon and the twisted updo? Keeping the twists for the front part of the hair for a way to pull it back but using the Low Chignon style in how to put the bottom part up. Surly it would make a totally different hairstyle that the one you are showing here since I guess the look would be a bit more β€œrefined” since the Low Chignon is quite β€œ smooth and this on a bit more messed up but do you think it could be a good idea to sort of get around the problem I’m experiencing with not really finding a god way of putting my longer hair up in this messy way?
    I’m I making sense? πŸ™‚
    Thank you!

    //Linda tuning in from Sweden πŸ™‚

  86. Michelle says
    Posted June 18, 2014

    Just practiced, like you said. Going to a wedding this weekend and you made it soooooo easy! I love this look!

  87. Lauren says
    Posted July 30, 2014

    I have my own beauty blog and hair is not my high point. Anything but! Was browsing Pinterest for something easy and different for work. And I just tried this. Did it a bit different but I think i love it:p wish I had a place to stick a hair flower or long barrette but does the job! 10 mins and done! Lots of bobby pins tho!

  88. jane says
    Posted September 9, 2014

    How do you recommend doing Bobby pins when you’re hair is really long and thick? No matter how hard i try to get the pins in, my hair almost immediately falls back down. Thank you for sharing, this post is amazing and i love your website! πŸ™‚

  89. Rhonda says
    Posted May 2, 2015

    just watched your video and I must say you really break it down when explaining how to do the hair style on ones self. I’ve seen others and they’ve left me very confused but yours I feel confident I can repeat on myself. I look forward to more! Thanks!

  90. Leen says
    Posted July 30, 2015

    I’m from Holland and watched your tutorial! It really helped me to get my hair done for a wedding. Somebody asked me if I got my hair done so it really worked πŸ™‚
    This summer I have another wedding, I know how I can get a great hairstyle now! Thank you for all your tips and tricks!

  91. Rebecca says
    Posted April 13, 2016

    I will be attending a formal dance in a few weeks. Will this style hold for dancing or will it fall out easily?