easier than it looks updo tutorial


I think one of the most important things in creating a beautiful updo is breaking the hair down into smaller sections. Oftentimes, due to lack of time or even lack of experience, I see women trying to gather all their hair and quickly throw it up into an updo, when instead it would actually be quicker to take it section by section.

For this style, I did just that. This is a great way to achieve a lot of volume at the crown–which is one of the tell tale signs between a professional updo and a “home” updo. If you can get volume at the crown, you’ll make any updo look fancy.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

polka dot top (similar)

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Comments (103)

  1. Posted January 21, 2013

    I love it and was waiting for ur post 🙂

  2. Posted January 21, 2013

    so pretty. love this.

  3. Posted January 21, 2013

    Oooh, this is so pretty! I wish I could get as much volume as you do. My hair is just so fine and limp 🙁

  4. Posted January 21, 2013

    Looks great! I need to try this at home.

  5. Jenn D says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    I love this look! Is it bad that I pinned this based on the first picture alone? I have faith that your video will be easy for me to follow later when I have all the supplies handy.. and I’m not at work =)
    With Luck

    • Kate says
      Posted January 21, 2013

      haha, not bad at all!

  6. Hollind says
    Posted January 21, 2013


  7. Posted January 21, 2013

    Silly question but, what brand of clear elastics do you use? Love your tutorials.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 21, 2013

      I like Conair Polybands!

      • courtney says
        Posted December 18, 2014

        What size are the elastics? Thanks!

  8. Spicy says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    I so look forward to Tutorial Mondays!! Thanks for taking my hair out of Frumpyville! You’re the best!

  9. Posted January 21, 2013

    Very cute! Love the earrings!

    • Renata says
      Posted July 10, 2014

      I have only been a Paula customer for 6 mnohts. Before noticing that I could order a color swatch, I ordered many wigs in different colors and had to return alot. I NEVER had one problem with returns!!! Thank you Paula!!! Great service!!! Yes, like some of you, I would like to see changes in some areas, however I beleive like any business there are pro’s and con’s and when we share what we would like to see different and those ideas are implimented or takin into consideration to meet our needs it’s worth staying devoted to that business. I think Paula is one of those businesses that wants to meet our needs, so over-all I will continue shopping with Paula because I LOVE your wigs!!!!!

    • Posted July 21, 2014

      Hey, found my way here from Pinterest as well (what did we ever do without that site?) and thank you so much for this taiortul. I can’t wait to try it, it looks gorgeous. I also am super jealous of your hair color (beautiful), but I had a weird question. I love the plaid shirt you’re wearing in some of the photos can I ask where you found it? I love the colors. Thanks!

  10. Posted January 21, 2013

    so pretty!

  11. Alissa says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    I would have never guessed it was as easy as you make it sound!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 21, 2013

      I’m sneaky like that. 🙂

  12. Alesha says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    That is amazing! I’m so excited to try this! My hair may be too long, but it’s worth a try! =) Thanks! Also, do you know any good hair blogs that do styles for really long hair? Like mid- low back length? That’s how long mine is, which I love, so I can’t always use your tutorials. =(
    Alesha <3

  13. Katie says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    Cannot wait to try this out! LOVEEEE! Good thing I don’t have anything fancy for a couple months so I can give my hair a little time to grow. It’s RIGHT at my collar bone right now, so another 1/2-1″ more would make it easier for me to try (at least somewhat successfully!)

  14. Lorena says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    Nicely done 🙂

  15. Posted January 21, 2013

    I love your tutorials each Monday! I know it’s a formal undo but I am trying it today then going shopping! I can’t wait for a formal occasion… 🙂

  16. Posted January 21, 2013

    This is so pretty! I love it!

  17. Posted January 21, 2013

    Beautiful!! Can’t wait to try it!

  18. LK says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    Wow, this is gorgeous. Our hair is very similar length and texture, so I can’t wait to give this a try!!

  19. Posted January 21, 2013

    Kate, would you have a suggestion for a dual voltage blow dryer? There are so many on the market, I would appreciate your advice if you do not mind. Thanks so much!

  20. Posted January 21, 2013

    What a great tutorial! Love the up do.


  21. Posted January 21, 2013

    Awesome tutorial Kate! Can’t wait to try it out. 🙂

    My Polished Side Blog

  22. Posted January 21, 2013

    PERFECTION! YET AGAIN!!!!!!! You are amazing and make it look SO simple! Thank you!

  23. Casey says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    What color nail polish are you wearing in the video? Love the gray!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 22, 2013

      It’s Master Plan by Essie

  24. Posted January 21, 2013

    Super cute! Love the hair style!



  25. Posted January 21, 2013

    Cute – donut, I love it! I have a work party this week so I think I will try this then! What color is your polish – super cute!

  26. SH says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    Beautiful up-do!


  27. Posted January 21, 2013

    Thank you so much for this! We have military balls and family weddings coming up, and with our second child just weeks away this is exactly the easy yet chic kind of look I need to have on hand!

    On a side note my 2 year old son LOVES watching your tutorials.

  28. Posted January 21, 2013

    just gorgeous — you always have the best updos! xo


  29. Posted January 21, 2013

    I think I’m going to attempt this for an upcoming military ball! Do you think finer hair can hold this look?

  30. Emily says
    Posted January 21, 2013

    I can’t believe that those steps created that. When you got to the end I thought, “that can’t be it,” but then it was. Love it!

  31. Posted January 21, 2013

    Cute & Different. I Likey!

    The How to Guru

  32. Rubiiee says
    Posted January 22, 2013

    This is amazing! I would love to see more updo’s!

    <3 Rubiiee

  33. Rachael says
    Posted January 22, 2013

    Wow! Absolutely love this!!! Thank you!


  34. Posted January 22, 2013

    I LOVE your tutorials! Thanks!


  35. Sarah says
    Posted January 22, 2013

    this is beautiful! you are beautiful. it’s all beautiful. thank you so, so much for sharing your talents with us!!!

  36. Posted January 22, 2013

    Love, Love, Love!!! Perfect for the formal Army functions I have to attend!! Love the nail polish too!! 🙂

  37. Anna says
    Posted January 22, 2013

    Very pretty, and more importantly, very simple to do!

    I think donut IS the only word for it 🙂

    • John says
      Posted July 10, 2014

      I have hair extension and I cruelntry sew clips onto the track for easy application. However, it’s a pain in the butt and they’re difficult to keep in.Has anyone here used the hair extension glue? How long do the extensions stay on with glue? And can the actual extensions be reused after glue has been applied? Will my hair become damaged from the glue?Thanks in advance!

    • Jeisson says
      Posted July 21, 2014

      Oh my gosh! Just found your blog on Pinterest and I absolutely love it! This hairltyse was so easy and it made me so happy to find one that does justice to my hair! Can’t wait to check out the others! Thank you!!!

  38. Posted January 22, 2013

    I need to go out and get some clear elastic bands…back to Target I go. Thank you for the great tutorials!

  39. Posted January 22, 2013

    Amazing tutorial! You always make it look so easy. Silly question, but what kind of teasing comb do you use?

  40. ajl2870 says
    Posted January 22, 2013

    I absolutely love this hair style! Thank you so much for sharing. You always are so great at explaining difficult looking styles in an easy to comprehend way! I would love if you would do a post about how to tease your hair. I know that for some this is an easy concept, but I have the hardest time with it!


  41. Posted January 22, 2013

    that was a great tutorial!! i usually hate video tutorials because they drag on and don’t get to the point but you’ve done an amazing job and i love the updo!! it’s funny that you use clear elastics because i just had a wedding hair trial and that’s what she used too. it really makes your hair stay a lot better than just using pins.

  42. Pearlie says
    Posted January 22, 2013

    I love our tutorials and am growing my hair longer so I can try even more. Thank you for doing this blog. I do have one question though…. I have dark hair and I worry that using dry shampoo for more body and texture would not look right because it is like a white powder. Do you think it would work for me?

  43. Posted January 22, 2013

    So cute! I’ll have to try it, thanks for sharing 🙂


  44. Posted January 23, 2013

    This is exactly the wedding hair I am looking for!! Yay!

  45. ginny says
    Posted January 23, 2013

    I love your hair tutorials. I just wish I could do them and have them look good! My hair is really long and super thick. I always feel like bobby pins are pulling my hair when I’m finished. But I keep trying! Thanks so much for the tutorials!!

  46. Kelly says
    Posted January 23, 2013

    You always amaze me!

  47. Kelly says
    Posted January 23, 2013

    You always amaze me!

  48. Posted January 23, 2013

    YOU ARE A HAIR MAGICIAN! I am running to try this right now!!!

  49. Posted January 25, 2013

    Wow! I love this look! And, from the video it seems easy enough that I’ll hopefully be able to do it! I’m going to give it a try this morning!

  50. Posted January 25, 2013

    You are so sweet and adorable. Love watching your videos and so nice of you to share how to to do these easy, pretty styles. Thank you!

  51. Wife says
    Posted January 27, 2013

    Just did this for my birthday party and it was so cute! Thanks for the awesome ideas, as always! 🙂

  52. Posted January 28, 2013

    Yay! Thank you! I need new ideas for my fine hair. I’ll be perusing your site for more…

  53. chapfan says
    Posted February 4, 2013

    Just FYI, this isn’t on your hairdo button yet. 🙂

  54. Posted February 15, 2013

    This was such a great tutorial! I’m going to try this tomorrow for a Valentines formal I am going to. Thanks for sharing!


  55. Posted February 27, 2013

    I’ve tried this, and I luuuuurrvveeeeee it! One thing… It seems to not be appearing on your main “Hair Tutorials” page. Am I blind?

  56. Alyssa says
    Posted March 15, 2013

    This best hair tutorial I’ve seen! I used it today for a wedding- it was absolutely fabulous!

  57. Posted June 22, 2013

    This is amazing! I have super thick, stick-straight hair, and I used this tutorial for a wedding I attended a few weeks ago– everyone thought I had gone to the salon! I’m going to an evening fundraising event/dinner tonight, so I plan on doing it again.

  58. #phoebe says
    Posted July 9, 2013

    just saw this tutorial on youtube 🙂 looks so nice! i have realllllyyyy long hair, like down to my butt! and it’s always a pain to get a nice bun because i have so much hair going on. but i’m gonna try this for the summer to get all my hair off my back in the heat 🙂

    just followed you on bloglovin’ 😉

    Follow on Bloglovin’

  59. Posted July 16, 2013

    I came across this tutorial on your Youtube channel and had to share it on my blog. I can’t wait to try it out!

  60. Posted August 30, 2013

    Oh my gosh, this helps so much! I’ve got a masquerade ball to go to this weekend and was panicking because I didn’t know how to where my hair! And it’s a legitimate ball – tuxedos and ball gowns only, no suits or banquet dresses. So I was worried that I wouldn’t have my hair done and they would kick me out (which they did to my friend’s last year, but they should really have read the rules), but this is absolutely perfect! I just tried to put my hair up like this and it works so this weekend is going to be so amazing, thank you!

  61. Unknown says
    Posted September 6, 2013

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. Posted September 6, 2013

    I can’t wait to try it….I ALWAYS have a problem since I’m 53 and my hair is getting thinner and thinner…I seem to have so much trouble making my messy bun and messy pony look full and full of body….but your video gives me renewed hope. I can’t wait to try it…nothing sexier than a messy bun or ponytail I think, and I have to wear my hair up at work since I’m in the field. WOO! Thanks so much!

  63. Posted September 28, 2013

    I totally did this today! Mine didn’t look quite as together and clean as yours but it got plenty of compliments. “That must have taken a while” they all said…little did they know!

  64. Posted December 10, 2013

    I did this last night! My “doughnut” was more of a messy bun, but it still looked really good. Thanks so much for your tutorials, they help so much! 🙂

  65. Posted December 11, 2013

    your tutorial is so well done that I just watched it on mute, and understood perfectly!

  66. Fire99 says
    Posted December 29, 2013

    Perfect for my Mother of the Bride hair. The best one I’ve seen…. thank you!

  67. af1247 says
    Posted February 7, 2014

    Thanks for this! Best tutorial I’ve seen so far. Using this weekend!

  68. Ann says
    Posted June 6, 2014

    Very happy I stumbled on to your fantastic 6 minute video. It turned out to be quite easy to do. I practiced on my daughter’s very long hair and it looked outstanding and then did my own hair for a wedding I attended this past weekend. I received lots of complements – thank you!

  69. Lisa says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    Love this up do! You make it look so simple and can’t wait to try it! Btw… What’s the brand name of the dry shampoo?

    • Samir says
      Posted July 10, 2014

      heyy i put this in fashion bueacse nobody answered this when it was in the hair categoryHow much $ for Hair extensions?????Hair extensions??????my hair is not that long it is like to my neck it used to be longer until it got cut. but i want hair extensions that are at least 15 in. do you guys know how much it would cost for it to be professionally done and if i did myself how much would the hair be and my hair is dark brown what color highlights would go well with that color please no blonde and i want a streak of a color what color would look good. and wear can i get feather hair extensions??? please answer thanks please no rude comments!!

    • Youssef says
      Posted July 21, 2014

      Amazing and so simple, I’ve just done it sitintg here and I only had one pin to hand. Love the look so chic. Found you randomly through Pinterest and will keep following now as you have some great ideas thanks for sharing them x

  70. Patti says
    Posted June 22, 2014

    Thank you for the fabulous tutorial! I brought the laptop into the bathroom and followed your easy steps and received tons of great comments from family and friends at an elegant wedding in Vermont last night! It is easier than the finished do looks. I watched the video, practiced once, and then revisited it again the next day and all made perfect sense. I can’t thank you enough!!!! Patti P

  71. John says
    Posted July 10, 2014

    It is not! I use a color that has been discontinued (though I still have some boxes left), but my next color I’m going to try is going to be Strawberry Blonde 7R #72 by Revlon.I’ve found the trick to hvnaig this type of hair color is to avoid colors that say “red” or “auburn” and to go with colors that say, “copper” or “blonde”. My old color was “strawberry blonde” and I’ve heard of people successfully using “copper penny”, and other such names! I get this question a lot so as soon as I have my new color I will share it!

  72. Pam Ferrell says
    Posted July 14, 2014

    Your tutorials are great ! My son was married Sat, July 12 and I did my on hair ! It was great. I had to modify just a little because of layers, but you explain it so well and make it easy. AND yes, people asked “Who done your hair?” 🙂

  73. Oleg says
    Posted July 21, 2014

    Pretty great post. I simply smbtuled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write once more very soon!

  74. Posted July 25, 2014

    Prachtig!! = Lovely!

    from the Netherlands

  75. Ro says
    Posted August 5, 2014

    I love this hairstyle and the wunderfull tutorial.
    Used it as my wedding hair style. However, as I usually don´t do such beautiful hair styles it didn´t look as good as yours, but still looked very nice and everyone liked it as I had the same flower in my hair as in my wedding bouquet.

    Thanks so much.

    Silly Question: I never find this tutorial on your hair page, only via a search engine. Did you change the name of it? Or am i just blind, which is the most probable answer.

  76. Cate says
    Posted August 23, 2014

    I feel like you should end each tutorial with “TA DA!” because when I actually pull one off I totally do! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us!

  77. Posted October 2, 2014

    i love it! so simple and easy. thanks for the video!

  78. Nancy says
    Posted November 26, 2014

    Love the blog….

  79. Demi says
    Posted March 7, 2015

    I really like you videos! I Am a hairdresser for a long time, but is still learn new staff from you! Thank you for that, many you can watch my video’s and tell me what you think about it?

    Already thanks you can find my on you tube under the name Demi van stalle

    Bey from holland

  80. Erin says
    Posted July 1, 2015

    I LOVE IT!!
    I have hair longer than yours and no fringe… am i still able to achieve this look?
    Thank you 🙂

  81. Ann Etta Moore says
    Posted July 16, 2015

    I have baby fine hair collar length , dishwater blond color thinning hair at age 79. I have thought I had to have perms. I request your HELP PLEASE
    Ann Etta Moore
    9160 Salem Rd
    Lakeland, TN 38002.

  82. Gabrielle says
    Posted October 20, 2016

    I cannot get my hair to do the donut. Do you have any tips? My hair length is about mid-back. Is that a likely problem?

  83. Christina says
    Posted May 13, 2017

    I followed this for a wedding today and it was fabulous! Thanks!!

  84. Claire says
    Posted July 12, 2018

    I thought there was a video tutorial with this? I cant seem to find it 🙁

  85. Marty Harriss says
    Posted June 7, 2019

    Love, love, love this! I am getting married on a cruise in October. I don’t want to risk someone I don’t know doing something awful to my hair.
    I am practicing this every day (I am a slow learner!!).
    Thank you for a gorgeous hairstyle! I shall NOT give up!