13 Easy Updos for Short Hair

Short hair, don't care. You don't need long locks for these pretty updo hairstyles.

All of the elegance, none of the fuss.

By Erin Mayer, Redbook

With stars like Kristen Stewart and Lupita Nyong'o rocking above-the-shoulder strands, anyone with a cropped cut is most definitely in good company. But it's not always easy to style short hair, especially if you want an updo (and don't have a team of on-call stylists). These gorgeous options are so simple, though, any short-haired girl can pull them off.

Low Ponytail

A short pony at the nape of your neck can look just as elegant as a chignon. Sarah Paulson's version is slicked down into an exaggerated center part for a sleek look.

Rockabilly Bangs

Short-haired ladies can have some fun with edgier styles, especially if you have longer bangs that you can mold into interesting shapes, as Tessa Thompson demonstrates. Just be sure to keep some maximum hold hairspray on hand — we like R + Co's VICIOUS Strong Hold Flexible Hairspray (

Pinned-Back Waves

If your hair is too short to pull back entirely, a look like Emma Watson's can be a happy medium. Pull the front pieces back and secure them with bobby pins, then smooth down flyaways with a little medium-hold gel or pomade, like Living Proof Style Lab Forming Paste (

Sleek Accessories

A headband is the perfect tool for super short, curly hair like Lupita Nyong'o's. You'll get a similar pulled-back look you would with a ponytail. Pro tip: Vive celebrity hairstylist David Babaii recommends getting creative — try adding more than one headband or a use a metal-plated one for a dressier look.

Braided Mohawk

This look, created by celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess for Lucy Hale, is the epitome of "business in the front, party in the back." To keep your hair looking as sleek and as Hale's, Babaii suggests spritzing smoothing hairspray, like Pantene Airspray Flexible Hold Hairspray (, on the finished look, then combing down any frizz with a toothbrush.

Braided Mohawk, Part 2

Your everyday, half-up hairdo gets a much cooler twist with this braided look spotted on Kristen Stewart. Simply weave the center section of your hair into a braid, secure at the back of your head with bobby pins, and tuck the rest behind your ears.

Brushed Back Bob

"A Gracy Kelly kind of look with a lot of volume works great with very short hair," says Babaii. He first spritzes hair with salt spray like Bumble and bumble Surf Spray ( and teases at the root to add grip and volume. Then he brushes the hair up and away from the face while spraying hairspray for a loose but still polished look, like the one Katherine Heigl pulls off here.

Crown Braid

You can pull off a braided crown like Kerry Washington's with short hair! Instead of plaiting along one long strand, weave the shorter pieces into the braid as it continues along your head. It doesn't have to be perfect — a little texture will help it feel more casual.

Faux Updo

For hair like Gigi Hadid's that is simply too short for any braided, twisted, or ponied options, Babaii recommends mimicking an updo by using a gel product like ColorProof Crafting Pomade Texture + Hold + Shine ( to sweep hair off of the face. "Pull the hair back by creating an almost a wet-look — you don't even necessarily have to tie it in the back," he explains.

Side Braid

Sometimes an updo can make the excess oil in second day hair a little too obvious. When all else fails and a fresh wash just isn't available to you, try a side braid to sweep hair away from the face. The extra grip that "dirty" hair provides will make braiding much easier, and you can even use a curling iron to add a few waves to the opposite side, like Sarah Hyland did.

Boho Twist

"Braids are great with short hair," says Babaii. "They can be fun and wispy since the pieces are shorter and naturally pop out of the style for a effortless look." Don't get too hung up on getting those loose pieces under control — they'll only add a more laid-back, bohemian vibe to the overall style. Exhibit A: Emma Stone's piecey-y 'do.

Faux, Blown-Back Twist

To copy Nicole Richie's style, blow dry wet hair at the root to lift it back and away from the face. To finish, spritz hair with a strong hold, texturing formula like the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ( to create the illusion of a pulled-back updo. If length permits, you can pin the sides back with bobby pins for extra hold.

Pinned-Back Twist

You don't need much hair to pull off a twisted updo. Rachel McAdams's barely reaches her chin when loose; by slicking back those short, face-framing pieces and twisting the hair from the nape of the neck into a low bun, she's able to keep her short hair from falling into her face.

See more at: Redbook


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Women's Magazine: 13 Easy Updos for Short Hair
13 Easy Updos for Short Hair
Short hair, don't care. You don't need long locks for these pretty updo hairstyles.
Women's Magazine
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