The natural curly hair life can be a bit draining at times, and there are moments where time is not on our side, and putting those curls in a bun is the best we can do. We turned to Instagram and other sources to gather a few updos that are easy to pull together, give off intricate vibes, and allow you to give that bun a break.
1. Braided bun
This high bun with three braids and laid edges from Instagrammer @chelliscurls is a perfectly elegant look that can be used for a fancy dinner or for an evening wedding.
2. Golden cuffs
Any hairstyle with golden cuffs is automatically upgraded to a goddess look. Simply add this accessory to several twists and then place your hair in a high bun to give off queenly vibes.
3. Messy cascade
For our 3a curlies, grab a two scrunchies and a lot of bobby pins and leave a few curls out all around the front part and sides of your head, and then gather the rest of your curls and tie them highly on your head. You can bobby pin whatever loose curls are hanging from the bun, or leave them out to give off that “messy bun” feel.
Similar to the last updo, this style only requires to leave some curls out in the front as bangs, and then place your bun high on top of your head. This would be a more “collected” look that can be diversified from day to night.
5. 4 Knot Curly Updo
If your hair is too short to pull into one bun, create 4 small knots instead. This look by @kellgrace can be dressed up, worn to work, or even just on a hot day. Simply gather your hair into 2, 3 or 4 knots and secure each with a bobby pin or two. Leave a couple of tendrils loose over the ears and then pin those back into the buns to complete the look.
6. High bun with sidelights
This sensual hairstyle is perfect for any 4c curly girl. A high bun with four twist-out strands hanging in the front makes for the perfect summer look and will allow you to keep cool with your hair picked up.
7. Sleek Bun with Next-Level Edges
You can dress up even the simplest bun by mastering styling your baby hairs. Take your edges to the next level like @joyjah with tiny pearls - she sticks them on using DUO lash adhesive and a “duel ended rhinestone picker to stick the pearls in place.”
8. Twisted and topped
This curly updo from @Marcelcursyouon for a special event is a protective style and will last a long time — in this case 2 weeks! It can also be taken down to be rocked as all-over curls, says Stephanie, who lives in New Orleans.
9. Sock bun
You can never go wrong with that sock bun. Rolling a half-sock or two together into a doughnut shape, placing it over a ponytail, then wrapping the hair around to cover the sock will create the perfect bun look. If you’re going for a more “messy” look, simply take out a few hair strands around your head, and tease them for a mild frizzy look.
10. Cornrow Bantu knots
This style featuring cornrow Bantu knots from @nigernianhairstyles isn’t as time-friendly as the aforementioned styles, however, it’s just as fun! This style, inspired by TLC’s “Left-Eye,” is perfect for any festival, concert, or for simply walking the runway of life!
11. Big braid bun
Instead of several mini-cornrow buns like No. 10, this one, also from @nigernianhairstyles gathers all cornrows into one glorious high bun, which is perfect for any occasion but even more so any summer event.
12. Three twisted buns
Here’s another mini-bun idea that doesn’t require any braiding. Simply part your hair in three big chunks, twist them to make them into buns, and then with bobby pin them together from the mid-to-back part of your head.
13. Pineapple updo
From Instgrammer @actually_ashly comes this quick and easy curly updo that is "my go-to during the summer time," she says. "It's perfect for many occasions year-round. I love to wear it when I'm running errands or even when I'm going to an event. It can be dressed up easily with some bold earrings!”
14. Sockbun twist
From @serenity_hairandmakeup comes this a sockbun updo with a flirty twist. It’s great to wear to a party or wedding.
15. Messy pony bun
Scottish Instagrammer @molliebanks5says, "This style is great for medium to long hair for any event, such as weddings, graduations proms, etc. I used some hair padding to create a fuller look underneath, but this isn't necessary — it just depends how much hair you have. Lots of bobby pins or kirby grips were also used to pin all the curls for the desired look."
This style, from Utah Instagrammer @whitneylivhair is perfect for "a bride, a wedding guest, or even just an evening date! It’s a low-bun, textured updo. I used a curling iron on the top layer and mimicked her natural curl, then smoothed down the hair on top.”
17. Curly bun with faux bangs
Floridian Instagrammer@leslie.joanny writes: “Simple, yet classy curly bun with faux bangs."
18. Curly chignon
Sarah, of @MyBigHairDay, writes, “When styling naturally curly hair, it’s my preference to keep the curl in its natural texture as much as possible. For this style, I enhanced her curl with a wand that matched the size of the curl pattern and smoothed out any frizzy bits with product. This style would be great for wedding/baby showers, weddings, charity galas, or proms. It’s really pretty if you add a few fresh flowers!”
19. Low bun with tendrils
This bridesmaid wanted to look natural but still done up for the wedding. Says New Jersey stylist @cheydoeshair "Keeping her curls, I pulled back pieces to create a messy, yet natural look with a low bun and soft curls around her face. This look is perfect for a wedding, holiday party, or just a night out with your girls.”
20. Scarf it up
Ashlee from Arizona Instagrams at @curly.ashlee, and writes, “Head wraps can be used to make even the fastest styles look intricate and well thought out. Add elegance to a messy bun in minutes by tying a head wrap or scarf around your crown and nape, and pulling down a few face-framing curls.”
21. Low updo with French braid
A classy curly messy low updo with a French braid is from London designer @hair_by_haj. This look is perfect for bridesmaids and for parties and it can be further fancified by a decorative hair accessory.
22. Faux hawk
From Floridian @Wilrj, this curly faux hawk is a fun and edgy curly updo good for any occasion. "I call it the all-in-one updo. It all depends on your attire and accessories to make it elegant or more casual. Definitely an eye-catcher,” she writes.
23. Braid and tendrils
“Stop fighting your curls for special events," says Instagrammer @hairqueen_stef of California. "Make what you have more beautiful by adding a romantic braid. Define your curls and just be creative in your placement.”
24. Twisty high bun
With this style from South Africa's @curlycairncross, add a twist to your style with braids, a high bun and accessories for that special event.
25. Braided Pineapple
If your hair is too short in the back and sides to pull into a bun (like style number 1), you can braid or twist the front towards a pineapple, or simply leave the back and sides loose. @coconutandconcrete uses this style to jazz up a week-old wash and go. You can watch her full tutorial here.
With 25 updo options, we hope you've found a style or two that you can adapt to your own curls or coils. What other updo ideas do you know about that you’d like to share?