Easy Hair Updo Tutorial

Okay. Hair tutorial. 
Let's do this. 

Why you shouldn't X out of this post:
+ If you think to yourself "I don't have as much hair as she does"
+ If you think to yourself "I don't have expensive hair tools or hair products"
+ If you think to yourself "I don't have time for a complicated updo like this"
+ If you think to yourself "She mentioned this was day 3 hair. I could never go that long between washes!"

Stick with me and give this updo a shot!

Below is what I have taught myself to do with dry shampoo from Target, TJ Maxx hairspray, six bobby pins, a teasing comb from Sally, and a curling wand from Walmart. 

So, round up your materials. If you do have thicker hair than I do, you may need a few more bobby pins. I set my curling wand to 400 degrees and use my Michael Jackson-esque heat glove to protect my hands from burns. 

Let's start off by talking about the hair. I wish I had a really cute photo of my starting point hair, but this one that Camille and I took to send Ian while he was out of town will have to do. It was Saturday morning. I'd washed my hair Thursday morning, used dry shampoo in it Friday morning, and so this made a full second day of unwashed hair. On these days, I just shower and use a thick shower cap from TJ Maxx to protect my hair from the water. 

Let it be known that I never used to go without washing my hair. My hair is rather thin and got oily fast. It did take a little bit of training, but I think my hair is proof that anyone can get theirs to go more than a day without washing. If you're working up a big sweat exercising daily, though, it may not work for you. See also: you're my hero :)

Out of the shower, I spray the dry shampoo at the roots and run a hairdryer over any parts that got a little damp from the shower. The warm air seems to give it a little extra volumizing boost.

Now, let's get down to business.

I start off by clipping up the top half of my hair (top left photo below). I separate the bottom part into three sections and curl each with the curling wand: left side, right side, and back. You are going to want the curls to curl away from your face (a la Farrah Fawcett), not towards it.

Once the bottom section is curled, I let down the top right and top left sections, curling each of them away from my face. At this point I have reclipped just the top strip of hair -- the mohawk sort of section, if you will. 

Top left photo below -- this is that last remaining mohawk section I was talking about. Just to review, I've curled five sections of hair now: bottom left, bottom right, bottom center, top left, top right.

I unclip the mohawk section and separate it into two sections -- the back/crown part, which I'm holding up in the top right photo, and the bangs. I curl each of these, but I only do a verrrry slight curl on the bangs at the end of them. 

Then I get that hairspray ready. 

Lifting up the top/crown section of hair, I mist it with hairspray and then tease it WELL. Tease it better than you think you'd need to.

I sweep back the right side, sweep back the left side, and criss-cross the bobby pins at the back to create a half up, half down style (top right photo below). Since you've teased the underside, it should be fairly smooth on the top but may need a little bit of smoothing.

Now that the top section is clipped back with a little bouffant pouf, I take the right side of the lower hair and loosely twist/pull it back and pin it near the other bobby pins. 

I then repeat this process with the left side of my hair, and then I'm left with just the back piece (bottom left photo). I twist it up and bobby pin it, again, right on top of the other bobby pins. If they overlap well it can really help lock them in place. 

At this point you can use your 6th bobby pin to secure any areas that don't feel nice and tight.

You've got a fairly done updo now, but I like to take it to Texas hair at this point.

Grab your teasing brush, and with the pointy end, insert it right in the hair and pull the hair away from the head. This loosens it up a bit and gives more of a bouffant yet relaxed look. I do this on the very top (right behind my bangs) and on each side.

And that, my friends, is my six bobby pin updo.

If you are working with thinner hair, like me, or if you want to ensure that the final style definitely looks big and not too slicked-back, another trick that I sometimes do is this: after curling every section of my hair, I'll flip it over and put a fine mist of spray on my entire head. This locks in the curl all over but it also really helps add volume to all of your hair.

I'd love to see you give this a shot! If you have success with it and Instagram a photo, please tag me (@alizadventures) in it so I can see! Let me know if you have any questions below and I will do my best to answer them. :) 

Here's a quick shopping list for you with some of the best prices I've found from various online retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target). Also, while you may have a favorite dry shampoo, this Herbal Essences one is more texturizing than others I've tried, which is why I'm recommending it for this particular style -- but you may love your own. I'm also including a link to Aerogel hairspray which is a product that we learned about from my sister's wedding hairstylist. It is AMAZING and truly gives a miraculous hold. When I did this updo for a wedding I attended, and I knew I wanted it to last for hours and be dancefloor-proof, I went with that hairspray. I treat it like liquid gold :) (but it's really not that much more expensive than my daily spray!)


  1. Brilliant! Thank you for taking the time to put this together- super helpful {and easy}!

  2. This is SO cute! I wish I could pull this off but I think I have more than double the amount of hair you do haha! - but this inspires me to do my own curling tutorial since a bajillion people have asked... Your photos are so clear and the step by step would be so helpful!

  3. I can go two or three days, but I feel a little gross lol. But I do it! Actually I sprinkle baby powder in my roots vs dry shampoo. I've used dry shampoo and I think baby powder is a little better.

  4. So- there is NO WAY I could pull this off. BUT- you are STUNNING and have an amazing hair styling skills!!! Loved seeing the process of how you achieved your up-do- from start to finish!!

  5. SO cute!! I feel like this is so much harder with blonde hair because you can always see the "sections" and it just looks so weird ugh! If only you lived closer and could teach me in person ;)

  6. Perfect timing! I was thinking of trying an updo for an event I am attending tomorrow night...let's see if I can pull this off!

  7. I used to do something similar but then got lazy and have been pulling it into a top knot. I forgot how easy it is! I'll have to give it a try again.

  8. Can you just come & do this to my hair?

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