39 Cute Updos for Natural Hair

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Updos for natural hair can seem like a dream come true when the temperature is climbing and heat styling becomes the dreaded moment of every day. Most of us have been anxiously awaiting summer weather all year long, but humidity or aggressive sun can impair both your hairstyle and your hair health. What’s a girl to do? Put away the heat tools and save some time in the morning by trying one of these simple updos on your natural hair.

Beautiful Protective Updos for Natural Hair

Natural hair updos are not only practical, they may be very creative and easy to complete. The following list features updos for any taste and level of hairstyling skills.

#1: Curly Updo with a Crown Braid

For those of you out there with exceptional curls, here’s an updo to hone in on the beauty of your naturally textured hair. Big, natural curls can be hot and frizzy during the humid months, so you’ve got to find a new way to wear them. Try this out: a braided crown that wraps around your head with your natural curls pinned up in a voluminous delight on top.

#2: Stylish Rolled and Pinned Updo for Natural Hair

Have you ever wished your hair could look like a piece of art? Well then, this is the style for you! With this rolled updo, you’re bound to turn heads in the best possible way. Have plenty of bobby pins ready if you’re going to try it out; complex styles like this one need to be kept in place.

#3: Side Twist Updo

Always say “yes” to a side braid or a twist! They are simple to do, but they always give a sophisticated look. To recreate this style for medium hair or long locks, part your hair in all the right places and then begin a twist, leading along your hairline to the back of your head.

#4: Easy Knotted Updo for Natural Hair

The best part of wearing an updo is that it may look complicated and difficult to achieve, but some are actually very easy. This style is as simple as tying the four separate sections into knots (the way you would tie a shoelace) and adding the leftover hair from one knot into the next for a more put-together elegance.

#5: Janelle Monae Inspired Updo for Natural Hair

Too many updos focus on the beautiful braids and buns at the back of your head, but they are not visible in front. With this style, you can have all your radiant natural hair up front for everyone to see. It’s easy to attain; just secure some French rolls with bobbypins in the way you prefer.

#6: Twist’n’Bun Updo for Natural Hair

Isn’t this updo flawless? Borrowing trends from the past is always a fun endeavor, especially when you choose a particularly stylish decade like the ‘60s. Hop on the vintage beauty train by trying out this hairstyle. Complete your look by pairing your new ‘do with traditional red lips and a Mad Men-esque dress to match.

#7: Rope Twist Halo Updo

Tired of braided crowns? Try a new take on the old classic style with this rope twist halo updo. To mimic this hairstyle, rope twist around the crown of your head, incorporating more strands into your twist as you go. When it’s finished, you’ll look like an angel (pun intended!)

#8: Ultimate Twist Updo for Natural Hair

Don’t be intimidated by the complexity of this style. It may look difficult, but it’s worth the extra effort. Prepare yourself with some patience and make sure you have enough time to get it right without being late to your outing. For a casual day out with your friends or for a first date, this versatile look can get you through any occasion!

#9: Flat Twist Updo

Getting ready to go to a formal event can mean hours in front of the mirror with a blow dryer in your face and a straightening iron heating up beside you, but there are other ways to get ready for the ball while still embracing your natural locks. Try this flat twist updo for your next little black dress occasion.

#10: Elegant Fishtail Braid Updo for Natural Hair

Here’s another example of a classy updo. This fishtail braid is perfect for any big event, like prom or wedding you have coming up. The addition of the clips sells the elegance of this look. You can substitute them for flowers or different types of clips, but if it’s too much pizzazz for you, just wear the style clean.

#11: Twisted Back Updo

When it’s hot and humid, all you want to do is keep the hair out of your face, but that’s no reason to sacrifice a great hair day. Try this twisted back updo to get the best of both worlds—the hair out of your face and a fancy ‘do to boot.

#12: Elegant Fauxhawk Updo for Natural Hair

Since the very first Mohawk, fauxhawks have been alive and well. The years have been kind to this basic style and it has since blossomed into all kinds of new and exciting variations. Take this updo as an example—it creates the traditional fauxhawk shape in a totally brand new way.

#13: Twisted Pompadour Updo

Updos aren’t all about fancy dresses and elaborate get-togethers. Sometimes they’re just about staying cool during a blistering summer day. This elegant updo is a go-to for casual occasions in the sun. Think: heading to the beach, taking a stroll in the park, even having a picnic in your own backyard.

#14: Easy Afro Updo for Natural Hair

This puffy natural black hair updo takes the cake for the easiest hairstyle of all time, but unfortunately it only works on those growing out natural afros. For those of you out there rocking a voluminous curl, simply tie a ribbon around your head as many times as it takes to achieve this perfection.

#15: Braided Humidity Proof Updos

These three styles kindly ask the boring old bun to step aside! Fight the hair-ruining humidity by pulling your hair into one of these three striking braided updos. Buns are a thing of the past; instead try something fresh by recreating one of the above styles.

#16: Beehive Wedding Updo for Natural Hair

The volume in this updo would make anyone envious! While your wedding day is your special day to be a total diva, it may be unnecessary. This style is ideal for anyone wanting to flaunt their natural beauty while saying, ‘I do!’ It’s not even difficult to achieve, mostly using folding and pinning to create the ideal volume.

#17: Pin-Curled Twists Updo

This beautiful style is a bit more complicated than most, but it pays off. If you take your time and create the right curly base of this look, you’ll be golden. After that, you just twist and pin in the right places, creating a terrifically twisted final product ready for any occasion.

#18: Classy Weave Hairstyle Updo

Can this style really be as easy as it looks? Check out this cute updo—recreating it is as simple as putting a hairband around your head and tucking your hair into it in the back. Bangs are the perfect touch, softening the appearance as a gracious frame.

#19: French Braided Bun Updo

Staying stylish in the workplace is difficult with all those oppressive dress codes. No open-toed shoes, no big hair, no eccentric makeup. It’s like they’re trying to iron out all aspects of your personality! Don’t worry, there are still ways to stay in dress code and look cute while doing it. This updo is a great example; try it out.

#20: Dreadlocked Palm Trees

This fun creative hairstyle with dreadlocks is easy to maintain once you get it done by a stylist. It’s cute and spiky, and a great change for short natural hair. It lasts for a while, once you get it braided, and it sure looks daring and wild!

#21: French Braided Updo

This is one of the prettiest natural hair updos you can make if your hair is at least of medium length. It’s a bit complicated to achieve on your own, but you can ask your stylist for an around-the-head braid, fixed with invisible bobby pins. This cute style works wonderfully as a natural approach to wedding hair, whether you’re the bride or a bridesmaid. It’s also a cute example of an updo that works for naturally curly African-American hair.

#22: Cute Contrasting Top Afro Updo

This pretty pinned up updo is an ideal classy look for black women who want to try something different for a change. The ‘do requires an easy side twist and your regular afro puff that may be pushed toward the forehead like in the photo. A pop of color is optional.

#23: Easy Curly Bun with Side Braids

This big curly bun with braided elements is super easy to do by yourself and it’s also very flatteringe for your natural black hair if you don’t want to bleach it or dye any unnatural hair color. To obtain this style, part your hair horizontally a few centimeters above your hairline, then make a headband braid. Wrap a big twist and drape your curls loosely at the nape.

#24: Cute Headband with Curly Bangs

Traditional headbands and head wraps (reinterpreted, of course) are back in style. This easy casual look is one of the cutest natural updos for short hair to have at the moment. It works best if the top of your hair (the bangs) are dyed in a contrasting color, but it can work perfectly fine with natural black hair too, as long as it’s not tamed. It’s really a great solution for short natural hair: just leave the front portion out of the wrap, gather the rest into to and you’re good to go!

#25: Big Bun for Medium Length Hair

This style is ideal if your hair is stretched, but it can work for fully naturally curly African-American hair as well. Just tie your hair in a big bun on the top of your head, and preferably use a twist when you wrap it on the lower side of your head. This cute twist will be more visible if your hair is stretched.

#26: Flat Twists and Caramel Coils

Here’s a lovely style if you like a wild touch to your looks, and easy to maintain as well once you have it done. Braid a few side cornrows or flat twists and pile your curls on the top of your head to keep the Mohawk-like bunch of short natural hair pinned up neatly on the top.

#27: Braided High Volume Updo

More intricate-looking braided styles like this sophisticated updo require longer than medium length hair or extensions. This is one of the best natural hair updos, elegant enough for any formal event. For a complete glamorous effect, it’s best if your hair is stretched out and treated with a high shine serum.

#28: Half Braided Half Curly Updo with Cornrows

Check another example of a Mohawk-like wild top with cornrows in our gallery of updo styles. This classy ‘do is ideal for short natural hair, and it’s also quite unhackneyed. It’s cute and relatively easy to complete once you get someone professional to do it for you.

#29: Naturally Curly Tie-Up

A cute hairstyle idea for women with short or medium length, this quick updo requires your hair to be tied up on the top of your head, close to your forehead. Then, style your pinned up hair as a lovely bunch of long bangs, draping your forehead.

#30: Flat Twists Updo

This is a lovely, elegant and complex style, probably one of the classiest braided updos for natural hair we have encountered so far. You can duplicate this style with long hair (or at least hair of a medium length.) The combination of thin and chunky twists renders flair of sophistication to this gorgeous updo. The twists can be substituted by cornrows.

#31: Pony with Dreadlocks and Fancy Braided Pattern

This complex style for African-American women with natural black hair is based on dreading. Although the dreadlocks in the pony and those braided close to the scalp look completely different, they use the same technique. It’s a lovely alternative to good old cornrows.

#32: Sculptured French Braid with a Front Roll

This impressive hairstyle with a twist is suitable for formal events when you want to look your best. It requires a good dose of fixing products, so it’s not very sustainable for daily life. If your natural black hair is longer than a medium length and you don’t mind combing, this is a worthy option for your next special occasion.

#33: Knots and Twists

Not all natural hair updos have to be structured and follow a clear pattern. This cute style for medium length hair perfectly illustrates that you can just braid your hair any way you like and then tie it up on the top of your head randomly; it will still look sophisticated and lovely. This is easy to make and maintain, you don’t really need the help of a stylist, and it’s well-suited for both casual and formal occasions.

#34: Big Twists and Loops Updo

This is a lovely and relatively simple hairstyle for natural black hair that requires clear parting and skillful hands. The combination of twists and loops looks pretty impressive. The key to this updo is hiding the ends and smoothing out the edges for a super clean look.

#35: Cornrow Labyrinth and Top Bun

This cool, funky cornrow braided style is cute enough for a casual event but interesting and different enough for a formal one too! Whether your natural black hair is long, medium length or short, you’re good to go with this style. Use extensions if needed, and ask your stylist to recreate this labyrinth of cornrows on the sides and back, and then you can do a bun or a simple tie-up by yourself, each day. Just pull your hair together and use bobby pins or clips to have it pinned up in a high voluminous bun.

#36: Mohawk with Flat Twists

This cute natural updo with a braided Mohawk in mind is great if you want to extend short natural hair in order to protect it and get a beautiful style, suitable for medium length hair. You may play with the color of extensions and the texture of your Mohawk. As we see, here the twists offer some lovely boucle texture.

#37: Braided Crown Updo

This is a style that can be pulled off with short, medium or long natural hair. If you lack length, use the extensions, like the model did. This pinned up braided updo is classy to rock for a formal event, wedding included.

#38: Bun for Cornrow Twists

This simplek style for African-American hair starts with cornrows and continues with twists – pay attention at how they’re braided differently just above the forehead. Once you get those special twists, you can wear them hanging freely, pinned up or wrapped into a bun.

#39: Horizontal Flat Twists and Kinky Bun

Here’s a cute natural updo hairstyle that is not just visually appealing, but also convenient to sleep with. It’s quite easy to recreate – get horizontal flat twists or cornrows braided, gather the ends of your locks and pin them up in a sort of front roll. This hairstyle preserves your naturally curly texture, thus, looking twice more beautiful.

Are you ready for sun, sand and high-waisted shorts? Dust off those sunglasses, pick one of these fabulous updos for natural hair and start the summer off right.

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