The Editors
Updated on March 16, 2021
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Half up dos are a great way to keep hair fancy without being formal. Ideal for either everyday wear or more posh occasions, half up half down hairstyles are great for all hair types and length, always making them a popular style choice.

The Most Beautiful Half Updos Across the Web

Check out the ideas in pictures below to get inspired.

1. Pretty Mermaid-Esque Updo

Calling all The Little Mermaid super-fans: overshadowing Ariel-esque hair is possible. This charming choice offers a relaxed, summer vibe; however, it also works as a sophisticated finishing touch to a little black dress or an office-ready ensemble.

2. Half Up with Loose Lace Braid

Forget French and boxer braids: a loose lace braid can be the highlight of your half up half down hairstyle. Not only is this choice totally ladylike, but your locks will inherit a soft wave once you’ve undone that pretty plait. While this option is great with all hair colors, it’s especially striking when enhanced with some highlights.

3. Twisted Half Up

Ever since the Beatles’ 1963 hit song “Twist and Shout,” we’ve all been obsessed with all things coiled. This half up half down style is no exception. If you’re no plait professional, consider this choice a great (read: easy) way to add some pizzazz to an otherwise basic silhouette.

4. Half Down with Crown Braid

Simple vertical braids are so yesterday. For a style that is complicated, girly and polished at the same time, try wrapping a flat lacy braid around your head. It’s a creative way to keep those stray strands far away from your face, plus it’s appropriate for both casual and formal occasions.

5. Braid Variations

Finding hairstyles with braids can be frustrating, as many just look too juvenile. This one, however, is really fun to wear and to observe. Combining thick, thin and medium braids into one memorable style, this ‘do will stay in place and keep you feeling lovely.

6. Wild Waves

Keep half up half down hair simple with a style that won’t require a tutorial to complete. Curl your hair with an iron or hot rollers, and then gather a few crown locks to pull back. Secure with some hair pins and you are ready to take on the day.

7. Royal-Approved Half Up

Didn’t you always wish for princess-worthy hair as a little girl? Luckily, here’s your opportunity. The ladylike silhouette is perfect for those with long locks, not to mention that smooth curls can bring out the natural highlights in your hair.

8. Anti-Basic Half Down

If you tend to prefer a more traditional half down style, but want to crank up the drama just a smidge, give this alternative a whirl. From the front, this style is just your average, polished coif. But from the back? The textured bun packs a slight punch. To copy this look, create a small ponytail with the top layer of your hair, twist the end, wrap loosely and secure the twisted tail in place.

9. (Not-So) Lazy Half Up

Sometimes, your best style moments happen when you look like you put in minimal effort. But in reality? You care. A lot. Consider this do a mix between a half up style and a messy bun. Sure, both options can potentially read lazy on their own, but together? They create a look that’s equally suitable for lounging around the house or grabbing drinks with your girlfriends. For a finishing touch, adding some texturizing spray will offer a chic case of bed head.

10. Easy Boho Half Up

If you’re looking for a fancy upgrade to this classic ‘do that doesn’t veer into the “prom hair” territory, try joining two small waterfall braids at the back of your head. Add a dainty element to this easy style with loose bouncy curls for the ends of your long locks.

11. Luscious Braided Half Up Hair

If you’re in the market for prom hairstyles, then be sure to consider a style with lots of volume and drama. Opt for whimsical curls and a half up braid to tie together the look with different textures and lengths. Neat and hair-to-hair updos aren’t everything; and this perfectly curly coif is the proof.

Curly Half Updo With A Braid And Bouffant

Instagram / @elstilespb

12. Messy Braids and Waves

Half up half down hairstyles can be an amazing canvas to show off your personality. Case in point, this silvery mane is literally angelic as it uses a braid to adorn the platinum tresses like a halo.

Blonde Half Updo With Braids And Bun

Instagram / @christinagunnell

13. Chunky Braid Balayage

Just when you thought balayage couldn’t get any prettier, this half up hair proves it can. The chunky braid beautifully blends all the hues of the blonde dye job and puts them on display. Whimsical curls and blunt ends pull the look together with a clean finish.

14. Half Down with Fishtail Braid

Loose fishtail braids make a big impact with their minimalist style. Straight, platinum highlights cascading from the updo, play up the mesmerizing effect of the coif.

Fishtailed Half Updo

Instagram / @nicoledrege

15. Voluminous Bouffant Half-Updo

For long hair, half-up hairstyles are a chic alternative to full-on updos for formal affairs. Back-skimming locks might be too beautiful to keep tucked away for a night of wining and dining, but a fancy half-updo is a cinch to maintain and it’s just as stylish.

16. Fishtail Braid and Bob

Craving to add texture to your straight tresses? Try to enliven your locks with a couple of fishtail braids. Plus, having your hair pulled back, as shown, acts like a headband, keeping flyaways out of your face on your busy days.

Braided Half Updo For A Medium Bob

Instagram / @jenniekaybeauty

17. Half Up and Off Centered

Wear your half-up hairdo to the side with a bow (or a piece of cute fabric) for a quirky finish to your coif. Its geek chic is the perfect compliment to side-swept bangs and oversized glasses. Easy to recreate at home, the style is a simple way to change up your look, whether your hair is short or long.

Simple Asymmetrical Half Updo For Medium Hair

Instagram / @janine_ker_hair

18. Fancy French and Fishtail Braids

Get creative with your half updos. Mix regular braids with fishtails for a look with intrigue and texture, in equal measure. Playing with proportions, this hairstyle is a work of art. Upgrade your locks with loose curls to enhance their enchanting allure.

Long Hair Half Updo With Fishtails

Instagram / @emmas_parlour

19. Perfectly Sweet Half Up Bow

You don’t have to make jumbo fabric bows to achieve a sweet girly style. Just use a hair bow for a hairstyle that’s just as cute, but 100 times more impressive. When paired with curls, the total package is a charming choice for a semi formal.

Hair Bow Half Updo

Instagram / @catherinestroh

20. Adorable Blonde Half Updo

Have a big event coming up? Opt for luscious ringlets and a partial updo. The whimsical twisted bun really pops against the golden blonde tresses, while the even lighter pieces add a sheen to the strands.

Blonde Curly Half Updo With Twists

Instagram / @hair_by_pelerossi

21. Not-So-Messy Half Up Hairdo

With its cute ringlets and shoulder-skimming length, this half up half down hair is the perfect combo of sweet style and sophistication for a bridesmaid or gala goer. A perk for a medium length is how the style with hair down looks stunning, while still letting your dress take the stage.

Curly Half Up Hairstyle For Medium Hair

Instagram / @duyenhuynh

22. Lovely Loose Braids

Frame loose curls with even looser braids, for a perfect ladylike look. Roll the ends of your braids and pin them up to create a textured bun. This particular style works wonderfully with straight hair, because the kink-free tresses easily achieve that beautiful drape.

Half Updo With Waterfall Braid And Bun

Instagram / @catherinestroh

23. Half Down Locks with Chunky Crown Braid

If your locks are falling a little flat, add some texture with a super-chunky half up braid. Easy enough to do at home, you just have to fan out the pieces of the plait after you’ve finished it. It’s a quick trick to give your tresses the illusion of thickness.

Half Up Halo Braid

Instagram / @dawnbradleyhair

24. Floral-Embellished Brunette

If you sport your hair half up half down, there are infinite ways to enliven the look apart from whimsical braids. Trying out loose twists is a start, but embellishing the coif with a floral hairpiece will make your tresses a picture of romantic style.

Brunette Wavy Half Updo

Instagram / @salonleah

25. Easy and Creative Half Up Knot

On hurried mornings, it’s hard to get out the door looking flawless. But if you’re in a time crunch, just pull the top quarter of your hair back into a messy knot. The coif radiates effortless style, but no one has to know how much time you actually put into your appearance that day.

26. Straight Half Down Hairstyle

Straight strands can be a pain because they easily fall out of ponytails and for many, won’t hold a curl. So, dress up your locks with braids, a failsafe for any hair texture. Bring two fishtails together at the back of your head and pin them down for a modern style that stays in place all day.

Fishtail Crown Braid Half Updo

Instagram / @jenniekaybeauty

27. Ethereal Gray Tresses

Long hair is gorgeous, but how to keep it out of the way when you’re out and about? Down hairstyles are notorious for having a mind of their own, so why not try a partial updo. It’s a step up from a basic ponytail and can help keep those locks settled. Braids mixed with a loosened twist pinned across the back of the head will enhance the beauty of your lush locks.

28. Voluminous Caramel Hairstyle

Pump up the volume of your hair with a perfectly teased, half up coif. Use a thin braid as a barrette holding a waterfall of chic layers to bring a unique finish to this hairstyle. Let your long, caramel-tinted locks flow, instead of pinning them up into an updo. This hairdo is way more noteworthy.

29. Wavy Blonde Balayage

So simple yet stunning, these wavy tresses could take you anywhere from a festival to a semi formal event. The loose twists complement the effortless allure of the coif, while the blonde ends give it a natural sun-kissed finish.

Curly Half Updo For Long Hair

Instagram / @larrissarodrigues

30. Curly Half Down Tresses

Hair is always more fun with more volume. A bevy of back-skimming bouncy curls ensures that this soft chocolate-and-caramel mane is ready for a night to remember. It’s unique and unexpected. Plus, half up half down hairstyles can often be more polished than free-falling curls.

Voluminous Curly Half Updo With A Bouffant

Instagram / @tatiana.wladi

31. Spiraled Updo

As great as the half updo is for everyday wear, it’s not always the most appropriate for formal events. But, as a mix of a spiral twist and a French braid along the top, this one could look smashing when paired with a luxe evening gown. And if some of your roots are starting to show more, this style makes your hair’s different tones look totally hypnotic instead of harsh.

32. Knotty Half Updo for Long Hair

In most beauty spheres, knotty hair is a total faux pas. But here, the exaggerated kinks are more sophisticated than sloppy. This option comprises a lazy ponytail with loose knots along the ends. The idea is suitable for a wide range of lengths; however, it’s particularly edgy on longer locks.

33. Street Style-Approved Half Updo

As any hair guru knows, a top knot is one of the edgiest, low maintenance hairstyles at the moment. Combine this favorite with your silky half up half down hair, and you’ll get a mane that has “cool girl” written all over it. This one also boasts a quick inside-out braid, so it will look awesome with a simple T-shirt and jeans.

34. Plait Perfect Half Up

Have a penchant for braids? This option is perfect for you. Unless you’re a total master at all weaves and plaits, the transition from the twist to the tightly woven fishtail may not be easy, but we can bet that it’ll merit loads of Instagram likes. If you’re looking to copy this look, straighten your hair first to keep this busy ‘do polished.

35. Sleek and Sophisticated Updo

Big hair can be great; however, sometimes you end up looking more Dolly Parton and less a cool, fashion-forward girl. Fortunately, embracing curls and a slimmer silhouette is not always mutually exclusive. This do is half modern, half girly, but 100 percent wearable.

36. Half Up for Curly Girls

Sporting a head full of bouncy curls takes a lot of guts. If you don’t want an extremely voluminous style, do not tousle your curled locks, but leave them in spirals, flowing down your back. Balance the volume down with a bouffant. If you are blessed with naturally curly hair, simply add some hairspray and tie your hair half up half down.

37. Medium Hair in Half Updo

Brace yourself, curly cues: this springy style gives Shirley Temple’s ringlets some stiff competition. While such playful coils may veer too youthful for some, a set of tight curls can add a cute touch to a blouse and flirty skirt combination. As an added bonus, this style is great for ladies with shoulder-length hair.

38. Braided Half Updo for Straight Hair

Cursed with pin-straight hair that never seems to hold a curl? Fear not, there are still zesty, half up half down hairstyles to test out. This one, for example, offers a cute and thoughtful twist to your favorite fuss-free style. Simply create a half hair crown by weaving two French braids on each side of your head and bring them together with a neutral elastic.

39. One Updo That Defies Gravity

If flat, super straight hair just isn’t your thing, elevating the beauty of your half up is easy by giving your locks some root volume. For the night time appeal and the maximum glamorous impact, add a frosted headband.

40. Unconventionally Curly Half Down

Attention beauty buffs: pretty half updos are no longer created within the confines of a simple half up ponytail. To add some range to your collection of ladylike coiffures, try pinning back two side strands of your hair for an option that is equally polished. Take this look to the next level by adding some large ringlets into the mix.

41. No Nonsense Nautical

Gather your locks into a half up half down hairstyle when transforming your normally straight hair for a special occasion. Be the prettiest among the rank of bridesmaids or simply doll up your hair with some adorable sea-inspired hair pins to feel beautiful all day long.

42. Long Accessories

Get creative with a gorgeous accessory that’s as long as your hair. This style is accentuated with a beaded wrapped hair scarf. Keep it in place by draping a loose, romantic French braid on top.

43. Short Options

You don’t have to have long, flowy locks to take advantage of the pretty half up hairstyles. In fact, many women step into a hair rut because they believe they need to make way for those fortunate enough to have perfect hair. The truth of the matter is, almost anyone can pull off a half up style, no matter how short your hair is.

44. Renaissance Beauty

Romantic and timeless, this style for long hair is one of a few half updos that can truly be pulled off in any era. Perhaps that’s why it remains on the top of the list for many girls who love to sport intricate styles.

45. Thick Braids and Curls

Looking for truly unique wedding hair? If you’ve been blessed with a thick mane, add some tendrils and a side braid that wraps around the top of your head like a crown. This can, of course, also work wonderfully for prom, homecoming or any other elegant occasion.

curly half up hairstyle for thick hair

Instagram/ @husseinsafwann from @PACEELUCE

46. Intricate Styles

This is truly a half up half down hair style that will wow the crowd. It works best on medium hair. Reason being, a little texture is necessary to pull off this impressive arrangement of twists, braids and gatherings. This is a style you’ll want to test drive ahead of time – or hire a professional.

47. Romantic Braid Crown

Hairstyles don’t need to be super complicated, and if your hair is past your shoulders, this will look beautiful on you. Simply secure the upper section of your hair into a thick crown braid along the back of your head, just above the ear line. Add in an embellishment or two as you feel inspired. Curly hair looks great with this one, too!

48. Multi-Braided Beauty

Get crazy with braids, working hair into a cute, one-of-a-kind style. No one will identically replicate this look, which is all about your personal expression – as well as lots of braids. You’ll be glad you didn’t give in to the temptation of short hair.

49. Double Waterfall

Long to medium length hair will look lovely with this double water fall braid. For younger wearers – or those feeling exceptionally mischievous – add in some flowers to cascade down the center braid. This look is versatile enough to be worn by different ages and with different hair textures. It definitely fits the bill.

50. Coifed with Flowers

Softly curled hair looks lovely flowing down the back of a young woman, and if you tend to sport a messy look daily, try something more formal the next time you get a chance.

Half updos are the best of both worlds – feminine updos and lively playful downdos. Braids, twists, knots, headbands and their variations work amazing in half up half down styles. Do not miss a chance to master a new lovely hairstyle to dress your gorgeous locks in a new way!

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