Updos are great for all kinds of reasons, but sometimes the motivation to trick out our tresses with braids, chignons and fancy buns is somewhat lacking. Instead, we turn to loose manes, defined curls and cute half-up hairstyles to keep our strands on point. Check out some of our fave anti-updos below!
1. Long curls with a middle part
Sometimes, simply coaxing curly strands into frizz-free submission can be a real challenge before you even get to the updo stage. So, why not showcase your successful efforts by leaving your curls loose? Part them straight down the middle for some added polish, sweep on your favorite lipstick, and you're good to go!
Before drying curly hair with a diffuser, apply a smoothing product such as Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Curl Taming Cream to protect your hair and prevent frizz while styling.
2. Karlie Kloss' beach waves
Textured, beachy waves à la Karlie Kloss are oh so summery and oh so versatile! The supermodel can often be spotted rocking tousled locks on the red carpet, so no need to worry about this hairstyle being too casual for nights out.
Scrunch a texturizing product like Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Tousle Waves Spray throughout, then blow-dry your hair in twisted sections while holding each one by the ends. Shake your fingers through your hair once it's dry, then re-spray and scrunch the ends again to break up the waves.
3. Messy waves
When you just can't, make like a French girl and go for some undone, second day waves. Whether you're lucky enough to have well-behaved locks between washes, or need to spruce your strands with a curling iron, this hairstyle strikes the perfect balance between sexy and understated. It looks, in a word, effortless!
When curling your hair, alternate the direction you rotate the iron in. This will ensure you get natural-looking, individual waves rather than a headful of identical coils.
4. Blake Lively's messy side ponytail
There's no one quite like Blake Lively when it comes to perfectly undone tresses, especially in very overdone situations like the red carpet. Basically, if she can rock a casual, low side pony in front of a dozen photographers, you can totally pull it off at the office!
Use a 1" curling iron to create plenty of movement through the lengths of your hair before securing the ponytail.
5. Zoe Saldana's glossy waves
On the rare occasions we achieve the high shine finish Zoe Saldana has mastered so well, nothing could convince us to hide it in an updo! Just like the Aurora Borealis, all that gloss needs to be seen by the select few who happen to be in the right place at the right time.
Hair is more prone to shine when it's properly cared for. So, use a shine promoting shampoo and conditioner, and make sure you use a deep conditioning mask as part of your weekly hair care routine.
6. Braided headband
Loose waves with a pretty braided headband is the perfect alternative to an updo. The plait lends this half-up hairstyle some pretty detail while the movement remains in full view at the back. This combination keeps the hair off the face without squashing the lengths- it's the perfect compromise.
Spritz your bobby pins with some dry shampoo before using them to secure the braids. The powdery formula of products like Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Longwear Spray adds grip to the pins which allows them to hold more hair in place for longer.
7. Fishtail side braid
There's a significant difference between creating a braided updo and weaving your locks into a side braid. The former will probably make your arms ache, while the latter can be done somewhat absent-mindedly while sitting on a train, a bus or even your couch. It's also the kind of style you can do halfway through the day when you want to switch up your look.
While you're working on it, keep the fishtail braid fairly tight, then loosen it afterwards. This will make the braiding process easier as you'll be less likely to drop pieces of hair.
8. Curly bob
Bob haircuts are long enough to pin up into messy chignons, but leaving this hairstyle to its own devices is just so easy. The gorgeous curls and jaw-grazing length require no further embellishment, especially when teamed with a cute makeup look!
Get bouncy curls by applying a product like Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse before either blow drying your hair with a diffuser or leaving it to air dry.
9. Long, tousled hair
Sometimes, it seems like a shame to put really long hair up because you can't tell exactly how long the hair is afterward. With an average growth rate of half an inch per month, we also want to show off just how patient we've been, too!
Scrunch a small amount of flexible hold putty like Advanced Hairstyle TXT IT Deconstructing Gum through the lengths of your hair to get a disheveled, undone finish.
10. Freida Pinto's half-up mane
The simplicity of Freida Pinto's long, half-up hairstyle in the photo above is just so perfect, how could she possibly swap it for an updo? The length, the movement and the subtle height at the crown create a truly memorable look!
Use a large barrel curling iron, 1 ½" or bigger, to curve the ends for added movement. Just don't forget to apply a heat protectant first!
11. Long, swept back curly hair
If your main priority is keeping your hair off your face, sweeping it all into a wavy blowback can be just as showstopping as an updo with just a fraction of the effort! Using your hands to guide the hair, push the hair back as you dry it with the concentrator attached, then curl the lengths once everything is totally dry.
To get a full-bodied finish, apply a volumizing heat protectant like Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blowout Heatspray throughout before reaching for your dryer.
12. Messy side sweep
If cool-girl chic is your thing, try a messy side sweep. With a subtle piecey texture, you can just flip your hair to one side, set with hairspray, and head out! It's also a really simple way to deal with second day hair, too.
Before you flip your hair into place, apply dry shampoo to your roots, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then brush it out. This gives the formula enough time to absorb excess oil effectively, and will help to work it all the way through your hair.
13. Long curly hair
While curly hair care and drying techniques are rarely simple, the results make for a beautiful loose 'do. Defined, bouncy coils make an unforgettable beauty statement, showcasing the depth of color and framing the face beautifully.
Set your curls with plenty of brushable hairspray like Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Bold Control Hairspray for long lasting, crunch-free locks.
14. Messy waves with a headband
When you miss your alarm and need to perk up second day hair in a hurry, one of the fastest ways to do it is by putting a headband on. This staple accessory adds detail, tames an unkempt mane (to an extent) and helps to tie your whole look together... and it's far preferable to getting up early to do a DIY blowout.
Add a few waves through the lengths of your hair to ensure the bed head texture looks completely deliberate!
15. Slicked back
Despite being a bit intense for everyday wear, a slicked back hairstyle is one of the easiest ways to style any haircut for a night out. All you have to do is smooth some regular strength gel back through your hair, shape with your hands and/or a comb, and you're good to go.
When applying a product like Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Clean Style Gel, start with a dime-sized amount and add more as needed. After you've slicked your hair back a couple of times, you'll learn exactly how much gel you need, but it's always better to play it safe while you're figuring that out.
16. Choppy long bob
There are tons of textured updos you can use to create a soft, boho look, but don't underestimate the power of a messy long bob. Styled with a lightweight, airy texture, this matte look is about as boho as it gets!
Backcomb the lower layers to help fill out the look, especially if you're working with second day hair and it seems a little lackluster in places.
17. Long waves with a middle part
For a lengthy, princess inspired look, try some cascading waves parted in the middle. Smooth curves always look polished, and a straight center part really draws attention to the eyes, nose and mouth.
Before blow drying your hair, apply a smoothing heat protectant like Advanced Hairstyle BLOW DRY IT Thermal Smoother Cream throughout. This will protect against unnecessary damage while promoting a flawless, frizz-free result.
18. Brushed back curly bob
While the bob can't get any more on-trend, it can get a bit cooler- as demonstrated by this slicked back hairstyle. Like any other slicked back hairstyle, it's oh so easy to achieve, but it has some extra edge because it's a bob.
Pare this style down with a matte putty or gum instead of a gel for a more daytime friendly look.