Trying to copy one of the updo hairstyles that you've saved to your Pinterest hair mood board is kind of like ordering clothes online: nothing ever looks the same in real life.
You can't send a hairstyle back for a refund, but you can save yourself some of the struggle you have when trying to do an updo by referencing more realistic source material. That's where the following celebrity hairstyles come in. These French twists, topknots, and undone updos are all red carpet-worthy, but they're easy enough that you'll be able to create a similar look—even if you're incapable of doing a fishtail braid.
Here, we've rounded up seven red carpet updo hairstyles that are so simple, anyone can master them.
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When you're not part of the ballerina community, you're not restricted to wearing your topknot tight and sleek. Experiment by adding a hair accessory to a messy knot like Margot Robbie did at the 2018 Critics' Choice Awards. Her hairstylist Bryce Scarlett scrunched Robbie's mid-lengths and used a diffuser on them for added wave and texture. Before pulling her hair up into a knot that was slightly on the right side of her head, Scarlett sprayed TRESemmé's Compressed Micro-Mist Hair Spray Hold Level: 2 ($5; target.com) while tousling her strands and lifting them at the roots. Once the knot was secured with bobby pins, the pro finished by wrapping a black ribbon around Robbie's knot and tying it into a bow.
Make a Pinterest-worthy braid even more romantic by twisting it up like Camila Cabello. Before styling your hair into a low plait, tease the crown. Once you've completed your loose braid, fold it in half and secure it with a clear elastic. Don't worry about flyaways—the free pieces add more ease to the look.
Dress up your low ponytail like Dakota Johnson did at the 2018 Golden Globes by adding a bit of volume at the crown. The actress' hairstylist Johnnie Sapong spritzed Dove's Refresh+Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo ($4; target.com) throughout her hair for extra body and texture. Next, Sapong backcombed Johnson's hair at the roots and spritzed sprayed Dove's Style+Care Compressed Micro Mist Flexible Hold Hairspray ($5; target.com) on each section to avoid flyaways. He pulled her hair into a low ponytail and left some face-framing pieces out for a soft finish. If you want even more texture, use a large curling iron on the tail and separate the curls with your fingers.
On first glance Emilia Clarke's twisted updo might look complicated, but it's actually just a step up from a standard bun. The actress' hairstylist Jenny Cho prepped her hair with a mix of Suave Professionals Natural Volume Mousse ($4; target.com) and R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse ($30; neimanmarcus.com) for smoothness and control. Cho pinned Clarke's bangs away from her face and twisted the rest of her hair into a mid-knot, leaving random pieces out for an undone finish. She unpinned the star's bangs and swept them to the side with a boar bristle brush, and finished by spritzing Suave Professionals Compressed Micro Mist Natural Hold Hairspray ($4; target.com) to lock the updo in place.
If Cardi B's curly updo is giving you déjà vu, it's probably because it's similar to the hairstyle you wore to your senior prom. You might have spent all afternoon at the salon on the day of the dance, but you can do Cardi's look at home in under 30 minutes. Curl your hair with a large barrel wand and once the waves are set, pile them high on the top of your head and fold them in a circular shape using bobby pins to hold them in place. Leave two face-framing tendrils out to finish the throwback style.
Instead of fighting with the shorter layers of your lob or bob to stay in your updo, let them out. That's what Saoirse Ronan did with pinned-up hair at the 2018 BAFTA Awards. The face-framing pieces that fell from the style added to the effortless vibe of her updo. Prep your damp hair with Virtue's Styling Whip ($27; virtuelabs.com), a lightweight mousse, that will give your updo all over body and texture.
Looking for a new way to wear second day hair that isn't a topknot? Gal Gadot's piecey French twist is your alternative style. The star's hairstylist Mark Townsend added a slight wave to Gadot's hair with a curling iron before twisting it up, but if you're working with slept-on curls, you're a step ahead. Townsend spritzed her strands with Honest Beauty Honestly Effortless Sea Salt Spray ($18; honestbeauty.com) for extra grit and texture, then created two French twists– one at the nape of her neck, and the other right in line with her ears –to make sure none of Gadot's lob was left out. He teased her front pieces and blended them into the twists, and pieced it out for more dimension. A veil of Dove's Style+Care Compressed Micro Mist Hold Hairspray ($5; target.com) completed the look.