For as much work goes into caring for long hair, there’s one perk that makes all the conditioning, brushing, and regular trims worth it—updos. The extra length, that at times you might resent, gives you a versatile canvas for styles from high buns to pinned-up curls to intricate braids. Sweeping your hair off your shoulders also draws attention to your facial features in a striking way, and can dress up and dress down any outfit or makeup look.
You’ll need a few props by your side—namely styling products, hot tools, bobby pins, and most importantly, time. Then, you’ll need to pick a hairstyle—that’s where we come in. From Zendaya's topknot to Sara Sampaio's braided bun, these are the prettiest celebrity-inspired looks perfect for anyone with hair that hits past their shoulders.
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Gigi Hadid's Undone Updo
A front portion of Gigi Hadid's hair was left out of her messy topknot, creating the illusion of side-swept fringe. Before separating your hair into two sections and pulling it up into a bun, add in texture with a curling wand, running your fingers through the curls to loosen them up afterwards. Give it an airy vibe and lock it in place with a spritz, (or three) of Redken's Quick Tease 15 Hairspray ($19; ulta.com).
Joan Smalls's Sleek Twisted Topknot
An architectural twisted topknot like Joan Smalls's is incredibly chic. The key is eliminating frizz for a flyaway-free look. Be sure to prep hair with a product like L'Oreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Frizz Vanisher Cream ($6; walgreens.com) before blowing out your hair and pulling it up into a bun.
Catherine Zita Jones's Messy Updo
Go for an ethereal vibe like Catherine Zeta Jones and pin up airy curls without uniform, creating a little volume and a romantic feel.
Kate Bosworth's Ribbon-Accented Bun
The topknot and the low bun seem to be the two most popular choices for updo placement, but you can dress up a mid-height updo, like Kate Bosworth's sleek coil, with a simple black ribbon.
Kate Middleton's Voluminous Wrapped Low Bun
If you zoom in, you can see that Kate Middleton's updo is kept perfectly in place with a clear net. The placement makes it idea for any accessories, whether you're a fan of fascinators, headbands, or hey, even tiaras.
Kate Mara's Side Braid with a Messy Bun
Updo amateurs, listen up. This hairstyle, as worn by Kate Mara, should be your first attempt at an updo. Part your hair in a deep side part, creating a French braid on the opposite side to add an extra visual element. Pull the rest of your hair back into a messy low bun and you're set. If you want extra volume at the crown like Mara, use a root-lift powder like Oribe Swept Up Volume Powder ($42; nordstrom.com) at the roots before creating the bun.
Reese Witherspoon's Ponytail and Barrette
The simplest everyday updo—the ponytail—can be completely transformed with a barrette. All Reese Witherspoon did here to create this crisscross effect was secure the lengths of her hair on the back of her head using two clips.
Sara Sampaio's Braided Bun
Wrap two braids around one another to create an oval shape, as opposed to a small braided knot. Keeping the texture smooth and shiny makes it look all the more formal. Prep your hair with Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream ($34; sephora.com), a formula infused with argan oil to prevent frizz, amp up shine, and provide a lift hold.
Salma Hayek's Voluminous Ballerina Bun
No one wears a ballerina bun quite like Salma Hayek. The bigger, the better.
Zendaya's Low-Key Topknot
Half the battle of creating a topknot is mindset—you can't think too hard, or you'll mess it up completely. Sweep your hair up into a twist and secure it with a hair-tie.