Updos 101: Everything You Need to Know for Prom, Weddings and More

It’s officially updo season, which means prom and weddings are on everyone’s mind. You’ve got the dress, you’ve got the shoes, you’ve got the accessories…but do you know what you’re doing with your hair? That’s where we come in!

Gone are the updos of the ‘90s and ‘00s, heavy with hairspray and probably some ill-advised butterfly clips. Updos nowadays can be anything from classic and chic, like a French Twist, to undone and bohemian. No matter your preference, your ideal style can be achieved in a few simple steps—read more to learn how.

Gather inspiration

In the “olden days,” we used to point at pics in a hairdresser magazine. Now, we’ve got Pinterest boards and iPhone photo albums and Instagram! If you see a hair look you love, save it and bring it to your consultation appointment. Do you love a high bun? Pin it! Did you love Jennifer Lopez’s last look? Save it and show us! Which brings us to our next point…

Book a consultation

Your wedding or prom is a big deal, and you want to be prepared on the big day. We always recommend booking a consultation appointment and a trial run with your stylist so you can chat through the look and try new things if you’re not feeling the original idea. Trust us, it’s definitely worth it. Bring pictures of your dress and accessories and think about how you want to feel on your big day. Do you want something classic? Maybe a low chignon or French Twist would suit you. Do you love the braided look? We can do that! Are you planning to change anything up over the course of the day or night? Let’s chat about it. Have you ever worn your hair up? It might feel a little weird at first, so perhaps something more relaxed and undone would make you feel comfortable and more like “yourself.” Let your stylist know so you can work together to craft something Instagrammable.

Different types of updos to know

  • A chignon is a low knot at the back of your head near the nape of your neck. This can be customized tons of different ways—from a traditional low bun look to something undone with loose curls or braids.
  • A crown braid is exactly what it sounds like: a crown of braids around your head. (You can also ask for milkmaid braids, fishtail braids or Dutch braids, which all look gorgeous in updos.)
  • A sleek updo means you’ll be wearing your hair straight, shiny and pulled back tightly.
  • A French Twist is a tight, sleek style with hair pulled up and twisted, almost like a croissant, at the back of your head and pinned.

If you’re DIY-ing

If you’re doing your own hair at home, we’ve got some key advice. Don’t try to craft a perfect style on THE day. Practice before! We recommend styling on clean hair (second day hair is great too, but don’t go too long!) and adding a little dry shampoo or grip powder if you need extra oomph. Make sure you’ve got the basics: lots of pins, thermal protectant, styling products for slip (like serums) and for hold (like hairspray) and maybe a friend or family member to help you get it just right. You can do it! And if all else fails, a simple ponytail or topknot always looks cool!

Pack an emergency kit

We’re not saying you have to bring a full suitcase to keep your hair looking good, but packing a few pins and some hairspray is never a bad idea. Tuck them into your evening bag in case anything goes awry, or have your parent or a friend hold onto them pre-event. Then smile and take lots of photos, because you look gorgeous!

Let us know if we can help

Your Cole’s stylist can help you find the perfect updo to make your dream look a reality! Give us a call—we’d love to help!




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