12 Easy Updos To Pump Up Your Summer Look

Because ponytails are boring, check out these easy summer updos that are sure to make waves.
Reading time 7 minutes

Summer may be at the tail end of its course, but the scorching heat certainly isn’t. A reliable, easy updo is an essential skill that keeps the sticky effects of extreme weather at bay, and is an easy final step to complete your chic summer 'fit. While high ponies and messy buns are ubiquitous, models and celebrities have taken to Instagram in droves to show off their own unique fresh takes on updo mainstays. Flashy accessories ranging from neon scrunchies to cutesy clips have taken over selfie feeds worldwide, adorning the distinct styles and personalities of your favorite stars. 


Trends may come and go, but the easy updo has proven to be an enduring classic, so why not take some inspiration from the lovely ladies here and let your creativity shine? These easy updos might become your new year-round obsession.



Photo via Instagram/ @rosalia.vt

Calling all nostalgia fans! While pigtails harken back to the ease of elementary school, this updo has had a serious glow-up since your days on the playground. Starlets and singers on the forefront of fashion trends, such as the talented Rosalia, take the plunge and try the cutesy style on for size. Some even choose to adorn their double ponies with their favorite scrunchies, braids, and clips, adding even more excitement to this charming style. Evidenced by their growing popularity, pigtails have proven to be a much more dynamic alternative to a traditional updo and, simply put, are just plain adorable.

Half Up-Half Down

Photo via Instagram/ @sydney_sweeney

Still not ready to commit to a full slicked back updo? Don’t worry, the half up-half down has got your covered. This face-framing style gives you the best of both worlds, allowing for both the sleekness of a ponytail as well as the free flowing length of a natural look. People like Sydney Sweeney have even opted to accessorize with a small accent ribbon, recreating the Disney princess coif of your dreams. Easy to dress up or dress down, the half up-half down isn’t an updo to underestimate.

Bantu Knots 

Photo via Instagram/ @traceeellisross

Also known as Zulu knots (that more specifically references the Zulu people of South Africa that invented the hairstyle over a century ago) this style is a gorgeous, protective updo that combines both intricacy and ease for natural hair. Celebrities such as Rihanna, Mel B, and Jada Pinkett Smith have been rocking Bantu knots for decades, and, most recently, the style has become one of Tracee Ellis Ross’s favorites to show off on her Instagram.


Via Instagram/ @barbieferreira

Y2K looks have been having a resurgence, and the bandana is one of our favorites. From a trendy accent piece to an easy way to cover up three (or more) days without a thorough wash, the paisley bandana has been making its triumphant victory lap on heads across the globe. On Barbara Ferreria, it’s the perfect accessory to complete a matching ensemble, and turns a quick updo into an of-the-moment look. Try tying up one of the colorful scarves hiding in your closet, the bandana may just be the easy updo extra you’ve been craving.

Butterfly Clips

Photo via Instagram/ @charli_xcx

With celebrities like Charli XCX rocking these impeccable insects as a key part of their distinctly bold and colorful aesthetics, butterfly clips have proven that 90s nostalgia pieces are the perfect updo infestation. Whether you grab these little butterflies on your drugstore run or order them in bulk from your favorite Etsy artist, these vibrant creatures can slide into any standard updo with ease, creating a joyful look that’s bound to turn heads.

Space Buns

Photo via Instagram/ @rinasonline

This style is inspired by Princess Leia, whose cosmic film franchise gives the space buns their namesake, and is an iconic updo that has firmly remained in the galaxy of upward trends. These easy twists are the cutest way to keep your tresses in place, and in the case of Rina Sawayama, look extra fierce in the process.

Top Knot 

Photo via instagram/ @kehlani

Looking for an updo that doesn’t subdue your curls? Kehlani’s recent top knot may be the perfect route to exquisite volume with added practicality. A mini bun at the center of a middle part efficiently gets unwanted hair out of the way, but doesn’t cover up the natural bounce that makes your hair enviable. As one of the easiest updos, the top knot wins out for thicker hair types. 


High Pony 

Photo via Instagram/ @normani

In the vast landscape of easy updos, the high pony still reigns supreme, proving that sometimes, classic is best. Over the years this sleek hairstyle has morphed into a power move, providing both a height and confidence boosting topper to any outfit. But don’t worry if you don’t have the same Rapunzel-level length that Normani has been rocking, this updo earns its fame from looking good on everyone. 

Claw Clip 

Photo via Instagram/ @sydneylcarlson

Remember mom’s old “banana clip?” It’s time to dig it out of its bedside drawer of misery, because the clipped back look is definitely having a moment. Seen on dozens of influencers like Sydney Lee Carlson, the claw clip remains the most user-friendly option for a polished updo. With one quick clamp, you can suddenly have the vibe of an easygoing model off duty, making this lax and low key sophisticated look the latest updo craze that you may already own.

Updo With Tendrils 

Photo via Instagram/ @keke

Picture this: you’ve finally got your updo exactly how you want it, but for some reason, it just isn’t quite right. Instead of getting an unwanted arm workout while fumbling around with your hair for another half hour, why not just let a couple of wispy strands fly free? Face-framing tendrils, though subtle, may just take your updo to the next level. Take note from Keke Palmer, whose tendrils add the perfect detail to her dewy beauty look, and may be able to bump up your everyday updo to icon status.

Sleek and Cute 

Photo via Instagram/ @dualipa

Rooting from the same cartoonish sensibility of the space buns, the cute andd easy updo has been the perfect companion to quarantine instafilters. From shaping your buns into eccentric ovals or getting around to finally dying your hair all of your favorite rainbow hues (à la Dua Lipa), these past few months have been an updo liberation. So whether you’re taking inspiration from your favorite pop star or your favorite anime, go for it! Experimentation has never been so in.

Messy Bun 

Photo via Instagram/ @vanessahudgens

So, we’ve landed back at possibly the most ubiquitous updo of all: the messy bun. This style teeters the line of being loved and being loathed, and is typically seen as a last ditch effort for everyday wear. But, no matter where the tangled tresses land in public opinion, it’s the hairdo that’s always there for us, even if we only have ten minutes to get ready. So, if it's your MO, let your messy bun take back the mic! Like Vanessa Hudgens and her neon scrunchie, find a little accessory that speaks to your personal sense of style, and maybe your messy bun can go from unassuming to all your own.


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