Some events call for glamorous updos. When looking for hair inspiration, there’s nowhere better to turn than the starlets who look fancy for a living. If you’d like to look fabulous for a formal event on the horizon, some fabulous celebrity-inspired looks may be worth trying at home or slipping to your stylist.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
A multi-award winner but still grounded, Jennifer Lawrence pushes the boundaries of an “updo” with this look. She’s got some beautiful loose braids pulled back and a significant amount of hair in the front in waves that perfectly frame her face.
2. Emma Stone
Oscar winner Emma Stone and her stylist create an almost casual updo with this beautiful loose look. The style sees her hair tucked and pinned at the nape of her neck and held in place with spray.
3. Blake Lively
The long braid is a classic, and pulled up high — as Blake Lively wears here — makes it even more dramatic. The lift makes the style more exciting, highlighting just how long her hair is. This look is also great for impact over detail, and the braid doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it’s, well… long.
4. Zoe Saldaña
Zoe Saldaña’s curved rope braid is almost like a sculpture of hair, making it both challenging and striking. It’s probably not a look to try at home, but one that any stylist will undoubtedly be excited to create.
5. Laura Harrier
Laura Harrier’s classic bun updo portion of this style is far less interesting than the fact that she’s making the wavy bangs work. It’s not a look that will work for everyone, but it’s worth talking over with a stylist to see if they think it’s right for you.
6. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift combines a messy bun with bangs, front fringe, and some longer loose strands in the front. Her bold earrings and stunning makeup tie it all together. It would almost be too much if it weren’t so perfectly calibrated.
7. Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens takes a long braid to new heights, with it sitting on top of her head. It’s a striking look that highlights the face and can add an element of intensity, especially paired with bold jewelry and dramatic makeup.
8. Coco Jones
Coco Jones shows off a beautiful low bun accentuated by wispy front pieces. The style frames the face perfectly for a simple but effective look that makes a classic even more romantic.
9. Samara Weaving
The Ready or Not final girl’s twisted updo is simple but striking. It’s a look that requires long, straight, and somewhat thin hair, but if you’ve got that, this eye-catching style is worth trying.
Zendaya’s 60s-inspired look here just exudes sweetness and fun. The high ponytail with the flipped-up ends combined with the slicked back front makes it look like something out of Hairspray, and we mean that in the best way.
11. Lupita Nyong’o
This stunning look from Lupita Nyong’o at the 2018 Oscars was, according to Vogue, “inspired by images of Amasunzu hairstyles traditional to Rwandan culture.” The style has three interlocking braided components with a gold thread woven in just to put things over the top.
12. Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe’s look here makes the most of accessories, pushing the already striking long braid into something to be stared at. The lesson we can take from this is that hair accessories can make a statement, especially when paired with bold earrings.
13. Alexa Chung
Alexa Chung combines a messy updo with a bold fringe look that is perfectly upscale in the most chill and casual way. Her piecey bangs also frame her face in a lovely manner.
14. Meghan Markle
Like the Alexa Chung look, this bun from Meghan Markle makes messy appear elegant. There are a few flyaways, but they feel additive instead of taking away from the shaped bun at the back.
15. Kristen Stewart
Moving from a member of the royal family to someone who’s played a member of the royal family in a movie, Kristen Stewart makes this messy look fit right in on the red carpet. With a few tendrils near her ears, this is another perfect mix of casual and upscale.
16. Kate Middleton
Switching back to the royals, Kate Middleton keeps things neatly placed in this striking formal look. Her magnificent bun is the perfect style when aiming to impress and is the perfect elegant updo.
Rihanna makes her natural curls the star in this look with a simple updo, held by a tie or pins, that allows the curls to flow down. It’s a style that’s easily accessible for others with natural (or unnatural) curls and is sure to rake in compliments.
18. Gemma Chan
Gemma Chan wears a gorgeous long braided ponytail tied with an elegant satin ribbon. To add to the romantic look, a single piecey tendril frames her face beautifully.
Another look that highlights curls, Ciara’s hairstyle at this event doesn't hold back. Her updo features a cascade of curls and wavy tendrils that frame her face.
20. Kendall Jenner
The bun version of bedhead? Kendall Jenner makes this very messy pun pop with her gorgeous hair color. It’s a look that rides the line of chaotic and perfectly calibrated to create something unique.
21. Maddie Ziegler
Maddie Ziegler’s look here is very sleek. The perfect middle part with the two long pieces along the sides to frame her face is all business, but the braided updo at the back adds an interesting detail.
22. Constance Wu
A lot is going on in this Constance Wu look, and all of it is fantastic. The long braid around the front of her head gives it a crown-like look, while the looser sections of hair freely peeking out from under that crown make the style feel more like a Disney princess than a stern queen.
23. Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet’s stunning updo brings a potentially stuffy classic into the twenty-first century by letting her naturally wavy hair show itself in this look. The loose sections at the front also give the look more personality and strike the perfect blend of formal and fun.