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6 Curly Hair Updos For All Natural Textures

6 Curly Hair Updos For All Natural Textures

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One of the beauties of having curly locks is the sheer number of styles you can sport.

Feeling flirty? Go for a pineapple updo. On your way to a romantic rendezvous? Opt for a ballerina bun. Keen on making a statement? Turn heads with Bantu knots. From a sultry & carefree messy bun to a classic & refined high ponytail, your choices are nearly boundless.

Let’s unpack your biggest questions about curly hair updos & take a look at 6 of the most exquisite styles out there.

Are Updos Considered a Protective Style?

Protective styles play a huge part in achieving & maintaining gorgeous & resilient hair. They decrease the most prevalent stressors placed on your mane by:

  • Heat styling
  • Wind, humidity & temperature fluctuations
  • Tugging, yanking & pulling
  • Chemicals
  • Brushing & detangling
  • Weaves & extensions
  • Overly-tight braids
  • Accessories

Over time, these challenges to your naturally curly hair can test its health & integrity. They may also put you at risk for tensile stress—or harm to your hair follicles—& traction alopecia, which could result in patches of hair loss.1

The ends of your hair are the most vulnerable to these aggravations, simply by virtue of being the oldest part of your hair. Many updos for natural curly hair keep the ends pinned in & away from these potential hazards. Also, plenty of easy curly hair updos don’t require much manipulation, if any at all. 

The bottom line? Updos don’t just look stunning: They can also help prevent natural hair breakage & other forms of damage.

What Styling Products are Necessary for Achieving an Updo Hairstyle?

Quality products are one of the keys to scoring & preserving curly hair updos, helping you nail gravity-defying volume, combat curly hair humidity & define your updo hairstyle of choice.

Let’s take a peek at the curly hair products you should stockpile:

  • Mousse – Mousse is your go-to formula when you’re intent on achieving hold & definition.2 PATTERN’s Curl Mousse may be lightweight in texture but it’s heavy on natural, nourishing ingredients like Marshmallow Root & Castor Oil. Whether your natural texture is 3B or 4C or somewhere in between, this sweet-smelling mousse leaves curls pillowy, luscious & touchable.
  • Styling Cream – Styling creams share several of mousse’s benefits, such as polish & endurance, but they also add enviable shine. PATTERN’s Styling Cream pairs shea butter with cacay oil & sweet almond oil—emollient ingredients that enhance hair’s health & glossiness.3
  • Gel – Gel has come a long way since it first hit the hair care shelves. Gone are the days when it left hair sticky & crunchy. Now, well-formulated gels leave hair silky & soft. PATTERN’s Strong Hold Gel keeps natural curly hair updos hydrated, protected & in place, thanks to ingredients like aloe vera & chia seeds.4
  • Edge Control – PATTERN’s Edge Control is just the product your baby hairs have been asking for. The formula promotes shine & glide, helping you sculpt your edges for an intricate look.

What Tools are Needed for Curly Hair Updos?

Enchanting finger waves held back with accessories require little more than well-prepped hair, high-performing products & the dexterity of your digits. 

Other curly updo hairstyles, though, benefit tremendously from specially-crafted tools:

  • Shower Brush – Detangling is one of the first & most crucial steps to creating a breathtaking curly hairstyle whether worn up or down. PATTERN’s Shower Brush turns this must into a gentle, nurturing process. Experts & consumers agree: In 2020, Glamour named it the Best Hairbrush for Coils & Curls.

  • Wide-Toothed Comb – Wide-toothed combs further aid with detangling by employing mighty but smooth prongs that delicately work with your hair’s natural curls. PATTERN’s Wide Tooth Comb can be used on wet or dry hair to separate your curly tresses & amplify volume.

  • Edge Tool – Curly hair styles receive an extra dose of refinement with PATTERN’s Edge Tool, which facilitates swoops & swirls with its brush, comb & pointed edge.
  • @patternbeauty The perfect summer style with @abbiecurls 🫶 Achieve this slick back with our Leave-In Conditioner & Strong Hold Gel #patternbeauty #slickbackponytail #slickhair #curlyhairtutorial #curlscheck #summerhairstyles #curlyhairproducts ♬ original sound - PATTERN

    What Are the Best Occasions for Wearing an Updo Style?

    Part of the allure of updos is that they can be altered to match your plans & mood. A messy bun is ideal for going from a yoga class to a night out, just as a slicked-back style can take you from the office to an evening run to a concert.

    Still, there are a few specific celebratory times that are especially well-suited to updos:

    • Weddings
    • Date nights
    • Holiday parties
    • Festivals
    • Formal events
    • Job interviews

    6 Curly Hair Updos

    Ready to rock an updo? Grab your natural hair styling products & curly hair tools.

    Braided Bun

    #1 Braided Bun

    A braided bun gives the timeless hairstyle a chic, eye-catching edge. This particular updo is especially beautiful if you have micro braids or individuals—just think of Zoe Kravitz’s signature boho look.

    To ace the braided bun, follow these steps:

    • Detangle your hair type with your shower brush &/or wide tooth comb. 
    • Apply styling cream & separate hair into three sections. 
    • Braid your hair & wrap it into a bun at the nape of your neck, or the top or back of your head, depending on the look you want to obtain.
    • Secure with bobby pins & a shot of finishing spray.

    Best for: Hair that is shoulder-length or longer.

    Double Bun Updo

    #2 Double Bun Updo

    Unique & inspired, double bun updos command a double take & would be a great wedding hairstyle.

    Hone that space-inspired ‘do by:

    • Applying curl mousse or strong hold gel to maintain the sophistication of this style. 
    • Dividing your hair into two separate sections, starting at your ears
    • Twisting the top section into a bun & leaving a few strands loose to pull the look together.
    • Wrapping the bottom section into a coil. 
    • Using the extra strand of hair to “unite” the buns to complete the elegant updo.

    Best for: Medium-length hair & longer.

    Messy Cascade

    #3 Messy Cascade

    Don’t be fooled by the name of this updo: the messy here is wholly intentional & lends itself to a glamorous, fashionable look. It works especially well with tight coils, which add to the drama of the style.

    You can attain this romantic updo by:

    • Applying mousse to give each natural curl shine & springiness. 
    • Pull your hair on top of your head using your fingers, securing it with nylon hair ties & letting your curls cascade naturally down your head, neck & shoulders. 
    • Using your edge tool around the perimeter of your face to shape to your liking, or let a few curls bounce around your cheekbones.

    Best for: Medium to long hair. 

    #3 Messy Bun with Face-Framing Pieces

    Buns highlight your natural bone structure, while face-framing pieces elevate the flirtiness of this popular hair style. Simply:

    • Pull your hair into a loose ponytail at your desired height (high, medium or low) but keep several pieces around your face free. 
    • With your fingers, take a small section of your ponytail, wrap it around the elastic & pin. 
    • Repeat with the rest of your ponytail. 
    • Leave a few ends loose to add to the messiness of the look while pinning in others. 
    • For the pieces around your face, use your curl mousse & edge tool to separate & define curls, or iron straight to emphasize the texture of the rest of your hair.

    Best for: Shoulder-length hair & longer.

    Sleek Bun With Edges

    #4 Sleek Bun With Edges

    Think of stunning sleek buns & Kerry Washington might spring to mind. As modern & striking as this look may be, it’s fairly simple to replicate:

    • After shampooing, apply PATTERN’s buttery Leave-In Conditioner to help hair retain its moisture. 
    • Comb in your strong hold gel from roots to ends. 
    • With your edge tool, brush hair into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck.
    • Coil hair around the elastic to create a twisted updo, using pins like PATTERN’s Long Hair Pins to keep curls in place. 
    • Use the mini brush of your edge tool to create swoops around your face. 
    • Dab your sides with Edge Control to keep hairs in place.
    • Perfect this low bun look with the pointed edge of your edge tool. 

    Best for: Shoulder-length hair & longer.

    Cornrow Bantu Knots

    #5 Cornrow Bantu Knots

    Cornrow Bantu knots strike that ideal balance between cute & regal—& are just as fitting for the red carpet as they are for a Sunday picnic. Attain summer-ready knots by:

    • Applying style cream to sustain your hair’s hydration. 
    • Separating hair into four distinct sections.
    • Twisting each section into a knot & tucking it in the ends of your cornrows. 

    Best for: Chin-length or longer.

    Pineapple Updo

    #6 Pineapple Updo

    Braided & unbraided pineapple updos take sleeping pineapples up a notch to give you one of the choicest ways to celebrate your curls. They might appear elaborate, but they can be done in a pinch—especially with the assistance of superb products:

    • For an unbraided style, apply curl mousse to give your tresses extra shine & definition. 
    • Flip your head over & gather your hair into a ponytail on top of your head, securing it with one of PATTERN’s Satin Scrunchies or another hair tie.
    • Use your fingers & a touch of Edge Control to sculpt your tight or loose curls, letting them hang in a way that suits your taste.

    For a braided pineapple updo, pull ¾ of your hair into a pineapple updo. Braid the other sections & secure at the base of your scrunchie with pins.

    Best for: Medium to long hair.

    Perfect Your Curly Hair Updo with PATTERN

    Curly updos like braided buns, messy cascades & Bantu knots can elevate your style & protect your hair from damage, & the right styling products can help perfect any look.

    PATTERN’s collection of prime styling products is just one part of our M.O. 

    We also offer those with curly & coily hair a wide selection of cleansers, conditioners, treatments & accouterments—all with the aim of helping you achieve lush, healthy styles. 

    No matter your curl pattern, turn your next updo into an occasion of its own with our nutrient-rich, award-winning gems.


    1. Billero, Victoria, and Mariya Miteva. “Traction alopecia: the root of the problem.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 11 149-159. 6 Apr. 2018, doi:10.2147/CCID.S137296
    2. McLyntock, Kaitlyn. "How to use hair mousse like a pro." Byrdie. 8 April, 2022. https://www.byrdie.com/why-use-mousse-in-hair
    3. Watson, Kathryn. "Almond oil for hair." Healthline. 18 September, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/almond-oil-for-hair#hair-benefits
    4. Watson, Kathryn. "Aloe vera for your hair: what are the benefits?" Healthline. 15 October, 2022  https://www.healthline.com/health/aloe-vera-for-hair#benefits-for-hair
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    Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

    With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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