Help me put my hair up!
August 26, 2007 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Teach me how to style my hair!

I would like to learn how to put my (long) hair up in ways that are a tad more polished and elegant than my usual "pile rat's nest on top of head, secure with an elastic" style.

I've googled this, but the results tend to be of the Jessica McClintock Prom variety. I would love it if any MeFi women (or men!) could recommend websites that have simple, explicit, step-by-step instructions for updo virgins. Bonus points for photo illustrations.
posted by lalex to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
How long is your hair, exactly?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:31 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

i pretty much just do variations of the classic bun.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:38 PM on August 26, 2007

I asked a sort-of similar question in that I had long, long hair that I needed to put up somehow. There are some great braiding websites out there, but they require lots of coordination and practice.
posted by schroedinger at 8:38 PM on August 26, 2007

Here's a good site that has several videos showing how to style long hair (updos, braids, etc.).
posted by la petite marie at 8:39 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's probably down to the middle of my back, heh, am I making it sound like my hair is this long? My intention was to indicate that I'm looking for resources for medium to long hair.
posted by lalex at 8:39 PM on August 26, 2007

Also, you can find hair clips aimed towards thick hair (I get mine at Claire's) that are kind of nicer than an elastic.
posted by schroedinger at 8:40 PM on August 26, 2007

You'll get more by searching for the name of an actual style than for 'updo' in general, for example, Chignon how to, bun how to (video).

I usually wear mine in some variation of the second one; the method of fastening it can dictate how casual/formal it is (ballpoint pen, strands around face for casual; sleeked back with pretty jeweled hairsticks or some such for more formal).
posted by frobozz at 8:41 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dual buns (height on your head=cartooniness. the lower, the more subdued.)

French Braid (or two, tight or loosened for a very sexy style.)

posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:53 PM on August 26, 2007

Here's a good, thorough guide to some updo ideas.
posted by ethorson at 9:04 PM on August 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

You will need hot rollers some teasing, hair spray and imagination. after letting down the rollers take a neat section of hair from the crown and twist, keep twisting until it kinks, wrap the remainder under the kink, cross hairpins at the scalp to secure the ends, you have just made a zulu knot on top of your head. Next take a side section of hair and tease it lightly from the base and wrap around the knot, secure with a hairpin, do the opposite side the same way, smooth with hair spay, same thing with the back sections, now tease up the front and pull it back towards the knot play around until it looks elegant or sexy /fun and pin it at the front base of the knot, lightly trace the style with a comb be generous with the spray pin as needed and practice you will improve.
The zulu knot is just a secure pincushion that you can pin strands of hair to . I do this in the salon and it is fun, looks great . zig zag partings for the side and back sections make it look like an elaborate weave, wrap alternate sections clockwise anticlockwise.
posted by hortense at 9:15 PM on August 26, 2007

My hair's about bra-strap length, and I rarely wear it loose. I sometimes wear it in pigtails (low, not cheerleader pigtails on the sides) and often in two braids, but most often I make one ponytail, twist it around and anchor it with a chopstick. I also have a little comb with an elastic band that I can use to make an easy updo, I've bought them at Claire's boutique and at the drug store (I think it's a Vidal Sassoon product).

Scunci used to have a terrific product called a HairdoStick that I love, and if mine ever breaks I'll die. It's a plastic chopstick with an elastic that runs through the top, similar to but much cheaper than the Bandostick, and I believe actually designed by the same person. I haven't seen them in stores for a while, although I still see them on the Scunci website. I tried contacting Scunci about tracking some down but they never got back to me :(
posted by padraigin at 10:08 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've found this website to be immeasurably helpful. Some of them are a little hardcore about never cutting hair, strange washing techniques, etc., but lots of good styling suggestions and tricks.

If you search You Tube for hair lessons by a user that goes by "pursebuzz", there's an Asian chick that is really, really good at showing how to do different up-dos.

My hair was just past the bottom of my back bra strap, but I had a few inches cut off yesterday. It's still pretty long, so I can use different clips, etc. I know the ponytail drill all together too well. ;)
posted by dancinglamb at 10:19 PM on August 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I just got a Ficcare Maximus clip which is the only thing (other than 100 bobby pins) I've ever used that will actually hold my heavy hair up for hours. The salesperson at Nordstrom showed me different ways to use it, all variations on twisting your hair into a bun or twist. It's a vast improvement over the older Ficcare clips (Innovation, Millenium) which did nothing for me but work OK on finer hair. It's a little pricey, $30-$34, but I've been using it a lot.
posted by girlhacker at 11:34 PM on August 26, 2007

I think the key to a polished daytime look is to pull your hair "back" and not "up". Bun, braid, chignon, whatever -- just keep it low, simple and neat.

When I had long hair, I'd create a fishtail starting very low, near my neck (so no braid running down the length of my head). Then I'd take the length of the braid and tuck it under the top of the fishtail, securing with just a few bobby pins. Once I got the hang of it I found fishtailing easier than French braiding, and it looks pretty darn cool.
posted by junkbox at 6:15 AM on August 27, 2007

At a point when I had long hair, I quickly realized that being a man, I was not raised in an environment conducive to learning what to do with long hair. I bought this book which is definitely on the girly side, but has a lot of good, solid information and ideas on what to do with your hair, many of which are adaptable to more professional (and in my my case gender-neutral) looks.
posted by plinth at 7:24 AM on August 27, 2007

This site is trying to sell hairsticks, but their catalog of styles works just fine without them. I love the vintage-y Edwardian styles here for something a little fancier.
posted by nonane at 6:15 PM on August 27, 2007

Wow, thanks to all. It's going to take me a couple weeks to work through all of these terrific suggestions, but I'm pretty stoked, especially for the recommendations that involve video!
posted by lalex at 7:37 PM on August 28, 2007

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