12 Easy Updos for the Office

2018 Update: We still stand by these easy office updos, but you may also want to check out our more recent post on 14 great YouTube tutorials for updos!

Hair is one of the key pieces to looking polished.  Perfecting a quick, sophisticated updo can be a simple way to have great work hair (and great interview hair!). Here are our favorite 12 easy office updos… whether for summertime, interviews, or beyond!easy office updos - collage for FB

Office-Appropriate Buns (and Variations)

Jean at ExtraPetite had a great tutorial a while ago about how to get a “voluminous puffy bun” if you feel like your head shape isn’t quite right for updos. (We’ve talked before about the sock bun, as well as the trick to making an updo more comfortable.)

voluminous puffy bun

In New York, I see a lot of women wearing their hair in chestnut buns, but very high on their heads — one of my old writing teachers had her hair like this every time I saw her. I can’t get it to work myself (maybe the curls make my hair too piece-y?), but it looks very comfortable — and sleek — if you can do it. Cup of Jo has a good tutorial, but there are also a ton on Pinterest.


This is basically a chestnut bun, inverted — it’s new to me, but I like how tidy it is, and how quickly YouTuber AK Makeup1 can do it.

inverted bun for work


Gibson Tucks and Chignons for Work (and Variations)

This easy Gibson tuck tutorial, from Cup of Jo, remains a classic. Quick, easy, and neat. You do need a few bobby pins or Spin Pins to secure it, though.

gibson tuck for work

I like this variation on the Gibson tuck: the braided Gibson tuck. This is particularly great if you have some layers to your hair. Here’s a good tutorial from SheSteals.

professional updo braided tuck


Easy French Twists

The French Twist is another classic that can be a great way to look pulled together. Be warned: this is a pretty bobby-pin-intensive look (to say nothing of the hairspray required) — but it’s a classic. Lifestyle blog Treasures and Travel has a great “60-second tutorial.”

french roll for work

I like this variation on the classic: the sideways French twist, from The Small Things blog.

french twist for work

Other Easy Updos for Work

Finally: I see less of this kind celebrated online, but more of it in real life: the claw updo. Easy, fast, and a classic. Picture from The Daily Connoisseur, where you’ll find the full tutorial.

claw updo for work

I like the idea of knotting rather than twisting — this kind of thing also works great if your hair is slightly damp. LuLu’s has the full tutorial.

knotted updo for office

This twist variation for short hair looks great, from The Beauty Department.

twist bun for short hair

Professional Ponytails

Finally: I’m seeing a few fun variations on the ponytail for work that I thought I’d include. First, here’s the classic, the wrapped ponytail. Makeup.com has a good tip: if you curl the section of hair you’re using to wrap your pony, it looks much neater.

wrapped pony

I also am seeing a lot of things on Pinterest with this twisted pony — pretty. The Beauty Department, as usual, has a good tutorial.

twisted pony for work

Ladies, how do you keep your hair up and out of your face in the summertime?What are your favorite updos for work?

Doing your hair for work doesn't have to be a pain -- we've found some of the loveliest updos (with easy tutorials)...

Ladies, what are your favorite easy office updos? 


  1. Kat, these are all great and cute updo’s (including the pony tail, which I sometime’s use), but these require alot of work to make them look right. When it is hot and sticky, I am a big PROPONENT of the SCHRUNCHIE, which you can put on and take off in a nanosecond. The schrunchie’s I use are very suppel (elastic) so they can go on and off without worrying about any kind of tying or weaveing, like the cute model’s (including you, too, Kat!).

    I think the HIVE need’s to try Schrunchies. They are NOT expensive and they can be cute also. Although my cousin Ivan from Eastern Europoe absconded with some of my best schrunchies, I replaced them. YAY For schrunchies!

  2. Well, you can’t argue that Ellen is off-topic on this one!

    I am now regretting my new shoulder-length haircut. A cute updo would have come in handy this morning. That being said, I tried a few and the claw updo works pretty well for me. Hooray!

  3. Well since Ellen brought it up I went to Japan on business recently and there was a scrunchy in the bathroom amenity kit. A small white fluffy one. They brought a new one every day. So funny!

    I love the Gibson roll. I read about it probably here a few years ago. I bust it out once in a while. A colleague told me it looked like I spent a lot of time on it. She loves it. Lately I do the French twist a lot, though never like in these pictures, they look so neat and swoopy. Mine are twist/tuck with pins.

  4. Are there any suggestions for curly-hair updos? My hair will start escaping from the looks above immediately!

  5. WorkingMom123 :

    I’m happy with a basic ponytail. Quick and easy. My hair is very curly, so I have to brush it when wet. Complicated hairdos require brushing, which will make my hair frizzier than before.

  6. Sara P.L. :

    Would be curious to hear what people think of barrettes. I saw a woman wearing a thin tortoiseshell barrette (the wide kind, so she was basically wearing a low ponytail but with the barrette instead of a hairband), and I thought it looked nice. Does anyone else wear these? Or have any idea where I could buy a chic-looking one?

  7. My hair is very slippery, so I often braid it before putting it up. One of my favorite hairstyles involves creating braided pigtails (high up by the crown & towards the back, so they are close together), knotting them together & pinning it all down while tucking in the ends.
    Another favorite is to create 3 braids & then braid those together. Both styles end up looking more complicated than than they actually are. :)

  8. Hi Kat, I came across your page when I was looking for hair braiding ideas for my daughter. She really liked the gibson tuck