How to Week: A Tutorial on Braids and Updos

Yesterday, I said that YouTube was a miracle in bandwidth.  I was wrong.  

Last night, I searched through dozens of videos (until I went crosseyed and had a friend sub-in) and learned that YouTube is a crowded, chaotic jungle filled with restless natives who make inane videos that teach you how to make a “quick and easy updo” that looks a heck of a lot like a ponytail.  Clearly, someone is under the impression that putting hair into a ponytail is simply too difficult for the average woman to handle.  

But while a lot of the videos on YouTube fall far short of helpful tutorials, I found a handful of videos that really were worth the time and effort that it took to find them.  Hopefully, with a little bit of practice, even a busy Hill Staffer can master a few of these easy(ish) updos.  

Be forewarned, however, that many of these looks are for medium to long hair. If you need updo ideas for shorter hairstyles, a quick search should be able to help you find something that works.

A Messy Chignon

To be perfectly honest, this hairstyle by Ted Gibson, while modern, is just too damn messy for me.  When he adds the elastic headband at the end, all I could think was, “She looks like she’s going to the gym.”  Despite my aversion, I have to admit that it is an interesting technique and some of you younger, more bohemian chicks will probably like it a lot.  

A Pretty Braided Bun with Ribbon 

God Bless the people at Ford Models.  Their video collection is by far and away, the best one on YouTube.  Better than Vidal Sassoon, better than Ted Gibson, better than BellaSugar.  I could spend hours watching their tutorials on everything from how to create hairstyles to proper makeup application.

What can I say?  The Ford people are doing God’s work.

The Perfectly Teased Updo

This style is either Blair Waldorf on steroids or Amy Winehouse on Valium, I can’t decide.  But being a former pageant girl with a serious addiction to big hair, I’m totally into it.

The Alexander Wang Side Braid

Sadly, I never learned how to braid.  I had a Mom, so that was her job and I didn’t mess with the natural order of things.  

A few weeks ago, I decided to try braiding my hair and figured that a side braid would be the easiest one to master.  And while my hair isn’t quite long enough to pull off the look completely, it is getting there.  For those of you with collarbone length or longer hair, this style is modern, fun, and definitely sexy.

The Deconstructed Side Bun

I don’t want to say that this hairdo is messy, because it would be better described as deconstructed.  It’s curly, adorable and by far, the easiest of all the videos.  And while the woman in the video is not a professional, her tutorial is easy to follow and replicate.  Plus, unlike so many of the videos on YouTube, the sound of her voice didn’t make me want to poke my eyes out.

Alright ladies, that about covers it for today.  If you didn’t see the hairstyle that you want to try, feel free to hit up YouTube or just the Ford Models page.  You should be able to find just about any hairstyle that you are looking for, but you may have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince.  So I suggest you watch with a cocktail in your hand.


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  1. Sarah says:

    I will definitely be using that ribbon up-do. I’m having a dinner event at an upscale Los Angeles restaurant and had no idea what to do with my hair. . . I had already picked out a beautiful BCBG black cocktail dress with chiffon and ostrich feathers (classic, yet trendy) and COULD NOT figure out what to do with my hear (that would not detract from the dress). Belle, you’ve done it again. Bravo, bravo!

    May 19, 2010/Reply