We’ve all been there—fussing with our hairstyle when we can’t choose between a ponytail, braid, or letting it all loose. But too often, we forget about the happy medium: half-up, half-down hairstyles. The classic half-up ponytail is a go-to for when you want the best of both worlds—a style that keeps hair off your face and feels a little glam. And when it comes to creating the style, the options are actually endless—as we’ve seen many celebs prove on the red carpet. Ready to explore a whole new world of hairstyle options? Read on for the 19 prettiest half-up hairstyle ideas you should try for every occasion.
Pulling some of your hair into a topknot is one of the easiest ways to change things up from the simple half-up pony. If you have thin hair, try popping on a bun-shaped hair extension like INSERT NAME HERE’s Sammy Tousled Wave Bun for volume like Ciara’s.
As Yara Shahidi proves, curly hair buns are the glam look you didn’t know you needed—and this half-up bun is no exception.
Half-up, half-down looks can always benefit from a hair accessory, and Lana Condor’s embellished piece adds a whole new layer to her look. For a DIY version, try tying on a black velvet ribbon and clipping in PINK PEWTER’s Emma Pearl Accent Metal Hair Clip at the base.
There’s nothing simple about Margaret Qualley’s gorgeous half-up look: Her piecey ends and middle part give the style a laid-back, almost boho vibe.
Take note for your next black-tie event: Letitia Wright’s micro braids and bun are stunning on their own, and the added crystal embellishments are simply perfection.
If you look up “half-up hairstyle” in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Kate Middleton. The key is to start with a great blowout, as Kate always does, for that perfect curl and enviable shine.
This is one runway look you can actually steal for real-life (promise!). Make like Gigi Hadid in Chanel by leaving your hair soft and natural, brushing your hair back over the crown of your head, and keeping it secure with a ribbon.
Think of Jennifer Lopez’s ‘60s-esque style almost like a regular high ponytail, only instead of securing it with a hair tie, it stays in place with a hidden headband or bobby pins and the hair is fanned out to create that bouffant-like shape.
The fountain first popped up in the ‘90s, and thanks to celebs like Kim Kardashian, it’s trending all over again. Wear it with mermaid-like texture, à la Kim, or go straight with flippy ends for a full throwback vibe.
Hairstyles like this one on Madeline Brewer are why we’ll never be over flowers as hair accessories, especially as a wedding hairstyle. Pinned in at the base, white roses make a stark contrast to slick-straight hair, but they would be equally amazing with curls. If you’re ambitious, you can use fresh blooms, too.
Teasing your hair may lighten things up, but it does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to the final look. Case in point: this voluminous, wavy look on Doutzen Kroes, that would work with everything from jeans and a T-shirt to a formal gown.
One way to level up half-up hair? With a half-shave, of course. Leave it to Zoe Kravitz to add a new, beyond-cool twist to the braided half-up look we didn’t see coming.
Yes, short hair can still do a half updo! (In fact, it often holds better than a regular ponytail.) Try tying your strands back with a ribbon for a classic look.
If your hair is lob length, you may still be able to style the top of your hair into a small messy bun like Lucy Hale’s.
For super-long hair, try securing your half-pony at the crown of the head like Blake Lively did here. Not only does it shorten the overall look, but it also helps prevent hair from looking flat.
The sideswept angles in Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s hairstyle may harken back to the ‘90s, but her soft curls keep the look feeling so fresh and now.
For most, Hailey Baldwin’s bubblegum-pink hair color would be enough of a statement on its own. But her medium-length hair and twisted half-up style keep things interesting (and prove pink hair is just as versatile as any other color!).
Cindy Bruna’s hairstyle is best executed by a trained hairstylist, but if you’re going to DIY, be sure to use a flat iron that won’t damage hair, such as the SLEEK'E HAIR Exclusive 1″ Hair Straightener in Black (and be sure to have hairspray handy).
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