How to Accessorize Half-Updos Like The Runways

So little effort, so much payoff… Editorial stylist Erickson Arrunategui makes the season’s easy hair look even easier…

“Fashion week hair has been really laid back,” admits NYC-based stylist Erickson Arrunategui, who you may already recognize for his work with FP beauties like Taylor LaShae. “The updos still have that effortless vibe. The runway is a time to focus on the fashion — the hair should go with the look, but not overpower it.”

Like music to our ears, Erickson hits on exactly the mood that lazy spring mornings and post-yoga afternoons inspire in even the most ambitious of babes. Plus, the catwalks are calling for the kind of low-key glamour that truly can be accomplished at home (or on the move) with the help of a decent salt spray, a budget-friendly accessory, and a dream. “I was so inspired by the Chanel show,” Erickson admits, noting that their use of ribbons, clips, and pins turned simple styles into French coquette glamour. Plus, it takes minimal effort. “An extra five minutes goes a long way.”

Below, Erickson walks through three easy half-updos that riff off of catwalk cool. And if you want to shave off even more prep time, skip the curling iron and just unravel a loose bun after a few hours up in its perch. A natural bend in the hair will add yet another level of Parisian insouciance.

Crown Heights

The endless obsession with ethereal twists and crown-like plaits can be seen on Valentino’s runways season after season. Even the oceanic accessories in this style are a RTW-approved move. As long as you can do a three-strand braid, this look can work on all hair types, lengths, and textures.

Step 1: On dry hair, add dry shampoo (like Bare Republic’s UV Protecting formula) at the root and dry texture spray (like Playa’s Endless Summer spray) to create more movement in the hair.

Step 2: Take a small section near the hair line on both sides and do a three strand braid. 

Step 3: Stretch out the braid and pin at the nape (low back) of your head.

Step 4: Add hair pins or clips through the braid for a updated look, this one used shell hair rings that can be looped through simply.

Romantic Moves

This half-up style can be a daily staple if you just swap out accessories to elevate the simple technique. Inspired by Chanel’s Paris SS19 runway, where models’ lengths were played up with black ribbons and pretty enamel pins.

Step 1: Spray sea salt spray (like Rahua’s Enchanted Island Sea Salt Spray) throughout hair and let dry, or create texture using 1 1/4 curling iron.

Step 2: Gather a horseshoe section at the crown (top center) of the head and pin at the nape of the head, then follow with left and right sides of hair and secure with bobby pins.

Step 3: Pull pieces out around the face for softness.

Step 4: Spray dry texture spray through lengths to separate hair and give it an air-dried look.

Step 5: Finish with hair accessory like this fun daisy party clip or classic silky scarf pony.


Side Gig

The wonders of a three-strand braid are endless, especially when it’s delivering natural face-framing results. The teased-out tendril braids outfitted with gleaming accessories at Rachel Zoe’s SS19 show in New York are a smart point of reference for this look that works for a multitude of lengths and textures.

Step 1: Spray sea salt spray throughout hair (Captain Blankenship’s Golden Waves spray offers extra shine).

Step 2: Gather small section of hair around the face and create a three-strand braid. Secure with clear elastic.

Step 3: Pull apart braid to rough up the texture.

Pro tip: “Adding dry shampoo to the braid helps to make it look softer and brings out more texture.” 

Step 4: Spray dry hairspray to add more texture and lock in the look.

Step 5: Finish with hair clips like this shell bobby set or even a couple of pretty beaded bows.


Photos by Erickson. More of Arden here.


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I don’t like doing my hair all the way up but I’m all for half updos! They’re so cute!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

4 years ago

are you supposed to Open & clip in the shell hair rings, or work them in as you’re creating the braid? I have them, and they’re hard to get closed.

4 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

Hi Ashley! The little hoops do open up so you can make the braid and add them in after! Here’s the link for them, in one of the photos you can see how they open :)
Thanks for stopping by!

4 years ago

wow these are absolutely adorable.

Romantic Moves and Side Gig are my fave…especially Side Gig

Tbh, as someone with curly hair, step 1 here would totally dry out my hair…sea salt spray?
I feel it’s more for the straight/wavy haired ladies who don’t have to worry about tangles..eek!

aneha | moon lover’s paradise