Braided updos are a great way to bring style and personality to your hair. They come in a variety of designs. Some are simple, but some are complex and intricate.
Most braided updos are great for formal occasions. Sure, you can wear them at your leisure, but they’re so elegant that you’ll want to impress the crowd wherever you’re going.
When you think of a braided updo you may picture a braided crown around the head. These 15 styles are even more beautiful.
Just grab some bobby pins and you’re ready to start a new look.
How We Choose Our Ratings
We've picked the top 15 best-braided updos for you to try out. All 15 of these designs are unique, beautiful, and sophisticated.
Each braided updo is designed for a formal occasion. The best of the best can be completed using minimal accessories. It’s the updo itself that makes the look, rather than adding tons of hair pieces.
We left braided updos that were too complex out of the list. We want to make sure the average person can do them with a little effort and patience.
Each hairstyle is rated out of 5 stars. A rating of 5/5 stars is the best, while 1/5 stars are the worst. This list is perfect for anyone looking for a new unique hairstyle.
Top 15 Braided Updo’s
All of the following braided updos are perfect for formal occasions such as weddings, date night and festivals.
If you create one of the styles with a loose braid or allow it to be a little messy it will work as a leisure style as well. Let’s take a look at the top 15.
1. The Chic Shoelace Braid
This updo makes it to the top of the list for good reason. For this updo go ahead and grab bobby pins, mousse and hair ties.
Begin by creating two braided ties at the top of the head. Do this by taking two strands of hair and tucking one under the other. Repeat this process until you reach the center of the head.
Do the same thing on the other side so that you have two parallel “shoelace” braids.
Next, create a fishtail braid with the remaining hair. Position the fishtail braid right in the center of the back of your head.
Gather the two "shoelace braids" and combine them with the fishtail braid. Make a circular motion and wrap the fishtail braid around the outside.
Finally, use bobby pins and hair ties to keep the updo in place on the center of the head. Now you have the perfect elegant braided updo.
2. Knotted Braided Hairstyle
This look uses a similar “shoelace braid” like the last style. Begin by taking two strands of hair from the top of the head. Tie the two strands into a “shoelace” or knot. Repeat these steps down to the base of the neck.
You should end up with 5 or 6 knots. When you reach the bottom, tuck the remaining hair under the braided knots with bobby pins. If your hair is very long, use the bobby pins to create a sleek bun at the base of the neck.
3. Triple Braided Crown with Flower
Create this stunning braided updo by sectioning three pieces of hair from the middle of the head. Tie them with a hair tie.
Next, braid each section all the way down to the ends so that you have 3 braids. Use hair ties on the ends of the braids to hold them in place.
After that, combine the left braid with the right braid. Bobby pin them together. Do the same thing from right to left and wrap the middle braid around both braids.
Secure the updo with bobby pins and necessary. Tuck unwanted pieces of hair under the updo. Now the look is complete. Add a flower crown for an added effect if desired.
We rate this braided updo 5/5 stars for its design and beauty. It’s perfect for a wedding or formal outing.
4. Waterfall Braid
Start this braided updo by creating a French braid at the side of the head. Begin at the left or right edge of the hairline and braid diagonally across to the ear.
This look will be more sophisticated if you braid carefully, and tight. Now you can use a hair tie to bind the remaining hair in a tight or loose bun.
Messy buns are great for leisure, while tight, sleek buns are great for elegant outings. Pin with bobby pins as necessary.
For a variation you can also braid the remaining hair all the way to the ends and wrap the braid in a circular motion to make a tight braided bun.
We rate this look 4.5/5 stars for its ease in creating, elegance and beauty.
5. Halo Braid
This may be the cliché of all updos. Either way it’s absolutely stunning. Start by creating two braids at the bottom of the left and rights sides of the head.
Next, braid all the way down on both sides and hold the braid with a hair tie. Gather both braids across the top of the head to make the halo crown.
Intertwine the braids or leave them separate for a voluminous effect. Pin this updo down with bobby pins. Remember to braid up and out to create a sleek look.
We rate this look 4.5/5 stars for its beauty and elegance.
6. Double Braid Bun
This hairstyle requires two thick braids. Create two large braids to fit over the top of the head. At the center you’ll create a sleek bun for the two braids to cover.
Some people like to buy large braids from hair stores while others like to use their own hair for the braids. This updo requires long hair.
Create two braids on the left and right sides under the bun. Use lots of hair to make the braids thick or add some mousse. Wrap one braid around the bun, and then wrap the other around the bun in the opposite direction.
Tie these braids down with bobby pins. We rate this look 4/5 stars for its simplicity and elegance.
7. Fishtail Braided Bun
Create this look by braiding a regular fishtail braid in the back of the head. Braid all the way down to the ends and use a hair tie to keep the ends neat.
Next, roll the fishtail braid up and around into a bun. Make a neat sleek bun for a sophisticated look. A messy bun will work well too if that’s the look you’re going for.
Finish this braided updo with bobby pins to keep the style in place. We rate this hairstyle 4/5 stars for its beauty and creativity.
8. Low Dutch Braided Bun
This updo looks best for ceremonies and celebrations. It's very elegant and charming. Start by creating two medium-sized French braids on either side o f your head.
Braid each French braid all the way down and use mousse to add volume. Next, cross each braid over the back of the head and combine them with a low thick bun. Pin any loose strands with bobby pins to complete this look.
We rate this look 3.5/5 stars for its simplicity and unique design.
9. Three Ponies Braided Bun
This hairstyle can be obtained with long, curly or straight hair. Split the hair into three sections going vertically down the head. Braid each section and tie with hair ties.
Next combine all three sections so that you have a 3 intertwined braided twists on the top of the head leading down into the nape of the neck. Twist everything down tightly using bobby pins for a sleek elegant look.
We rate this look 3.5/5 stars for its elegance.
10. Two Braided Buns
This look requires you to have two braided buns on the top of the head to mimic ponytails. French braid from the back of the head up into the center.
One braid to the right and one to the left. Braid all the way down to make the buns small and tight or just braid halfway to make the buns more voluminous.
We rate this look 3.5/5 stars for its simplicity and natural look.
11. Beach Bun Braid
Although this will be an elegant updo you can also use it for leisure activities as well. Create a large French braid at the side of the head. Either side will do.
Swirl the French braid into the front of the head, and then back around to the center. Gather the remaining hair from the back half of the head and make a bun.
Use a donut-shaped hair accessory to make this look more sophisticated. Pin down any loose ends with bobby pins or leave out pieces of hair near the ears for a beautiful flowing allure.
We rate this look 3/5 stars for its simplicity and unique look.
12. Braided Hawk Bun
This intricate bun may require hair extensions if your hair isn’t long enough. Mid-back length and longer will suffice.
Create two loose buns on the top half and bottom half of the head. Next, swirl each braid around into a messy bun. The buns can intertwine, or you can keep them separate. Loosen the braids to create more volume.
Tie the hairs down with bobby pins as desired. Side bangs will allow this look to be even more noticeable. We rate this look 3/5 stars for its intricate design and elegance.
13. Soft Braided Updo
This braided updo is loose and stylish. Start by creating a large French braid across the side of the head toward the back where you want the bun to be placed. Braid all the way down to the ends of the hair.
Next, use the remaining hair to braid 2 or 3 large braids all the way down to the ends. Swirl these braids around into a pinned bun.
Leave out a few strands of hair for side bangs. This will give the hairstyle a flowy natural feel.
You can pin them one on top of the other or pin them in a circular motion to get the “bun” look.
We rate this look 3/5 stars for its simplicity and elegance.
14. Zipper Braid Updo
This hairstyle is very unique and beautiful. Create this look by making a diagonal zipper braid. Zipper braids are just a slight variation of the regular braid. You can find a tutorial for the zipper braid at the Cute Girl Hairstyles website.
Once you finish the zipper braid all the way down to the bottom of the head make a regular braid for the remaining hair.
Once you reach the end swirl the finished braid into a neat sleek bun. Pin the bun down with bobby pins as desired.
We rate this look 3/5 stars for its complexity and beauty.
Braided Updo Guide
If you really want to turn heads at the next event you attend add some jewels or barrettes to make any of these braided updos even better.
Pearls and gold pins will work great. Silver will do as well depending on the outfit you're wearing. For some of these styles, you can pin flowers in your hair to give a natural effect.
Place silver or gold bobby pins on the head to create designs next to the braided updos. Elegant headbands may look great as well, just be careful not to overdo these looks.
Another thing that will look great is dyed hair. If you don’t want to dye your own hair use extensions. Braiding dyed hair gives the style depth and allure.
Now you’re ready to look your best at any event, whether it be a dance, wedding, night out or business meeting.