5 Tips for the Best Natural Hair Updos

Have you ever rocked a natural hair updo?

I am an updo junkie. I almost always have an updo if my hair is not in a protective style.

Before you think of me as the updo queen (humble much 🙂 ) let me admit that my updos are more out of necessity than for they are for style. You see, my type 4 natural hair is almost always out in the open. For those who know the hustle of getting ready for work in the morning, you understand that my routine doesn’t have time for natural hair…. especially if it means that I get to sleep five minutes less. That’s why my hair ends up folded in weird ways to get it looking neat and put together, aka, in updos.

Because of how often I’m in updos, I have come to understand some integral elements that must be present for my type 4 natural hair to look good in one of these hairstyles.

1. Stock up on Bobby Pins

funny relatable natural hair meme losing bobby pins
I have 99 bobby pins but can’t find one of them

I understand the struggle. You buy a million bobby pins and somehow you can only find four of them. Once you use them you have to engage in a treasure hunt as you try to figure out how many pins you used versus how many you can find.

Whatever the case, always have a bunch of bobby pins at hand. These help to achieve the shape you are going for and to secure your hair in place. This is especially important if your hair is voluminous.

That said, one of the ways I use to gauge a successful updo is by counting the number of bobby pins I’ve used. I know that I’m getting better at these natural hairstyles if I don’t have to use many pins.

2. The Shape of Your Face

What is your face shape?

If you don’t have an answer to this question, read this for further information.

what is the shape of my face?
What is my face shape?

One of the things that most natural sistas ignore when doing updos is the face shape. Like a haircut or a number of other hairstyles, it is important to know the shape of your face and/ or head. Some hairstyles are better achieved when you have certain facial features.

For me, side bangs work well for any hairstyle. Therefore, I lean towards a deep side part whenever I’m creating an updo. That’s also partly because I have a five head instead of a regular forehead. 😀

3. Cultivate Healthy Edges

An updo is only as healthy as your edges.

Sure, you have length and volume, but do you have healthy edges? Updos will always expose your edges so you better have them to begin with. Nothing ruins a look like a pretty roll, tuck and pin punctuated by a missing patch of hair or a scanty hairline.

How to grow type 4 natural hair edges
How healthy are your edges?

If you would like to find out how you can start your journey back to healthy edges in time for some amazing updos in 2020, then check out this post where I shared some of the things that helped me grow my edges.

4. Know Your Hair

How long is your hair? Is it voluminous? Does it shrink unimaginably when exposed to even a drop of moisture?

Knowing these things about your hair informs the type of updos you can do comfortably. It also determines how to tweak any natural hairstyle to suit you and how to take care of it afterwards. This information helps you answer questions like:

  • Do you use your hair only?
  • Will you include extensions?
  • Can you leave the hairstyle in for a number of days or do you have to undo it at night?
  • Are your ends properly tucked in and protected?
simple roll tuck and pin on natural type 4 hair
Easy roll, tuck n’ pin

5. Detangled and Stretched Hair

Can you imagine rolling, tucking and pinning tangled hair? That’s bound to be a serious mess!

You cannot and should (absolutely) not do an updo on tangled hair. Doing that will only increase your single strand knots and leave your ends ragged. Additionally, a good tip is to style your hair when it is stretched. It has more volume and is longer, making it easier to fold, roll, tuck and pin. The final result is much better as compared to an updo on a shrunken mane.

Easy Updo for Medium Hair


Whether you are looking for quick natural hair updos for the office or a wedding, these tips will come in handy. You are sure to see the improvement in your hairstyles. Additionally, keep practising different do’s on your hair once in a while and you will be a pro in no time!


2 thoughts on “5 Tips for the Best Natural Hair Updos”

  1. I don’t like updos UNLESS it’s a mosodo with my ponytail falling. I don’t dislike updos, I just have a long face.

    Updos make my face look like a WHOLE carrot. Wait what exactly is an updo? Do we have a downdo?

    1. 😂😂😂 I use updos to include side dos and down dos. Now all I can picture is a long face. 😂😂

      Mimi I don’t do straight-to-the-back updos. My forehead won’t let me prosper. 😁

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