Easy Twisted Updo

Perfect holiday party updo (click through for tutorial)Fun fact: I haven’t had long hair for very long. A few years ago I had a pixie cut—the Jean Seberg cut to be exact—and it’s taken around three years to get to this length. When I had short hair, what I was most envious of was the different hairstyles girls with long hair could do when my hair basically did nothing.

So I promised myself that when my hair was finally “long”, I’d learn all sorts of interesting hairstyles. I’m still on that journey because I really do have to learn how to do different hairstyles; each one takes several attempts to get right and practice to make it perfect.

This summer I learned the simple trick of making a rope braid and now it’s my favorite go-to style. Today I’m sharing a twisted updo that uses rope braids; it’s quite easy and a perfect hairstyle to try for any holiday parties you’re attending this season.

Perfect holiday party updo (click through for the tutorial) Step one: Start by dividing your hair into two sections following your part down the back of your head as if you’re making ponytails. You can tie/clip one side up to keep it out of the way and leave the other side down to begin.

Step two: Take two small sections of hair towards the top of your head. Twist these sections in the same direction. I like to twist my sections towards my face.

Step three: Take the two twists and cross them over each other in the opposite direction from your twist. Since I twisted them towards my face, I cross them over towards the back of my head.

Step four: Add a small amount of hair to your back twist, twist it towards your face again and cross it over.

Step five: Repeat step four using your other twist: add a small amount of hair, twist it a few times towards your face and cross it over. 

Step six: Keep repeating the process. It’s very simple, but you must keep your twists going in the same direction and crossing them in the opposite direction, this keeps the twists from unraveling and blending together. Tie the rope braid off with a small elastic when you reach the ends of your hair.

Perfect holiday party updo (click through for the tutorial) Step seven: Repeat the process on the other side of your head. Again I find it less confusing to keep the same exact process: twist towards my face, cross away from my face, add a bit of hair to each twist until all of my hair is twisted to the ends.

Step eight: Take your two rope braids and cross them over on the back of your head, pinning them in place and tucking the ends underneath.

Perfect holiday party updo (click through for tutorial) Perfect holiday party updo (click through for the tutorial) That’s it! Once you get comfortable making rope braids, there are so many different styles you can do—twisted milkmaid braids, a twisted crown braid, or this twisted updo. Another thing I love about this particular updo is how great it looks with a festive headpiece or sparkly headband.

You could even just add a little twig of holly to offset this style at your next Christmas party! Cheers, Rebecca.

Looking for more hair tutorials? Check out our most popular hair tutorials of all time!

Credits // Author & Photography: Rebecca Stice.

  • Love all of it. Way simpler than I thought it would be when I came across just the updo on Pinterest.
    Also, I would love it if you could tell me where that top/dress is from! Thanks!

  • OMG I lover your hair colour!
    It looks so nice with this style…

    Merry Christmas

  • Beautiful! I am always looking for new ways to wear my long hair. I’m not sure I can do it though as mine is tailbone length and I don’t know what to do with the extra lengths of twists…I will give it a try though…thanks for the tut!

  • Oh my gosh this is so pretty! I suck at updos but this looks promising, can’t wait to try it!!

  • This hairstyle is so gorgeous! You did a great job!


  • I love this tutorial. I have long hair but can never figure out how to style it, and this seems simple enough for me to do. Thanks for sharing Rebecca! By the way, I love that you’re writing for A Beautiful Mess. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and I love seeing more of your posts here.


  • The hairstyle is beautiful and I’m so jealous of your hair color!!

  • Current pixie owner, this is my dream hair, but when it was long I never did anything with it! ^_^;

  • Your hair is such a beautiful colour! As soon as mine is longer I’m giving this a go!


  • LOVE IT. Something I can easily do with my curly hair on the days I don’t feel like maintaining it. THANK YOU!

  • This hairdo is insane! (In the best way possible.)
    Her hair and outfit totally are killing it too.


  • The colour is amazing!


  • Oh, I understand you…I will never ever cut off my long hair again, even I am an grandma:-)

  • How can you have such amazing hair? This looks simply stunning!

  • Gorgeous! I am going to have to try this. My hair is so long and I feel like I’m at the point I can do nothing with it.

  • That looks so beautiful, I have to try it! Luckily my hair is long enough ^^.


  • I have been doing these twists in a ponytail lately. It looks great! I have not thought of doing this: looks stunning! And your hair and its color – BEAUTIFUL!!!

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