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How-To: Purposely Messy Updos

Y'know, usually when I think of rock stars, I think of long hair flying around stage. But at tonight's Fashion Rocks event, most of the revelers had their hair pulled up. Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Esposito and Mischa Barton were among the women who went with a messy, imperfect updo—which is exactly the kind of stylish but unfussy look you'd want to wear at a music-meets-fashion event.

There's something really sexy about this, too, because it isn't as buttoned-up as more formal updos can be. And best of all, it's easy to create a variation on this look in just a few minutes. For my tips,

After towel-drying hair, spray it with a lightweight styling spray such as Bumble and bumble Styling Lotion ($24). Work it through hair, then use a paddle brush to separate and dry hair with a blow dryer.

For Jennifer Esposito's and Mischa's look, work a small amount of mousse through the hair at the back of your head. This will create volume. Now, I haven't been able to see the back of Jennifer's head, but Mischa is rocking a fancier version of a look I like to call "I have to run to the grocery store and my hair is a mess." Basically, you're going to make a crazy ponytail. Gather most of your hair with one hand, leaving a few face-framing strands loose. Use a Goody clear, "ouchless" hair elastic to create a high ponytail in the back. From there, double up on your ponytail: Divide the ponytail into four sections, then bring one at a time back to the base of your ponytail, securing it with another elastic. I know this sounds complicated, but it really isn't. You know how sometimes you just "fold" a quick-and-messy ponytail into itself so it doesn't hang as long as it normally would? That's the general idea.

For Jennifer Lopez's look, pull your hair straight back (from the front), then gather the hair in the back of your head and pull it into a high ponytail. From there, try wrapping your ponytail around its base—think of the way a piglet's tail does a curlicue—and secure the hair with bobby pins. If your ponytail were a clock, you should be pinning your hair at each "15-minute mark," but you can do more. Don't worry if a few strands jump out! Messy is what you're going for.


extremely_posh extremely_posh 10 years
I love messy updoes, so sexy!!
almostloli almostloli 10 years
i love messy updoes, updos are sexy in the first place! ;)
exquisite exquisite 10 years
i simply love messy, sort of unfinished ballerina up-do's, like J.Lo... the woman in the middle doesn't look that great tho. Mischa's hair is cute, but I'd kinda need few explanations more to understand it clearly.. anyway, I love it!
PrSiren PrSiren 10 years
I was at the show and J.lo just had a little messy bun in the back. Which is strange because when she performed she has an abundance of hair. Extensions, yes/no?
SassAndBide SassAndBide 10 years
jlo's skin is flawless so jealous and yes i love the messy updo's :D
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 years
I guess this would be my everyday look. It really is an art form to make it look messy on purpose!
cleegiants cleegiants 10 years
pixelhaze - i was going to comment about mischa's face too! guess it isn't just me. anyways, i'll have to try this messy updo look. i try but my hair is stick sraight and so the messy look can be hard to achieve. thanks for the tips!
pixelhaze pixelhaze 10 years
is Mischa's face a different coor than the rest of her body or is it just my monitor? She has a geisha thing going on. . .
Brians-Girl Brians-Girl 10 years
i love messy hair! its how i do my hair pretty much EVERYDAY!! haha.. i dunno why i like it so much i just think it looks super cute!
jaclynloro jaclynloro 10 years
When I do a casual look, I almost always have messy updos or half up/half down looks. I call it "elegantly dishevled"
i-am-elle i-am-elle 10 years
I love the messy updo. I found it easier for me to do with shorter hair because of my layers & texture.
JennaV JennaV 10 years
The messy updo is one of the few things I am an expert. I like the messy bun and think that looks really cute. This is going in my faves.
Chica8a Chica8a 10 years
messy up do is my favorite hairstyle :D
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 10 years
I like how J-Lo has it not sure about the middle person
whitcf0329 whitcf0329 10 years
I love the messy updo! Post more examples and maybe the back view of some of the stars' dos!
mizlynz mizlynz 10 years
I have to try this! I'm always throwing my hair up into a ponytail, but need a way to make it look presentable.
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