At last night's American Museum of Natural History dance in New York, Jessica Alba wore a curled updo that works so well for her. What I like most about this look is that it's not too stiff, serious, or prom-like. Plus, the side-swept style is so fresh and modern.

Get the how-to when you


  1. Lightly squeeze water out of the hair with a towel to remove excess moisturizer. Spritz hair with a curl-enhancing gel or cream, like Garnier Curl Shaping Spray Gel ($3), which also has built-in heat protectors.
  2. Once the hair is about 80 percent dry, use a paddle brush or styling brush to tame frizzy hair and flyaways until completely dry.
  3. Next, use a curling iron with a one-inch base or higher, and curl your entire head of hair. Tip #1: Clip up the top layers and curl the bottom layers of your hair first, working up towards the top. Tip #2: To create variety and differently sized curls, use another curling iron with a larger or smaller base, alternating sizes as you move along the head.
  4. Then, pull back your hair into a lower side-swept ponytail. Now, here's the fun stuff. Take individual pieces of curled hair and pin near the base of the ponytail. Take some large strands and some small strands to create a visually interesting updo. You can also twist individual strands or weave them through previously pinned pieces to "mess up" the look.
  5. Spray with a hairspray that provides hold without the crunch, like Sally Hershberger Supreme Head Brilliant Hairspray ($12.50), and you're good to go.