How to Pull Off Half-Up, Half-Down Hairstyles, According to a Pro
From the red carpet to your Instagram feed to your TikTok FYP, half-up, half-down hairstyles are more popular than ever. The nostalgic hairstyle, which you might recall wearing to school as a tween, is having a major resurgence. Recent fans include Beyoncé, Zendaya, Bella Hadid, Khloé Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez, who has definitely made the look one of her signatures.
Celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan, who has created the in-demand hairstyle on Kardashian, Olivia Culpo, Ashley Graham, and other stars, told POPSUGAR she likes the vibe it gives off. "Half up feels young and playful," she says. "It allows for the hair to stay out of the face without being completely up, which can sometimes feel too harsh."
At a press event for TRESemmé, where Marjan is a global stylist, I got to be in her chair to recreate the look. After giving me her signature loose waves, she started pulling my hair halfway up. I was caught off guard when, instead of starting behind my ears as you'd expect, she strategically started by my temples. It suited my round face shape better, Marjan explained. That's when a lightbulb went off in my head: does where you start your half updo on your head make a difference? How do you know which placement looks most flattering on you?
Thankfully, Marjan had all the answers. Ahead, read her biggest tips on how to pull off the popular half-up, half-down hairstyle based on your individual features.
Best Half-Up Half-Down Hairstyles For Round Face Shapes
For round faces, like Zendaya, Chrissy Teigen, and Hayden Panettiere, Marjan has a tip: "Use the temples or eyebrow arches — depending on your other facial features — for the most flattering finish, and pull the ponytail high on the head to lengthen the face shape."
Best Half-Up, Half-Down Hairstyles For Oval Face Shapes
According to Marjan, oval face shapes can pull off almost any placement when it comes to half-up half-down hairstyles. That said, "I like to use the edge of the eyebrows or the arches of the eyebrows as a guide."
Best Half-Up, Half-Down Hairstyles For Heart-Shaped Faces
If you have a heart-shaped face, "I suggest pulling the hair back right in front of the ears, so the hair you see falling forward softens the jawline," says Marjan.
Best Half-Up, Half-Down Hairstyles For Long Face Shapes
"Pulling the ponytail too high on the head can elongate that if you don't add width with the curl around the face," says Marjan. "Also, with longer face shapes, pulling the placement back by the ears can widen the face and create a more flattering silhouette, instead of leaving hair out around the face."
Best Half-Up, Half-Down Bun Hairstyle
When you're doing a half-updo bun, placement is key. According to Marjan, if she's doing a half-up top knot hairstyle, she'll pull placement back farther toward the crown of the head because she "want[s] to be sure when doing a bun that it doesn't feel too contrived, or like a hat sitting on the head."
Best Half-Up, Half-Down Hairstyle Tip For Everyone
"If you have big juicy lips, some shorter pieces around the face that fall around there can draw the eyes [to that area]," says Marjan. "If you have almond eyes, pull back at the eyebrow edge. If you have super cut cheekbones, have your pony line up with the line of your cheekbone from the side."
On the flipside, placement of your half up half down style can also take emphasis away from features, too. If you have a distinct nose you don't want to emphasize, for instance, "Make sure the placement of the ponytail is not directly in line with it from the profile."