30 Half-Up Half-Down Hairstyles You'll Want To Emulate Immediately

Hairstyle trends come and go, but the half-up, half-down? A timeless beauty. Rocked in the '60s by sultry French actress Brigitte Bardot, the half-up half-down hairstyle has seen its fair share of variations since, but one thing's remained the same: The style was, and still is, having a moment. Versatile, practical, easy, and oh-so-stylish, the half-up look even made the top 10 list of most popular hairstyles in the world in 2021, according to Google trends and shared by Hairdressers Journal.

For those days when you just can't decide whether to put your hair up or down, the half-up, half-down style's got your back. It looks stunning on any hair length, type, and texture, and is one of the best hairstyles for any face shape. And the greatest part? There are so many ways you can style it — from braids and buns to twists and clips. Don't just settle on a traditional half-up look! We've gathered some of the trendiest half-up, half-down hairstyles you'll want to emulate immediately.

Half-up top knot

A classic way to wear the half-up, half-down hairstyle involves keeping the strands down for a ponytail look. But why not create a loose and tousled top knot, as seen in this Instagram post by @gemmanicholshairandmakeup? This style has a relaxed vibe with wavy, soft ends, but you could sleek the top for a more polished look if preferred. "When you can't decide between a top knot or a half-up style, we give you both," the caption reads. The best of both worlds!

Braids for the natural-haired beauties

For those looking for a protective hairstyle, it's no secret that braids are a fan favorite. They help keep the hair healthy while providing a sleek and stunning look — and most importantly, they hold a significant cultural meaning (via House of Braid). While there are different ways you can rock your braids, from ponytails to buns, one of the trendiest looks is a half-up, half-down style, like @justbraidsinfo showcases in this snap posted to Instagram. The tribal braids in this look are popular, and we can see why. Gorgeous!

TikTok's claw clip hack isn't just for ponytails

When TikTok's claw clip hack was helping people get a perfectly bouncy ponytail, it was only a matter of time before it made its way into a half-up look. This TikTok video shared by hairstylist @brylkaproject shows the claw clip hack on only half of her hair, and the results provide a voluminous half-up style. To do the hack, you simply loosen your ponytail, create a small hole at the base, and then pull the ends through the hole. Secure a claw clip underneath for extra lift, and voila: a mega-lifted half-up pony.

Bejewel the look with hair gems

The early aughts pushed hair gems and jewels into the spotlight, but the shiny accessory lost popularity within the last few decades. However, like many Y2K styles, they are back and better than ever. Dress up your elegant half-up 'do with hair gems, similar to @ayesha_habshi_hairstyles in this Instagram photo. She added purple gems and pearls to her client's half-up style for her Sangeet Night, but it doesn't have to be a special moment for you to do the same!

Trendy loop bun

The loop bun is like the regular bun's trendy little sister. It's sophisticated and fun while remaining chic and elegant — and when paired with a half-up style, it really elevates the look. In an Instagram Reel shared by @lifeinbobbypins, we get a peek at how simple it is to achieve the look. "This is the easiest half-up hairstyle!" the caption reads, in part. For a hairstyle so intricate looking, you'd think it would be more challenging to achieve. Bonus points: The style is perfect for any occasion. 

Braided space buns

One half-up ponytail is cute, but two? Even better! And when you braid the ponytails and secure them in trendy space buns, you get a look that is playful and fun. YouTube creator and hair extension company Imogen Fox X Foxy Locks shared this look in a video where she created two braided space buns by parting her hair in half down the middle and making two half-up pigtails. She then braided the pigtails, twisted them in a bun, and pinned them. Super cute! 

Low half-up pony secured with a clip

A soft and delicate half-up, half-down look is perfect for those who want to keep the hair out of their face but still participate in the trendy style. Hairstyle content creator @hair.of.anna secured her low ponytail with a large iridescent butterfly clip, as showcased in this Instagram post. There's natural volume to the low maintenance look without the need for teasing, spraying, pinning, curling, or shaping — ideal for anyone looking to keep their hair healthy with a quick and easy style.

Super sleek side part

If you prefer a structured, slick, and clean half-up, half-down look, then you'll love this one. Instead of parting your hair down the middle or all back, try a side part, as shown in this TikTok video by @tinirenee. In the video, she sectioned her bangs out of the way before creating a smooth half-up ponytail. Then, she curls the ends and slicks her bangs to the side for a polished finish look. This style works best for those with slightly unwashed hair, so the strands slick and hold all day. 

Tie it with a scrunchie

Scrunchies are another one of those Y2K staples that have made their way back, and honestly, we're not mad about it. Scrunchies are fantastic hair tie options for keeping breakage at bay, as described in the caption of this Instagram photo shared by @amiebymina. The woman in the picture is wearing her braided hairstyle in a half-up, half-down look, complete with an emerald green silk scrunchie. "Girl, it's time to make the switch to silk — your hair will thank you," the caption reads. Protective and cute? Say less!

Wild and sultry (fan not included)

You know those sultry and seductive hairstyles that instantly make you feel like a runway model the second a gust of wind hits your face? This look is one of them. A half-up, half-down wild and sultry hairstyle fits every occasion and is especially perfect for those with a "bigger the better" mindset regarding their styled locks. Throw all the hair framing your face in a super high pony, and don't skip on the backcombing for that va va voom mane.

'60s big bouffant

With the '60s-inspired hairstyles taking over the internet, it's no surprise a big bouffant hairdo would be back in style. Although Snooki definitely brought her own unique variation in the 2010s, we're seeing a shift toward more sophisticated styles, as seen in this YouTube video by NikkisSecretx. This look doesn't skimp on the drama, so you'll want to dial back the teasing if you prefer a more understated bouffant. But, of course, if you're a fan of the intense oversized bouffant, then backcomb away.

A traditional soft and structured half-up ponytail

When you think of a traditional half-up, half-down ponytail, this look posted by @aprilrosepengilly on Instagram may come to mind. This hairstyle is a quintessential half-up look, with face-framing bits of hair tied perfectly together in a ponytail on top of the head. It's soft, yet structured, with loose curly ends and a smooth and sleek base. If you're a traditional girlie and prefer a classic look, then this may be the way to go. Plus, it's incredibly versatile and can be worn for nearly any occasion.

Sweetly tied together with a bow

A hair bow is the girly hair accessory that goes with any hairstyle, especially when paired with a half-up, half-down look. It's sweet and classy and adds a playful touch. This half-up, half-down hairdo was shared on Instagram by @paulamareehair, which showcases a chocolate brown brunette sporting curled bouncy locks and a baby pink silk bow. The light-colored bow against her dark hair is stunning. Blondes, reach for a black or dark-colored hair bow for a contrasting pop.

Two pigtails with a braided touch

A classic half-up pigtail look is super cute, but take it one step further with braided side pieces, as seen in this TikTok video posted by #HairTok queen @alyssarayelee. In the video, Alyssa creates two small half-up pigtails on top of her short blonde bob. Then, she takes a small section underneath each pigtail and braids it for a fun touch. It's such an easy way to elevate the pigtails without changing the overall look of the style.

Sleek and pin-straight

Put the curling iron down and reach for a straightener instead. While curly and wavy half-up hairdos are always in style, if you want to take a sleek and sophisticated approach, go for a pin-straight half-up look instead. Wig shop @juliahairwigs posted this photo on Instagram, showing off a perfectly styled half-up look, which looks especially gorgeous on those with long bobs like the woman in the photo. For that sophisticated look, slick the hair back and keep the entire hairstyle structured without any wild teasing or fluffing.

Y2K spiky

The spiky bun was all the rage among the pop princesses who reigned supreme in the early aughts, and trendsetters today can't stay away from the look. There are many ways to pull off an updated spiky bun, one being the trendy half-up hairdo, as showcased in a YouTube tutorial by Amanda Steele. In the video, Steele creates a funky half-up 'do by pinning bits of her hair to the top of her head to make those beloved spikes. She parts her bangs to the side and flips the ends of her hair for that classic flip bob look.

A claw clip gives the perfect tousled look

This is the perfect half-up hairstyle for when you want to pull some of your hair back but don't want to commit to a hair tie or rubber band. Goodbye, hair creases. This look uses a claw clip to pull back the tousled strands for a lifted, intentionally messy look. Take a peek at this photo shared by @minimidimichi, which depicts this half-up style beautifully. Leave your bangs and side pieces down to complete the relaxed vibe. And when you want to put all your hair down? Simply unclip.

Bun secured with a scarf

Add playfulness to your look with a long scarf tied around your half-up bun hairstyle. This look shared by @kaylancoop is stunning, especially since the orange scarf compliments her colorful outfit perfectly. This hairstyle is ideal for those with long hair, so the extra ends of the scarf don't extend longer than the strands. However, those with short hair can also get the look by securing a shorter scarf around the bun. Feel free to add some curls to the strands for extra dimension.

Bubble braid pigtails

The best hairstyle to make thinning hair look full of volume, as expressed in a TikTok video by @megan_a_james, this bubble braided half-up pigtail look is so adorable. "This is one of my favorite hairstyles for when you literally have four pieces of hair," James says in the video. To get the look, she creates two half-up pigtails and secures little rubber bands along each one to make the bubble braids. She crimps the rest of her strands to produce tight waves and finishes with texture spray to give fullness to the look.

Bella Hadid-inspired flip bob

Let's be clear — Bella Hadid didn't invent the flip bob. In fact, the classic style was often seen back in the '60s by former First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy, among other trendsetters of the time (per Beauty Launch Pad). However, Hadid was instrumental in bringing back the look, and for that, we are eternally grateful. In a TikTok video posted by @melisekrem, we get a peek into what it takes to get the look ourselves, and it's really simple. Don't forget to flip the ends with your straightener for that quintessential look.

Boho fishtail braid

Braids are a fun way to add dimension and depth to any look, and a fishtail braid is no exception. Fishtail braids are a popular choice for half-up, half-down styles, as the finished result is always "dreamy," as described by hairstylist @blondebychristina in this Instagram snap. Her hair is wavy and loose, with a delicate fishtail braid hanging down, adding oomph to an otherwise simple look. You could pull all the hair back to create the braid, or leave face-framing pieces down as shown in the photo.

Sleek middle part with volume

A middle part never goes out of style. In fact, it's the trendiest way to part your hair these days, according to Gen Z. When combined with a half-up, half-down hairstyle, you get a look that is all-around current and chic. TikTok creator Camella La Compte, aka @lacomptecamella, posted a video showing how she gets a voluminous half-up middle part hairstyle, complete with a claw clip bun. The top is sleek and the ends are fluffy, giving a cohesive and trendy look.

It's giving mermaid

When you want to wear your mermaid-esque locks down and free-flowing but love the look of a half-up, half-down style, don't worry — you still can. Hairstylist @hausoflt posted this gorgeous look on Instagram, showing off her long wavy hair, with the bangs and side pieces framing her face. It looks like all her hair is down because the top pieces lay perfectly on the side, giving a stunning and voluminous appearance. Yet, half of it is up, which gives that extra oomph.

Baby Spice meets Billie Eilish

When you mix two celebrity icons together, Y2K pop sensation Baby Spice and Academy Award-winning singer Billie Eilish, you get this look: a neon green and black half-up pigtail hairstyle. Shared on Instagram by celebrity wigmaker and hairstylist @iamalonzoarnold, this hairstyle is reminiscent of the early aughts with a contemporary spin. Feel free to ditch the green hair dye and recreate this look with your natural hair color, keeping the pigtails simple with trendy antenna bangs hanging down. Add some loose curls for extra volume.

Braid and cross the bangs

Have you ever wanted to recreate that trendy French braid half-up ponytail, but French braiding is not on your list of special talents? Relatable. With this hairstyle shared in a YouTube Shorts video by @SophieHannah_, you can still get the look of braided bangs without the hassle of French braiding. In the video, Sophie creates a half-up ponytail, leaving the fringe out. Then, she braids the bangs, secures them together, twists them to create a cross shape, and pushes the ponytail through the hole to give an edgy, braided look.

Flipped half-up — no claw clip required

This hairstyle is reminiscent of the TikTok claw clip hack shared earlier, except this one doesn't require a claw clip. Instead, you'll replace the clip with another section of hair to create more volume. Content creator @kennedy.powers shows how you can achieve the look. In the TikTok video, Powers creates a half-up ponytail at the back of her head and makes another small ponytail right below it. Then, she does the flip method to the top ponytail, creating a hole at the base and pulling the hair through. She then feeds the bottom ponytail into the top one for extra volume.

Preppy mohawk vibes

You probably didn't think the words preppy and mohawk would go together, but that's exactly what this look reminds us of. Instead of sectioning your hair above your ears to create a half-up hairstyle, take a smaller section at the top of your head above your eyebrows in a mohawk fashion, like hairstylist and content creator @missysueblog in her Instagram photo. She takes three separate sections and secures them together with rubber bands to create a bubble braid effect for a soft and elegant vibe. 

Decorate the look with colorful butterfly clips

What better way to spice up that half-up hairstyle than decorating those locks with colorful and vibrant '90s butterfly hair clips? You can go all the way and deck the look out from root to tip in fun-shaped clips, like YouTuber westafricanbaby in this tutorial. Her tight curls and voluminous high pony elevate this look even more. If you don't have naturally curly hair, feel free to reach for a curling iron to give added depth to the look.

Side swept and soft

For the girlies who love a soft side part, you'll adore this look, which hairstylist @caraclyne.bridal described as "a modern take" on the traditional half-up, half-down style in the Instagram photo. As the perfect wedding day hairstyle, this look is delicate and soft, with just the right amount of oomph. In truth, the half-up look, in general, is an excellent choice for brides, providing loose strands and a lifted root, which looks gorgeous in photos and when paired with a veil.

Faux antenna bangs

Does anybody else love the long antenna bang look, but your bangs are too short to participate? You're in luck because, with this hairstyle shared by @aslinurakinci on TikTok, you can braid small sections of your hair and fake it 'til you make it. This hairstyle looks amazing with curly hair, but any type and texture can rock it. Keeping up with the trends, Asli uses a claw clip to create extra volume at the base of the ponytail. If you don't have a claw clip or two by now, you may want to add some to your online shopping cart to emulate some of these gorgeous half-up looks.