Deciding how to style your hair on your wedding day is one of the trickiest decisions, as there are so many amazing wedding hairstyles to choose from. But one style which has so much versatility and potential to wow, is half up half down wedding hair.
Half up half down wedding hair can be styled on anyone with bob-length hair or longer, and there are so many different styles you can choose from. If you fancy a boho vibe with braided wedding hair, half up bridal hairstyles will work perfectly for you.
Or if you're into traditional wedding hair or more glamorous, sleek styles, the half up half down look can also be altered to suit your style. From vintage and retro, to beachy and glam, this is potentially the most versatile wedding hairstyle of all. But how do you know which option to go for?
Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair: 28 Ideas & Celebrity Inspiration
Our roundup of half up half down wedding hair gives you ideas and inspiration for short, medium and long hair, and covers so many different bridal styles and themes - so you're bound to find something you love.
What's more, we also have tips on how to do a half up half down wedding hair look yourself, if you're going down the DIY route, using the best hair curlers recommended by us - all of which we've tested ourselves!
Half Up Half Down Wedding Hairstyles
1. Fishtail Plait Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Adding hair accessories to a fishtail plait makes it all the more special. This look from Hair Creations by Colette has ‘mermaid’ all over it and we’re captivated by it.
2. Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair With a Front View
This bride, styled by Jessica Short, has a classic half up half down wedding hair style, and here you can see how beautiful it looks from the front. The stylist has kept their natural middle parting and given her medium length hair soft curls just at the bottom, as opposed to curling the entire length of the hair.
3. Naturally Curly Half Up Half Down Bridal Hair
Embrace your naturally curly locks with loosely pinned half up half down wedding hair, like this look, styled by Emma Forlettas. The bride's hair has a beautiful, bouncy texture to it that remains on show, due to the fact that the half up style hasn't been pinned too tightly.
The addition of the sparkly headband adds glamour, but you could swap this for a flower crown if you're having a festival wedding.
4. Softly Braided Bridal Half Up Half Down Style
For a subtle, whimsical bridal half up half down look, consider replicating this style designed by Hair Creations by Colette. The subtle braiding on the top half of the hairstyle adds a welcomed rustic texture, and fastening the half-pony by wrapping the hair around itself is another unique technique we love.
5. Bridal Half Up Half Down Braided Hairstyle
Francesca Bridal Hair has created absolute art with this half up half down wedding hairstyle. The hair has been masterfully pulled and manipulated to create an array of bows and knots that really highlight the blonde and brunette tones in this bride's hair.
Though they add a bit of sparkle, this bridal hair would stand out with or without the hair clips.
6. Asymmetric Braid Half Up Half Down Bridal Hair
Half up half down wedding hair is often a symmetrical style, but if you prefer something a little more unique, use Jessica Short's take on the look as your inspiration. She has crafted a thick, asymmetric braid which makes its way down this nearlywed's hair, and blends in seamlessly with the loose curls at the end. Perfection!
7. Medium Length Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Those with shorter hair can absolutely still rock a half up half down wedding hairstyle, as shown by Hair & Makeup by Gabrielle. The stylist has used different twisting techniques to gather the hair together, and knotted it in a mini-messy-bun style fasten. The curls add texture to the bride's blonde hair, and we love the height at the top.
8. Half Up Half Down Highlighted Wedding Hair
If you have light blonde highlights in your hair, or even lowlights, a curly half up half down wedding hairstyle is the perfect way to 'highlight' them - see what we did there? NB Wedding and Bridal Hair have styled this hair to perfection.
Using folded twists moving outwards, they have managed to make the lighter tones in her hair the star of the show, and the curls only add to this. We also love when stylists leave a few strands of hair down at the front to frame the face.
9. Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair With Hollywood Waves
Here, Francesca Bridal Hair has combined two of our favourite bridal hairstyles into one gorgeous look. Pairing a half up half down bridal hairstyle with glamorous Hollywood waves is pure genius, and ideal for those with longer hair.
We also love the little twist which she's used to fasten the hair together - it helps to add some volume to the crown of the hair and adds texture to one-tone hair.
10. Bohemian Braided Half Up Half Down Hairstyle
If we're looking for boho style wedding hair, we know to go to Lucille & Co - they are brilliant at crafting bohemian-esque bridal hairstyles that stand out from the crowd.
The fishtail braids look amazing in pictures and the addition of dried flowers really accentuates the theme.
11. Half Up Half Down Blonde Wedding Hair With Plaits
No one does bridal braids like Victoria Louise Bridal - just look at how detailed these interwoven plaits are. So much work has gone into this half up half down wedding hairstyle, yet it looks and feels so effortlessly boho and chic. They have been styled so seamlessly, you don't know where one ends and the other begins.
12. Short Twisted Half Up Half Down Bridal Hair With Flowers
If you have a choppy short or medium length haircut, why not consider a curly half up half down hairstyle on your wedding day? As you can see from this style by Wildflower Hair Company, choppy cuts look amazing when curled as they still have so much volume and weight at the bottom.
The subtle highlights really stand out with this style and you can add any flower you like to match the season or theme of your wedding.
13. Long Brunette Half Up Half Down Bridal Hair With Flowers
Adding flowers to your wedding hair always adds some extra pizzazz to your look, but even more so when the flowers are bright and beautiful, like the ones used by Francesca Bridal Hair in this style. The long brunette hair contrasts beautifully with the bright orange florals pinned in it.
Accentuating the nearlywed's natural features, we love the way the long strands of hair at the front frame her face, and that the flowers have been spread out throughout the half up half down ponytail.
14. Traditional Curly Half Up Bridal Hairstyle
If you want to opt for more of a traditional half up half down wedding hairstyle, use this curly do by Jessica Short as inspiration. The crown of the hair has been given the perfect amount of volume, accentuated by the way the hair has been pinned, and the curls are natural and loose.
15. Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair With Braids and Plaits
Combining braids and plaits of all shapes and sizes is this half up half down bridal hair style by Victoria Louise. The amount of texture and volume created by the mixture of braids is just stunning. Those looking for a bridal half up half down style that's unique and memorable should try and recreate this!
16. Symmetrical Twisted Half Up Bridal Hairstyle
If symmetrical things make your heart smile, why not carry that through into your half up half down wedding hair? This curly style by The Bridal Stylists is so satisfying to look at, with the symmetrical hair twists, perfect curls and double clips on either side of the head.
Though this has been created on a someone with long thick hair, you could definitely do something similar with medium length, or even bob hair.
17. Whimsical Crown-Style Half Up Wedding Hair
Want to feel like you're wearing a crown without actually having to wear one? If so, Francesca Bridal Hair's take on a half up half down wedding hairstyle will be right up your street. The way the hair has been twisted around the head makes it look and feel like an actual crown, and the beautiful clips only add to the elegance of this hairdo.
18. Half Up Bridal Hairstyle With Volume
We are absolutely obsessed with this Lara Stokes bridal hairstyle - it's everything you want from half up half down wedding hair, and then some! The stylist has created fabulous volume in the ponytail, and we love that they've pinned the hair up so low down, giving the feel of a low ponytail whilst still allowing the nearlywed to wear the rest of her hair down.
Pairing it with a curly fringe and flower crown is just the icing on the cake.
19. Diagonal Plait Half Up Half Down Bridal Hairstyle
Sometimes, you don't need tonnes of braids to give you a stand-out half up half down wedding look - sometimes one is just enough - and that's definitely the case with this hairdo by Victoria Louise Bridal Hair. The diagonal plait has been stretched to create such a three dimensional effect, and the classic curls work beautifully with it.
20. Half Up Half Down Hair With Flower Crown
For the ultimate summer wedding look, pair your half up half down hairstyle with a gorgeous flower crown like Victoria Louise Bridal Hair have done here. The colours chosen for the bow and flowers really work well with this rich red hair, and the knots add such amazing texture.
21. Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair with Fringe
A heavy fringe with face framing tendrils looks beautiful when teased into a half up half down wedding hairstyle. Add a baby’s breath flower garland for a modern addition. This hair by Jessica Short would be a gorgeous bridesmaid hair idea too!
22. Wavy Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Loose waves and mirror shine, plus a delicate accessory make this half up half down wedding hairstyle by Something Blue perfect for any dress style. The accessory chosen gives this bridal hairstyle a really romantic feel, but swap it for pearl clips or letter accessories for a more sleek look.
23. Half Up Half Down Fishtail Plait Wedding Hair
If you’ve got extra long, extra thick hair the possibilities are endless when it comes to half up half down wedding hair. Sprigs of frothy gypsophila add an extra glamorous touch to this look, styled by Jessica Short, and we love a mermaid braid in any look, but especially half up half down ones.
24. Ombre Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Intricate chignon detailing makes this design by The Perfect Marriage one of the most beautiful half up half down wedding hairstyles we’ve seen. It looks particularly lovely thanks to the lightened tips.
25. Mid Length Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
A loose knot adds a modern twist to half up half down hair. This look works best on fairly thick hair as it can make fine hair look thinner, and we love the twisted knot look - it's a unique way to pin half of your hair up and is perfect for modern nearlyweds - Hair Creations by Colette have nailed this one.
26. Pink Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Quirky coloured hair looks gorgeous teased into a half up half down wedding hairstyle - there's something about that contrast of contemporary colours and the classic hairstyle that works so well. The braids add an extra cool fantasy element to this look styled by Something Blue.
27. Short Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Tousled waves and twists make for a chic half up half down wedding hairstyle for short hair. A delicate accessory adds a special occasion feel and the blunt cut means there's still plenty of volume at the bottom of the hairstyle styled by Jessica Short.
28. Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair With Braid
Adding a braid to half up half down hair adds an effortless boho vibe, a style that Hair Creations by Colette does so well. Wear this with an off-the-shoulder wedding dress for the ultimate in chilled out wedding vibes. See more boho wedding hairstyles here.
How to Do Half Up Half Down Wedding Hair
Planning on doing your own hair? Or perhaps you want your bridesmaids to be able to do theirs? Or, you just want to see how to do a half up half down wedding hairstyle for yourself. Whatever the reason, this video shows you how to construct three different bridal half up half down styles for long, medium and short hair.
Which Hair Types Can Wear Half Up-Half Down Wedding Hair?
“Half up half down hair is the perfect style for those who want their hair down but off their face,” says wedding hair stylist Colette Sudlow of Hair Creations by Colette. “It works with most hair lengths, even short bobbed hair,” she continues.
“Half up half down wedding hair is a great choice as you get the best of both worlds,” agrees stylist Jo Lewis of The Perfect Marriage. “It’s flattering on most people and there are so many different versions of this style to choose from.”
Because it tends to look more laidback that an updo without a strand out of place, a half up half down wedding hairstyle can actually help you to relax more on the day, according to stylist Jason Collier who has worked with everyone from Victoria Beckham to Laura Whitmore.
“The style has a much more relaxed and informal feel, which can make people feel more at ease overall,” Jason says. “It also helps to open up the face, allowing everyone to see how happy you feel on the day.”
This is the best news – half up half down wedding hairstyles can work on all hair types and lengths – even shoulder skimming bobs. “It works beautifully with all hair types and textures, which makes it so popular,” confirms Jason.
Jo says most people choose to add some wave or curl to their hair for this style but don’t feel you have to. “There is absolutely no reason not to have it poker straight if that's how you love it. You do you!” she says.
Is Half Up Half Down Hair Low Maintenance?
Half up half down wedding hairstyles certainly give off a chilled, laid back vibe, but this isn't always the case. They might look less intricate than a super-styled updo, but they can actually be more maintenance.
“With half up half down wedding hair you still need to consider that the loose hair can be affected by humidity and wind, plus waves or curls can drop,” warns Jo. “For anyone looking for super low maintenance hair that won't move from morning 'til midnight, I suggest an updo, even if it’s super soft and casual with loose bits.”
Colette points out that if you don’t want to spend long in your stylist’s chair, half up half down hair might not be the way to go. “Half up hairstyles can sometimes take longer, if not the same length of time as an updo,” she says. “Every hairstyle involves hair prep before even creating the style.”
How To Prep for a Half Up Half Down Hairstyle
Award-winning hairdresser Lee Stafford says: "The one thing that brides need on their big day is confidence that their hair will last all day without any major adjustments. To ensure the style is kept in place all day, hair needs to be prepped."
Leading up to the day he recommends using a nourishing mask, such as CoCo LoCo with Agave Shine Mask or For The Love of Curls Mask, a week leading up to the wedding day to make sure hair is well conditioned and full of shine.
One of the most important things to remember is to use heat protection, no matter what your hair type! "Heat protection is vital for keeping hair hydrated, healthy and nourished," says Lee. His favourite? This Original Heat Protection Mist as it is lightweight, non-greasy and gives incredible shine.
“It’s amazing for controlling frizz, and keeping fly-away strands at bay,” says Jo. “It also protects against humidity and heat, which will keep your style smooth all day.”
Make sure you read our guide to the best pre-wedding hair treatments to ensure your hair is in the best possible condition for the big day!