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I Challenged Myself To Wear Updos For A Week And It Wasn't Awful

It wasn't a total follicular fail.

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Hey guys, Nina here. I love my long hair. I treat it like my child that lives on my head. But I never do anything with it.

Instagram: @ninamohan

Seriously, I wear it down every single day. Nowadays, I'll give it a little curl before I go to work, but that's about it. I had super short hair as a child, so I never really learned how to braid or do nice buns or anything.


My hair is my security blanket. When I wear it down, I can use it to hide from the world. I cover my face with it when I feel insecure. So I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone by wearing updos for a week.

The process: This is supposedly called a "cotton candy bun." It looks very cute and simple on Pinterest but was a nightmare for me. According to the tutorial I followed, you put your hair in a ponytail, tease it, pin it, and somehow it's supposed to look like a sweet treat. It's been so long since I've tried an updo that my arms literally got tired putting this together. I'm too weak for updos. I just couldn't get my thick, unruly hair to cram itself into a perfect circle. Pieces kept falling out, along with my dignity.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

How I felt: Oh god. I look like I belong in Whoville. My boss said my hair looked like "a realistic tornado." I was very self-conscious about showing off the doughy lower half of my face. It really highlights my undefined jawline. But my co-workers thought I was just going for a messy topknot, and one even told me I looked "cute."


The process: This is supposed to be a crown braid, and honestly, I'm amazed it's not a total fail. Even though I love the milkmaid-chic look of crown braids, I assumed they'd be very difficult to master. But my intimidation was for naught! I found an insanely easy tutorial. You section your hair into four ponytails, braid them, then wrap and pin. I'm SUPER bad at braiding, but this tutorial made it almost impossible to fuck up!

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

How I felt: I was worried people were going to point out that you can see the rubber bands that I used, especially since a co-worker also wore crown braids that day too (hers were 1093490234 times better). But no one mentioned my sloppiness. I was only two days into this project and a co-worker said, "Whatever you're doing with your hair this week looks really nice." Eep! People liked my hair and weren't calling out my freakishly small head! I'd probably try this look again because it was so simple.

The process: I wanted to do a ~fancy~ ponytail, so I followed this tutorial and, well, YIKES. I don't know how she got all those perfect swoops. And somehow, the back of my head has grown a butt of hair under the pony. I didn't plan it that way, but my hair has a mind (and an ass) of its own. Also, lighter hair seems to show the texture of these updos way better than my solid black hair does. But I've never dyed my hair and I'm not about to start JUST to get a more enviable ponytail.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

How I felt: By this point, I was getting used to having my hair up, and even though I didn't nail the tutorial, I still felt...cute! The gym is the only place I ever wear my hair in a ponytail, but I could see myself rocking this look when I'm not sweating, too. Still, I resorted to an off-the-shoulder top because I was suddenly super aware of my lack of neck, and felt it would somehow lengthen it. I don't know if that's true, but I'm going to pretend it is.


The process: Oh lord. Oh no. Riding high on the confidence of crown braids, I thought I could attempt a hair bow. I should've stayed in my lane. The tutorial seemed simple enough. You put your hair in a high pony, pull most of it through the band, fan it out, and use what's left to make the middle of the bow. Somehow I ended up with a lopsided pile of hair. My layers made it hard to secure the middle, and I could never get the bows to be the same size. I truly apologize for trying to be adorable. I'm not meant for that life.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

How I felt: Behold, my sad bow! If that's not the face of someone who's in love with the way they look, then I don't know what is. JUST KIDDING. I FELT LIKE SHIT. I suffered through this asshole bow almost flopping off my head so many times that I considered just taking it out. But I trucked on, because I'm not a quitter, so I let it slowly devolve into a trash pile. No one said anything about this style, which let me know that people are too polite to be honest about how crappy I look.

The process: My last two updos were huge fails, so I decided to go the braid route again, since that wasn't so awful last time. This flower braid updo tutorial has you tie your hair into four ponytails, braid them, then wrap them in a circle to create a perfect lil' flower. My flower is less than perfect. You can totally see the rubber bands and the ends of hair, and the braids are all different sizes. But I didn't have a second mirror that day to see that back, and I was in a rush, so I did it all without looking. Even though it's a mess, I think it's a pretty, mesmerizing mess.

Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

How I felt: One of my co-workers stopped me in the kitchen and asked, "Who did your hair and how long did it take?" I felt really fucking proud to be able to say, "Me, and about 15 minutes." Sure, it's a bit sloppy, and my front piece is too long, but people were still impressed! And also, not once did anyone say, "Hmmm, now that your hair is up, I can see how bulbous your face is." Someone even asked me to send the tutorial after learning I did it myself. Who knew the simple act of wearing my hair up could inspire people?

Guys, it really helps to push yourself out of your comfort zone, even if it's with something as seemingly simple as updos. I started this week feeling hella uncomfortable. I worried that once I could no longer hide behind my hair curtain, people would be more aware of my heinous facial flaws. I stressed (and almost cried) about the fact that my hair didn't look "perfect" every morning. But the more I lived my new normal in updos, the more I realized that people actually liked being able to see my full face, and no one gives a fuck if they can see your bobby pins, so you shouldn't either. I know I'm no longer going to let my hair insecurities keep me from living my fullest follicular life!