View Full Version : smooth updos - how?

March 13th, 2014, 08:50 AM
so you're putting up your hair into a chopstick bun or ponytail or whatever and you want the hair going into it to be smooth against your head, rather than having a load of unsightly bumpyness. how do you do it?

sounds like a stupid question but i've always had this problem and wonder if anyone else has too and has any tips. I have very fine hair, but a lot of it. I can detangle my hair totally - gently, in sections, from bottom to top, with a detangling brush. But then you only have to breathe on it and it's tangly again. When i'm brushing it into position for a bun I brush the top part of my hair back smooth - great. Then I brush from the back of my hairline - i.e. back of the neck and up towards where bun is going to be - by the time i've done that, the top is all uneven and bumpy and when I try to brush it smooth, the brush will not go through it all the way. Brushing from the top of my head, all the way down through the ends just seems to be a perpetual impossibility when it comes to updos.

I know it'd probably help if I put some coney serum through it, but then I have to wash it more frequently which I'm trying to cut down on. Can anyone give me some tips on how to get the smoothness?


March 13th, 2014, 09:44 AM
Put a tiny amount of light oil of preference on your hands, rub them against each other and then put your hair up with lightly oiled hands. It really makes a big difference in creating a smooth effect. I always smooth the top with my hands and it's enough for me, but a BBB is great for that, too.

And don't use any materials that create static and frizz (e.g. plastic) because it will only make it harder to make a smooth updo.

Another trick is silk. I noticed that if my silk scarf or cap slides off my hair, it leaves behind a smooth top. In Chinese tradition, silk was used to rub down hair for better smoothness and shine. Just pass a silk scarf over the canopy a couple times before putting it up.

March 13th, 2014, 10:40 AM
I never use a brush or any oils for hairstyling. I just use my wide tooth Sally showercomb.

heidi w.
March 13th, 2014, 10:56 AM
Use a comb. It's easy but it may take some adjusting and getting used to.
heidi w.

March 13th, 2014, 11:06 AM
Just started bunning my hair the last few days, so I'm far from an expert! But I've found my boar bristle brush works great for smoothing my hair down when putting it in the bun. It doesn't go right through the hair, so it won't pick up tangles(which in my experience is what causes bumpiness elsewhere, when you pull a tangle) and it's a great instant defrizzer. Hope this is helpful!

March 13th, 2014, 11:08 AM
ps I think a simple baby brush may do the same but may not be large enough.

March 13th, 2014, 11:29 AM
I'd replace the brush with a comb, and the try it out a few times.

I use a wide tooth comb first, and then I smooth it over with a finer tooth one:)

March 13th, 2014, 11:36 AM
I get the same thing especially right now that I have a ton of hair growing in after a shed. This makes more of the bumps.

I mist my hair first with a water/oil mixture, bbb slowly so there is no static, then put the hair in my hand and mist again and slowly bun. Then afterward I might have to run a comb in short strokes through any bumps or separated bits where my scalp shows through. Somewhere in there I use the tangle teaser.

If you sleep with your hair in the same direction as your morning's hairstyle, that helps tons too.

March 13th, 2014, 11:38 AM
I would also recommend a boar bristle brush for smoothing down updos (I have the very same problem with bumpiness when creating updos; the bbb definitely helps). :agree:
A comb sounds like a good idea as well, a regular brush tends to have too wide spaces between the bristles to create a smooth look.

March 13th, 2014, 12:24 PM
You could also try a thorough detangling, then just put it up with your hands (no more combing/brushing through). Then just detangle again when taking it down. Too much detangling can't be good.

Mustang Suzy
March 13th, 2014, 12:33 PM
I detangle, put the hair in whatever updo (bun, fork, stick, flexi) then use a fine tooth comb to smooth out any bumps or scalp gaps. Hope this helps!

March 13th, 2014, 12:59 PM
Comb works i also smooth a little aloe vera gel over the top I have mad regrowth right now.

March 13th, 2014, 01:16 PM
I have exactly the same problem and have never found a workable solution. If I comb/brush/BBB whilst making the ponytail/gather, then as soon as I finish the second section then the first is messy again. If I do it after I make the ponytail/bun, then I end up just forcing all the tangles up against the ponytail/bun.

My solution is to not do high buns. I just do low ones which let me retain my centre parting and don't require smoothing back.

Occasionally, I'll try a high bun with damp hair and that works a bit better (but is nothing like as neat as the stuff people post here).

I'm also a 1b/F/ii. Perhaps it is a hairtype thing?

March 13th, 2014, 01:24 PM
I use a comb (a normal wide toothed one) to make and smooth my updos and they come out nice and smooth. Put your hair up and then smooth out any bumps or hair cleavage with the comb.

March 13th, 2014, 02:42 PM
My hair is significantly more bumpy when I try to comb/brush it straight back. I guess it just really likes having a part in it.

March 13th, 2014, 04:38 PM
I got more hair bumps when I prepped my hair with a comb, a tangle teezer produces a smoother result for me (I don't own a BBB). I always keep a part with my updo's.

A quick tutorial on making hair bumps less obtrusive without having to redo your hair altogether:

March 13th, 2014, 04:49 PM
I get all my hair in a ponytail in my hand, then use a fine tooth wooden and comb just the hair on my head and not the length to smooth it out, then make a bun or whatever it was I am going to do with it. If it's a high bun, then I comb the top first, then underneath, else the underneath always sags.

March 13th, 2014, 04:55 PM
Wow, thanks for all the tips guys!

BBB isn't really an option for me as i am vegan - i was thinking of getting a sisal brush but after reading that other thread about ethical BBB people said it didn't work in the same way. However will definitely have a go with a comb as a lot of you seemed to suggest that, and it never even occurred to me that bumps could be sorted post-upping - I always just thought 'urgh, oh well nothing I can do now' - so thanks for all the insight and i'll see how it goes.

It probably is, to some degree a hairtype thing. Will try with a very VERY sparse oiling but it's hard because my hair just looks hella greasy very easily. Must be cool to have black hair, I bet you can't tell if it's oiled.

Thanks again!

March 13th, 2014, 09:55 PM
I haven't had much trouble with lots of bumps in my updos, my issue is that I will have one bump that makes it look ratchet, to which I just pin it down with a bobby pin (a bobby pin that I can hid in my bun). I find making sure you aren't pulling the hair too tight, have it thoroughly detangled prior to (and detangled in the direction which you want your hair to lay - that has been key for me) and just finger combing hair that looks like it won't lay properly into place to be sufficient. Takes a bit of practice, especially to notice which hairs tend to bump and how to adjust pressure on it to fix the issue).

When I try to comb hair into a ponytail, I do find on the right side, but I have zero hand-eye coordination, apparently, and end up making things worse on the left side and have to redo the whole style, so the above has let me avoid the use of combs in such a way. I don't do oiling (and when I do, it's on the ends of my hair) and the above works when my hair is overlygreasy or just after a wash.