3 Easy Updos x SAYA Hair Stick

I’m not exactly adventurous when it comes to my hair. If I want it off my face, it’s usually in a ponytail or a bun. When SAYA Designs reached out to me for a collaboration, I thought, challenge accepted—to prove to myself that I can do something more exciting with my hair.

SAYA sent me their Tapioca Leaf hair Stick to complement my long straight Asian hair. Their nature-inspired designs, made from recycled root wood and handcrafted by Balinese artisans, look like pieces of art, but I wondered if a simple stick could really keep a thick quantity of hair in place throughout the day. To my surprise, it held a bun quite easily, without needing any addition hair ties, bobby pins, and hair products (which I do not like using—I don’t even own any hairsprays or gels).

After playing around with various hairstyles, I decided on 3 updos that look intricate but are actually very easy to do, so much so that I tagged each as super easy, easy, and easy enough. If you can braid your hair and use bobby pins, you can do this, although the first two styles don’t need pins at all! While these styles are intended for long hair, you can try a half ‘do for shorter hair.

1. Super Easy

This is my easy take on a french twist.

Step 1: Twist up the hair tightly and tuck the ends in.

Step 2: Stick the hair stick in from the top and start weaving the twisted part of the hair to the hair close to the scalp. And that’s it!


2. Easy

My one redeeming quality when it comes to hair is that I can do a really quick French braid. If you don’t know how, there’s a bunch of tutorials online on how to do a basic French braid. Even if it turns out messy, it should be fine for this.

Step 1: Make a french braid and tie it.

Step 2: Twist the end of the braid up into a ball. Use the hair stick to weave the braid hair with the hair close to the scalp.


3. Easy Enough

How cool is this one? It looks complex, but it might even be easier than the last one because you just need to know how to braid hair.

Step 1: Part hair down the middle, make two braids and tie them. Don’t worry about neatness—you can see that I did not! Stick the hair stick through the hair above the braids.

Step 2: Overlap the braids into a criss-cross over the hair stick. Tuck the ends and use a few bobby pins to pin in place.

And there you have it. Check out SAYA’s hair tutorials for more ideas, even for short hair.

I’m happy I get to partner up with sustainable brands like SAYA. The wood used to make the hair sticks are actually salvaged root wood, a waste material which would take hundreds of years to decompose, from old plantations in Indonesia. For each hair stick purchased, SAYA will plant up to 10 endangered trees across Indonesia to give back to the environment. Learn more about the company’s sustainability initiatives here.

Even their packaging is eco friendly and consciously produced. The boxes, along with their business cards, are made from recycled materials mixed with fruit pulp—papaya. Victoria, the creator of SAYA, buys the fabric (traditional weaving in Indonesia called IKAT) for the sleeves at a local market. They are sewn by hand by women at a company in Bali called Saraswati Papers, who also make the boxes. My box in real life is beautiful and textured, perfect for gift giving.

This post was sponsored by SAYA Designs. All opinions and creative direction are my own. 

Photography by Catherine Li-Abrams

If you’ve tried one of these hairstyles, or have your own to share, let us know in the comments below.

pin me for reference


Get the monthly newsletter

Annie's fresh picks for ethical fashion, beauty, books, films, and more—not on the site or anywhere else.

Leave a Reply