The Perfect Messy Bun in 3 Easy StepsJanuary 14, 2021
Consider a messy bun one of life’s great ironies: When it comes to beauty, the most undone looks usually require the most effort. In our quest to master the perfect I-woke-up-like-this messy bun, we’ve ended up with looks that are too messy and deflated, too ballerina-tight, or just wrong all together. After lots of trial and error, we finally found a fool-proof way to nail the messy bun hairstyle. The secret? Second-day hair (or third, or even fourth). Think of it this way: A tousled, messy bun is to dirty hair what glitter is to a night out: absolutely essential if you want to do it right.
If there’s a hairstyle that’s more of a saving grace on mornings you just can’t get it together enough to wash your hair (or afternoons when you’ve managed to sneak in a lunchtime workout), we haven’t found it yet.
“The messy bun is playful and timelessly chic,” says Jill Engelsen, senior stylist and educator at Butterfly Studio Salon in NYC. “Most importantly, you feel like you’re you when you wear a messy bun — you don’t feel like you’re trying to be something you’re not.”
Read on to learn how you can get the classic look in just three simple steps, plus three other ways to rock a messy bun.
How to Create a Classic Messy Bun
STEP 1First, flip your head upside down and pull your hair into a loose ponytail, as high or as low as you’d like it. Don’t use a comb or worry about your strands being perfectly slicked back — some bumps are ok.
Twist the hair, and spin it around the base of the ponytail, continuing to wrap below the bun. Be sure to leave the tail out at the end.
Secure it with a hair elastic and bobby pins.
One of our favorite things about messy buns is that they work well on dirty hair (love you, snooze button), but if your hair is clean and you want to pull off the look, spray your hair with dry shampoo (try the Garnier Fructis Invisible Dry Shampoo) or texturizing spray to add some texture and grip. To make your messy bun look even more, well, messy, pull out the sections and the pieces of hair that frame your face. “As you wear it throughout the day, it starts to take on its own personality,” says Engelsen. “Only redo it if it’s really drooping; otherwise, go with it.” And there you have it — an effortless style that’s actually easy to achieve.