Awards season can sometimes feel like a blur — so many accolades, so few Sundays — but if there’s one event to slow down and savor, it’s the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards. Considered one of the more serious industry gatherings of the entire year, its sophisticated nature is reflected on the red carpet. Broadcasting on Jan. 14 from Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, the A-list turnout is elevated enough to remind everyone why these shows are so fun in the first place. It’s especially evident in the sheer number of low buns at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards. They’re vastly different in style, texture, positioning, and overall vibe, but the timeless hairstyle keeps popping back up for a reason. It’s all the elegance of a true updo with a hint — or more, depending on the look — of effortlessness thrown in as a counterbalance.
So many pretty takes on the low bun trend popped up at the Critics Choice Awards that you can’t help wonder if there was prior discussion and planning in some sort of elite actor group chat. Some of the buns were sleek, slicked, and sculpted, like the sort seen on Emma Stone and Jasmine Cephas Jones. Others felt decidedly more casual, like the loose, braided knot at the nape of Margot Robbie’s neck, or the artfully undone take on Rachel Brosnahan.
Ahead, explore the biggest hair trend of the 2024 Critics Choice Awards — which just so happens to double as the most sought-after party style of the year so far.
To suit her sleek, dark gown, Stone went for an equally refined bun that features a sharp center part. Celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak used products from her own best-selling RŌZ line to prep Stone’s dark red hair, before shaping and styling it with Kristin Ess hot tools.
With her own low bun wrapped in a tight swirl right at the base of her head, Blunt’s hair matches the red beaded rosettes running down her shoulder. Laini Reeves created the sleek yet soft style, the perfect choice to show off her matching poppy-red lipstick.
Always one to put her own stamp on every fashion and beauty trend, DeBose adds a little extra flair to her low bun by leaving the ends fanned out along the bottom, grazing her neck.
It’s all about the details with Brosnahan’s loose, ethereal bun. There are the beveled curtain bangs framing her face, the looped-around structure, and — though it’s hard to see in official photos — hairstylist Owen Gould nestled a pearl LELET New York clip in there.
Oh is another brilliant example of making a trend work for you by infusing some playful, personal energy. Her Derek Yuen-styled hair is pinned in little buns low on her head, but they continue all the way up, blossoming into curled ends positioned at the very top.
Madekwe dressed up a simple, sweet low bun with the gently curled tendrils that flow down between her temple and ears. Her center part is laser-precise but not too tightly slicked-down by celebrity hair artist Coree Moreno — it’s such a pretty effect with her candy-pink blush.
Pike’s hair is somewhere between a braid, a topsy tail, a braid, and bun — and all combined, it feels so her. The looser nature of the bun itself stands in contrast the gelled-down nature of her center part. Created by hairstylist Lori Guidroz, it’s a true work of art.
Jasmine Cephas Jones
The retro charm of Jones’s intricate bun can’t be understated. The swirl across her forehead is a brilliant vintage touch, locked into place by the most light-reflecting hair products.
Snook famously played the ultimate corporate baddie on Succession, but Shiv Roy would love the actor’s smooth, sleek bun with that extra-deep side part. Celebrity hairstylist Kylee Heath created the look, which can only de described as immaculate.
Robbie’s bun is so loose, it’s barely an updo at all — and therein lies the fun. Likely styled by Bryce Scarlett (though it’s yet to be officially confirmed), the trailing, half-undone bun feels is so much fun.