How To Make A Messy Bun, The Cute-But-Easy Hairstyle I'm Living In At Home
For something so understated, messy buns get a lot of attention. Chalk it up to Meghan Markle's iconic version or just the fact that it seems to be the unofficial stay-at-home hairstyle of Instagram, but the low-key 'do is talked about a *lot.* I'm no more immune to its charms than anyone else, which is why, in 2020, I decided to ditch my boring go-to topknot and try to create the perfect messy bun. And, through much trial and error, I finally found a routine that gave me those perfectly undone results I've been lusting after for so long.
Actually, I found a few routines. The thing I've learned about messy buns is that there are levels to them, depending on the occasion and your mood. Want a lightning-fast look for working from home? Spray some dry shampoo through sectioned-off layers of your hair and on your roots, twist your hair into a loose bun on the back of your head, and secure it with a scrunchie. Pull out a few loose strands around your face, shape any uneven parts with bobby pins, and you've got a chic five-minute updo to replace your everyday ponytail.
But like I said — there are levels to this look, so if you want that straight-from-Pinterest, truly *messy* effect, I've found that there's a bit more work, especially when it comes to prepping your hair. So for the rest of my messy bun must-haves, keep scrolling — my 10-step routine is ahead.
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How To Make A Messy Bun: Prep
The prep for my messy bun really begins right out of the shower with Davines' OI All In One Milk. Though I do want my hair to have some grip, this helps keep my waves frizz-free and shiny.
Once (air) dried, I twist random sections of my hair around a small flatiron to give it additional waves and texture. Pro tip: Once your messy bun is in place, pull any strands you want hanging out and curl them separately, since you'll probably miss them the first time around.
After curling, I spritz a small amount of this spray throughout my hair to really double-down on the wavy effect.
For added volume at my roots, I spritz Alterna's new texture spray all over, which gives my hair extra grip and ensures it doesn't lay too flat against my head.
I finish the prep with (a lot) of dry shampoo at my roots to soak up any excess oil and give it that last hit of volume and texture.
How To Make A Messy Bun: Finish
When I'm finished with prep, I immediately create the messy bun. I start with my hair parted down the middle, and I pull it (haphazardly — don't be too careful or pull it too tight) into a ponytail at the back of my head. I twist it into a loose bun with my ends hanging out below, and tie a small silk scrunchie loosely around it (I use this instead of a regular hairband because I don't want the bun to be that secure). Once in place, I loosen the bun to give it the shape I want.
If you have extremely thick hair like me, you may also need to use bobby pins in addition to a hair tie or scrunchie. I use them to pin down parts of my bun that are behaving oddly and to shape the front of my hair so it frames my face how I want it.
If I'm going out, I love to add an accessory to make it look more romantic. A simple pin near your bun will add the perfect effect without seeming too overdone.
Once everything is in the place you want it, spray a light misting of flexible hold hairspray overtop — just make sure you don't go overboard, or you'll take away from the undone look.