How To Do The Perfect Messy Bun (+ 4 DIY Tutorials)

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How To Do A Messy Bun: DIY Tutorials

A messy bun is not as effortless as it seems. This is one of those hairstyles that seems like a quick go-to but, in reality, can take as much time and effort as a sleek bridal up-do.

When you see it on your friends or girls in the street, messy buns have a stylish “I woke up like this” vibe. But when you try it for yourself, it’s more of an “I woke up, used a half a bottle of hairspray and 1,000 bobby pins, only to give up and wear my hair down” type of vibe.

Then, you come home and throw your hair up in a bun for 5 minutes before bed, and it’s the greatest, most trendy-looking messy bun you’ve ever done in your life!

The struggle is very much real, but at risk of sounding like that girl in school who always managed to look perfectly imperfect in your early morning classes, it’s really not that difficult to learn how to do a messy bun. 

Because once you get to know your hair and practice a bun that works for you, you’ll master it in no time.

Here are 4 messy bun tutorials for all different hair types.

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And the best part? Each can be done in 5 minutes or less!

All you’ll need is some hair ties, a couple of bobby pins, and a strong sense of determination. 

Best Messy Bun for Long Hair


A post shared by Robyn Munro Hairstylist ( on Aug 13, 2020 at 5:15pm PDT

Long-haired ladies, this type of bun was invented to keep your mane tamed, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for you. Your biggest struggle will be keeping your heavy bun secure enough so it doesn’t slip and slide throughout the day.

1. Tie your hair up like you would in a normal ponytail.

You can do this by flipping your head upside down to keep a lot of texture or stay upright. Don’t use a brush! You don’t want this to be smooth. 

2. Once your hair is securely fastened, pull some hair to loosen it from the ponytail and give it that thrown together look.

Free up some shorter pieces to frame your face, as many as you like. 

3. Take another hair tie and loop it around once.

On the second loop, only pull your hair halfway through so a bun sits on your head, but the ends of your hair are out. 

4. Secure the hair tie around the bun part.

5. Grab the ends that have been left out of the bun, and twist them around the base of the bun.

6. Secure the ends with bobby pins.

And some hair spray, if needed. 

7. Play around with your bun, pulling out some pieces, adding texture.

Do whatever looks best for you! 

Quick tip: Messy buns work best on day-old hair. Freshly washed hair can be too silky to stay in place. Try using hairspray, texturing spray, or dry shampoo to give your hair more texture if you need it. 

RELATED: 55 Best Short, Long & Medium Hairstyles For Women In 2020

Best Messy Bun for Short Hair


A post shared by LEINI MARKEN (@leinimarken) on Aug 18, 2020 at 5:18am PDT

The eternal struggle in the lives of people with short hair is how to get those choppy strands at the nape of your neck to stay up in a pony. This bun is the perfect hack for those trying to get short hair into the cutest messy bun.

1. Pull your hair up into a messy ponytail at the top of your head.

Keep your fingers wide and avoid using a brush to keep these sloppy. Ignore those pesky layers that fall down (we’ll get to those later).

2. Use a hair tie to tie the ponytail fully one time.

As you bring the hair tie around again, pull your hair just halfway through to create a bun. Repeat this again to secure the bun if necessary. 

Your bun is going to look crazy at this point, but be patient. Tug at any piece you want loosened to add texture. 

3. Smooth any parts of the bun that is sticking out too much, and secure it with bobby pins or hairspray. 

4. Twist and tuck any extra-long pieces that are sticking out from the base of your bun.

5. Taking the loose strands at your neck, brush upwards with hairspray, tie them at the ends with a small elastic or fasten them with a bobby pin.

If your hair is long enough, you may even be able to tuck these ends into your bun.

Quick tip: If you want to disguise the bobby pins and elastics, bury the ends into the base of your hair and pull your hair across to cover them. 

RELATED: 15 Easy Ponytail Hairstyles To Look Effortlessly Chic — In Minutes!

Best Messy Bun for Black Hair Types


A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on Mar 14, 2019 at 11:37am PDT

Since most of the cute messy buns we see in Instagram posts and on Pinterest boards are on girls with perfect natural waves or straight hair, ladies with afros or extremely curly hair find it difficult to achieve this look.

But there’s a messy bun out there for everyone. This tutorial shows us how it’s done.

1. Lightly spritz your hair with a leave-in conditioner or curl tamer of your choice.

And focus only on your roots so as to keep texture in your ends. 

2. Gather your hair to where you want your bun to sit.

Securely fasten it with a tie without slicking it back too much. You should have a curly ponytail at this stage. 

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3. Wrap your ponytail to the front of your head, folding it over so the ends are tucked to where your hair tie is secured. 

4. Pull a hair tie over all your hair, twisting and repeating until it's tied tight.

Use bobby pins to fasten any extra pieces you don’t want sticking out. 

5. Lay your edges however you normally would using a comb.

Or, leave them loose if you prefer.

Quick tip: This method works best on stretched out hair, so use a detangling brush or pull on your hair to loosen out your curls before styling. 

Best Low Messy Bun


A post shared by Erin Ryser (@erinvryser) on Jul 3, 2020 at 10:28am PDT

Sometimes a high bun can feel like you’ve got a whole extra head flopping around above your forehead, and you just want something more subtle and relaxed. Low buns are an awesome alternative for people with choppy layers or super thick hair that just won’t stay put in a high pony.

The look is effortless and can even be worn under baseball caps or hats. This video shows 3 simple options, but the third method is definitely the winner.

1. Tie your head in a low ponytail at the bottom of your neck.

Fasten this ponytail tightly so that it’s super secure for the next steps. 

2. Twist your ponytail tightly all the way to the ends so it’s in a tight tube shape. 

3. Pull your twist up so it’s parallel to your ponytail.

Loosen it slightly at the top to create more of a bun shape. 

4. Bring your twist over your fastened hair tie and wrap it all the way around your bun as many times as you need to. 

5. Tuck your ends underneath your hair tie. 

Secure them with some bobby pins or wrap another hair tie around the bun to hold this hairstyle in place.

6. Pull out some strands around the front of your face if you want a looser, more messy look.

Quick tip: You could even achieve a high donut bun like this by starting off with a high ponytail and following all the same steps. 

RELATED: 7 Tips To Keep Your Hair Styled, Fresh & Healthy While Salons Are Closed

Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. 

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