Self

11 Super Easy Messy Bun Tutorials For Any Hair Type

Photo: Shale / Getty Images via Canva
woman doing a messy bun

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!

RELATED: 8 Lazy, 60-Second Hairdos For Busy Girls Who Just Can't Be Bothered

The struggle is very much real, but at the 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.

And the best part? Each can be done in 5 minutes or less. Plus, there's a messy bun tutorial for each one, including all hair types! All you’ll need is some hair ties, a couple of bobby pins, and a strong sense of determination.

11 Messy Bun Tutorials For Every Type Of Hair

Messy Bun For Long Hair

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. Separate your hair into two sections.

2. Tie the two sections together.

This is sort of like when you are first trying to tie a knot in your shoes.

3. Do the same motion again.

Tie the two sections of hair together again.

4. Then place what hairs you have left under the knot that you have made.

5. Secure with a hair tie.

Messy Bun For Short Hair

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 it 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.

Messy Bun For Medium Hair

Medium hair can be a bit tricky — it's too short to do a long hair tutorial but too long to do a short hair tutorial. Luckily, this messy bun tutorial is perfect for medium-length ladies.

   

   

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. Lay your pony out flat around your hair tie.

Fan out your pony so that your hair is covering the hair tie.

4. Secure the hair tie around the bun.

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

6. Secure the ends with bobby pins if needed.

And some hair spray too for the little wisps of hair. 

7. Play around with your bun, pulling out pieces and 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, texturizing spray, or dry shampoo to give your hair more texture if you need it. 

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

Messy Bun For Thick Hair

Thick hair may be difficult to control sometimes, but when you want to put it in a messy bun, this tutorial perfectly explains the steps.

   

   

1. Tie your hair into a high ponytail.

2. Twist your hair around the pony to create a bun.

3. Fasten with another hair tie.

4. Secure any loose hairs with bobby pins.

5. Play around with it as much as you like until you are satisfied.

Quick tip: Don't secure your hair too tight — this can lead to headaches!

Messy Bun For Thin Hair

Thin hair can be frustrating to style, but here's the messy bun tutorial anyone with thin hair can use.

   

   

1. Flip your head over.

This is to get that ponytail to the tip top of your head.

2. Do one loop over the hair with your hand upside down.

Don't let go of your hair!

3. On the second loop, grab the rest of your hair and flip it onto half of the other side.

4. Mess with the bun until you are satisfied.

5. If you have any hairs at the back of your neck, twist them around and secure them with a bobby pin.

Quick tip: Be sure to tighten this style from the back!

High Messy Bun

This is the style that truly keeps the hair out of your face and off your neck. Plus, it looks super-cute and chic.

   

   

1. Make a pony into a loop bun.

On the last pass through the hair tie, make a loop bun.

2. Split the leftover hair into two parts.

3. Twist one part towards the bun.

4. Pull the hair in the twist to make it loose.

5. Drape it over the bun and secure it with a bobby pin.

6. Do the same thing to the other section of hair.

Quick tip: Use texture spray to prep your hair.

Low Messy Bun

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 it’s 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: The Best Hairstyle For Your Face Shape

Messy Bun For Black Hair

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. And 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. 

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. 

Loose Messy Bun

A loose messy bun is effortless and comfy. And takes less than a minute to achieve!

   

   

1. Loop your hair through a scrunchie.

Don't let all of it get through though.

2. Loop the rest of the hair through a second pass through the scrunchie.

Quick tip: Use a scrunchie instead of a hair tie for this style.

Two Messy Buns

Put a modern twist on the princess Leia hairstyle, or channel your inner Scary Spice.

   

   

1. Split your hair into two sections.

2. Put one section into a pony.

On the last pass through, make a half loop.

3. Stick the rest of the hair into the bottom of the bun.

4. Do the same for the other section.

5. Play around with the buns until they look to your satisfaction.

Quick tip: Use a comb to give your hair a neat part.

Braided Messy Bun

This style elevates the messy bun to another level. Incorporating braids into your messy bun will add more texture and is overall just a really cool look.

   

   

1. Put your hair in a ponytail at the top of your head.

2. Space out your hair so that it covers the hair tie.

3. Secure a hair tie around the bun part.

4. Braid the extra hair into sections.

5. Twist the braids so that it makes a hole for your bun to go into.

6. Secure any loose hairs with bobby pins or hairspray.

Quick rip: Pull some framing pieces out around your hairline to make it more whimsical.

RELATED: Men Find This Hair And Eye Color Combo The Sexiest, Says Study

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her on Twitter for more.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!