30 Bun Styles for Natural Hair That Are Perfect for Summer

getting their glow on

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With summer in full force, you may be feeling the need to get your tresses off your shoulders and out of the way. Our advice for the most practical updo? Turn to the bun, a practical look that never goes out of style. Although buns are usually worn quite simply, with one’s hair neatly tucked away—either piled on top of your head or rolled up at your nape—buns can be pretty funky. We reached out to the experts for their creativity when it comes to having fun with the bun.

Meet the Expert

  • Antonia Opiah is the founder of Un-ruly, a hair and beauty blog that celebrates the diversity and beauty of Black hair and women.
  • Marwa Bashir is a Nashville hairstylist and R+Co. Collective member.

Take a look at the 30 bun looks for natural hair that we're eyeing for the summer.

01 of 30

Classic Bun

Meghan Markle

Max Mumby/Indigo / Contributor / Getty Images

A classic bun helps keep hair protected, making it a solid choice for those with natural hair.

  • Create a ponytail before wrapping an elastic around the base, gathering any loose hairs that escape and smoothing out the crown.
  • Wrap the hair around the base of the ponytail, tucking the ends beneath the spiraled hair and securing with bobby pins.
  • Finish the look with hairspray to set the bun completely.
02 of 30

The Classic Bun With a Twist


Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty Images

Adding a little oomph via a twist or well-placed accessory or two takes a classic bun up a notch. 

  • Create a classic bun utilizing the steps above.
  • "Then while you’re at it, why not add a little elegance with some hair jewelry?" says Opiah, who suggests a product such as the Kitsch Three-Piece Rhinestone Bobby Pins ($12) to add a touch of sparkle.
03 of 30

The Topknot

Draya Michele

Leon Bennett / Contributor / Getty Images

  • "An easy way to make your bun more interesting is to mess it up," Opiah says. We couldn't agree more.
  • Brush your hair back to ensure it stays smooth.
  • Pull the hair into a high ponytail, securing the base with an elastic.
  • Twist your hair into a rope before spiraling it around the base of the ponytail and securing some of the hair with bobby pins, but keep some ends loose.
  • "Loosely put your bun together and let your flyaways roam free," says Opiah.
04 of 30

Bun With Curly Bangs

Alexandra Shipp

Vivien Killilea / Stringer / Getty Images

"Why not leave a bit more of your hair out and frame your face with bangs?" Opiah says. "This look is the perfect combination of elegant and playful."

  • Follow all the steps of a classic bun but ensure all of your bang hair is left down so it frames the face.
05 of 30

Avant-Garde Buns

Tessa Thompson

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor / Getty Images

For a fun but still easy enough to execute an at-home look, try a modernist, three-piece bun.

  • Secure hair into three high ponytails, one next to the other, on top of your head.
  • Follow the steps of a classic bun for each, creating three buns on top of your head (for a look like the one above, ensure the middle bun has the most hair and, therefore, the most height).
06 of 30

The Braided Bun

Zoe Kravitz

Michael Stewart / Contributor / Getty Images

"I’m loving cornrowed buns right now. It’s a look you can take from work to a fun night out," Opiah says.

  • Ensure hair is braided all over first, before beginning, then create a low ponytail at the base of the neck.
  • Divide the ponytail end into large sections, then braid those into one large braid.
  • Take the long braided end and loop it around the ponytail base, hiding the elastic and creating a "bun" out of the braid.
  • "It’s a 'set it and forget it' look, the kind of look that, once done, requires very little maintenance," Opiah says. "If your braiding skills leave a little to be desired, you can book a licensed hairstylist to whip up this gorgeous protective style."
07 of 30

Voluminous Bun

Lupita Nyong'o

Kevin Mazur / Contributor / Getty Images

An oversized, voluminous bun is a great protective style for natural hair—and, as a bonus, it shows off the natural texture.

  • Slick the hair down on the sides and at the back before securing with an elastic.
  • Use a pick to shape your ends into a fro.
  • Seal strands with a moisturizing product such as Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil ($55).
08 of 30

Curly Bun

Gina Torres

Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

Rather than smooth out hair to create a prim and proper look, work with your natural texture.

  • Follow all the steps of a classic bun, taking care to ensure things aren't too smooth or perfect so that your natural curls can be seen.
  • "A leave-in conditioner is always my number one product for healthy moisturized curls and waves. You can use R+Co Sun Catcher Power C Boosting Leave-In Conditioner," says Bashir.
09 of 30

Braided Pompadour Bun

Ava DuVernay

Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty Images

A pompadour is a fun and admittedly more involved look with lots of personality.

  • Starting with braided hair, pull your hair back on the sides, leaving the top and front of the hair as-is.
  • Create a twist in the back of the hair, and pin it in place (place one pin on top and one on the bottom).
  • Comb or brush into the twist, then style the top into the pompadour shape you desire.
10 of 30

Sleek Bun With Side Bangs

Taraji P. Henson

Jason LaVeris / Contributor / Getty Images

This super-sleek look works especially well for those with angled bangs.

  • Follow all the steps of a classic bun, being sure to start with a ponytail that is secured high on top of your head.
  • Wrap hair around the elastic for a sleek look.
  • Leave one piece of hair angled to the side.
11 of 30

Mini Bun


Jason Merritt/TERM / Staff / Getty Images

A mini bun allows your look and accessories to be the star of the show and works well for those with thin or short hair.

  • Follow all the steps of a classic bun, ensuring to smooth down any shorter or flyaway pieces of hair.
12 of 30

Bun With Loose Curls

 Sophie Santella

Greg Doherty / Contributor / Getty Images

Great for those with wavy or curly hair, this allows your natural texture to be on display.

  • Follow all the steps of a classic bun but pull a few pieces of hair out to frame the face.
  • Add a little extra wave or curl to the additional pieces to highlight the look.
13 of 30

High Bun With Clip-In Bangs

Christina Milian

JB Lacroix / Contributor / Getty Images

No bangs? No problem. Clip-ins allow for a temporary adjustment.

  • Follow all the steps for a classic bun but ensure the ponytail is secured high on the head. "Bungee rubber bands with hooks on ends make it much easier to maneuver the placement of bun base," says Bashir.
  • Add clip-in bangs to get the look you want and pull some shorter pieces of hair out to make the style more natural.
14 of 30

Bun With Shaved Details

Keke Palmer

Allen Berezovsky / Contributor / Getty Images

This is a great way to show off any shaved details on the side of the head.

  • Follow the steps of a classic bun, ensuring that all the hair is smoothed and secured on the top of the head so that the sides can be seen.
15 of 30

Mohawk-Style Bun

Danai Gurai

Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty Images

Danai Gurai's natural locks are pulled into a mohawk-style bun—a look that requires no actual shaving of the hair.

  • Section hair into three parts.
  • Divide the middle section into two halves, then roll each piece, section, and tuck in the ends.
  • Secure with bobby pins and spritz with hairspray.
16 of 30

Topknot Bun With Braids

Bresha Webb

Gary Gershoff / Contributor / Getty Images

If you have braids, you're already halfway there to this effortless and chic style.

  • Follow all the steps for a classic bun but begin on hair that's already braided.
17 of 30

Bun With Height

Yvette Nicole Brown

Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

Adding a bun to the very top of the head creates a sleek look.

  • Follow all the steps for a classic bun but ensure the hair is secured on the very top of the head to achieve the height of this style.
18 of 30

Cornrow Braids Twisted Into Low Bun

Kiki Layne

Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty Images

Think of this as a more fun take on the classic chignon.

  • Follow the steps of a classic bun, but secure the hair at an angle, off to one side of the hair, before wrapping and securing the bun into place.
  • "R+Co DART Pomade Stick ($21) makes it super easy to make those finishing touches on your style," Bashir says. "This product allows you get edges or baby hairs in place, without getting product on your fingers."
19 of 30

Half-Up, Half-Down Bun With Braids

Letitia Wright

Dan MacMedan / Contributor / Getty Images

This is a youthful look that allows for movement and energy.

  • Follow the steps of a classic bun, but begin on braided hair and only secure the top half of hair into a bun, leaving the bottom half out for a half-up, half-down look.
20 of 30

Half-Up, Half-Down Bun With Natural Curls

Sydell Noel

Araya Doheny / Stringer / Getty Images

Those with voluminous, natural curls will appreciate this look.

  • Follow all the steps of a classic bun, but only on the top portion of hair.
  • Spritz a product like Amika's Curl Corps Defining Cream ($26) to add shine to hair.
21 of 30

Double Buns

Janelle Monae

Allen Berezovsky / Contributor / Getty Images

"If you’re looking for something unique, go for double buns," Opiah says. "This chic nod to the ’90s can be styled with a variety of cute accessories."

  • Follow all the steps for a classic bun, but double up—creating two buns on either side of your head and pulling out a few pieces to frame your face.
22 of 30

Braid With Locs

Jade Novah

Marianna Massey / Stringer / Getty Images

Locs ensure plenty of volume from the get-go, so this look requires minimal styling.

  • Follow the steps of a classic bun but wrap the hair around the base of where it is secured.
23 of 30

Bun With Loose Ringlets

Mouna Traore

Paul Archuleta / Contributor / Getty Images

A tried and true look, this youthful bun shows it is part natural texture, part sleek-and-shine.

  • As with a classic bun, secure hair into a ponytail, but be sure to brush hair upwards, so it's as smooth as possible.
  • When wrapping hair around the base, pull out a few loose ringlets or curls at the top.
24 of 30

Sleek Bun

Serayah McNeill

Michael Loccisano / Staff / Getty Images

Perfect for an evening look, this bun is all about utilizing great products.

  • Pull straight hair into a high ponytail.
  • Twist the ends of the hair and coil it around the base of the ponytail, securing with bobby pins and styling gel.
25 of 30

Side Bun

Franchesca Ramsey

Slaven Vlasic / Stringer / Getty Images

This is a fun 1980s take on the look.

  • Follow all the steps for a classic bun but create a side ponytail first so that the bun will be asymmetrical.
26 of 30

Retro Bun

Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

This 1960s-style look gets a modern twist.

  • Leaving a small section of hair free at the top of the head, gather the lower section of hair into a low ponytail and backcomb it, twisting the ends around an elastic and securing with bobby pins and hairspray.
  • On the upper section, backcomb the hair for added volume and comb over to the side, securing with either a pin or just a strong hold hairspray.
27 of 30

Bun With Single Braid

Annie Ilonzeh

Prince Williams / Contributor / Getty Images

This look is really two styles in one—a braided mohawk at the top, with a bun at the back.

  • Using the top, middle section of hair, create a French braid and secure it into place, leaving the back and sides free.
  • Create a classic bun by securing the remaining ends into a high ponytail so that the French braid can be seen and twisting the ends into a bun.
28 of 30

Wavy and Loose Bun

Vick Hope

Jeff Spicer / Stringer / Getty Images

Completely romantic, this look somehow manages to work even if you make a few mistakes in styling.

  • Follow the steps for a topknot, leaving a few pieces of hair out around the temples.
  • After securing the bun, remove a few pieces of hair so that the look is a bit undone.
29 of 30

High Bun With Laid Edges

Yara Shahidi

Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

Yara Shahidi's look emphasizes edges while maintaining a chic bun style.

  • Follow the steps for a classic bun, then spritz edges with water.
  • Using a brand new toothbrush, pull barely-there baby hairs forward and lay them on the forehead, slicking them into place with a pomade such as Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling Gel ($3).
30 of 30

Simple High Bun

Kirby Howell-Baptiste

Taylor Hill / Contributor / Getty Images

As classic as classic gets, this look works on a range of lengths and hair textures.

  • Using a comb, part hair down the center and gather it at the nape of your neck or slightly higher, as seen here on Kirby Howell-Baptiste.
  • Twist the hair down to the ends, then coil it into the shape of a bun, using a clip or finger to keep it twisted in place.
  • Secure each side of the bun with a pin, then pull the hair into your desired shape, securing the entire thing with pins.

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