Buns don’t fail us (ever). Time and again, they’re our go-to style for adding an element of polish to an otherwise thrown-together look. Running late for work? Attending an event without any time to primp? A bun works every. single. time. Somehow, they keep us looking like the punctual, fully functioning adults we sometimes fail to be.
Here at Byrdie, we’ve noticed that the cool girls of the beauty world are bringing back an old favorite: low buns. Five years ago, they were noticeably missing from Pinterest boards, save for the odd wedding or prom post, and for the longest time, they were outshone for the sky-high topknots.
Although we still love a good topknot on a lazy Sunday, we think it’s high time to switch things up with an easy, elegant, neck-grazing style.
A few extra twists take this bun from average to gorgeous without being so done up that it looks like you’re going to prom. Divide your hair into three sections: front left, front right, and back. Gather your hair in the back into a basic bun, and then loosely twist sections from the front back toward your bun. Use bobby pins to pin them in place. Finish by pulling out face-framing pieces at the front. If you want to go the extra mile, try curling them with Bed Head’s Curlipops Tapered Curling Iron Wand ($30).
A slicked-back bun is sleek enough to wear to work and cool enough to last through the weekend. Spritz your tresses with a shine spray like L’Oréal’s Advanced Haircare Nutrigloss Shine Elixir ($6), which will add an otherworldly sheen to your strands. Gather your hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck and secure it with a hair tie. Braid the ponytail, and then twist it up and around into a perfect chignon. Yes, it’s decided: This is our new Friday hair uniform.
Go figure—an effortless-looking bun that is actually effortless to create. Start by adding body near the crown of your head with Briogeo’s Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizer Spray ($20). This will keep the style fresh and chic all day. Then gather your hair into a low ponytail and pull it through a hair tie. Twist the tie and pull your hair through a second time, only bringing half of the ponytail through to form this easy bun.
Getty Images/Steve Granitz
Zoe Saldana’s mussed bun doubles as both a weekend hangout style and an updo for say, a polo match, as evidenced above. Part your hair imperfectly down the middle of your crown, then pull tightly at the sides into a twisted chignon. Zoe’s hair is short here, which allows for free pieces to hang out of the bun, adding more texture.
Getty Images/Steve Granitz
Cheat Alessandra Ambrosio’s triple-looped chic bun by creating a low, loose braid and half-tucking it into the area of hair above the nape of your neck like a topsy tail, allowing the ends of the hair to peak out.
Getty Images/Jeff Kravitz
This ponytail-knot hybrid is perfect for adding a bit of length to your updo. Create a sleek, low ponytail and secure it at the nape of your neck. Then twist the ponytail up and loop around the ponytail holder, securing with bobby pins. Let the rest of the hair hang down to finish the look. Mist with Verb Ghost Hairspray ($16) to keep everything intact.
Getty Images/James Devaney
If sleek buns are more your style, try this version. Part your hair down the middle, using a pomade to ensure your hair stays slick. We like Ouai’s Matte Pomade ($24). Before brushing your hair back into a low ponytail, smooth a shine serum like Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum ($5) on the ends of your hair. Secure it with a hair tie and wrap it around itself to form the simple yet sophisticated bun, finishing with a few pins.
Queen Letizia of Spain wore two slightly pancaked Dutch milkmaid braids that met into a low braided bun, allowing some small pieces to hang out at the bottom and toward the back of her head for a less polished and more carefree look.
This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.