When our hair doesn't want to cooperate or we're short on time, buns always work every. single. time. There are so many bun styles to choose from—from a tight topknot to a tousled, messy bun. Personally, one of our favorite low-maintenance looks of late is the low bun. The easy, elegant, neck-grazing style can be executed in minutes, making it a perfect option on those mornings when you're trying to get ready in a hurry. With a little bit of technique and a few accessories, a low bun can also be transformed into a sleek, sophisticated nighttime look. Ahead, watch celebrity hairstylist David Lopez share his step-by-step guide to creating two low bun styles that he has done on celebs.
Watch Now: 2 Low Bun Styles For Day & Night
Meet the Expert
David Lopez is a celebrity hairstylist and Ulta Beauty Pro Team member with clients among the likes of Ashley Graham, Chrissy Teigen, Anne Hathaway, and more.
Daytime Low Bun Look
Step One: Create a Center Part
The foundation for a sleek low bun is a clean, center part. Lopez loves a center part because he believes it brings symmetry and coolness to the style. To create a perfectly straight part, use a tail comb.
Step Two: Brush Your Hair Into Shape
Next, Lopez uses a Diane Boar and Nylon brush to begin shaping the hair for the low bun. "The shape you want to go for is not necessarily down and back. You do want to start angling it because it kind of lifts things at the same time. Even though you're doing a low bun, you still want to feel like you're kind of lifting the face a little bit," Lopez says.
Step Three: Add Hold and Shine to the Crown
Lopez then mixes the Kenra Platinum Diamond Reflect Spray and IGK CryBaby Anti-Frizz Smoothing Serum ($28) directly in his palm and smoothes it on the crown of the hair. The hairstyling pro then goes back in with a brush to create a cleaner look.
Since this is a daytime bun, Lopez suggest leaving a few hairline or side pieces out to create a flirty and beautiful look.
Step Four: Create a Low Ponytail
Lopez creates a low ponytail, securing it with an elastic. "When you get to this point, don't fall into temptation to split your ponytail and tighten it. It's going to create some lumps and bumps, so just leave it as it is. After mixing some Kenra Platinum Diamond Reflect Spray and Ouai Hair Oil ($28) in his hands, Lopez applies it to the ponytail and brushes it through.
He then puts an elastic at the end of the ponytail to join the hair together. "This is just one small extra step that takes 0.5 seconds and makes sure that bun stays in place, and makes it easier for you to secure," he says.
Step Five: Begin Twisting and Lifting the Ponytail
"You're going to twist that ponytail from where you secured it at the bottom and twist and twist until you start to feel the hair to lift up. And that's when you can start to lift up and around into the base," Lopez says.
Step Six: Secure the Bun
"So now, that we've finished wrapping the bun up, the little base of the ponytail that we create at the end makes it very easy for us to secure. So, I'm going to take a bobby pin, open it up and I'm going to go into the inside and pin it into the base of the ponytail. The key to a secure bun is to intentionally place the bobby pins. "Feel around and grab a little bit of hair from the bun and secure it into the base.
Step Seven: Clean Up Flyaways and Add Shine
Spray the Kenra Platinum Diamond Deflect Spray on the hair to clean up any flyaways. Spray a synthetic makeup brush like the Kenra Kabuki Brush with hairspray to tame stray hairs. To give the look a glossy, shiny finish, Lopez sprays the hair with Kenra Shine Spray.
Nighttime Low Bun Look
Step One: Take Down the Bun and Brush The Hair
To transition the low bun from day to night, Lopez begins by taking down the bun and brushing the hair. "Now, very softly and gently what you want to do is start brushing your hair back. We're not going to have any part here."
He adds, "So, when we're brushing it back, we want to get it really nice and tight. Make sure it hugs the scalp, moving all back away from the face." After getting the hair in place, spray hairspray directly onto the brush to help smooth flyaways.
Step Two: Get The Hair In Place
Since its nighttime, Lopez prefers to tuck all hairline or side pieces back. "Once you feel like you have everything in place, then you can go ahead and spray the crown and then brush again," he says.
Step Three: Secure the Ponytail
"Smooth it with your hands and bring it into a nice little ponytail at the bottom and that same rubber elastic we used before, we're going to use it again. Now, we're going to secure this ponytail. Make sure it's center," Lopez says. He secures the hair in place by spritzing on hairspray.
Step Four: Begin to Shape the Bun
Creating an intricate-looking bun requires minimal work. Begin by separating the hair into two sections. After mixing some Kenra Platinum Diamond Reflect Spray and OUAI Hair Oil in his hands, smooth it over the surface of the two sections.
Step Five: Twist the Hair
"We're going to start double strand twisting it. Now, the key is as I'm twisting it I'm also twisting each section into it," Lopez notes. He then sprays it with hairspray one more time to create a nice, clean look.
Step Six: Secure the Bun
Secure the end of the twist with an elastic. Begin twisting the bun around until you have the shape that you want, securing it with a bobby pin. "Now that it's secure, I'm going to open it up just a tiny bit. I want to see more of the shape. I'm going to pinch the ridges and start to build it out just a little bit," Lopez says. Spray on a bit more hairspray to clean it up.
Step Seven: Add Some Bling
"To bring it into red carpet vibes, we're going to add a little accessory right at the base here," Lopez says. Lopez uses a Justine Marjan x Kitsch Rhinestone Chain Bobby Pin (sold out) to add some bling to the hairstyle, but you can use a stack of Justine Marjan x Kitsch Rhinestone Bobby Pins ($29) to achieve a similar glam look.
Step Eight: Add Shine Spray
Lastly, Lopez uses the Kenra Shine Spray all-over the hair to amp up the shine.