Messy buns have become way more than just a Sunday brunch afterthought—celebrities show them off on the red carpet, and models tie up topknots when they’re very much on duty. It’s a fresh way to keep your dressed-up beauty look casual and easy, but still cool.
Since there are so many different options with varying ways of pulling them off, we included a new celeb-inspired bun for every day of the week for inspiration. Now all you have to do is keep reading and provide the hair tie.
“This bun is for girls who want to look very cool and not too contrived,” says celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson, “controlled chaos, but defined.” Start off with a volumizing mousse all over your entire head (like Tresemmé 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse, $9). Blow-dry with your fingers to create that really great texture. As you are blow-drying, you want the texture to be more roughed up and not too smooth.
Hairstylist Sarah Potempa suggests, “To get the extra movement in the hair, start by curling your hair with a bigger curling iron like the Beachwaver S1.25 ($199) and leave the ends out. Create two large sections on the top and roll them down to create voluminous height on top of the crown.
“As you finish with the texture, use Kérastase Gloss Appeal Shine Spray ($37) for some added glossiness,” continues Gibson. “Pull your hair up to the crown of your head and twist it, leaving the ends out and secure with bobby pins. To finish, use a firm hold hair spray like L'Oréal Professionnel Extreme Lacquer ($14) to hold in place all day and night.”
“This looks gives me a little ’60s vibe: sexy, effortless, and cool,” says Gibson. “On towel-dried hair, use a volume mist (Christophe Robin Instant Volumizing Mist with Rosewater, $39) from mid-lengths to ends, and apply mousse (like Kérastase Mousse Bouffante, $37). Blow-dry your hair using a round brush of dual bristle to smooth and detangle hair at the same time.”
Potempa adds, “For a higher bun, it’s best to start with a ponytail. For extra volume, pull the ponytail through Beachwaver’s The Wrap Up ($12), roll forward until you reach the base of your head, and bend the two sides back to create the shape of a large top knot. Use Fatboy Perfect Putty ($21) to add definition to pieces that are left down. Pull your hair from the inside of the bun to make it larger and more textured. If you have bangs, make sure to let down a few extra hairs to soften the look.”
Gibson suggests finishing the look with L’Oréal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray ($12) to make sure it doesn’t move.
This particular bun is super sophisticated, but still messy and romantic. Potempa says, “Start by creating a center part. Spray Aussie Mega Flexible Hold Hair Spray ($9) onto Beachwaver’s On Set Styling Brush ($42), brush your hair back into a low sleek ponytail, and secure with an elastic.
Gibson suggests, “Use a dime-size portion of L’Oréal Professionnel Lumi-Contrôle Shine Enhancing Wax ($26) to slick down any flyaways.”
Then, Potempa explains, “Braid the pony, and twist it up into a bun. Secure with bobby pins and pancake out the braid by tugging at the edges of each braided loop to get more volume and width.”
Gibson suggests, “Start off with one- to two-day-old hair.” Perfect for Thursday, yes? He continues, “Use Klorane Dry Shampoo ($10) and spray all over your head, concentrating on your scalp. Then, apply L’Oréal Professionnel Architexture Matte Defining Paste ($20) to just your ends to give them definition and control.”
Potempa adds, “Brush your hair up into a high ponytail. Secure it with an elastic and then take small sections of the hair and twist and secure each to the base with Goody’s Mini Bobby Pins ($3).”
You made it to Friday! It’s time to celebrate by recreating Gigi Hadid’s sexy bun from the Victoria’s Secret Fashin Show After Party. Because why shouldn’t you feel like an Angel?
Sarah Potempa says, “Create a center part and use Beachwaver’s Ceramic Styling Iron ($99) to smooth a few strands and to create those cool, messy bends in your hair. Then, brush your hair into a very low ponytail. Separate the ponytail into two sections, and twist it together. Secure a few random sections with large hair pins—which are looser and more open than a traditional bobby pin. Twist the hair below and over itself to create a knot-bun hybrid and secure your ends to the base with large two-inch bobby pins (I like Folica Rubberized Bobby Pins, $5).”
Learn to Do a Messy Bun with Justine Marjan
Looking for more celeb-approved beauty advice? Read all about Jennifer Lawrence’s favorite facial (and how to get similar results at home).