TikTok’s “Treatment Buns” Are an Easy, Effective Way to Condition Your Hair

Photo of woman with spiky bun

Clariss Rubenstein

If you're part of the beauty community on TikTok, your FYP is probably filled with tons of trending tutorials, reviews, and DIYs. One of the latest fads to hit our feed is the "treatment bun," which many are praising for being a simple yet stylish way to condition your hair (the hashtag has already racked up thousands of views). We tapped celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein to learn more about the simple hair care hack. Ahead, find her tips on how to create the perfect treatment bun.

What are Treatment Buns?

Treatment buns are more than your average sleek bun. "A treatment bun is exactly what it sounds like," Rubenstein explains. "It's hair worn in a bun while masking. It can be done on your hair at any point during the wash cycle but is best towards the end when your hair is a little oily." 

Achieving the look involves the same styling techniques as an everyday bun, but the products you use are what make it unique. This style ditches heavy pomades and greasy hairsprays and instead opts for nourishing products like an oil or deep conditioner.

Why are Treatment Buns So Popular?

Effortless, effective hair care hacks will always catch people's attention (myself included), and treatment buns make the much-needed step of conditioning more functional and fun. "The magic of this look is that it doesn't look like you're treating your hair," Rubenstein explains. "It's smoothly styled into a chic, slick bun and can be worn anywhere from the grocery store to a black tie event. It combines two great things—hair nourishment and a super cute style."

Slicked-back buns have also been a trending style this year, becoming one of the go-to 'dos for celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid. Now, of course, this look isn't anything new. Women, especially women of color, have been wearing the style for decades. However, the recent affinity may be attributed to the rise of minimalistic beauty aesthetics. So, it's no surprise another iteration (i.e., treatment buns) is catching on.

How to Create a Treatment Bun

As we've noted, the beauty of treatment buns is that they are easy to achieve. "Brush your hair, apply the treatment from roots and ends, and brush through your hair again," Rubenstein says. "After you've brushed the product through the middle part of your hair and ends, some product will have naturally worked its way to your roots. But if you need more product there, go ahead and add it. Use a smoothing brush to pull hair into a sleek ponytail, wrap it into a bun, and secure it with another hair tie." 

With many deep conditioners, it's fine to leave them on as long as you like. However, you should wash out some products within a specific time frame (check the product's instruction label to be sure). Protein treatments are a great example. Experts agree that protein-based products help impact hair's strength, density, and elasticity. However, excess protein can cause more harm than good. "Avoid protein-heavy masks for this look," Rubenstein suggests. "Too much protein for too long can make hair stiff and possibly break."

Robinson recommends looking for treatment products that focus on moisture and hydration instead, like the Pureology Hydrate Superfood Hair Mask and TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask. You can also find a full list of our favorite deep conditioners here. Ultimately, when it comes to the treatment bun, you want to ensure you're evaluating your hair needs and using products that align with your goals.

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