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How to Rock the Perfect Bun

women with bun hair style

Want to wear your hair up, but not a fan of the ponytail? Then a bun just might be the style you’re looking for.

This quick and trendy style is timeless and (usually) easy to create. Whether you’re working with lengthy dark brown hair or mid-length blonde tresses, a stylish bun is perfect for any girl on the go.

High, low, braided, messy—there are seemingly endless ways to style a bun, so we’re here to help you narrow down your favorites. Just be sure to have a hair elastic, bobby pins, a boar bristle brush, and a few reliable styling products nearby.

Here are 21 of our favorite ways to rock a bun, and how to make them.

21 Bun Styles To Try Now

Classic Braided Bun

Classic Braided Bun

We recommend using a ponytail as the foundation of your classic braided bun because it can help provide stability. If you’re planning to be hopping around on the dance floor until well after midnight, you’ll be grateful for the added support of a hair elastic. Decide on the placement of your bun (an inch above the nape is one of our favorite spots) and secure your pony. Use a brush or your fingers, to smooth away any bumps.

Secured ponytail in place, start either a standard or a fishtail braid. Continue braiding until you reach the end of your ponytail and use a no-show hair elastic to tie off the plait. To help make your braid appear more voluminous, use your thumbs and forefingers to tug on each section of the braid gently.

Here’s where the bun comes in. With your braid finished, begin wrapping your hair into a bun shape around the base of the ponytail. Pin as you go, sliding in as many bobby pins as you need to create a support system that evenly distributes the weight of your hair.

Finish the style with a spritz of Redken’s Control Addict 28 and be on your way!

Redken Color Extendend Brownlights Conditioner

Space Buns

For this look, you’ll want to start with clean, dry hair. Use a bristle brush to remove any snarls before you begin styling. Apply a dime-sized amount of serum like the Matrix Biolage Smoothproof Serum throughout your mane, avoiding your roots. Once your strands are prepped, you’re ready to begin styling. Use a fine-tooth comb to part your hair down the middle to create two even sections on either side of your head.

Brush through each section one last time to smooth the hair. Gather one section into a high ponytail and secure it with a hair elastic. Repeat these steps on the opposite side. Once you’ve completed both sections, you should have matching pigtails. Then, take your first pigtail and twirl the section around itself to form a twist. Wrap the twisted hair around the base of your pigtail. Be sure that you are wrapping the hair towards the back of your head, away from your face. Use another hair elastic to hold the bun in place once it’s formed. If you notice a few loose strands or flyways, use a bobby pin or two to secure them in place. Repeat these steps to create a matching bun on the other side of your head.

Grab a hairspray like the Redken Triple Pure 32 and apply a few light spritzes to hold your space buns in place all day long.

Good hair day by @katehanu.

Half-Up Bun

For this look, you can start with clean or second-day hair. Part your hair horizontally from one ear to the other. Use this section of hair to form a half-up high ponytail and hold it in place with a clear hair elastic.

Wrap the hair from the ponytail around the base of the hair elastic and secure it with bobby pins to form a bun. To create a messier look, gently loosen several strands from the bun and apply a few spritzes of Redken Fashion Waves 07 Sea-Salt Texturizing Spray. This sea salt hair spray adds instant texture, creating a tousled, beachy look.

Good hair day by @artistsatplay.

Laid Back Bun With Bangs

Fringe is in, and if you’re looking for the perfect way to show it off, why not try a messy bun? Pull your hair into a high bun while leaving your bangs free.

Good hair day by @alexcampeotto and @hairbyjackiepenev.

Half-Up Double Buns

If you love the look of a single bun hairstyle, why not try two? Use a rattail comb to create a clean center part, then separate a section of hair above your ears and split it into two even segments on each side of your head.

Starting with either side, pull your hair into a high ponytail, and twirl the hair around the base to form a bun. Repeat these steps with the opposite section and finish the look off with a spritz of hairspray.

Donut Bun

Beginning with clean, dry hair, use a boar bristle brush to remove any snarls and gather all of your hair at the top of your head to create a high ponytail. Brush through your strands once more to ensure there are no bumps or creases and secure the ponytail with a clear hair elastic.

Rub a dime-size amount of hair gel, like the Redken Hardwear 16 Super-Strong Sculpting Hair Gel in your palms and run it through the crown of your head to create a sleeker look. The super-strong hold hair gel empowers styles to stay put with long-lasting control.

You’ll need a donut-shaped foam bun shaper for this next step. Pull the hair from your ponytail through the center of the donut, sliding it downwards until it sits at the base of your ponytail. Wrap the hair from your ponytail around the donut and hold it in place with another elastic. Secure any loose pieces with bobby pins and lock everything in with a few spritzes of hairspray.

Good hair day by @braidedandblonde.

Rosette Buns

No hairstyle quite reminds us of freshly sprouted springtime flowers like rosette buns. They might appear complicated at first, but the gorgeous flower-inspired look is much easier to achieve than you think. A rosette bun is essentially a pancaked braid coiled to create the look of a rose. Once you have the technique down, you’ll be able to create a rosette bun updo that’s perfect for wedding season.

Good hair day by @larackay.

Embellished Low Bun

If you feel like your hairstyle is incomplete, chances are good you’re missing a killer accessory. Looking for a way to instantly amp up your low bun? Place a few floral embellishments throughout the look.

Good hair day by @petermazilu, @syanne_barclay and @jenatkinhairxchloeandisabel.

Curly Bun

Curls and messy buns are a match made in heaven. If you’re working with unruly natural spirals, a messy bun is a simple and stylish way to tame your mane. Since curly hair is typically prone to frizz, apply an anti-frizz product like the Mizani Thermasmooth Shine Extend Anti-Frizz Spray throughout your strands. Spritz evenly after finishing the style to lock in shine while resisting humidity.

Good hair day by @shar_stylist_.

Dutch Braided Bun

Begin with clean, dry hair and create a center part from your hairline to the nape of your neck. Separate your hair into two even sections on each side of your head. Working with one side at a time, gather the entire section of hair and separate it into three even segments—left, middle, and right.

To craft a Dutch braid, cross the right strand under the middle, then cross the left section under the middle. Repeat these steps, adding additional hair as you cross each section until you reach the nape of your neck. Secure the Dutch braid with a hair elastic. Repeat these steps on the opposite side.

Combine the loose hair from both sections to form a low bun at the nape of your neck. Complete the look with a splash of hairspray.

Girl with bold buns

Bold Buns

There are plenty of ways to inject a punk rock sensibility into your style. When it comes to hair, most of them involve vivid color and studded accessories—both of which appear in this updo.

Create double space buns, aiming for them to sit close together. Then, wrap a costume necklace around both buns as your edgy finishing accessory.

Girl with dutch half buns

Dutch Half Buns

If you’ve taken the leap and chosen a haircut that falls anywhere above your collarbones, you’ll know the typical messy top knot doesn’t really work anymore. Instead, wear your second-day texture in two half buns, twisted up at the crown of your head.

Feeling ambitious? Start each bun off with a Dutch braid that begins at the hairline, crossing your sections under instead of over to achieve the coveted inside-out effect that sets this braiding style apart. Tie off each braid before beginning your buns, then pancake to create the illusion of added volume. Once your style is in place, spritz the bottom half of your hair with sea salt or texturizing spray like Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray for added body.

Girl with rainbow space buns

Rainbow Space Buns

Fine, silky hair can be a real pain to style. If you’re ambitious about putting double buns to work in your daily life, it’s essential to keep a styling brush and a can of hairspray within arm’s reach in case of an emergency. We love this space bun look for the way it shows off the texture of the hair as well as the standout rainbow color.

To make this look your own, create a crisp part down the back of the head. Tie each side up into a ponytail, making sure there are no lumps—if you’re having trouble getting a clean finish, try tilting your head up while you pull the hair up into a ponytail. Loosely twist the hair on either side into a bun shape, taking care to pin as you go. Finish the look with hairspray to ensure it holds all night.

Girl with messy half buns

Messy Half Buns

We all have different talents in life, but some of us are truly incapable of creating a clean finish on a hairstyle. No matter how we tuck or pin, stray bits always seem to poke right back out. Rest assured, there’s a two bun hairstyle for even the least nimble-fingered among us: messy half buns.

To try this style, you’ll divide your hair horizontally just above the ears. From there, create a clean vertical part from your hairline to the end of the section. On either side, loosely pull the hair into bun shapes, adding Dutch braid accents if you’re feeling confident. If you’re still not seeing the kind of artful texture you’d like, try adding volumizing or texturizing spray at your roots before styling.

Girl with festival buns

Festival Buns

Whether or not you actually scored passes to a music festival, you’re totally entitled to try more braided, bohemian styles throughout the spring and early summer. For an amateur hairstyling challenge, try these lavender festival buns on any hair color or texture.

Begin by parting your hair down the center, clipping one half out of the way. Flip your head over and begin Dutch braiding from your nape, stopping to tie off the ponytail once you reach the crown. Remember, we did call this a challenge! Repeat the same steps on the other side, then make each ponytail into a cinnamon roll shape (less twisting, more wrapping around the base) and pin the style in place. Voila! You’re festival ready, no matter what your plans actually happen to be. Pull out a few face-framing pieces for an ethereal vibe.

Girl with twisted double buns

Twisted Double Buns

There are a limited number of styling options that get your hair out of your face quickly and don’t make you look distinctly unshowered. One of the best is a twisted double bun style. Whether you slept on wet hair and now there’s a weird kink you have to hide, or you haven’t had time to shampoo, this chignon-like trick will mask any imperfections.

Start by lightly coating your hair with dry shampoo or texturizing spray for added grip. Using your fingers (no one will see the part), divide your mane into two sections. Working with one at a time, lightly twist it toward your scalp until you start seeing a roll form. Once your hair is pulled into the twist, begin to shape a bun with the bottom third of the section. Repeat the style on the other side, pinning and fluffing until you have a mock chignon. Loosen pieces around the hairline and ears for a more naturalistic take on the style.

Good hair day by @laviederoosaparis.

Messy Bun with Velvet Scrunchie

Velvet scrunchies are one of our favorite hair accessories. If you’re looking to enhance your messy bun look a bit, consider swapping out your regular hair elastic for a velvet scrunchie.

Good hair day by @dicasdecabeloficial.

Double Messy Buns

Use a boar bristle brush to remove any knots or tangles from your hair, then split it into two even sections. Pull each side into a pigtail at the top of your head and secure each one with a hair elastic. Take the loose hair from each ponytail and wrap it around the hair elastic to create two buns. Lock in your look with a light spritz of hairspray.

Good hair day by @tanglezhairstudionz.

Half Up Messy Bun

Lobs, bobs, and short chops are more popular than ever. When your hair is on the shorter side, however, creating a full-on messy bun may be tricky. For those with short hair, we love the look of a half-up messy bun.

Good hair day by @naledimogadime and @pekelariley.

Messy Bun With Bangs

Curly bangs and a messy bun are a match made in heaven. If you’re working with curls, we suggest applying a quarter-sized amount of the Mizani True Textures Perfect Coil Oil Curl Gel to wet hair before you begin styling.

Low Messy Bun

Brush through your strands with a boar bristle brush. Use your fingers to pull all of your hair to the back of your head and create a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Twist the loose hair from the ponytail around the base of the ponytail to create a bun. Gently tug on a few pieces of hair from the bun to create a messier look. Complete your low bun with a few spritzes of hairspray.

Interested in a professionally styled bun? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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