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Space buns are the perfect hairstyle for a trendy yet low-effort playful look. Here, learn how to create space buns and discover styling tips and inspo

10 Space Bun Hairstyles That Are Out of This World

Space buns are the perfect hairstyle for a trendy yet low-effort playful look. Here, learn how to create space buns and discover styling tips and inspo
10 Space Bun Hairstyles That Are Out of This World

If you’re someone who keeps up with hair trends, you’ve probably caught wind of space buns. The throwback hairstyle, first made famous by ‘90s pop stars, has been steadily rising in popularity for the past few years (case in point: there are nearly half a million posts tagged #spacebuns on Instagram alone). The double-bun ‘do has become a staple at music festivals and among bohemian beauties, with many trend-setting celebrities creating their own adaptations of the playful Y2K look.

But let’s get one thing straight: You don’t have to be a festival-goer, celebrity, or ‘90s baby to rock space buns—we’re firm believers that this easy-to-achieve style can work for just about anyone.

Ahead, we’ll break down how to create a classic space bun hairstyle in six simple steps. Plus, discover a few of our favorite ways to spice up the retro style.

Good hair day by @honeyhairandco_

How to Create Space Buns in 6 Steps

Space buns can be super simple or a little more intricate (as is the case with braided space buns). However, nearly all space bun hairstyles can be achieved with just a few products and tools.

To master basic space buns, you’ll need a few items: some hair elastics, bobby pins, a fine tooth comb, hairspray, and anti-frizz stylers. If hair accessories are your thing, be sure to gather any clips, scrunchies, or other embellishments before you begin styling.

Once you have everything you need, you’re ready to create ‘90s-inspired space buns. Here are the six steps to follow.

Step 1: Prep your hair.

For this look, you’ll want to start with clean, dry hair. Remove any tangles or snarls with a bristle brush, then work a smoothing serum like Biolage Professional Smooth Proof Serum throughout your mane to help tame any unwanted frizz.

Step 2: Create pigtails.

Next, create a center part with a fine tooth comb and separate your hair into two even sections. Gather one section into a high ponytail, positioning it about a half inch from the crown of your head. Secure the section with an elastic to create a pigtail, then repeat the process on the opposite side.

Step 3: Add volume.

If you have fine or straight strands, you’ll want to add a bit of volume to your pigtails before creating your space buns. Working with one pigtail at a time, use your fine tooth comb to gently backcomb the loose hair in each section to create volume and texture. This is a great trick for making fine strands appear fuller, and it’ll help give your buns extra body.

Step 4: Form your buns.

Take your first pigtail and twirl the section around itself to form a twist. Wrap the twisted hair around the base of your pigtail towards the back of your head (rather than wrapping it towards your face). Once you’re happy with the placement, secure the bun with a hair elastic.

If you notice a few loose strands falling out of the bun, you can 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.

Step 5: Customize your look.

In our opinion, the best thing about space buns is their versatility: This Y2K style can be tweaked for nearly any occasion. For a classic space bun look that suits everyday wear, go through the above steps, then smooth down any flyaways for a sleek finish. If you want to amp it up for a concert or special event, consider adding accents, like glitter or hair jewelry.

Step 6: Lock your look in place.

Once you’ve made it this far, there’s only one thing left to do: Grab a hairspray like the Kérastase Laque Couture Hair Spray and apply a few light spritzes to hold your space buns in place all day long.

10 Trendy Ways to Style Space Buns

Whether you prefer a more low-key, bohemian look or a trendy, festival-inspired vibe, there are countless ways to make space buns your own. Read on for some of our favorite ways to style space buns.

Classic Space Buns

If you’re trying out space buns for the first time, dip your toes in with a classic space bun look: it’s youthful and playful, but still casual (and easy for beginners to master). Simply follow the steps outlined above and enjoy a low-key take on this retro-inspired hairstyle.

Good hair day by @nesti_skorupka

Braided Space Buns

For a more intricate look, try braided space buns. If you have natural hair that’s already braided, this style requires little more than creating classic space buns with your braided locks. For those who don’t have braided hair, you can braid your two pigtails before wrapping them into buns. Or, try French braiding the front half of your mane and then securing the remainder of your hair into space buns for a surprisingly chic take on the Y2K style.

Low Space Buns

Opt for low space buns if you want a boho-chic style with a touch of elegance. This relaxed look is perfect for summer days on the beach but can also be styled as a classy hairdo for weddings and other dressy events. For low space buns, simply follow the same basic steps as above, but create the buns at the nape of your neck rather than the crown of your head.

Good hair day by @hair_by_love

Half-Up Half-Down Space Buns

The half-up half-down is one of the most popular ways to style space buns, offering a playful way to keep hair off your face while simultaneously showing off your natural length and texture. Almost anyone can wear half-up half-down space buns, but we think this style looks extra-flattering on wavy and curly hair because of the added volume and texture.

Space Buns With Tendrils

If you have short hair or layered hair, try leaving two pieces (or “tendrils”) out to frame your face. This laid-back hairstyle gives off an effortless vibe and looks especially cool when paired with looser, slightly messier space buns.

Good hair day by @talentobeautysalon

Accessorized Space Buns

Space buns are all about embracing your playful side, so don’t be afraid to experiment with accessories. Some of our favorites include butterfly clips, scrunchies, tinsel, and bedazzled bobby pins. If glitter is your thing, pick up a spray: You can spritz it all over for major shimmer, or direct the spray just toward your part for a fun and unexpected glitter part look.

Slicked-Back Space Buns

There are some days when you just want to keep all of your hair off of your face—and slicked-back space buns are a great way to do just that. To get this look right, you’ll need the right products. Pureology Style + Protect Shine Bright Taming Serum and Lock It Down Hairspray are our recommendations. Together, this duo helps add radiant shine while providing maximum hold and control for a slicked-back style, sans flyaways.

Good hair day by @jamiewileyeditorial

Messy, Tousled Space Buns

Embrace imperfection by creating loose space buns—the messier, the better. Loose, undone buns create an effortlessly cool aesthetic that’s ideal for days when you’re in a rush or don’t want to look too put together. For good measure, add a third space bun into the mix!

Ballerina Space Buns

Channel your inner ballerina by creating slicked-back space buns and securing them with ribbons on each side. You can play with different ribbon colors and textures for this chic style, but we love silk ribbons for a soft, feminine look.

Good hair day by @theindiahoward


For textured hair, there’s the afro-puff (also known as the high-puff). This two-bun style is achieved by parting natural hair down the center creating two pigtails (a.k.a. “puffs”), and then securing each bun with a hair elastic. Try playing with different partings (like a zig-zag part) and accenting your look with fun accessories for an added twist.

What else should I know about space buns?

Can I wear space buns if my hair is short?

There are plenty of space bun looks for short hair, including half-up half-down space buns and low space buns. You can also try a loose, casual look, allowing short pieces to fall out naturally. If you prefer a sleek look, try using a strong-hold product to keep short hair in place—we suggest Matrix Styling Setter Mousse or Redken Root Lifter Volumizing Spray Foam.

Can I create space buns on thin hair?

These double buns can be adapted to suit all types of hair, including thin hair. Backcombing your pigtails, as explained above, helps add volume for thicker-looking space buns, but there are other ways to achieve a more voluminous look, too.

One of our favorites is the scrunchie technique: Instead of using regular hair elastics to secure your buns, opt for scrunchies that closely match your hair color. Create your pigtails, and on the last loop, use bobby pins to secure the hair in place around the scrunchies into loose buns (this will help create the illusion of added volume). Don’t forget to finish with a volumizing hairspray, like Matrix Fixer Hairspray, to help hold your look in place.

Am I too old to wear space buns?

Style has no age limit: You can (and should) wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident. However, if you want to make your space buns look a bit more “grown up,” try a slicked-back bun style: it’s polished but still whimsical. Pairing your double buns with a more tailored outfit or “mature” makeup can also help the Y2K-inspired look feel a bit more grown-up. That being said, do you—as far as we’re concerned, beauty has no rules.

Now that you have all the steps and styling tips you need, you’ll be sporting space buns like a pro in no time! Find more nostalgic hairstyles to try in our roundup of 30 Hairstyles to Help You Channel Your Favorite ‘90s Icon.

Looking to have space buns done by a professional? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a hairstylist near you.

Header photo credit: @honeyhairandco_

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