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How To Do A Messy Bun: The Pro’s Guide

how to style a messy bun

If you’re a girl on the go, chances are you’ve tried every hairstyle under the sun in search of a go-to look that’s both quick and trendy. After years of testing out ponytails, twists, and bohemian hairstyles, the messy bun is our all-time favorite. Whether you’re lounging around the house or rushing out the door, a messy bun is a staple ‘do everyone should have in their hair styling arsenal.

Still working on mastering your messy bun technique? Don’t worry. We tapped Cassi Pinder, L’Oreal Professionnel artist and brand ambassador, to show us exactly how it’s done. For tips and tricks on how to do a messy bun, keep scrolling.

What you’ll need:

The messy bun is beloved for so many reasons. Aside from the perfectly undone appearance of a messy bun, it takes just a few minutes (and a few basic hair products) to achieve the look. Round up a plastic spiral hair tie, a few bobby pins, and a few of your favorite styling products before you begin.


Prep your hair for a messy bun.

Use a boar bristle brush to remove any knots or snarls from your mane. Since freshly shampooed hair tends to slip and slide, styling a messy bun may be tricky. A Texturizing spray may be just the thing you need to maintain your bun throughout the day. We love the L’Oreal Professionnel Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray. This micro-propelled dry finishing spray transforms hair into next day, disheveled looks with a discrete and natural touch.

how to style a messy bun

Gather your strands.

Pull all of your hair to the top of your head as if you’re about to style a high ponytail. Since you’re going for a messy look, skip the boar bristle brush and use your fingers to gather your hair.

how to style a messy bun

Begin forming your messy bun.

Take your plastic spiral hair tie and begin wrapping around the base of the ponytail. Instead of pulling your hair all the way through the hair tie as you normally would to create a ponytail, pull it halfway.

how to style a messy bun

Complete the messy bun.

Wrap the loose strands from the ponytail around the base of the hair tie to form a bun.

how to style a messy bun

Lock your look in place.

Use bobby pins to secure the loose pieces of hair around the bun. Gently tug on a few strands to loosen them for a more voluminous, teased look.

how to style a messy bun

Try a finishing touch.

Once your messy bun hairstyle is complete, apply a light spritz of hairspray to set your look in place for the rest of the day. We recommend the L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Infinium 4 Hairspray to help lock in style with a natural feel, elegant construction, and optimal shine.

Now that you have Pinder’s expert tips for creating the perfect messy bun, the look can be yours in no time! Once you have the traditional messy bun on lock, you may want to try different variations of the look. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite messy bun hairstyles below.

Velvet Scrunchie

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


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.


Half Up Messy Bun

Lobs, bobs, and short chops are more popular than ever. When you’re 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.


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.

Looking for more expert styling tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.
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