Two foundational hair skills come in handy almost every day: the ability to braid, and the ability to style a killer bun. If you can accomplish both, then you’re onto the next step—learning how to style a braided bun.
Hair experts laud the braided bun for its versatility. Like the friend you can bring to any party, the braided bun plays well with spangled hair combs at a formal wedding but also works just fine when your alarm doesn’t go off before work. Changing its placement, size, and complexity ultimately results in a totally unique vibe each time. On dark brown hair
or ash blonde
, the braided bun is a low-effort, high-reward style.
If you have a hair elastic, finishing spray, and a handful of hairpins, use this time to master the braided bun.
Smooth it out.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule saying you have to start with clean hair for an updo style. If you have fine strands that seem to escape every elastic, you may choose to start with second-day hair. A spritz of dry shampoo (we love Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Color Lustre Dry Cleaner
) right at the roots will help refresh your mane before styling.
Whatever your hair texture or length, start by using your fingers or a brush to detangle it. Knots are a big no-no when it comes to updos.
Start with a tail.
We recommend using a ponytail as the foundation of your updo 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 or so above the nape is one of our favorites spots to put it) and secure your tail. Using a brush or your fingers, smooth away any bumps.
It’s always possible to add clip-in extensions or extra hair to your ponytail to ensure the resulting bun looks more voluminous. If that’s the case, here’s where you’ll want to put them in.
This is the relaxing part of styling where you put on a podcast and get really into it (bonus points if you light a scented candle). 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 style.
To help make your braid appear more voluminous, use your thumbs and forefingers to gently tug on each section of the braid.
Here’s where the bun comes in. With your braid finished, you can begin wrapping your hair into a bun shape around the base of the ponytail. If you used braiding hair, it may take you a few more rotations to run out of inches. 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.
Spray it into place.
You’ve already come this far, so don’t let your updo succumb to humidity, flyaways, and falling pins. Finish the style with a spritz of Redken’s Control Addict 28 and be on your way!
For updo styling, use our salon locator to book a consultation appointment with a stylist near you.
You might also like: How To Do A Messy Bun: The Pro’s Guide
You might also like: The 14 Best Hairsprays For Every Hair Type