perfect messy bun tutorial

I’ve recently been wearing this hairstyle around the house and for errands where I just needed to throw my hair up, but I wanted to share with you my perfect messy bun tutorial because let’s be honest, it can be difficult to make it look like you put no work into your hair!  My last messy bun tutorial was in 2015 linked here, and have a new spin on it and I promise this tutorial is easier than it looks. You’ll have that perfect messy bun perfect for yoga class or glammed up in an off the shoulder dress.  Check out my step by step tutorial photos below!

perfect messy bun tutorial

Messy buns are great for dirty hair but since I was looking to create a more polished messy bun look, I wanted to start out with clean hair.  I’ve also noticed that my hair specifically can feel dry once I’m on 2nd or 3rd day hair so I wanted it to be fresh for this hairstyle.  I prepped my hair with the Nexxus Humectress Shampoo and Conditioner to really give it a big drink of water–I love the scent of Nexxus products, so fresh!  I picked these up on a recent grocery trip to Safeway!  I let my hair air dry naturally while I got ready for the day, but you could also dry your hair with a hairdryer if you prefer.

perfect messy bun tutorial

Once my hair is dry and ready for styling, I’ll bring my hair up into a high ponytail with an elastic but keep it held taut as if you were to double loop the elastic again.

perfect messy bun tutorial

While taking the elastic and looping back around a second time, use your free hand to make a little donut or bump of hair for the band to go around.  It should look like a small little bun with all of the ends sticking out (This is where having photos is helpful to explain what I mean 😉 ).

perfect messy bun tutorialperfect messy bun tutorialperfect messy bun tutorial

Once you’ve gathered your mini bun and looped your elastic around a second time, it should look like this–a donut bun with all of the ends sticking out.  At this point I’ll start pulling at the bun to evenly disburse the hair in a donut / circular formation and give it more volume.

perfect messy bun tutorial

Gather all of the loose end pieces together and give them a bit of a twist to help you hang onto them.  With the opposite hand, pull back on the double-tied elastic and stuff the ends into the bun and under the elastic to secure them.  Adjust and continue poking until you get everything stuffed in there.

perfect messy bun tutorialperfect messy bun tutorial

So immediately following this step, this is usually what I look like and I wanted to show you the NOT PERFECT steps that we ALL will encounter when trying to perfect the messy bun.  My hair is on the thicker side and I have a very blunt hair cut so my ends are unruly when it comes to gracefully laying flat and tucking into the bun so everyone is bound to have some of these wispy pieces sticking up.  It’s not a bad look!  If you like the more organic and carefree look of this–feel free to stop here and you’ve got your messy bun!  But for the purposes of polishing up the messy bun, let’s clean up these rogue hairs!

perfect messy bun tutorialperfect messy bun tutorial

I’ll take my trusty Tresemme Extra Firm Control Hair Spray and be focused on where I spray it.  Instead of spraying all over my head, I’ll focus a quick spritz on the specific unruly piece that I want to make it’s way into the bun.  I’ll do the smallest of sprays on that one section, let it get a touch sticky, and then re-stuff it into the bun and it holds in place.  If your hair is still not sticking after hairspray,  I would recommend adding a bobby pin for added security to lock it in place.

perfect messy bun tutorial

Ok we have made it this far!  Once all of the flyaway pieces are tucked into bed–wait no, tucked into BUN–now we get to play with adding extra volume.  I personally love the big bun look so I’ll ever so gently pull on little pieces of hair to plump it up and give a bigger illusion.  Pulling on small sections of hair gives you the volume but most importantly doesn’t take away from the structure and secureness of the bun.  Plus, if you pull too much, it’s easier to add a small section back in, instead of a bigger one.

perfect messy bun tutorial perfect messy bun tutorial

Once you’ve fluffed to your liking you can give another once-over with hairspray if you like and the hairstyle is complete!  I’ve been working on my perfect messy bun for years now and it gets faster and faster with more practice.  I’m excited to wear this hairstyle more in the coming weeks because I love the organic and natural and effortless look to it.

If you’re looking to update your look for spring, check out the “Take a New Look” page for inspiration!  Take the quiz to find out with products would be best for you.  Get $10 off your purchase of $30 for participating Unilever personal care products at your local Safeway.

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  1. That bun is gorgeous! I’m a big fan of the messy bun look.

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  2. Jen Rattie wrote:

    I’ve never been able to do the bun thing. I just don’t have enough air for it. I keep it too short.

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  3. I LOVE a messy bun! It’s such a sassy look. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and sexy. It’s perfect for almost any occasion!

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  4. My wife rocks a messy bun all the time. It’s her go to hair style. I think it’s awesome.

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  5. Marcie W. wrote:

    Love the messy bun look but could definitely use some assistance with pulling it off. There’s a few steps here that I have yet to try, so I’ll be giving things another go this weekend.

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  6. Cacinda wrote:

    The messy bun is my go to hairstyle – there really is no better option!

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  7. Toni Dash wrote:

    You’re adorable! It looks very easy to make! 😀 Thanks for sharing this!

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  8. Theresa wrote:

    As a busy mom, I do love the simplicity of a messy bun hairstyle. You look totally adorable with yours pulled up!

    Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  9. The messy bun look really does look great.
    The procedure to this looks pretty simple.

    Posted 5.12.17 Reply
  10. Annemarie LeBlanc wrote:

    My hair is not long enough to do this hairstyle. However, I will give it a try maybe 2-3 months from now. This hairstyle would look good with casual or formal attires.

    Posted 5.13.17 Reply
  11. Loving the messy bun! I always love when hair looks great but not like you were sculpted

    Posted 5.13.17 Reply
  12. Dogvills wrote:

    I love the messy bun look. It looks so sexy and chic. My hair is only shoulder length right now so I will have to wait. I will share this post with my niece. She’s got hair long enough to make a messy bun. 🙂

    Posted 5.14.17 Reply
  13. I think messy buns are pretty awesome and it’s definitely one of my go to hairstyles during the summer. I think this was a really good tutorial on how to nail the look! Love it!

    Posted 5.15.17 Reply
  14. Stephanie Z wrote:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I like this messy hair bun look!

    Posted 5.22.18 Reply