Easy Bun Hairstyles For Every Length Of Hair

A bun is the ultimate easy, low-maintenance updo offering numerous benefits beyond its mere simplicity. Celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager spills one of her trade secrets to Good Housekeeping, revealing that an appropriately prepared bun is one of the methods you can use for combating staticky, out-of-control hair. Brager "can throw in a nice leave-in treatment and no one knows the difference, but I'm treating and taming frizz and static at the same time," she says.


Versatility is another advantage a bun hairstyle offers you. Professional hairstylist Danielle Priano tells Marie Claire, "The best part about this hairstyle is it's perfect for any occasion. Running to the grocery store? Pull your hair back into a bun to keep your hair out of your face. Have a red carpet event? Pull your hair back in a bun for an elegant and timeless look." If you need hairstyle ideas for your next dance, concert, party, wedding, festival, convention, or other events, consider wearing a bun style that works with your hair length. Luckily, we've got you covered with the best inspo.

Curly buns for long hair

If you have long hair, the simplest way to create a bun is to grab a handful of hair, twist it until it doubles back onto itself, coil it up, and fasten it with an accessory like a stretchy fabric headband or scrunchie. These hair accessories result in a casual look, but they aren't ideal for dressier occasions. For a chicer, more formal look, skip the scrunchie and instead secure the coil of hair with discreet pins. It's optional to complete the look with barrettes, jeweled combs, or other distinctive hair accessories.


The above instructions work for people with any hair texture, but curly-haired people can take some extra steps to ensure the bun-arranging process is successful. If your hair is curly, wet it and apply mousse before you start twisting your hair and piling it up on your head. Professional hairstylist Neil Grupp tells Into the Gloss, "We want to use a product that gives it grip and hold... Mousse is great — it gives the hair some bite."

Low slick back bun with a side part for medium to long hair

British model and actor Cara Delevingne captivated the world with one of the best Oscars 2023 looks. We adored Delevingne's makeup, jewelry, and striking red gown, but the crowning glory of the entire ensemble was the simple, sophisticated, and side-parted updo Danielle Priano styled for the event. Priano tells Marie Claire, "We wanted to channel true movie star energy, so we opted for a classic side part into a bun to show off Cara's amazing features."


To create a low bun hairstyle similar to Delevingne's, grab your blow dryer and use it to straighten and smooth out your freshly washed or dampened hair. Part your hair to one side and sweep it into a low, segmented ponytail that's divided into two distinct but closely aligned portions. Your goal will be to wind each of these portions of hair into its own individual bun while keeping them close enough to each other that they look like a unified coiffure. Use inconspicuous barrettes or pins the same color as your hair for fastening the coils. Finalize your slicked-back bun arrangement with a generous application of the strongest hairspray you have in your stash of hair products. 

Low buns for medium-length hair

Lily James was spotted at the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards rocking a classy low bun hairstyle arranged by Halley Brisker. In the front, side-swept bangs crowned James' face. Although some tendrils escaped the bun, the 'do wasn't as untidy as some of the truly messy buns we've seen; the overall effect is equal parts easy, charming, and glamorous. Brisker tells the Daily Mail, "The inspiration for this style was a slight nod to Audrey Hepburn with a classic paired back feel to compliment the outfit and its silhouette."


If you're hoping to coax your hair into a similar low bun style, you could grab products similar to the ones Brisker used to hold James' locks in place. Brisker first primed James' hair using thickening hairspray and then followed up by applying a finishing spray after the low bun was in place. You can reach for finishing spray instead of regular hairspray if you want to maximize shine in addition to making certain your hairstyle stays in place.

Messy buns for long hair

In 2013, hairstylist Samantha Kochhar told the Deccan Herald, "Fashion is always repetitive in itself and so is the high bun ... high buns or bouffants were never out of fashion." Indeed, Kochhar's words still ring true a decade later as we peruse the hairstyles celebrities and beauty influencers have been wearing recently. For the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party, stylist Jen Atkin swept Kendall Jenner's hair up into an enchanting pile, leaving a few unfettered wisps gracefully floating near her face. 


There have been multiple instances when Atkin styled similar hairdos for Jenner, and Atkin shared Instagram Stories revealing the tools that enabled her to create these styles (via Emirates Woman). A flat iron hair straightening device is one of her go-to tools for achieving effortless-looking messy buns. Her other must-have helper is a small barrel curling iron. Although a messy bun is an ideal hairstyle for long hair, sometimes people with shorter hair can make it work, too.

Tousled top knot hairstyle for short- to medium-length hair

Actor Maude Apatow was photographed at Louis Vuitton's 2023 Cruise fashion show with her hair arranged in a stylish top knot. Apatow's hairstyle features a straight center part with loose tendrils near the face. Apatow's hair undergoes frequent changes, but at the time this photo was taken, her hair was shorter than Jenner's. If you compare the two hairstyles, you can see that a primary differentiator is the size of their buns. When there's less hair to work with, the result will be a less voluminous overall effect, but the style is still workable.


Celebrity hairstylist Aviva Perea tells Nylon the steps she took to create a similar top knot hairstyle when she styled Beth Behrs' hair for an event. The first step is to apply mousse and volumizing spray to the hair. Perea reveals the most crucial key in the next step, saying, "Then section by section from just behind her bangs started brushing hair up and securing with a clip. If you try to do it all at once you can end up with lumps and it's harder to manage. If you do it slowly you can be more precise. Once all of the hair was up where it needed to be I secured with a bungee hair elastic." From there, simply separate the hair into two sections and manipulate them around each other to style the top knot. 


Spiky bun hairstyle for medium-length hair

If your hair is medium length or even shorter, you might experience challenges with coiling it into a single bun. One possible solution is to go for a spiky bun instead of a neatly coiled style. Many celebrities have experimented with wearing different versions of the spiky bun. Here you can see the spiky updo Haley Lu Richardson wore to the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony. Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, and Olivia Rodrigo have all worn similar hairstyles.


Hairstylist Salvatore Ierna tells Stylist, "To get the look, begin by parting the hair sharply down the middle from your hairline to your nape, securing it into a neat ponytail with an elastic towards the top of the head. Next, make the sides sleek using either a spoolie or brush covered with hair spray or clear gel to smooth flyaways." From there, the process is even simpler. "Then, the lengths of the hair are twisted together and looped around the ponytail, with the ends pinned or tucked through the front of the hair elastic and left loose to fan out around the bun in spikes," Salvatore adds. If you don't care for the straight spiked look, Ierna suggests an alternative: you can shape the loose ends into corkscrew curls.


High buns with tiaras

The balletcore fashion aesthetic has had a massive recent impact on both the beauty and fashion industries. Lately, some fashion and beauty brands have been drawing inspiration from prominent ballerinas like the American Ballet Theater's Misti Copeland when they create new product lines. This is one of the reasons ballet bun hairstyles are trending up right now. A high bun plus a dazzling tiara makes for the ultimate dancer-inspired 'do. 


Even if you have no idea how to do a pirouette or an arabesque, you might want to try out a high bun hairdo. One thing that makes this style tricky to maintain is that gravity works against it, so you have to ensure your bun is absolutely secure. Celebrity hairstylist Angela Kalinowsk tells E! News her best tips for attaining the necessary security, saying, "This is easiest to achieve by flipping your head upside down and gathering your ponytail that way." 

Kalinowsk shares another helpful tip on pin placement for securing your bun; you should avoid positioning your pins vertically. They're more likely to stay in place if you position them midway up and into the bun in a horizontal direction. Once the hair is in place, spray the bun, sides, and back of the head with hairspray.


Tidy knot hairstyle for medium or long hair

Celebrity stylist Lacy Redway styled actor Amelia Hamlin's sophisticated, slicked-back knot hairstyle for a LaQuan Smith runway fashion show. Redway tells All Things Hair, "I wanted the hair to compliment the glamour that we know and love from LaQuan Smith. We kept it bold, sleek, and frozen in place, without a single strand out of place."


If you want your hairstyle to have a similar slick, smooth appearance, Redway recommends that you start out by applying gel and then flattening your hair with a boar bristle brush. Brush vigorously enough to tame and subdue any unwanted texture. The knot is created by first fashioning a divided ponytail and then entwining the segments together. As you place each bit of hair where you want it, fasten the strands in place with bobby pins. A glossy shine is one of the most crucial components of this look; you can finalize this hairstyle by applying a shine serum to achieve a high level of luminosity.

Sculpted top knot for extra long hair

"Abbott Elementary" actor, writer, and producer Quinta Brunson's imaginative top knot hairstyle was in the spotlight at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Ceremony when Brunson was called on stage to accept an award. Celebrity stylist Alexander Armand, the innovator behind her hairstyle, tells LA-Story.com, "We collaborated and decided to go with a classic Hollywood glam aesthetic with a modern twist to match the spirit of her dress, an intricately beaded floor-length black and white gown by Jean-Louis Sabaji that is an absolute head turner," before adding, "We used products that work well with creating texture and volume and ones that act as superior styling agents to ensure Quinta's coiffure remained intact on the red carpet and she commanded the attention she deserves."


This hairstyle's most striking feature is the deliberately styled bangs. Armand drew inspiration for them from the late performer Josephine Baker who was photographed wearing a similar slicked-back hairstyle with well-placed curls adorning her cheeks and forehead. 

Prior to styling Brunson's bangs, Armand shampooed and conditioned Brunson's hair using hydrating hair products with shea butter as the active ingredient. Armand credits the shea butter products for making Brunson's hair more malleable and receptive to styling. Armand also used a hair dryer and flat iron styling tool heated to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit to tame Brunson's hair and banish every last bit of frizz.

Side buns for long hair

A side-swept, braided bun is suitable for wearing to weddings or black tie events, and you can also wear it to work. To recreate this side bun hairstyle, first, partition your hair into two segments. The top portion will be gathered to the side and temporarily clipped in place. Braid the lower portion from the forehead to the nape of the neck and temporarily gather any leftover locks into a low ponytail. Unclip the upper segment of hair and gather it along with the ponytail and manipulate the remaining hair into a loose, tousled bun.  


Anastasia, the professional hairstylist and television personality behind Stylebyanastasia.com, says, "You can also have a different look by styling a messy side bun. ... Braid your hair and then wrap it into a bun or use a hair clip. You can also use decorated hair pins or a bit of ribbon for a bit of extra bling." That sounds like a dream to us!

Half-up, half-down space buns for any length of hair

This edgy, half-up, half-down hairdo works well for people with longer hair, but the same idea could work for people with almost any length of hair. The main difference is that people with shorter hair will end up with smaller, less dramatic space buns.


This distinctive hairstyle would be suitable for wearing to concerts, festivals, and parties. You could vary this look and make it your own in several ways. One possibility: Add glitter. Hairstory stylist and colorist Cyd Charisse tells Mane Addicts, "My favorite use of glitter is jazzing up an otherwise basic look. Think slicked-back bun but using glitter gel to hold it back." What's not to love there? "Or you can create space buns but cover up a dirty hairline with some bedazzle. Add in some big glitter stars and you will shine through the night," Charisse adds.

Another possibility: Add a few mini braids on each side near your face to create distinctive flair and incorporate even more intriguing texture into this hairstyle. One more idea: If you want to be sure your hair will stay out of your eyes and face, gather loose tendrils of hair on both sides of your head using bold accessories like rhinestone-studded barrettes. 


Braided bun hairstyle for medium length hair

Amber Ruffin dazzled onlookers at the Critics Choice Awards with her elaborately braided hairstyle. This 'do features two neatly braided space buns on top of her head. It's accented with a couple of braided locks secured with clear beads grazing her shoulders and highlighting her face.


Although this hairstyle is spectacular, you might want to try a simplified version of it for everyday wear. Stylist T. Cooper gives Eva NYC instructions for arranging your hair in an easy braided space bun that's suitable for keeping your neck and face as cool as possible in scorching summer weather. Start by making a horizontal division separating the top part of your hair from the bottom part. Temporarily clip the uppermost section so the hair doesn't interfere with your styling of the lower section. Apply a moisturizing hair cream to the hair in the lower section. 

The next step, Cooper says, is to "begin a Dutch braid in your hair starting from the nape of the neck going upward until you reach the middle section of your hair. Secure the braid with a rubber band. Gather the hair in the top section and incorporate the unbraided/loose leftover hair." Finish up by manipulating the remaining hair into a space bun, securing it with your choice of hair accessories, and spritzing it with finishing spray. 


Easy space bun hairstyle for short hair

There is no getting around it: If you want to style one sizable, coiled bun, your hair needs some length; that type of 'do works best with longer hair. However, the single bun hairstyle isn't your only option; there are many other easy bun hairstyles that work well with short hair. Short-haired people can get in on the coiled buns look by creating multiple smaller buns instead of one big bun. Two-bun hairstyles are popular right now, but you can create any number of buns you like. While this won't work if your hair is cut in an ultra-short buzz, you can execute this look even if your hair is quite short. The shorter your hair is, the smaller your buns will have to be to make it work. 


To style your hair this way, grab a comb, some hair clips, and some small elastic hair accessories. The shorter your hair is, the smaller your hair elastics should be; you don't want the elastics to overwhelm your buns. Using the comb to keep your division lines crisp, divide your hair into sections. Temporarily clip each section to keep sections separated. Working one section at a time, unclip the hair, twist it into a coil, and fasten the coil with an elastic accessory. Repeat these steps until you have styled a space bun in each section of hair.