The Perfect Messy Bun Is In Reach With This Easy Technique

Once upon a time, buns were only for ballerinas, and they involved dozens of bobby pins, hair nets, and tons of gel to keep the pesky flyaway strands in place. These days, however, the messy bun has become a style staple, as it can move expertly from home to office and everywhere in between. That is, it's versatile if it's done right — otherwise, it can fall flat or off to the side, looking ultra-messy, but not in a good way. Fortunately, it's not too taxing to develop an excellent messy bun technique. All it takes is a couple of tools and a bit of finesse to produce a hairstyle that is oh-so-chic, yet doesn't give off a try-hard vibe at all. Think of it as the hairstyle equivalent of the natural makeup look. Of course, there is plenty of opportunity for variations on the messy bun style, but this one, in particular, will stay put and look adorable all day long. 

Expert tips to produce the perfect messy bun

Hair guru Tom Smith with Stylist recently filmed a tutorial video for those people frustrated by lackluster messy buns. In it, he says to first start with a super high ponytail — literally on top of the head — as is demonstrated on the model. If desired, leave some face-framing strands out of the bun from the beginning. To create the ponytail, use a hair elastic and twist it three times, but on the last twist don't pull the ponytail all the way through. Instead, leave a bun-sized loop of hair with plenty of length in ends hanging down still. "Then, you're going to get the ends and cross them over at the front and then we're going to secure them at the back with a couple of pins," he says in the video, noting that it's fine to use more than two pins if needed. Since hair thickness and weight vary from person to person, this is certainly something to consider.  

Use these tools to secure the messy bun

A lot of people might stop with the bobby pins, but Stylist's Smith suggests incorporating a couple of U-pins into the mix for further bun security and a little extra style. He uses the U-pins to, "hook parts at the top under the base of the ponytail." This adds dimension to the bun and gives it the perfect messy texture. Lastly, if you opted to leave face-framing strands loose, he says to use a curling iron on a vertical angle to curl the hair strands away from the face, making sure to apply a hair protectant spray prior to using the tool. This is what really gives the messy bun its polished look, so if you're going for a more casual feel, it's fine to skip this step altogether. Either way, taking a couple of easy extra steps is sure to step up your messy bun game to enviable levels.