When it comes to knowing what to do with our hair, the bun remains our trusty best bud. Whether you want your hair out of your face for productivity reasons, a ponytail just won't cut it, or you just want to go for a laid-back, chic look, the bun always has your back. And the best bit is it’s really easy to get right.
Unlike so many other updos, whether your hair is long or short, a bun looks just as great thrown up half-heartedly as it does when it has been meticulously styled for hours. Hairstylist and founder of his namesake salon at Urban Retreat Angelo Seminara says, “Buns make for the ultimate low-maintenance, chic hairstyle because they can look ultra modern. They also suit all hair types and can be styled on freshly washed hair, semi-clean hair and textured hair.”
As champions of the humble bun, we have rounded up all of the easiest and chicest bun hairstyle inspo around and enlisted the help of Seminara to provide some top tips along the way. Keep scrolling for all of the inspiration and styling advice you need.
1. Fluffy Finish
This bun styled by Christian Wood for Saoirse Ronan is giving us serious hair envy. The undone, fluffy finish; the loose strands around the face; the perfectly tucked bun… We could go on. To help achieve such a look, Seminara recommends starting neat and slowly teasing the hair out. “Construct everything very tightly and then start pulling bits out, making it looser and cooler as you go. You’ll get a really fresh look,” he says.
This little brush can do a lot. Use the tapered end to pick up and pull out strands, and then use the bristles to gently place the hair where you want it.
Before you style, spray this super-hold foam into damp hair. It will give your hair extra staying power, allowing it to be easily manipulated without having to weigh it down with hair spray once it’s styled.
2. Braided Bun
If you’re feeling at a bit of a loss with how to style your box braids for a different look, a bun won’t let you down. Gather the braids up into a ponytail, leaving a few braids loose at the front, and secure it by wrapping a braid around the ponytail and tucking it in. Then, wrap the lengths around until your hair forms a bun. If it feels secure enough, just tuck the braids into the bun, or for sturdier results, secure with a hair bungee or grips.
If your bun is too big to secure with a hairband, use a super-stretchy hair bungee to keep things in place.
Traditional kirby grips can cause pulling and be uncomfortable, especially with braids. These wavy grips are easy to secure and don’t create as much tension.
3. Slicked-Down Twist
For a super-easy, polished look, part hair in the middle and slick it back into a low bun. This is the perfect style to wear during the day while you have a conditioning treatment oil or hair mask in. Apply first thing in the morning, scrape your back into a low ponytail, and twist and secure into a bun. That way your hair gets hours of nourishment and you stay looking chic while it’s at it.
Or for a wet-look finish in the evening, utilise mousse. “Apply a generous amount of mousse to the root areas of the hair. Brush the hair to a centre point and twist the ponytail into a graphic, round shape. Twist around and secure with pins or an elastic band,” says Seminara.
This mousse helps to plump strands, giving hair a thicker, fuller and more voluminous appearance.
This leave-in oil helps to boost shine, repair damaged strands and prevent flyaways for the ultimate slicked-back look.
Apply this hair mask first thing, slick hair into a low bun, and get on with your day while it’s doing its nourishing work. It smells like tropical heaven, too.
4. Super-Tight Knot
Perfect for when you’re planning on skipping washday, this super-slick style will help disguise greasiness. In fact, the greasier your hair, the easier it will be to work. Scrap your hair into a high ponytail and set liberally with hair spray or gel if your hair is thick, curly or textured. Once you’re happy, twist your lengths into a knotted bun (or however you like) and secure with grips or a hairband for extra hold.
This freeze spray is without a doubt the best around. It's like a long-hold gel in spray form. Just spray it onto hair while you are taming it up, and go over it with your brush or comb. You’re guaranteed a snatched finish.
After a day or evening wearing a slicked-up bun, be sure to use a deep-conditioning mask like this one from Briogeo, which is suitable for all hair types. Tight styles and holding products can dry strands out, so it’s important to make sure you replenish any lost moisture.
5. Half-Up Bun
If you prefer having your face framed, why not try the half-up, half-down bun? Also proving a great style for those with balayage or ombré colour, it helps to showcase the blend in colour and soften up the contrast between your roots and the lighter shade of the bun. All you have to do is section out the front of your hair while it’s in a middle parting and tie the back section up in a loose knot.
For curly or coily styles, keep curls defined at the front by using a nourishing cream.
If your hair is straight, try tonging the front sections away from your face to create a little movement.
6. Looped Bun
Ideal for those with long hair who might struggle to get their lengths into one knot, the looped bun provides a simple solution. Brush your hair back into a ponytail at whatever height you like and, on the last wrap-around of the band, only pull the hair through halfway. Very chic and minimal fuss.
Use a smoothing, oil-infused brush to pull your hair back into the ponytail. This one helps to detangle and contains coconut oil for a super-smooth, shiny finish.
These thin silky scrunchies will help minimise any friction trauma on the hair and prevent breakage.
7. Undone Topknot
Quite possibly the easiest low-key hairstyles around, the undone topknot is also one of the quickest to do. The key to this look is making sure your hair is prepped sufficiently first, making sure you have plenty of texture at the roots. “Apply some texture spray—I use Goldwell StyleSign Creative Texture Spray—and then scrape the hair back, keeping a few loose bits here and there. Twist the hair and secure with an elastic band,” says Seminara.
Spray a dry texturising spray into the roots to give hair some hold and make your bun look lived-in but polished at the same time.
Use a teasing comb, like this one, to create some intentional flyaways and add volume at the roots.
To crank your bun game up a notch, reach for ribbons or scarves. Tying a cute fabric around a super-speedy bun can turn a two-minute hairstyle into the prettiest style out there. If your hair already has some grit and texture to it, use a ribbon to secure your bun, or if your style needs some extra securing, tie a scarf around the hairband that’s keeping your bun put.
These oversized silk scrunchies will keep your bun secured with kind-to-strands silk and elevate your look with a cute ribbon-style bow.
Tie this silk scarf around your bun or weave it into a plait and wrap it around to incorporate it into the bun itself.
9. Flyaway Classic
The best thing about buns is that they don’t have to look perfect. In fact, we think they look a whole lot better when they look a little weather-beaten. If you struggle to style a bun that looks lived-in from the get-go, Seminara recommends drying your hair with a diffuser to get some texture into the lengths. “Texture can be achieved with rollers, tongs, back-combing, fingers, or you can use a diffuser to dry the hair first. This texture helps achieve that end result before you even place the bun,” he says.
When used with a diffuser attachment, the GHD Helios helps give natural shape and definition to your hair with added texture, and it keeps lengths looking shiny and glossy while it’s at it.