If you don’t know how to do a messy bun with long hair, you’re missing out! It’s suitable for all hair types and only takes a couple of minutes to do, making it one of our go-to styles when we’re short on time. A cooler, less polished version of the classic ballerina bun, the messy bun gives off the illusion that you’ve rolled out of bed in the morning and scraped your hair back into a fuss-free yet fabulous bun.
However, if you’ve ever actually attempted this look yourself then you’ll know that there’s definitely an art to mastering how to do a messy bun with long hair. Need a hand? Take a peek at our tried-and-tested styling guide and step-by-step tutorial below.
Refresh your tresses.
Let’s be honest, messy buns look best with textured, voluminous locks. Help remove excess oils that can weigh hair down with a spritz of dry shampoo.
Spray the TIGI Bed Head Oh Bee Hive! Dry Shampoo directly on the roots, especially at your hairline and make sure all the product is absorbed. Run your fingers through your roots as you go to disperse the product if needed.
Spray evenly onto the mid-lengths and ends, holding the can about 30cm away and then tousle the hair with your fingers. Not only will this trick revive lacklustre tresses, it will also add grip to help your messy bun stay in place.
Backcomb your crown.
Lift heavy, longer locks from the roots by backcombing your crown. This will ensure the weight of your messy bun doesn’t pull the rest of your hair flat against the top of your head.
Start by taking a section of hair at the crown and using a small comb, repeatedly push the hair towards the scalp. It’s important to take your time to ensure your backcombing lasts in place all day.
Pull the hair into a ponytail.
Make sure you’re happy with your parting and adjust if needed. Next, pull all your hair back into a low ponytail, a few inches above the nape of your neck.
Secure your ponytail tightly but make sure the style is a little loose and not too flat against your head. A looser ponytail will help your bun look more on the messy side and less polished.
Twist it up.
Keep one hand on the hairband securing your ponytail and with the other hand, twist your tresses in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.
Once all your hair is twisted, hold onto the end and pull it upwards, wrapping it around the top of your ponytail.
Pin your bun into place.
Once you’re happy with how your bun is sitting and it feels comfortable, secure the look. Use as many bobby pins as you need around the bun to fan it out or pin down any overly messy flyaways.
Use your fingers to tease and pull apart small sections of your updo if it’s looking too perfect. This is supposed to be a messy bun, after all!
Perfect your messy mane.
Think less ballerina and more boho when it comes to styling your messy bun. Add an undone touch to the look by adding a few tendrils of hair around your face.
Pull out small sections of hair at a time and let them hang loosely around your face or tucked behind your ear. It’s important to work slowly, adding slightly more and more hair as you go until you’re happy.
Finish with hairspray.
Last but not least, it’s time to secure the style. Spray the VO5 Invisible Ultimate Hold Hairspray all over your hair, starting from the loose strands at the front and working backwards to your bun.
Mist it evenly all over your locks, concentrating on your bun to keep it locked into place as the day goes on.
Take a bow ladies, you’ve now mastered the perfect messy bun!
Got curly or fine strands? You can still master how to do a messy bun with long hair:
Step 1: Use a texturising spray
Before we get into how to do a messy bun with long hair, it’s worth noting that messy buns work best on unwashed hair. Yep, you heard that right, this is one style that actually calls for dirty hair! So, if you’ve hit snooze on the alarm one too many times and have run out of time to wash your locks, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
With that said, it’s still possible to rock this style if your hair is fluffy and freshly-washed, too. Just remember to prep your hair using a texturising spray before styling. This will provide your hair with some much-needed texture and give your bun more hold.
Step 2: Create a ponytail
Now onto the exciting bit, it’s time to actually start creating your easy messy bun for long hair! Using your fingers (or a brush if you’re after a sleeker look), pull your hair back into a high ponytail and loosely secure in place with a hair tie. Credit: @sarahangius
Editor’s tip: Got fine hair? Teasing your ponytail with a backcombing brush before twisting will help to create masses of volume and instantly give the illusion of thicker tresses! An essential step when learning how to do a messy bun with long hair.
Step 3: Twist and wrap
So far so simple, right? The next step to creating this messy bun for long hair is to form the bun itself. To do this, just twist your ponytail into one big strand and wrap it around the base of your ponytail until it forms a loosely twisted bun.
Step 4: Secure with pins
Take as many bobby pins as required and use them to secure your bun in place. And remember, this doesn’t need to look perfect! Any stray baby hairs or flyaways will only help to add to the undone vibe of your style, so don’t worry about making it look too neat.
Step 5: Frame your face with tendrils
The key to nailing a messy bun for long hair? Loosening up the bun. To do this, free some loose pieces of hair around the hairline and at the nape of your neck to give your ‘do a more slept-in, bedhead feel.
If your bun is looking a little on the small side, you can also try pulling it apart slightly with your fingers too to create a more voluminous-looking style. Credit: @ashley_moore_
Step 6: Finish with hairspray
And it’s as easy as that! Once you’re happy with your bun, finish up with a light hold hairspray like the VO5 Flexible Hold Hairspray to provide a natural-looking hold. This hairspray is perfect for this style as it’s easy to brush out when you’re done and won’t leave your hair feeling stiff or sticky.
Editor’s tip: Short on time but still want to fool people into thinking you’ve made an effort? Why not try braiding your bangs before creating your bun? Or, to up the ante for a date night, try adding a glitzy tiara headband for an easy and elegant updo!