Side bun hairstyles: 9 ideas from fun to formal

Looking for side bun hairstyles? See our top picks from Instagram, here!

Side bun hairstyles are the versatile updos that, in our opinion, often gets overlooked. Whether you need a style for a casual date night or something more formal like a wedding, a side bun, when styled correctly, can be tailored for any occasion imaginable.

And to prove it, we’ve rounded up our favourite side bun hairstyles from Instagram that will not only inspire your next style, but show you that it’s the ideal look for taking you out of the shadows!

1. Undone braided side bun

side view of blonde woman with hair in undone side bun with loose strands falling around the hairline
Carefree and undone side bun fun. Credit: Instagram.com/nichole.hair

Perfect for: Everyday style & casual dates with the girls

Ever since the Olsen twins and Sienna Miller rocked the look, we have been obsessed with tousled hair. Giving off that woke-up-like-this vibe (that we secretly know took a lot of effort to create), this undone side bun is ticking all our carefree boxes.

From the chunky Dutch braid to the unravelling bun, this side updo is perfect for an everyday look or even a casual date with the girls.  Credit: @nichole.hair

Style tip: Try adding waves to your tresses before styling and remember to keep strands of hair loose along the hairline for a soft finish.

2. Folded side bun

back view of woman with light blonde hair in smooth side bun with black lace top
Make this your next side bun hairstyle for a formal occasion. Credit: Instagram.com/salonxvi

Perfect for: Formal occasions and corporate environments

Looking for side bun hairstyles which are more formal? We suggest going for this smooth and sleek updo for anything from a wedding to a black-tie affair.

Not only will the high shine sheen make your colour pop, but its unique folded design will make the humble side bun look that extra bit fancy. Credit: @salonxvi

Editor’s tip: What better way to show off this style than with a silky, glossy finish? To achieve this, we suggest using the VO5 Tame & Shine Spray on dry hair before styling, for gorgeous frizz-free tresses.

Psst… Why not finish your look with one more spritz to make your side bun extra dazzling?

3. Wavy pinned side bun

back view of blonde woman with pinned side bun hairstyle with floral accessories holding flowers
Perfect side bun inspiration for a wedding day. Credit: Instagram.com/behindthechair.com

Perfect for: Brides and bridesmaids

We think you’ll agree: this look is screaming bridal hair! Whether you’re the bride-to-be or a bridesmaid, this pinned wavy updo will guarantee you look picture perfect from all angles. Credit: @behindthechair.com

Style tip: Add a jewelled accessory or a sprig of flowers to give this side bun that extra romantic touch.

4. Smooth bun tuck

side view of woman with brunette hair in smooth and sleek side tuck bun hairstyle wearing navy top
Does it get any more elegant than this? We think not. Credit: Instagram.com/sunnchea

Perfect for: Wedding guests and black-tie events

It’s not just the bride and bridesmaids who got to show off snazzy ‘dos at a wedding. This elegant and sophisticated bun tuck is pretty enough to earn you plenty of style points, while also being just the right amount of subtle as to not outshine the bride. Credit: @sunnchea

Style tip: Add a pair of statement earrings to finish your look, think tassel or jewelled.

5. Multi-braid side bun

side view of blonde woman with a multi braid side bun hairstyle
We love this look for an everyday style. Credit: Instagram.com/annette_updo_artist

Perfect for: Dinner, cinema, drinks and all things date night

Whether you’re a new couple or not, we all want to look our best for date night, right? But finding a style that strikes the perfect balance between ‘I’ve made an effort but not too much effort’ can be tricky. After all, if you’re scoffing popcorn in the cinema, you don’t need anything too polished.

With this is mind, let us introduce you to this delightful side bun hairstyle. It’s casual and nonchalant, but thanks to the multiple braids it also shows you put the effort in. Credit: @annette_updo_artist 

Editor’s tip: Did you know that a spritz of a sea salt spray could be the maker of your braided hairdo? Just a little bit before weaving your look will not only create tousled texture but it will also help add grit to your strands, helping to hold it for longer.

We recommend spraying the TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spray evenly on damp or dry hair to give hair a light hold, without the crunchy feel.

6. Space buns

woman with pink hair in high space buns wearing white fluffy jacket against baby blue wall
Double the fun with space buns. Credit: Instagram.com/emilyandersonstyling

Perfect for: Party holidays and festivals (obvs)

Throwing your inhibitions out of the window is all part of a girls holiday or attending a festival, so of course you need a fun and flirty hairstyle to match. And when it comes to side bun hairstyles, rocking space buns is twice as nice! Credit: @emilyandersonstyling

Style tip: Make your space buns the only topic of conversation by adding glitter along your roots. According to all the cool girls on Instagram, it’s the only way it should be worn!

7. Twisted headband side bun

side view of woman with blonde hair in twisted headband side bun with multi braids wearing stripe top and backpack
Get boho vibes with this twisted headband side bun. Credit: Instagram.com/anniesforgetmeknots

Perfect for: Summer adventures

A side bun with a twist and braids – it’s all we have ever wanted in an updo! We suggest making this your next look for any summer adventures, from exploring your own hometown or a foreign city. Credit: @anniesforgetmeknots

Editor’s tip: What you need to seal in this look is a hairspray. We love the TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray for its natural hold and 24-hour frizz control.

Simply spray over your finished style to keep it in place and with its humidity protection, your hair will look amazing at all times.

8. Side bun with hair clips

Woman with blonde hair in side bun with stacked hair clips
Make your hair your best accessory. Credit: Instagram.com/sabrinadijkman

Perfect for: Standing out in a crowd

Hair clips are the cool-girl accessory right now. From bloggers to A-list stars, everyone is using pearled, jewelled or statement hair accessories to take their hairstyle up a notch.

To give your side bun hairstyle a trendy update, stack a mix of barrettes and clips to one side like above and get ready for the Instagram likes to come rolling in. Credit: @sabrinadijkman

9. Side bun with a scarf

Dark blonde woman with straight hair in a side bun with headscarf.
Give your side bun a summer twist. Credit: Instagram.com/hartsandpearls

Perfect for: Beach babes

Headscarves are your secret weapon when it comes to beach holidays. Not only can they be hung from your favourite beach bag, but they can be used to take beach hair from drab to fab in a matter of seconds.

So why not take your favourite headscarf and tie it around a side bun hairstyle for the ultimate beach vacay vibe. Credit: @hartsandpearls