Styling Dirty Hair: 5 Buns to Get You to Your Next Wash

Because we know that last day before a wash can be the trickiest to style.

For many women, maintaining healthy hair requires taking days off in between washes to avoid stripping hair of essential, natural oils and over-styling with heat tools afterward. Having a few quick, go-to hairstyles for those days in-between washes can be a lifesaver if you’re starting to look a little greasy and stringy. A bun between washes will never do you wrong, as we see with these bun hairstyles for dirty hair. There are so many variations to the look and they give a more sophisticated or playful vibe than your average ponytail. Here are a few variations of the beloved bun that take minimal effort and products and hide that you’re three days deep since your last shampoo and condition:

bun hairstyles for dirty hair top knot
Top knots are a sleek and sophisticated style.

 1. Top Knot

The top knot is the boldest of buns and is perfect if your hair gets particularly greasy before a wash. Top knots have a lot of height and look best when the bun is tight and wound to look longer than rounder. It’s crucial that the style looks sleek and shiny—any bumps or flyaways can be distracting. Use Suave Professionals Natural Hold Micro Mist Hairspray to smooth out and stick any potential baby hair strands down and ensure that your bun won’t budge throughout the day.

bun hairstyles for dirty hair low messy bun
A young woman texting on the phone outdoors.

2. Low Messy Bun

Low messy buns are the epitome of relaxed, “I woke up like this” hairstyles and are perfect if you have some layers. While gathering your hair, make sure you’re doing it haphazardly and leave some layers out to frame your face. Spray a healthy amount of Bed Head by TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray on the bun and use your hands to pull out some strands here and there to make it look more effortless. You can scrunch the root of your hair with your hand and some more spray to loosen the bun further and create more body.

bun hairstyles for dirty hair high messy bun
Start your bun out sleek and finish with a fun, messy look on top. Photo credit:

3. High Messy Bun

A high messy bun relies more on the bun itself to look messy and keeping the rest of the style sleek and groomed to ensure that the bun stays on top of your head and doesn’t slowly begin to droop throughout the day. A high messy bun is also a great opportunity to apply some leave in conditioner or oil to the ends of your hair to give it extra nourishment before a wash; the high-quality mess of the style will distract others from seeing the ends of your hair.

bun hairstyles for dirty hair half up half down bun
A non-committal bun style that’s high fashion.

4. Half Up Half Down Bun

If you aren’t into committing to a full bun and need a style that will hide greasy roots but still frame your face, a half up half down bun is a great alternative. When creating this style, you can either gather the top layer of your hair and create a bun with your hair tie, or you can pull the hair into a ponytail, secure it with a tie and then bobby pin your hair into your desired shape for a flatter bun. Add some Bed Head by TIGI Superstar Queen For a Day Thickening Spray to the hair left down to create a fuller appearance and bring some life back to dirty hair.

bun hairstyles for dirty hair space buns
Two buns are better than one!

5. Space Buns

Space buns can be done messy or clean, similar to the other buns already mentioned. The difference is that space buns bring an element of fun and whimsy to your look. Since you will be creating a part in your hair to separate the two buns, it’s important to apply some Dove Refresh+Care Fresh Coconut Dry Shampoo to rid your roots of any unsightly oil and grease. Once you go in with dry shampoo, you’re ready to create your out of this world space buns look!