Social distancing has become our reality for the foreseeable future, so getting your hair professionally done or even braided by your friend isn’t an option. Sometimes the only thing you have left in your styling arsenal is the classic messy bun. If you want to take your messy bun to the next level to give your style more purpose, opposed to just throwing it up and hoping for the best, we’ve got plenty of styles that are messy but still stylish. Now that we’ve all got more time on our hands to practice some fire styles, why not really master the art of the messy bun?
Read on to peep the most fun messy buns we’ve come across, and see which of these you can recreate on yourself from home to feel a little more chic (yup, there’s more than one way to wear ’em!):
30+ Messy Buns to Try While Hanging Out in Your Home
1. The Classic
The messy bun to rule all messy buns, this features a loose, easy chignon coiled on top of the head and secured with an elastic. The ends are allowed to wisp free, which softens the look.
2. The Banana Bun
We previously described banana buns as the “tipsy, boozy alternative to a French twist,” and we still swear by it. Roll hair across vertically, in an outward direction, from one side to the other and secure on the underseam with pins. Don’t stress about any loose strands; they add to the casual feel.
3. The Boho
We envision this look as a fave hairstyle back in the groovy days of disco, with its definitive curtain part and long, half-updo feel.
The go-to look of bloggers and second-day hair enthusiasts everywhere.
5. The One-and-Done
This super-easy look has never met an errand it did not agree with. Pilates class? Sure thing. Brunch? Bring it on.
6. The Fishtailed Top Knot
For those who want to show off a bit, a fishtail plait is a great way to add a bit of texture to any regular bun. Click here for a quick fishtail tutorial.
7. The Half-Up, Straight
Who says messy buns always have to be a full chignon? Play with some details by opting for a trendy half-updo, with a bit of textured ends for some visual interest. A texturizing spray, like Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Milk & White Jasmine Salt Spritz Texture Spray, gives a bit of separation to your mid-lengths and ends.
8. The Half-Up, Curly
A curly crown half-updo is all sorts of trendy at the moment, and also forgive a bit of a rooty hair color situation by making your regrowth less jarring.
9. The Headband
Recalling another big ’90s and early 2000s throwback, using a headband to accessorize a regular messy bun spiffs up your look in 10 seconds flat.
10. The Mid-High
If the mere thought of a true top knot is enough to give you a migraine, opt for a medium-high bun instead: Lying near your skull bump, it’s ideal for those with narrower heads who can afford a bit of width (as well as for those with less time for flipping hair over).
11. The Semi-Pineapple
Not quite as put-together as a full-blown pineapple hairstyle, but with the same good intentions.
12. The Punytail
Even shorter lengths can pull off a messy bun, provided the chignon sits close to the nape hairline and is more of a knotted bun than a coil. A dime-sized dollop of gel, like TRESemmé TRES Two Mega Firm Control Gel, helps give you more traction and hold.
13. The Low Knot
We love this more deconstructed take on a low chignon—it’s an appropriately fab vacation look, and you can literally nail it even while in transit.
14. The Off-Center Bun
A side bun is a cute alternative to your vanilla low bun. In this version, pins are used to secure the coil to the scalp. Thicker hair textures can opt for a hair elastic instead.
15. The Classic Low Bun
There’s something so satisfyingly chic about a perfectly centered bun that’s nestled right in the hollow of your nape.
16. The Octopus
This “non-trend” became viral last year, much to the delight of moms and busy ladies everywhere. Emulate by creating a high bun and leaving the ends of long hair to splay out from under the elastic, creating your “tentacles” (yup, it’s a thing).
17. The Spiky Octopus
No, it’s not a deep-sea monster, but a version of the octopus bun with ends that are piece-yer and chunkier than normal (straighter textures have more luck with this).
Squeeze an extra good hair day or two out of your growing-out color with messy bun, which offers a cool, grungy two-toned effect.
19. The Clementine
For fans of cute baby buns—and if you have fine hair to boot—we present this tiny, coiled version that sits right at the neckline.
20. The Frosted
Highlighted ladies can show off their color’s dimension by pulling hair into a high messy bun.
21. The Instant Facelift
Flip your hair over to recreate this textbook top knot, which has sides and temples raked straight upwards rather than at an angle.
22. Space Buns
Play around with this iteration of the messy bun and split the upper section of your hair in half, finger-coiling each section into a knob. Secure with a small elastic at each base, leaving little care for flyaways.
A classic ballerina bun gets a messy, dryer-sheet-thirsty twist. Fun for fine/straight hair types in need of some texture! Ed’s tip: Backcomb or tease the base of your bun with a teasing brush to create some fuzz.
24. The Spiky Top Knot
As fierce as they come, and not for the tension headache-prone. Great for making a statement at parties though and for putting those features front and center.
25. The Errand Bun
Because ain’t nobody got time for pulling hair through completely.
26. The Full Base
A pretty, flattering take on messy buns, recreate this look by tugging slightly at the base of your ponytail before creating your coil. Spritz with a fine-mist hairspray, like TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Boost Hold Level 3, for volume and control.
Baby hair on fleek! Put that halo frizz to werk, girl, and twirl them around your fingers for some flirty makeshift sideburns.
This smooth-looking messy bun—which can easily be recreated by rough-gathering hair into a ponytail, from the bottom up—is a handy way to hide any tangles on the mid-lengths.
29. The Loose Top Knot
Wear at bedtime to wake up to big, bouncy waves.
30. The Front-Fall
Similar to the pineapple technique, this look features hair tied up in a high ponytail and allowed to fall forwards for a faux-bump effect.
31. The ‘I Woke Up Like This’
…Even when you didn’t. The secret to this ultimate bedhead: lots of twists, secured with pins!
32. The Twist
Another way to elevate a regular low bun? Add in a twist. Doing so imparts a cool basket-bottom effect on the base that’s super boho-chic.
33. The Everyday Winner
As the name suggests, this look works just as swimmingly with an edgy blazer-and-jeans combo as it does with your gym gear.
34. The Upside Down
A funky under-braid provides just the right amount of added texture to a wavy top knot. Click here for a tutorial.
35. The Old-School Charmer
Feminine and a bit vintage-inspired, we like how the loose wisps are curled for extra flirt appeal.
36. The ’90s Kid
Alternatively, wearing those temple wisps straight on either side of your face gives a fun, tasteful throwback to yearbook pictures of yore. Pair with your best mock turtleneck and some round sunglasses!