bow bun

Tutorial: 2 Ways to Make a Bow Bun Hairdo

So meta! Learn how to do a hair bow in two ways in just a few minutes. 

When two trends collide, we couldn’t be happier. And when these come together in a delightfully meta way, then our work is practically done. The bow bun takes two hot styles—the top knot and the ribbon-hair look—and, as the name suggests, merges it into one super-cute, super-meta, super-tongue-in-cheek ’do that we’re predicting will blow up on social media very soon, if it hasn’t already. Read on to see how to recreate this (very literal) bow bun that looks way harder than it actually is.

How to Create a Pretty Bow Bun


Start with clean hair.

Freshly washed hair provides just the right amount of fluffy grip needed for a proper updo. Start with rinsing hair with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner (we like Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner) for that extra dose of natural fullness to start.

bow bun tutorial

Prep locks with some mousse.

Mousse like Nexxus Styling Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam can help give strands some fullness and lift/get rid of a bit of slip, which comes in handy when creating fuller updos. A modern (read: non-crunchy) volumizing version gives much-needed lift and body to strands while maintaining a smooth finish. 

bow bun tutorial apply mousse

Gather hair into a high ponytail.

Position a ponytail on the crown of your head, or the exact area where you want your bow bun to sit. Don’t worry about smoothing down the base of your pony just yet.

bow bun tutorial hair up

Secure strands with a hair tie.

Tie a fabric-covered hair elastic around your ponytail base to secure. Now is the time to refine any halo frizzies or flyaways at the base with your palms, a fine-toothed comb or even some hairspray, if you desire.

bow bun tutorial ponytail

Tighten the ponytail.

Make sure your bun’s base is secure by pulling the ponytail taut. You’ll be looping the lengths around themselves in a bit, so better make sure everything is locked in place, with just a tiny amount of give for one more loop.

bow bun tutorial pony

Loop hair once again into the knot.

Pull the ponytail through the hair elastic one more time. Depending on how big you want the bow’s ears to be, you can either stop midway (for a smaller ribbon) or before you reach the ends (for larger loops).

bow bun tutorial loop

Divide the main bump.

Split the bump of your half-through loop into two. Bunch them up on either side, refining the strands to create the perfect “ribbon” on both the left and right ends.

bow bun tutorial divide main section

Cover your middle knot.

Conceal your main knot (or where your hair tie is) with the remainder of hair that’s left loose. Loop this lock over and in between your ribbon and secure the ends with a bobby pin.

bow bun tutorial cover knot

And voilà!

Your bow bun, all done!

bow bun tutorial final look

How to Create a Half-Up Bow Braid Style

Perfect for the festive season and beyond, a bow hairstyle is one of the cutest ways to update your coif. A magnet for “Ooh, how did you do that?” comments, this half-up, half-down look is worth learning how to conquer. Short on hair ribbons? No problem. The beauty of this technique is that it allows you to use your own hair as a DIY accessory.

If this super cute updo is not totally your taste, put your own spin on the style by gathering the lower section of your hair into a ponytail, braid or bun. However you wear your bow hairstyle, the possibilities are endless! Ready to get started? Follow our in-depth tutorial below to learn how to achieve this look:


Section your hair.

Section the top one-third of your hair starting at about eyebrow height and pull it into a ponytail at the back of your head. 

Woman Doing a a Half-Up Bow Braid

Secure the half ponytail.

Use a hair tie that blends in with your hair color to secure the half ponytail. 

bow braid secure hair tie

Create a loop.

Create a loop in your ponytail by loosening one section of the hairband with your finger and passing the hair back through it until you create a mini looped bun. 

The size of the loop you create will determine the size of your hair bow so adjust it to your preference. Leave the ends loose and make sure your strands are tangle-free. 

bow braid half bun create a loop

Form your bow.

Separate the loop down the centre with your fingers and fan it out into a bow. Secure it with pins to create your desired shape, fanning out each side of the bun with your fingers to add volume as you go. 

bow braid form your bow

Add a bobby pin.

Attach a bobby pin at the bottom of your remaining ponytail and then pull it upwards and over the top of the center of the bow. Then tuck it back under the bow and pin into place behind your updo so that there is no remaining hair showing.

bow braid pin in place


Pat yourself on the back! You’ve just mastered the hair bow. As this is a half-up, half-down look, you can try styling the bottom half of your hair into a braid, extra bun or with loose waves to up the impact. Finish with hairspray (we like TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Texture Hold Level 1) for control against flyaways!

bow braid finished look

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