Holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s part-ayyyy time! We're talking holiday eyeshadow palettes, glitter dresses, nail art that pairs perfectly with a hot toddy, and hair that deserves a holiday award.
If following a complicated hair tutorial isn't for you, let us reintroduce The Messy Bun. The messy bun is the perfect hairstyle hack for both last minute plans and a night of celebrations you've had on the calendar for months.
Below, three hair experts share intel on making the perfect mess if you will.
Plus, we rounded up some easy video tutorials just in case you're more of a visual learner.
The dirtier the hair the better
Celebrity hairstylist Nafisah Carter suggests starting off with day-old hair to achieve the best messy bun. “Never shampoo your hair the same day when creating your messy bun,” she explains. “If you forget and shampoo your hair it’s totally ok, just grab texture spray—it will add grip and texture to your hair, and give it that two-day old look that we love!”
Follow the rules
The sequence of events rarely changes, but how it’s done varies from person to person. Below, celeb hairstylist Michelle Cleveland shares her fuss-free method in five steps.
1. Back comb hair all around and at the base of the scalp.“This adds volume around the head,” she explains. “[If your hair is oily], my favorite texture spray for creating a messy bun look is Ecru Dry Texture Spray. It’s a charcoal-base, so it’s lighter than a typical dry shampoo which is a talc base—yet it still has incredible hold.”
2. Next, gather hair at the desired focal point of the bun. “Think, the back of the head for a chignon or flip head over and gather at the top of the head for a true top knot,”adds Cleveland.
3. Then, tighten hair into a ponytail and secure with an elastic.
4. After that, backcomb hair in the ponytail and spritz with a texture spray for that messy lived- in look.
5. Finally, twist and turn until all hair is wrapped around the elastic and secure with hair pins. Don’t put too much hair in your bobby pin or it will just pop out. You can also cross them to “lock” them in.
Messy Bun Essentials
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Play around with placement
Let that creativity run wild! Messy buns can vary pending the wearer. “Depending on the overall look you’re wearing or makeup will determine if you want the bun high, mid, or low,” explains L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador, Matthew Collins who works with Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Cindy Crawford, Paris Jackson, Priyanka Chopra, Hailey Baldwin, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
“Higher buns will help elongate your neckline and look more youthful. While a lower bun can be more glam or elegant, and the middle is a more low-key look. To start, create a strong grip of a base using Tecni.Art Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray and Tecni.Art Morning After Dust Shampoo to give the hair volume and grip while you work with it, now using your fingers or a wide tooth comb bring everything to where you want your bun to finish,” he suggests.
Don't make it perfect
Remember, the point of a messy bun is for it to be well…messy. So don’t worry about perfecting it too much. “When you finish securing your bun can pull a few pieces out around your face to give it a more unfinished look. Or, you can spray a finishing hair spray on a boar bristle brush and brush your sides, front, and back to give a more finished look,” adds Carter who works with Michelle Williams, Erica Mena, Tinashe, Misty Copeland, and Debbie Allen.
“If you want the bun very tight at the back, then tilt your head back when you fasten the pony,” adds Williams. “Then when your hair is in ‘normal’ position it keeps the nape part very tight, for all other looser options it helps to flip your head over.” The takeaway? Make it your own and allow it to transform throughout the day.
Want more inspo? Check out five tutorials that will bring you one step closer to mastering the perfect messy bun.
The One-Minute Messy Bun Tutorial
Over 1 million viewers on this video alone proved that collectively, this video is the truth.
The Messy Bun 4C Hair Tutorial
Different textures simply require different hacks, so we have no choice to stan (harder than ever before) Jaimisha's page for showcasing a messy bun for coily/kinky hair textures.
The Long Hair Messy Bun Tutorial
Messy buns can be achieved at most lengths (I say most because extensions can come into play!), but those with long hair also need some guidance.
The Faux Bangs Messy Bun Tutorial
I love the idea of creating a bang without the commitment of cutting your hair. Bravo!
The Best All-Around Messy Bun Tutorial
Your messy bun can take on many lives. Try one of these five at your next holiday party to win the award of "Best Hair".
Janell M. Hickman Janell M Hickman is a writer and editor based in New York.