What hairstyle do many beauty icons, top models and celebrities have in common? One of their go-to looks - from red carpets to beach walks - is the messy bun. This 'undone' hairdo has seemingly infinite variations evidenced by 5.7 million YouTube tutorials and counting. We talked to celebrity hairdresser and #betternaturedpartner Cash Lawless to get the down-low on the up-do of the moment.
Style Solution for #WFH Or #SixFeetApart
Messy buns are not only the ideal quick style fix before a Zoom meeting or an evening out, Cash notes that clients rocking this relaxed yet chic top knot “feel confident, powerful and beautiful.” With the right product and a few easy steps you can master the look that turns your second or third-day tresses ‘into an accessory’. Plus, with face masks becoming a new wardrobe standard, here's a style that lets you express your personality while keeping hair out of your face -- and your mask.
Cash’s fuss-free approach has three variations that you can experiment with based on your hair length and thickness. Do a few trial runs and find the formula that works best for you. And remember - the goal is imperfection!
How To Master A Messy Bun
- Starting with dry hair, brush to remove any knots or tangles. Cash notes that a few spritzes of Better Natured Hydrating Leave-In Milk at the mid-lengths and ends will “minimize resistance and increase brush glide” whether hair is wet or dry. He encourages gentle brushing to avoid adding tension that can cause hair breakage. “This product is in my kit because it’s one of my favorite detanglers!”
- Give hair some extra grip. A day or two after washing your hair is ideal for creating a messy bun because the hair will have some texture to help keep the up-do in place. Cash suggests prepping your hair with a light styling product like Better Natured Heat Styling Lotion. “Emulsify a small amount of product in your hands first, and then scrunch it into the hair working up from the ends.” The cream will add a little shine and smoothness, because Cash reminds us, “it’s called a messy bun - not a frizzy bun!”
- Pull your hair into a ponytail. Where you place the elastic is where the bun will sit. For messy buns, Cash prefers the crown because otherwise “no one can see it - including you.”
- Here’s where the variations come in. Option 1: separate hair into three sections, create a loose braid, and wrap around the elastic, securing with one or two bobby pins. Option 2: separate hair into two sections, and tie together “like you’d tie your shoelaces”, and secure around the elastic with one or two pins. Option 3: as you are creating the ponytail, pull the hair halfway through on the last turn so it's separated into two parts by the elastic.
- Now your creativity takes over. Cash recommends lightly pulling down “a few small pieces here and there around the ears and the nape to frame the face and soften the look.” If the elastic is visible “wrap loose strands around the base, and use hair pins for micro-adjustments,” he advises. Improvise, play and create the balance that you find best suited to your mood, your face shape and your hair.