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40 Easy & Cool Messy Bun Styles + How to Make Them

Fancy, casual, sexy, boho, sporty, and beyond, there’s one hairstyle that can accommodate any mood. We’re talking about the messy bun, of course!

Not only does it look outstanding however you choose to wear it, but it’s also a practical way to keep your hair out of your face.

In our inspirational guide, we’ll show you all the cute messy buns you can try out regardless of your hair length.

Before that, we’ll walk you through how to do a messy bun so you’re familiar with the technique.


Now, without wasting any time, see how you can achieve your very own picture-perfect messy bun!


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How to Do a Messy Bun

Firstly, let’s unpack the process of nailing the careless bun.

There’s no sure-fire recipe for attaining a Pinterest-worthy top knot, but there are some options you can test out.

Therefore, you can learn how to do a messy bun in three main ways:

  1. Ponytail method
    • Begin by loosely styling your hair in a ponytail. Take all the free locks and twist them around the base of your hair tie.
  2. Wrap-around method
    • Grab all of your hair together and rotate it until you get a long twisted rope.
    • Continue by twisting that big section around until you get your desired bun shape.
  3. Pin method
    • Use bobby pins or other hair accessories to create your bun piece by piece.
    • Although more time-consuming, the pin method is suitable for more complex or formal messy buns.

Now, let’s scroll down and see these gorgeous messy bun ideas!

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1. Knotted Easy Messy Bun

Oftentimes, a messy bun is the ideal hairstyle solution for when you’re on the run. Start by gently teasing your locks with a wide-tooth comb.

Afterward, apply the ponytail method by bending your head and tying your hair in a loose ponytail.

Take the large section of hair and casually knot it around the base of the ponytail.

If you need more help on your first try, watch a messy bun tutorial.

2. Half Up Messy Bun for Long Hair

Are you a proud bearer of ultra-long locks? You might as well go ahead and flaunt them.

If you’re into messy buns but you still want to accentuate your length, consider a half up half down hairstyle.

Separate your hair into two sections horizontally. Gather the top portion and use the same ponytail technique we mentioned earlier.

Alternatively, use the wrap-around method and twist the hair directly into a knot.

3. Face Framing Bangs Bun

Whether you have a layered haircut or a nice set of long bangs, you can enhance your bun in a completely new way.

By leaving your fringe or a few pieces of layered locks out in front and the rest of your hair tied up, you will be gorgeously framing your face.

To do so, apply your messy bun styling method of choice. Once the bun in set in place, carefully pull a few strands of hair out on each side.

Likewise, if you have bangs, let them flow freely. For a natural look, don’t struggle to obtain symmetry.

4. Pinned Messy Bun for Short Hair

As far as hairstyle diversity goes, shorter locks tend to be more restrictive. Nevertheless, you’d be surprised to learn how many updos for short hair there are.

Using the pinning technique, take your time to put your bun puzzle together one piece at a time.

With each strand, lightly twist your hair inwards to form a circular silhouette.

5. Half Up Top Knot

Another way you can rock your messy bun half up half down is with the top knot approach. The steps are quite similar to those outlined in our first half up bun hairstyle.

However, the top knot here requires a generous upper section of hair.

In addition, the bun is positioned flat on top of the head, rather than towards the back of the crown.

6. Curly Messy Bun Hairstyle with Loose Curls

Natural, braided-out, permed or otherwise, curly hairstyles are always a joy to see. Even more, curls are the perfect fit for a messy, Insta-ready bun.

For curly gals, the bun-building process is significantly easier.

All you have to do is collect all of your curls in one place and use a hair tie to shape your bun.

Instead of pulling the curls all the way out for a ponytail, lock the tips in under the hair tie.

7. Messy Chignon

When you think of sophisticated hairstyles, the chignon instantly comes to mind. It’s the go-to hairstyle for any fancy get-together, from life celebrations to dressy dates.

Essentially, a messy chignon is a loose, knotted bun that hangs at the base of your neck.

To top off the look, we recommend leaving one or two strands loose in the front. You can even curl the frontal locks for some extra shine.

8. Twisted Bun

Other times, you might need a one-minute bun so you can free your face and get on with your day. For this, all you need is the wrap-around bun method.

Make sure you catch all of your hair and twist it up and around towards the top of your head.

You can make the messy knot as tight or loose as you’d like, but we encourage you to add some hairspray if you have a long day ahead.

9. Messy Braided Bun

In a creative mood today? Spice up your casual bun with a braid style. No matter what specific braid you choose to integrate, we guarantee it will make your bun all the more alluring.

For example, you can work some loose braids in on the sides and top.

Stop halfway through and wrap all of your locks together into a nonchalant bun. You’ll be dazzling in no time!

10. Wrapped Easy Messy Bun

Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of time or the necessary technique to rock a braided bun on the daily.

In these situations, you can always opt for a relaxed bun that still has a confident vibe.

Start by tying your hair into a ponytail. Then, instead of wrapping all of your hair around, create a half-circle shape and separate the tips into two sections.

Overlap the tip sections in the front and you’re good to go.

11. Loose Side Bun

Regular buns are wonderful. But if you really want to make your look memorable, try an alternative approach like the side bun.

The technique is pretty much the same, only that you gather your hair to the side as you go.

Generally, we recommend that you style your side bun towards your nape. Still, feel free to go higher if you believe it better suits your style.

12. Messy Donut Bun

Even if you’re aiming for a messy look, the art of creating a bun is still challenging. As a result, we now have a multitude of accessories that can help us out in the process.

Using a hair donut accessory, you can achieve a beautifully round bun without losing your patience along the way.

Get your ponytail in place and put the donut over the main hair tie.

After that, spread your hair over the donut to conceal it, tucking the tips underneath.

13. Perfect Messy Bun for Formal Occasions

Formal events sometimes call for more methodical messy updos. While you can always keep everything simple, it might be worth putting in the extra time for the wow factor.

  1. Firstly, it helps if your hair is straightened for the most part and curled at the tips.
  2. Secondly, you should style your updo as loosely as possible to get that sweeping effect.
  3. Finally, make sure you use a quality styling product so your hairstyle won’t start falling apart mid-event.

14. Side Braid with Bun

If you’re not up for complicated braiding, you can use a side braid as the pièce de résistance for your bun hairstyle.

Begin by separating your hair into two sections – a smaller one for the side braid and a larger one for your bun.

Style the bottom part into your favorite kind of low bun. Pick a braid style and create it across the side of your head.

Finish off by tucking the end of the braid under your bun.

15. Loose French Braid Bun

As an alternative, you can incorporate your side braid into the overall hairstyle. In this regard, French braids are particularly effective.

Start your French braid from the top of your head on one side. As you progress towards your nape, curve the braid inwards and weave it in a circular manner.

When you’re done, the braid will have taken a cinnamon roll kind of shape as a braided bun.

16. Curly Messy Bun with Pins

A messy updo with curls can also be accomplished without any hair ties.

On the other hand, you should have a good amount of bobby pins prepared for the task.

Set aside some time to pin each individual curls towards the back-center of your head at your desired height.

It’s not the quickest way to get a bun, but the work is definitely worthwhile.

17. Loose Messy Bun Updo

Another way you can pin your way to perfection is by making pieces of your hair as loose as you can.

Don’t hesitate to leave multiple strands around your face and even at the back of your neck.

Some teasing and hairspray may be required, depending on how malleable your locks are.

18. Messy Space Buns

Want a cute, sweet, and girly hairstyle? Two buns are better than one!

Whether you call them space buns, double buns, or pigtail buns, they look adorable. You can easily master the look with the right messy bun tutorial.

19. Horizontal French Braid Bun

If you’re feeling like an urban ballerina, we’ve got just the look for you.

Comb your hair in two horizontal sections and French braid them around the crown of your head.

After, style the ends into a donut bun and leave out some wisps of hair for a messy touch. It’s also a graceful back to school hairstyle for little girls.

20. Low Messy Bun for Long Hair

Being lucky enough to have long hair allows you to twist and knot your bun in various ways.

A low bun, for instance, can take on a complex and interesting form if you experiment with it.

By the way, you should also check out our other updos for long hair if you want more creative inspo.

21. Crown Braid Bun

Girls have been gushing over the crown braid for ages now. It’s feminine and eye-catching, serving as the ideal addition to any messy updo.

For a casual touch, create the crown braid tightly and leave the back portion looser.

22. Messy Dreadlocks Bun

Dreadlocks will always be a show-stopper, but they can be a handful during warmer days. To help yourself relax and look fly while doing it, buy an extra-large hair tie to twist your dreads into a bun.

For balance and aesthetic appeal, we encourage you to apply the top knot approach.

23. Easy Messy Bun Hairstyle with Bandana

Do you feel that your messy bun is missing something? It could be a cute accessory. If you have any bandanas lying around your room, you can use them to liven up your bun hairstyle. Add some statement earrings and your look will be unforgettable.

24. Flower Bun

As expected, the more detailed your bun is, the longer it will take to create it. However, if you have some time on your hands, you can secure the tips of your hair in rounded sections for a flower-like bun.

25. Three Section Messy Bun

A similar alternative is the three section bun, which takes less time to build. Style your hair in a low ponytail and divide it into three sections. Wrap the sections one into the other until you get the woven look shown above.

26. Messy Box Braids Bun

Just like dreadlocks, long box braids can also be hard to manage during the summer. Whether you want to keep cool or just switch your style up, twist your box braids into a high top knot.

27. Half Up Messy Bun for Short Hair

Having short hair will never be an issue when you know about the right half up hairstyles.

Instead of pinning your locks into a low bun, you can twist them into a messy half up top knot. The higher the half up section is, the more volume you’ll get.

28. Messy Bow Bun

Another accessory you can always rely on for going from drab to fab is the bow. You can use a pre-done bow or a ribbon to create your own. Simply add it to the bottom of your bun at the back for instant glam.

29. Perfect Messy Bun for Weddings

Calling all brides – a messy bun can even serve as a gorgeous wedding updo.

One secret you can take advantage of is the ornate accessory, placed strategically on the side of your bun. The tip also works terrifically well for a bridesmaid hairstyle.

30. Twist Turban Headband Bun

Turbans are exceptional accessories in terms of both protection and style. Nevertheless, you might not want it to eclipse your whole hairstyle.

Consequently, you can use a twist turban headband around your hairline with an effortless bun on top.

31. Low Messy Bun Hairstyle with Headscarf

The same goes for headscarves. However, a scarf allows additional styling, such as choosing whether the bow will be on the top or side. Either way, it’s an exotic and charming summer look.

32. Side Braid Half Up Bun

If you don’t want your half up bun to be perched atop your head, you can keep it lower down towards your nape. Still, to make the hairstyle come to life, use braids on one or both sides.

33. Fishtail Braid Bun

The fishtail braid is as popular as ever, and we can all understand why. For a messy side braid bun that is sure to be a magnet for compliments, use the fishtail weaving technique.

In the end, make sure you carefully pull the braid to loosen it up.

34. Slick Curly Messy Bun

Girls with naturally curly hair have the advantage of being able to sport a bun that is both messy and slick at the same time. While the base can be laid on the scalp, the bun portion can feature bouncy curls all over.

35. Low Twist around Bun

The hairstyle shown above truly is as simple as it seems. All you need is a sturdy hair clip or a handful of bobby pins. Loosely twist your hair into a messy low bun and use your accessory to secure the tips underneath.

36. Boho Bun with Flowers

If you’re in love with the boho chic trend, then you should consider completing your hippie outfits with a bohemian hairstyle.

To complement a messy low bun, you can add flowers to the hairstyle on any side.

On a similar note, a full flower crown on top of your head with the bun lower down has the same effect.

37. Messy Hair Bow Bun

At Hair Motive, we always encourage you to use your imagination for original or even unique hairstyles.

For example, you can replace a traditional hair accessory with a hair-made shape that resembles one.

Tie two sections of your hair into a large bow with messy, curled tips for a genuinely special hairstyle.

38. Messy Reverse Braid Bun

Reverse braids and messy buns go hand in hand as hairstyles.

To nail the braid part, tip your head over and French braid your hair starting from the back of your neck.

Once you reach the crown of your head, style the remaining locks into a messy updo.

39. Triple Messy Bun for Short Hair

If you thought double buns were cute, wait till you see what a triple bun hairstyle looks like.

Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, the hairstyle is also suitable for girls with short hair.

Split your hair into three sections and create a small knot for each one.

40. Dutch Fishtail Braid Bun

Last but not least, you can exceed any and all expectations with a complex combination of hairstyles. Take the intricate updo displayed above, for example.

Not only does it have a chic messy bun at the bottom, but it includes a Dutch braid and a fishtail braid going down the middle.

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So, What Is YOUR Hair Motivation?

All in all, you’re now equipped with everything you need to know to get a super cute messy bun hairstyle.

You’ve learned how to do the perfect messy bun but you’ve also seen the abundance of ways you can specifically style it.

Don’t forget that you can apply any of the three styling methods we spoke about when putting your bun together:

  • Starting with a ponytail and creating the bun from there
  • Wrapping your hair around into a bun directly
  • Building your bun by pinning individual pieces of hair

So, what will it be? Which tousled bun will you try out next and why? Drop a comment and tell us all about your messy and marvelous bun faves below!

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