How to Wear a Messy Bun With Long Hair

Victoria Moorhouse


It seems like hairstyles for long hair—specifically updos—get strangely more complicated when the focus is put on adjectives like “messy” or “effortless.” And because of that, creating a messy bun when you have super long locks can be ironically difficult. Reminds you of that frustratingly hard-to-achieve “no-makeup” makeup concept, doesn’t it? Sometimes, getting all your hair secured top of your head or the nape of the neck in a sleek, slicked-back, fly-away free, and ballerina-like fashion often feels easier. The messy bun isn’t only a hairstyle for those with lob-length hair or shorter. Girls with hair in the lengthier category can and DO wear this style well and without it falling out. With a little practice and these tips below, you’ll be able to do a messy bun with long hair in minutes.

MORE: 12 Problems Only Girls With Long Hair Understand

Wet Your Hair
Here’s the thing about updos—like braids, it’s easier to create them when you’re hair is a bit on the dirtier side. The oils in your hair make it easier to mold your strands and end up serving as natural product with staying power. So if you have to wash your hair, by nature, the messy bun is going to be a little bit harder to manipulate. To get around this after you’ve shampooed your strands, don’t dry your hair. Let it air-dry until it’s at a damp state and then pull it on top of your head.

Create Texture
Like clean hair, super smooth and straight hair can easier slip out of an undo. You’ll want to give your hair a little traction with some texture to keep it in place. Spritz through some dry shampoo or a texturizing spray, scrunching it in with your fingers to give it more movement.

Try a Topknot
Yes a topknot is STILL a messy bun. It’s just where you’re placing the hair. If you find that your hair sags in the back when you pull it into a coif secured at center of the back of your head, you might want to try the topknot instead. Pull all your hair into a ponytail on the very top of your head. Holding the base, twist the ponytail portion and wrap it around the base. You can either grab a hair-tie and wrap it around to secure it or add in a few bobby pins. Gently pull out strands to give it a messy effect.

Use a Single Hair Tie
Pull your hair up into a ponytail, pulling it through the hair tie one time. Pull your hair through the hair tie half way and rotate your hand, pulling the band over the rest of the hair. Loosen it up by gently loosening the hair at the crown of the head, and pin your bun into the shape you want.

Make It Messy
You know those little bumps that sometimes pop up from a ponytail? Don’t freak out if you can smooth them out—the key to this look is getting it to appear, well, messy. Pull up at little strands to create an uneven surface at the top of your head.

A Messy Bun at the Nape of Your Neck
We’ve already covered that a messy bun secured at the back of the head in the center isn’t ideal for girls with long, long hair. When a topknot isn’t your style (or ends up hurting because you have so much hair), try an undone coif fastened at the nape of your neck. Simply twist your hair and wrap it into a bun, securing it with an elastic or with a few pins.

MORE: Long Hairstyles to Ask for at the Salon