The Easiest Bun Ever: It Won’t Look Like a Sock Bun, We Promise

Look like a chill ballerina with our easy-to-follow, super-cute bun tutorial. All you need for this gym-hair look is a hair elastic, a bobby pin (or two) and a bit of hairspray.

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Woman with her hair up in a bun doing yoga
photo credit: shutterstock

You’ll need:

We just want an easy, messy bun – just not a sock bun! The main reason we’re anti-sock bun isn’t the fact that we’re putting a sock in our hair (even clean, it still seems wrong). It’s the fact that the bun looks too perfect. Not a hair out of place. And the shape is more torus than a donut. And Justin German, Pantene consulting stylist, agrees with us.

“I feel like the perfect bun – the sock bun – is done,” says German. “The only way I could get on board with a more polished bun is if it’s for something formal, like bridal. ”

We sat in German’s chair at Bang Salon in Toronto to find out the way to achieve a cool bun, without looking we tried too hard. Turns out, the secret is to not try too hard. This is the easiest-to-follow bun tutorial, so make sure you bookmark it.

  • 1 hair elastic
  • 1 bobby pin (or a few more if your hair is layered or thick)
  • flexible hairspray
  • dry shampoo (if your hair needs a bit of texture)

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woman with a top knot
photo credit: shutterstock

Step 1: Decide where you want to put your bun

German says, you have three general options for easy, messy bun placement: Top of head, back of head (same level as the ears) and low at the top of the neck. Make this decision first, as it will determine how high to put your ponytail. Make sure your hair is dry, and it can be either day-one or day-two hair.

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photo credit: shutterstock

Step 2: Pull your hair back into a ponytail

Finger comb or brush your hair into a ponytail, and wrap the elastic around the base of the pony three times. The first two times, fully pull the hair ends through the ponytail. But on the third time, only pull the hair up slightly, so you have a small bump. That’s the core of your bun. “That determines the size of your knot,” says German. “If you only pull a little bit out, you’ll have a smaller knot.”

Best Health Tip: If your hair is thin and you want a bigger bun, add some texture with a dry shampoo. We’re crushing on the scent of Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus ($9.99 at mass retailers).

can of Batiste dry shampoo
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side profile of wrapped bun
photo credit: shutterstock

Step 3: Tie your top knot

That loose end that’s peeking out from the hair elastic? Take that piece and wrap it around the hair elastic as many times as it will go. “The longer your hair is, the more times you wrap it,” says German.

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closeup of a very texturized messy bun
photo credit: shutterstock

Step 4: Take your bun apart

Just like you have day diamonds (diamond studs that add a bit of posh to your day without looking like you take yourself too seriously), it’s time to make your bun day-appropriate by making it look piecey and intentionally messy. But don’t get too concerned about covering the elastic up, says German. “It’s looks more modern and more French girl if you expose the pins and the hair tie,” says German. “It should look messy when you break it a part a bit.” Gently pull parts around the bun to add volume and dimension to your bun.

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can of Pantene hairspray

Step 5: Finish your top knot with hairspray

Just because your bun isn’t polished, doesn’t mean you want it to fall down, especially if this is your gym-hair look. Finish with a flexible-hold hairspray, says German. He recommends using Pantene Pro-V Style Series Air Spray Level 2 Hold ($5.99 at mass retailers. “People tell me that they can never get their bun to look to look great, but I think that’s the point. You want it to look like you just whipped this together.’ ” And that’s it! The messy bun is easier than you thought, right?

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