How to Style a Loose Bun (That Stays in Place All Day)

How To Low Bun With Long Hair
Katrina Lawrence

Beauty Writer

Mar 26, 2021

Forget the not-a-hair-out-of-place donut ‘dos that were the flavour of the past, buns are being served up more on the underdone side.

“These new buns are still ‘done’,” stylist Anthony Nader is quick to emphasise when interviewed for this post. “If you look at Kate Hudson’s version, she can get away with this wispy, carefree look because her hair is in such amazing condition.”

And by twirling a lacy ribbon around her ‘do, Eva Mendes adds a touch of instant chic to what would otherwise be a quite casual look.

“There’s definitely a move back to hair that looks more touchable,” says Nader. “Too perfectly in place and a bun seems really prim and proper. By all means, keep using your donut ring if that makes styling your hair easy, but don’t be scared to rub your palms over it and loosen things up, letting a piece of hair fall out here and there.”

If you’d prefer your bun to look a little more like Kate’s or Eva’s, here’s what to do:

  • “Whether you’ve just washed your hair or are starting with dry hair, you need to build a foundation that will hold this loose, soft style,” says Nader. “Either mist damp hair with volumising sea salt spray, or work a dry shampoo through dry hair – either option will create great grip.”
  • Now, tie it up in a ponytail. “The best placement, in my opinion, is just below the crown,” says Nader, who uses a bungee grip or snagless elastic to help keep the pony firmly in place.
  • “Next you simply twist the tail loosely around the base,” continues Nader. “You could also first plait the pony into a soft braid, which makes for a really pretty effect.”
  • Use as many pins as needed until you feel your loose style is deceptively secure. Regular bobby pins are usually fine, says Nader, but finer hair will get the best grip from rippled French pins.
  • Optional extra: add a ribbon or scarf – à la Eva.
  • You don’t need hairspray as the finishing touch – “it should be well in place by now,” explains Nader. A mist-over of shine spray, however, will give your messy look a glossy aura. “Remember,” says Nader, “You can carry off almost any ‘do – even a top-knot – if your hair is in immaculate condition.”


By Katrina Lawrence

Beauty Writer

Katrina Lawrence has specialized in beauty journalism for more than 20 years. After starting her career as the beauty and lifestyle editor of Cleo magazine, she then went on to help launch SHOP Til You Drop magazine, where she held he reins as deputy editor/beauty director for several years. Next came a freelance role, based in both New York and Sydney and writing for titles including madison, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan and Sunday Life and Katrina is one of Australia’s most awarded beauty writers, having won over ten industry awards. She now lives in Paris, where she wrote the book Paris Dreaming.


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