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How to Do the Perfect Messy Bun in 3 Easy Steps (with Gifs)

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Ah, messy buns, one of the great paradoxes of the beauty world. Because just like no-makeup makeup, which actually requires 13 steps using a dozen products, or like beachy waves, which calls for zero beaches but four different texturizing, volumizing, mattifying sprays plus a curling iron, messy buns are not the byproduct of haphazard, woke-up-like-this magic. Which sucks, because why can’t anything be easy?

Sure, yes, there are the girls who can casually twist their hair into a messy topknot fit for Pinterest boards (looking at you, Corinne Bulat from 9th grade algebra), but for the rest of us with non-unicorn hair, trying to create one of those impossibly pretty, somewhat mesmerizing buns takes skill—or at least a few hidden bobby pins. So we asked hairstylist and full-time wizard Jasmine Santiago to show us exactly how to create a messy bun on ourselves, in only a few steps. And guess what: It’s seriously easier than it looks. So click through to see the gif-filled tutorial (yes! Gifs! What a day!), and get ready to tell everyone that your hair naturally spiraled itself into a perfectly messy bun, all on its own.

Photographer: Tory Rust
Model:  Olga with
Makeup: 
Hair: 

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STEP 1: Bring it up

STEP 1: Bring it up

In one swoop, scoop all of your hair straight up with both hands—no combs, no smoothing out any bumps, no perfectionism—and twist the hair into a bun. Here's where the trick comes in, though: Rather than just coiling your hair around itself to form a bun, wrap the hair around a few of your fingers (watch Santiago's left hand in the gif), leaving the ends free, then slip your fingers out and press the bun against your head.

Photo: Tory Rust

STEP 2: Secure it

STEP 2: Secure it

Hold the bun with one hand, then stretch a hair tie over the entire bun with your other hand hand, twisting and wrapping the tie until it feels secure. If your bun feels a bit too floppy, slip a few bobby pins into the edges of the bun to lock it in place.

Photo: Tory Rust

STEP 4: Pretend you woke up like this

STEP 4: Pretend you woke up like this

Oh, what—this ol' bun? Psh, I literally just rolled out of bed...didn't even look in the mirror...natural beauty...held up by sheer willpower alone...

Photo: Tory Rust

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  • STEP 1: Bring it up
  • STEP 2: Secure it
  • STEP 3: Mess it up
  • STEP 4: Pretend you woke up like this



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