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Thick, long locks have an edge when it comes to styling a messy bun; there's no need for hair doughnuts, excess teasing or extensions. Even though the goal is to make it look effortless and carefree, a messy bun still requires some shaping and pinning in front of a mirror for just a little bit of polish.

Make a High Ponytail

Brush hair with a paddle brush to remove any tangles or knots for smoother styling. Spritz on a light volumizing mist to add a bit of texture.

Flip your hair forward and over your head and gather it into a ponytail at the crown. Use your fingers to smooth it all out, but don't worry about creating a perfect ballerina-like ponytail. Wrap a hair tie around the ponytail a few times so it's firmly secured at the top of your head.


Messy buns are easier to create with second-day hair, rather than freshly washed hair. The natural oils that build up help create shape and texture.

Twist and Pin

Separate the ponytail into two even sections. Gently twist the right section into a loose rope and place it up and around the top of the base of your ponytail, wrapping it around the base in a loose spiral shape and pinning it in place a few times with bobby pins.

Repeat with the left section, but wrap it around the bottom of the ponytail base. You should now have a large bun spiraling around the base of the ponytail. As you finish pinning each twisted section, tuck the ends of your hair under the body of the bun and pin into place.

Loosen Up

Now that you have the basic bun structure in place, mess it up a little. Start by pulling out any little, wispy pieces of hair around the face to frame your features. Then gently pull on the hair that feeds directly back into the bun to build a little bit of volume around the face and to loosen the bun slightly.

Finally, pull on the edges of the bun to create more volume and loosen up the basic shape. A few stray pieces might come out, and that's totally fine; leave them if you like the way they look. Or you can pin them back into place and redefine the shape of your bun. Take your time create a look you love.

Spritz and Set

Once you have the ideal messy bun shape, set the look with a light-hold hairspray that keeps the style in place without creating a hard helmet. Since you want that slightly undone look, you only need a light mist.

Done and done!