The classic, smooth ballerina bun can stop hogging the quick up-do spotlight. The array of sassy, braided buns opens up a world of practical, pretty hairstyles that are ideal for the office, a date or even the gym. These hairstyles require basic hair ties, pins and a few inches of length to create eye-catching buns that stay in place for the whole day.

High and Mighty

A high, sleek braided bun is ideal for an evening on the town or a lunch meeting. Wash and dry your hair with a sleek shampoo and conditioner. Dry your strands thoroughly. Gather your hair into a single ponytail at the crown of your head. Smooth any bumps on your head with a flat hairbrush.

Wrap the ponytail with a sturdy hair elastic and pull tight. Separate the ponytail into three sections and create a classic three-strand braid. Tie off with a hair tie. Wrap the braid around the base of the ponytail in a tight, spiral pattern. Pin the bun in place every few inches as you wrap the braid around with hair pins. Tuck the tail end of the braid under the bun and secure with a bobby pin.

Be aware that narrow bobby pins hold pieces of hair tightly in place while the wider, U-shaped hair pin keeps the shape and placement of hair without clamping down on the volume.

Chignon Chic

A messy, low-maintenance bun saves the day when you’re short on time. Spritz your dry hair with a texturizing sea salt spray or dry shampoo. Gather your strands at the nape of your neck and separate the loose hair into three equal sections. Braid into a classic three-strand braid and tie off with a hair tie that matches your hair color.

Pull on the sides of the braid to loosen up the strands and build some messy volume. Loop the braid into a loose spiral-shaped bun at the nape of your neck. Pin the loose braid into place with hair pins to maintain that loose, carefree shape. Tuck the tail end of the braid under the bun and pin into place with a bobby pin to secure the strands. Pull out a few pieces of loose hair to frame your face.

Double Duty

Part your dry hair down the center into two equal parts. Make two tidy pigtails about 2 inches apart at the crown of your head. Smooth any lumps or bumps from your hair before securing each pigtail with a hair elastic. Braid each pigtail into a tidy braid and wrap the end with a hair elastic.

Pull on the sides of each braid gently to create volume and loosen the plaits. Grab the right braid and hair pin it in a wide half-arc shape over the top of the crown of your head to make the top half of the bun. Take the left braid and pin it in a wide arc to create the bottom half of the bun. Tuck in any fly-away hairs and pin back into place with a bobby pin. Tuck in the ends and pin into place with bobby pins. Spritz the large bun with a medium-hold hairspray for a big impact.

Triple Threat

Brush your hair to smooth out any bumps. Make a horizontal part starting from your right temple around the back of your head to the left temple. Gather the hair above this part at the crown of your head and make a ponytail. Separate the hair into three strands and weave a braid. Wrap the braid around the base of the ponytail to create a small braided bun and in into place for a sturdy, structured bun.

Make another horizontal part on your loose hair from behind your right ear to behind your left ear. Gather into a ponytail at the center back of your head. Braid into a three-stranded braid and wrap into a tidy bun. Bobby pin into place.

Gather the remaining hair and braid a last time at the nape of your neck for a final braided bun. Spritz the row of tidy buns with a bit of lightweight hairspray.