When it comes to bun hairstyles, there are but a few easy tricks standing between the matted-on-top-of-your-head knot you throw your hair into at the end of the day and the neat and elegant celebrity styles you swoon over. In fact, if you step up your bun game, you're pretty much guaranteed to never have a single bad hair day ever again.
So grab your some styling product, a few French pins, and let Justine Marjan, TRESemmé Global Hairstylist and a ghd brand ambassador, break down four super-easy bun styles that'll elevate your look daily.
For a super-sleek low chignon like this—which Marjan styled on Shay Mitchell during NYFW—prep the hair by blow drying a smoothing serum, like TRESemmé's Keratin Smooth Weightless Shine Serum, into the hair with a dryer that has a tapered nozzle attachment like ghd's Air Professional Performance Hairdryer. This sets a sleek base for the flat iron.
"Flat iron the roots, or the whole head, in the direction you're going to be pulling the hair," instructs Marjan. "You want it to lie flat on the head. Once you have that direction, run a pomade or gel through the hair, then separate it into three different sections. Doing this will make it easier to get that super-slicked, polished look."
From there, spray your brush with hairspray and brush the bottom section into a tight low ponytail. Do the same with the other two sections and add them to the ponytail. When all the hair is gathered, work some gel all the way through to the ends, twist it into a knot, then push French pins in, against the head, to secure it. The final touch? "Spray a toothbrush with hairspray to brush over any flyaways," she adds.
Prepping the hair in similar fashion to the first style, flat iron the hair in slicked-back fashion so it's all going in the same direction. Then, gather the hair into a low ponytail, splitting it into two sections, the front and the back. Once the ponytail is combined, smooth gel through the hair then tie it back in a knot. For extra adornment, wrap a small section of hair around the elastic at the base of the ponytail, says Marjan.
As far as setting the hair goes, top knots are a whole different ball game. "For a style like this that's higher up on the head, use a blow dryer with the nozzle attachment and blow dry the hair up for volume at the roots," says Marjan. "For extra hold, use a really stiff brush."
For placement, Marjan splits the hair in two different sections, top and bottom, with the former serving as the base of where the bun will be placed. Once it's all in one ponytail, prep it with gel and then braid it into a super-tight plait. Finally, twist it up and pin in place with French pins.
"A trick I use for avoiding slack at the neck is to tilt your head back, so it pulls tight," explains Marjan. "Then, when you lift your neck up it's even tighter."
'90s wisps really can be as effortless as they look. The key? Before you start, decide what pieces you're going to want to leave out. It's always less is more. "Big chunks just don't look as cool in the front," says Marjan. "You want to do the baby hairs or just a few face-framing wisps.
For the set, split the hair into two different sections without brushing through the hair or doing anything to the roots. The more natural the texture, the better—but you can use a texturizing hairspray to amp things up.
"Use your hands to gather the hair so there's more movement at the top," advises Marjan. "Then, tie it in a knot, but keep it a little messy. You can mist on hairspray for hold that's matte and still messy."
Depending on the look, Marjan will sometimes go in at the end and use a flat iron, like ghd's Classic 1" Styling Iron, to add a little bit of bend to the wisps.