By now you know that TikTok's beauty hacks are game-changing. There's the viral five-minute face lifting trick, which takes slack skin and makes it supple; heatless hairstyling using socks to achieve curls and waves overnight; and fake tan lip liner, which does exactly as it promises (just be sure not to get it in your mouth). This week, the hack on every beauty-obsessed TikToker's radar is the one-minute messy bun tutorial — and, unlike some of the app's other hairstyling techniques, it's incredibly easy.
The buzz makes total sense. With the world yet to open up properly, most of us are still spending a lot of our time at home, where we're ditching heated tools like straighteners and curling irons for quick and easy updos. The messy bun is the lockdown look of (no) choice, but making it look less Miss Trunchbull and more selfie-worthy is no mean feat.
Until now, that is.
How do you do a messy bun for long, short, and medium hair?
Whether your hair is long, medium, or short, TikTok has a messy bun hack for you, but the majority of the fast tutorials follow the same easy steps. If your hair is just-washed or on the fine side, start by spritzing dry shampoo through your roots and ends, or use a texturizing spray. Either product will give slippery hair solid grip and help the messy bun retain its shape while styling. I opted for FEKKAI Full Blown Volume Dry Texturizing Spray, which breathes mega volume into limp hair without the sticky feel. Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray is also an excellent choice.
Now for the bun. Take a hairbrush and a simple hair tie, flip your head forward, and proceed to brush your hair up into a high ponytail or wherever you'd like your messy bun to sit. The trick here is not to pull the ends of your hair all the way through. Instead, make a loop at the top and use your fingers to tease the loop (which will become your bun) outwards slightly. If your hair is on the long side, you might want to wrap the ends around the loop, but those with medium or short hair can get away with leaving them out for now.
Use your hand to secure the bun at the top and take a scrunchie (best for thick hair) or another hair tie of your choice, and wrap this around the bun twice. Once you've done that, tease the bun with your fingers to achieve more of a messy feel. Those with shorter hair might find that the hair at the back has come loose, so take a bobby pin or a larger clip, twist, and secure.
The final step is to pull out a few tendrils of hair around your face to complete the lived-in feel. A veil of hairspray will keep your bun in place for longer, but that's optional.
Does TikTok's one-minute messy bun hack actually work?
Surprisingly, yes! It's also the easiest messy bun hack on the app, in my opinion, as others appear a little too fiddly or require more tools. This one consists of minimal steps and is great for all hair types and lengths. Previously, I'd avoided the messy bun (or any updo) entirely because I'd really struggled to nail it. My hair always ended up unraveling, or stray flyaways would ruin the look, but the loop trick is genius and my hair stayed in place all day. I think I'm finally sold on updos and I'll absolutely use this hack to give my hair a day off from the straighteners.
I have a few extra tips and tricks for getting it right. If you have layers in your hair, it might be a good idea to pin a few bobby pins in place to prevent any spiky pieces of hair from popping up around the bun itself. That said, it only adds to the perfectly imperfect feel — and a look like this shouldn't be too uniform, anyway. If your hair is bob-length, make like TikToker Lyss and just use a single scrunchie.
You also want to ace your hair tools. I have a lot of hair so I used the ghd Paddle Brush, which is a must for long, thick hair types as the large surface area makes light work of styling. Also try the Beauty by Earth Boar Bristle Hair Brush, which combines bristles and nylon pins so that it doesn't tug at hair.
I've also noticed that TikTokers like a '90s scrunchie, but they absolutely love no-crease hair ties, such as Kitsch 8 Pack Hair Coils. They don't snag or leave kinks and bends on strands, so you can take them out easily and your hair will look the same as it did before you styled it rather than crinkled or tangled, as is the case with updos.
I'm sold on this hack for a low-maintenance at-home hairstyle, and I bet it'll be my go-to come summer when I prefer to wear my hair up.
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