The Looped Bun: A TikTok Tutorial For Every Hair Type

Photographed by Brett Russell.
From ruffles and ruching to 'laminated' skin, London Fashion Week served up all manner of Instagram-worthy trends. It's safe to say that nothing caught our eye quite like hair, though.
It all began with street style. Hundreds of fashion-forward individuals descended on the city's thoroughfares, showcasing cuts like the 'Sachel' (a mix between the shag and the layered Rachel, inspired by Rachel from Friends), the U-shape haircut (an angled cut, which makes hair appear twice as thick), and plenty of blunt bobs for good measure. But while the coolest hair movements were being papped outside, we gleaned backstage access to the next big trends in the making.
Updos were a common theme at most shows, including Erdem, Halpern, and Poster Girl. TikTok's serious obsession with messy '90s bun styles and more snatched versions à la Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner might have had something to do with it. But forget those trends for a moment. More than any other style, Richard Quinn's modern take on the classic low bun was the look beauty editors at this season's LFW were fawning over.
Photographed by Brett Russell.
Enter: the loop.

What is a looped bun?

Dreamed up by hairstyling legend Sam McKnight, the 'loop' is like a bun but with negative space in the center. It's created when a ponytail is twisted, folded back on itself and the ends pinned into place. It's much more than your lived-in bun — and it's arguably just as easy to create. "Start with a low ponytail," Sam told Refinery29 backstage, "and make sure you have a hairbrush to hand." The handle of the brush will make light work of fashioning a seamless loop.
Sam held the end of each ponytail with one hand and the hairbrush in the other, then simply placed the handle of the brush in the center of the ponytail before twisting the lengths around the handle to make a loop. "Once the hair is looped round the hairbrush, the ends are pinned into the base of the ponytail, and the hairbrush should be pulled out to create that fold," said Sam. The hairbrush holds the hair in place while you're creating the loop. "If you try to do it without, the hair simply goes everywhere," said Sam. A veil of Sam McKnight Modern Hairspray keeps the loop and the ends secure.
The loop took fashion week by storm, but it's huge news on social media, too. TikTok has tons of tutorials, proving that you don't need to possess long, sleek hair to get the look. In fact, the loop is so low maintenance, it works on all hair — you just need to know how.
Here's all the inspiration you'll ever want, whatever your hair texture or length.

How to do the looped bun on thick hair

TikToker @aktabavalia_hair is proof that the loop works if you have lots of hair — you just need a little patience and plenty of hair ties. Aktabavalia starts by pulling their hair into a low ponytail but on the second tie doesn't pull the hair through completely. This is how to create the loop easily without a hairbrush. Aktabavalia twists the remaining lengths around their index finger and wraps the twisted hair around the base of the loop. Another hair tie locks everything in place. Give the loop a slight tug to accentuate the shape and you're good to go.
If your hair is super thick and feels uncomfortable tied up, take a cue from @kirstyeelizabeth and use an invisibobble Hair Ring. Instead of fixing their hair around the base of the ponytail, Kirsty cleverly wraps it around and passes it through the middle of the loop before securing with bobby pins. Pull out some pieces of hair at the sides to frame your face.

How to do the looped bun on fine hair

As TikToker @milkiss211 shows, the loop is fine hair-friendly. In fact, it makes lengths appear a little thicker. Fashion your hair into a low ponytail, but don't pull it through entirely on the second tie. This will create the loop shape. Grip the ends (which should be underneath the loop) and twist 180 degrees until they're at the top. Wrap the ends of your hair around the loop. You can secure with another hair tie or some bobby pins. To finish, pull out the hair on top to enhance volume and to lend an accidentally-perfect finish.

How to do the looped bun on long hair

Having long hair doesn't make the loop as tricky as you might think. Sure, there's more to style, but hairstylist @brylkaproject knows the ultimate hack. Start by whipping your hair into a low ponytail and on the second or third loop avoid pulling your hair through entirely. Once you've created the loop, give it a slight tug to boost the shape. You should be left with some lengths underneath the loop. Split this into two sections and wrap both the left and right section around the base of the ponytail simultaneously. Once they meet at the top, tie the ends together. Hold the hair up by the hair tie, twist to create a hollow, and pass the loop through the hole. Pin into place with hair pins if you want your loop to be super sleek like TikToker @tanyasv_, but undone is just as cute.

How to do the looped bun on short hair

@hairtransformation Low hair bun for short hair tutorial ✌️ love it or not ❓comment❤️#shorthairstyles #shorthairtutorial #shorthair #LeadWithLove #fyp #lowbun#summer ♬ Fantasy - Mariah Carey
If your hair is on the shorter side, split it into two halves like in this tutorial posted by @hairtransformation on TikTok. Create a loop by fastening a half-ponytail on the top half and secure with another hair tie. Gather up the underside of your hair and wrap it around the base of the loop, then secure with a third hair tie. Give your hair a gentle tug at the root for more of a voluminous look.

How to do the looped bun on natural hair

@itslianna.s heyy🤍, guys i tried the bohemian braids on my natural hair but i looked like crazy eyes so ermm😭 #fypシ #twobunshairstyle #hair #blackgirlhair ♬ original sound - iiluvblackwomen ❕
Make like @itslianna.s and create two little looped buns for a '90s feel. Lianna spritzes their hair generously with a water mist and enlists Eco Styler Moroccan Argan Oil Styling Gel and Aunt Jackie's Ice Curls Glossy Curling Jelly, alongside a bristle brush, like the Cantu Updo Brush with Natural Bristles. Lianna ties each section into a small ponytail and fashions a loop by folding the ends of the ponytail up towards the base and securing with a hair tie. Laid edges is the finishing touch.
@abbiecurls 4 different types of low bun hairstyles. Which one is your favourite? #naturalhair #curlyhair #lowbun #sockbun #slickbun #afrohair #abbiecurls ♬ WHATS POPPIN - Jack Harlow
TikTok's @abbiecurls shows that the loop also looks great in a single bun style, while the look works beautifully on a silk press, too.

How to do the looped bun on curly hair

No hair tie? No problem. TikToker @curlsnstyle proves you don't need one. Gather your hair into a ponytail but don't tie it up. Place your left hand underneath your mid-lengths while your right hand holds onto the ends. Fold your mid-lengths around your hand to form a loop and pass the ends underneath. You should be left with a space to pass the loop through. Practice certainly makes perfect with this style.

How to do the looped bun on mid-length hair

@pivotpointintl Having shorter hair doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful updos. 👱🏻‍♀️🤩💖 #MessyBun #PivotPoint #LearnForward (🎥: @torie.bliss ♬ Slipping Through My Fingers - Ethan Hodges
Split your lengths into two halves and tie a loop into the top section. Don't forget to gently pull your hair at the root to dial up the lived-in volume. Once that's done, split the bottom section of your hair in two and wrap each piece around the base of the loop. Criss-cross the sections and wrap again, this time underneath the loop. Secure with another hair tie and it's that simple.
If you want a little more staying power, try TikToker Mandie Mauldin's trick: Bring your hair into a loop by not pulling the ponytail through the hair band on the last tie. "Take the ends and bring them up on each side," says Mandie in the video, "then clip down," using a small claw clip.
@m.mauldin A bun clip style! ☀️ Fun and add a cute clip, got this one at Amazon. Linked in my Amazon storefront. Pack of 4. #fypage #hairclawclip #clawcliphairstyles #summerhairstyle #easyhairstyletutorial #mediumlengthhair #hairtoks ♬ Believe Me - Navos
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Hair

R29 Original Series