If you’re wondering how to do space buns, you’re not alone — it’s one of the hottest styles of the year. Read on to learn why it’s trending, how to get this iconic look, and learn things to consider before rocking your new ‘do.
Wondering how to do space buns? It’s no surprise. It’s only one of the hottest hairstyles of this year. But the double-bun style that we refer to as space buns (after Star Wars’ Princess Leia) isnt’ new. It’s actually been around for thousands of years.
How to Do Space Buns in 5 Steps
Not only do space buns look spectacular, they’re actually not all that hard to create. All you need are a comb, clear elastics, hairpins, hair spray or styling spray, and any desired accessories. In a nutshell, you’ll:
- Make sure that your hair is clean and dry
- Part your hair in the center, put it in ponytails, twist or braid the ponytails, coil them into buns, and secure them in place
- Add accessories or other embellishments if desired
Of course, this is just a summary. Keep reading to learn about each of these steps in detail and see a few things to consider before rocking this edgy look.
Step 1: Understand Space Buns
With Elon Musk and Richard Branson competiting in a second space race, it’s no surprise that people are rocking space-related hairstyles. Galaxy hair, anyone? Most of us probably know that the “space bun” style gained popularity in this country when Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia wore the iconic double buns to do battle in Star Wars in 1977.
But hair buns and double buns have centuries of history behind them. Princess Leia certainly wasn’t the first strong woman to wear the double buns.
George Lucas has stated that he modeled the space bun style after a “Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look…the buns are basically from turn-of-the-century Mexico.” Before that:
- Native American Hopi women wore “squash blossom” double buns
- Some third-century Terracotta Warrior statues depict double buns
- Japanese women wore Shimada wings during the Edo period
- The Iberian “Lady of Elche” sculpture features a double-bun-styled headdress
- Early Elizabethan-era British women wore double buns with a heart-shaped part
- American flappers wore “earphones” of braids coiled into double buns
And now, here we are. I happen to be a HUGE space fan, so I appreciate the hairstyle. While you won’t find me wearing it, I’m happy to show you how to rock the trend yourself.
Step 2: Gather What You Need
You don’t need specialized or fancy styling tools to get your space buns going, but you still want to ensure that you have all your supplies in easy reach. You’ll be using both hands to create your space buns, so that doesn’t leave much room to fetch a forgotten item.
You’ll need a good comb, clear elastics, hairpins, and your favorite styling spray. If your hair is thick, curly, or hard to manage, you may want to use alligator clips to hold some of it out of the way while you are styling the rest. If you want to embellish your space buns with color, glitter, or hair jewelry, be sure that you have those nearby as well.
Step 3: Wash and Dry Your Hair
As with most styles, you’ll want to start with hair that is clean and dry. Wash, condition, and dry your hair as you usually do. Don’t use any styling products or leave-in conditioner at this point. If you have very curly hair, you may find it easier to create your space buns if you straighten it.
But that is entirely optional. Comb or brush your hair well so that there are no tangles, and part it in the middle. Use a precision comb for a nice, clean part.
Step 4(a): Create Classic Space Buns
Continue parting your hair down your head from your forehead to your nape. Make two ponytails, which can be as high or as low as you like. Low space buns are more discreet and may be more suitable to wear to work, if that is a concern.
Try to ensure that the hair going into the ponytails lies flat and smooth, although you can also leave a few short hairs around your face for a softer look. Tease the first ponytail to get some volume. You do this by holding up the ponytail and combing backward from the tips to the elastic. Then twist the ponytail into a rope.
A tight twist makes a neat, tight bun and a looser twist makes a larger bun. Coil the rope around itself, tuck the ends under, secure it with a hair tie, and pin it in place. Repeat with the second ponytail, and finish with hairspray or the styling product of your choice. Use a flat iron to straighten any strands that didn’t make it into the buns.
Step 4(b): Create Braided Space Buns
The process for making impressive braided space buns is very similar to the classic space buns above. You’ll start with two smooth ponytails. Again, these can be high or low on your head, and you can position them above your ears or close together above the nape of your neck.
But instead of twisting and coiling the ponytails into the buns, you’ll braid them. If you have thin or fine hair and think your braids look too skinny, you can add volume by gently pulling on the outer loops (go bottom to top) to make them look a little fatter.
Then coil the braids into buns, tuck the ends under, secure them with hair ties, and pin them into place. Finish with hairspray or styling product, and straighten any loose strands if you like.
Step 4(c): Create Hybrid Space Buns
If you can’t decide whether you want classic space buns or braided ones, you can have both! Start with two ponytails, as described above. This style works best with medium or high ponytails. Work with one ponytail at a time for the best results.
Take a small section of hair from the underside of one ponytail and braid it tightly. Clip the end with a hairpin or elastic to keep it from unraveling while you work with the rest of the ponytail, but don’t worry about using a pretty clip or tie since you’ll be removing it later.
Tease the rest of the ponytail by combing backward from the tips of your hair to the elastic securing the ponytail. Then clip the braid down so that it’s out of the way. Twist the rest of the ponytail, coil it into a bun, tuck the ends under, secure it with a hair tie, and pin it into place.
Then retrieve the small braid, remove the clip, and wrap the braid around the bun as a decorative touch. Tuck the ends of the braid under to keep them from unraveling. Pin it into place (you may have to use several hairpins to keep it secure). Finish with hairspray or the styling product of your choice.
Step 4(d): Create Half Space Buns
Part your hair from forehead to nape, and put half of it in a loose bun, ponytail, or alligator clip to keep it out of the way. Then, divide the section you are styling in half horizontally with a clean part. Pull the top half into an alligator clip, and pull the bottom half into a loose ponytail or another alligator clip to keep it out of the way.
Then loosen the top half and comb it out. Start with a neat ponytail and make a twisted or braided space bun as described above. Finish with hairspray or another styling product. Repeat with the other side of your hair so that you have two small space buns on top of your head. Then release the bottom half of your hair on both sides and comb it out.
Step 5: Embellish Your Space Buns
Now that you’ve got your space buns right where you want them, you can dress them up a bit if you want. Decorative hairpins or combs look great with this style and can add some extra interest. Try adding them to the back of your head too!
You can also add temporary color or glitter along the center part, or anywhere else you like. If you chose to do hybrid space buns, you can also embellish the decorative braid for a special touch. Space buns are a style that is sure to be noticed, so you may as well go all out and make them look spectacular!
Things to Consider
When you want to follow in the footsteps of some famously fierce females and wear your hair in double space buns, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Space buns work best when you start with clean, dry hair.
- Make your center part as clean as possible since that will be the focal point after your buns are in place.
- You can make your buns high or low on your head. High space buns are fun, but lower ones are more subtle and may be better suited for the workplace.
- Teasing your ponytails before you twist or coil them adds volume to your space buns.
- Once your space buns are in place, you can embellish them with accessories, color, or glitter.
So, How Do You Do Space Buns?
Space buns start with ponytails, which can be either high or low on your head. Then you twist or braid the ponytails, coil them into buns, and secure them in place. You can do variations on space buns or embellish them to make them even more fabulous.