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How to Make a Messy Bun With Long Hair | Step-by-Step Guide

Wondering how to make a messy bun with long hair? It’s not actually as hard as it sounds. But there are a few things that will make it even easier. By following this step-by-step method, you’ll be able to make the perfect messy bun.

How to Make a Messy Bun With Long Hair: A Summary

The best way to make a messy bun without damaging or breaking your long hair is to begin by brushing and conditioning your hair. This will keep your long hair, soft, shiny, and looking its best, both when in a messy bun and anytime it is worn naturally.

Once your hair is properly prepared and protected, follow these four steps to achieve an effortless hairdo:

  1. Gather your materials
  2. Brush and condition your hair
  3. Make a regular ponytail 
  4. Twist and wrap your hair until you achieve the desired look

How to Make a Messy Bun With Long Hair in 4 Steps

Making a messy bun with long hair is a much easier process than making a messy bun with short hair, especially if you have medium-length to long bangs and medium to long layers. 

While messy buns can look great on any hair length and any hair type, long hair is the ideal length for the messy bun trend due to the convenient ability to twist and wrap the hair around the bun base completely.

The length and overall strength of your hair, including layered pieces, will help your bun look as though you threw it up in a perfect bun without even preparing or trying at all.

Wispy pieces can be pulled out of the front, sides, and at the base of the skull to show off baby hairs and invoke a cool and angelic style. Follow the four basic steps listed below to make a good-looking, naturally elegant messy bun with your long locks.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before attempting to make a messy bun, check to make sure that you have all the proper accessories. The best items to use for a beautiful messy bun for long hair include:

  • A wide bristle hair brush made from natural materials like bamboo
  • Regular bobby pins without rubber grips that match your hair color
  • Sulfate and paraben-free repairing hair products or conditioners
  • scrunchy made from hypoallergenic cotton or bamboo material
  • A regular-sized elastic hair tie that matches the color of your hair
  • Optional organic sulfate-free medium-hold hair spray
  • A mirror that you can look in without holding it

If you do not yet have these items, consider shopping at your local beauty supply store or through an online haircare brand. 

While not every one of these items is necessary for creating the perfect messy bun for long hair, having all of them will ensure that the styling process is faster and easier.

Step 2: Brush and Condition Your Hair

Arguably, the most important step in making a messy bun with long hair is to brush and condition your hair. This is because dry hair can easily break, tangle, and tear when knotted, pulled, and twisted to create the bun shape.

When showering, always condition the ends of your hair with a sulfate-free and paraben-free conditioner. After that, air dry your hair. When your hair is dry, brush it gently.

After brushing your hair, apply hair oil or any protective serum, ideally a product with natural ingredients like argan oil or coconut oil. Finally, brush it again to prepare it for the messy bun styling process.

Read Next: How to Dry Curly Hair

Step 3: Make a Regular Ponytail with a Scrunchy

The third step for making a beautiful messy bun with long hair is to collect all of your hair in your hand. You can do this by using the upside-down method. To do so, put your scrunchy on your wrist after brushing your hair.

Then, turn your head upside-down, and without brushing it, put the scrunchy around all the hair on the very center top of your head. After collecting your hair into the scrunchy, secure it by wrapping the scrunchy around twice or even three times, depending on its size and the thickness of your hair.

You can then turn your head right side up again and tighten the ponytail. Tug on your hair gently and adjust the ponytail’s location slightly until it rests in the true center of your head again.

Step 4: Twist and Wrap Your Hair

The fourth and final step in making a messy bun is the twisting and wrapping process. To do this process, keep your head upright and look in the mirror.

Grab onto the base of the ponytail with one hand and the tip of the ponytail with your dominant hand. Begin to twist the ponytail so that it looks like one swirled rope. As you twist, begin to wrap this hair rope around the scrunchy multiple times.

You will want to hide the scrunchy with your hair as much as possible. This will give your bun volume and shape. When you get to the end of your hair, use a small elastic hair tie the same color as your hair to secure the bun in place. 

You have the option to use bobby pins to secure any fly-away strands and pull out additional strands to make the bun messier. Don’t wrap the bun too tight. Otherwise, it will lose its messy, eclectic look.

To finish, see if your bun is messy enough for your taste. If not, you can pull out extra hair strands from your bangs, by your ear, or around your hairline to better frame your face.

If the hairdo is too messy for your taste, you can add more bobby pins or start over again while focusing on wrapping your hair more tightly. Afterward, you’re ready to go out in your effortless hairdo!

Things to Consider When Making a Messy Bun

Brunette girl with a messy bun on her head against a blue sky with white clouds for a piece on how to make a messy bun with long hair


When making a messy bun, make sure to take your time. You may think that rushing might help you get a cute messy look, but it will just create a big mess. You’ll end up spending more time re-doing your look.

It’s also important to always start with a ponytail with completely dry hair to avoid unsightly kinks and damaging pulling. 

Things to Do

  • Wash your hair with sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoo before styling
  • Air dry your hair instead of blow-drying or towel drying
  • Brush your hair gently starting at the bottom, then work your way towards the top until all knots are released
  • Prepare your hair for styling with hair oil and preparation serum
  • Brush any products through your hair
  • Look in a mirror to create a ponytail 
  • Use a big scrunchy to wrap your hair around for extra volume
  • Secure with traditional bobby pins rather than clips
  • Add medium-strength hair spray for a gentle and flexible all-day hold

Doing any of these things, if not all of them, will not only help you master the long hair messy bun technique more quickly and thoroughly, but it will also help prepare, protect, and repair your long locks.

Things Not to Do

If you are attempting to make a messy bun without damaging your hair, these are a few different things to avoid. From teasing your hair to using the upside-down trick, make sure not to do the following when making your messy bun:

  • Tease your hair back with a comb
  • Attempt a bun with only one hair tie or scrunchy
  • Forget to brush your hair before doing it
  • Skip prepping the hair with oils and conditioners, putting your hair strands at risk
  • Do the hair twisting and wrapping process with your head upside down
  • Use thick holding gel that becomes hard as it dries on your head
  • Use a foam bun creator or volumizer as it makes a bulbous rather than round shape
  • Use a hairnet to keep flyaways in place
  • Usee rubber bands or tight clips to secure your hair
  • Yank at your bun or your ponytail during or after styling

Doing any of these things can result in a bun that isn’t structurally sound and will fall out throughout the day.

So, How Do You Make a Messy Bun with Long Hair?

Woman with long hair put into a messy bun in a white tank top standing and facing away from the camera

Celeste Duffy/Shutterstock

To make a messy bun with long hair, follow the key steps of washing, drying, and conditioning your hair. Then create a ponytail by wrapping and twisting your hair before securing it in a round bun shape.

To make the bun messier, you can pull strands out around your face, including small pieces by the ears, baby hairs by the forehead, and small hair from the base of the head.

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