Lazy People, Rejoice—25 Chic-Looking Messy Buns to Copy

We'll just come right out and say it. Messy buns are the ultimate cool-girl hairstyle. Name a more effortless-looking but elevated style to put your hair in—we'll wait.

Messy buns come in all different shapes and styles. There are the quintessential messy buns you're likely thinking of, where you pull unbrushed hair into a loose bun in three seconds flat, but there are also tons of more polished takes on the style that should be on your radar. Think slicked-back buns or knots with romantic, face-framing pieces. Below, we've rounded up our 25 favourites that we're immediately adding to our mood boards. 

Messy Buns We're Loving:


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

Create a fun, unexpected style by adding two long, face-framing braids to your topknot. This style is easy enough to wear on a day running errands, but it could also be elevated with a smoky eye or a bright lip.


(Image credit: @nikkilee901)

When in doubt, add a bandana to keep things interesting. For a style like this, the messier the bun, the better—it will make you look effortlessly chic.


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

This look is half bun, half ponytail, and 100% sophisticated. Copy it yourself by pulling a ponytail into a half bun and adding plenty of statement gold hair accessories to keep it elevated.


(Image credit: @spicy.mayo)

If you're sporting braids, pull half of them into a messy topknot, and keep the rest down for cool contrast.


(Image credit: @nikkilee901)

A simple bun at the nape of your neck can be taken to the next level by keeping the end pieces out for controlled messiness. 


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

Ballerina buns are arguably the chicest hairstyle. Keep a neat twist in place by using plenty of bobby pins. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

Pile your hair on top of your head loosely for the ultimate messy bun. For a romantic twist, curl the front pieces of your hair and leave them down. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

Everyone loves a claw clip. While it might not give you a traditional bun, claw clips help you achieve a twisted, pulled-back style in a matter of seconds. Straighten a few face-framing pieces to take this look from day to night.


(Image credit: @joannacoops)

Yes, you can pull off a messy bun if you have bangs. Style your bangs with a round brush, and pull the rest of your hair back in a loose mid-level bun. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

The trick to this bun is pulling small pieces out to give it interesting texture. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

Unsure how to make a simple, unassuming messy bun look interesting? Neon hair accessories are your ticket to cooler hair. Add them in with abandon for the best effect.


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Slick back your hair before pulling it into a tight topknot for ultimate control.


(Image credit:  @iziangus)

A slicked-back bun is one of the easiest hairstyles in the book for looking pulled-together in seconds. 


(Image credit: @justinemarjan)

After pulling your hair into a haphazard topknot, style front pieces into loose waves to keep it sophisticated.


(Image credit: @joannacoops)

For the ultimate cool-girl hair, slick back middle-parted strands and knot them into a tight bun.

We like Ouai Matte Pomade ($24).


(Image credit: @nikkilee901)

Middle-part your hair, and pull it back into a messy bun at the nape of your neck for a style that you can wear in any and every situation.


(Image credit: @nikkilee901)

Style your hair in a loose topknot, and keep a few sleek, relaxed pieces in the front. 


(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

For a textured bun, spray hair with texture spray before pulling it back into a messy knot. 


(Image credit: @livpurvis)

A bun with wispy side pieces goes with any and every outfit. 


(Image credit: @danishrolls)

Did someone say sky-high bun? Count us in. 


(Image credit: @leletny)

Double the bun makes for double the fun as far as we're concerned. These twin messy buns look bold while maintaining an effortless feel. 


(Image credit: @leletny)

Make a messy topknot sweeter by adding a statement headband.


(Image credit: @leletny)

A ponytail bun has never looked this chic. Sterling hair accessories help make this unassuming look seem high fashion.


(Image credit: @leletny)

Twist half of your hair into a bun, and leave the rest out to achieve this relaxed style. Add plenty of delicate hair accessories to elevate it.


(Image credit: @symphanisoto)

Pull a few curls out of your topknot for a cascading effect. Face-framing front pieces keep this look extra romantic. 

Shop Messy Bun Styling Essentials:

Up Next: 9 Hair Trends You'll See Everywhere This Summer.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.