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6 Easy Alternatives to the Messy Bun

I wrote an article previously on easy 5 minute hairstyles here, but most of them were of the half up variety. For those days when you have to work with second day hair and just want to throw it up in something other than a ponytail or messy bun: I am here to help.

1. French Twist (à la Audrey Hepburn)

French twists are typically a pretty formal updo, but this tutorial I found highlights a more casual, messy one. It’s super cute, but admittedly not as easy as he makes it look. It takes a lot of practice. I’ve practiced it a bunch and can do it on a good day, but sometimes (like a messy bun) it just won’t cooperate. If you can master the technique, though, it’s super easy to whip up in a couple of minutes. The hardest part is figuring out how to pin it so that it will hold all day.

2. Knot Ponytail

This one is pretty simple if you have wavy hair—a little harder to pull off with straight hair but it can be done. Simply divide your hair in two and tie it in a knot. Then, as if it were a bun, put a couple of bobby pins around the knot to keep it in place. Easy!

3. Quick Twisted Updo

It looks complicated, but it’s actually a lot easier than it would appear. Start by dividing your hair in half. Take one side and twist it away from your face starting at the temple and working all the way down to the nape of your neck. Once all the hair is incorporated, twist it into a mini bun. Repeat on the other side. Full tutorial here.

4. Criss Cross Ponytail

This is slightly different version of number 3. Put your hair in a low ponytail leaving out a few inches on the sides. Then alternate sides and take a piece hanging out from the side and cross it over. Pin it down. When it’s all crossed over, secure the end either with another ponytail holder or more bobby pins. Full tutorial here.

5. Maiden Brain Bun

This is what the maiden braid will look like, then simply pull the rest of your hair into a messy bun.

Another easy and elegant style is the maiden braid. Braid a small chunk of hair behind your ear and then flip it over to the other side like a headband. Secure it with a bobby pin. Then put the remaining hair in a messy bun and in a matter of minutes, you’ve completely transformed the ordinary messy bun.

6. Sock Bun

Last but not least is a not so creative, but very simple look. Messy buns are great. But sometimes they just don’t work. And sometimes you want something a little more put together. Enter the sock bun. Either by using a sock or a hair donut (I’m partial to the donut), you can create a perfect bun in literal seconds. I do it all the time and always get compliments. Plus, if you’re like me and have really thin hair, even though my hair goes halfway down my back, my buns are still tiny. With a donut, it creates a full, perfectly symmetrical bun that 12 year old ballerina Alison could have only dreamed of.

All you do is put your hair in a high ponytail and then put the donut around it like a scrunchie. Flip your head upside down and distribute your hair evenly around the donut and secure with a ponytail holder. Then wrap the ends around it and pin them down. A video tutorial can be found here.


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Photos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Alison is a sophomore Finance major at the University of Notre Dame. Her activities include working as a barista at Starbucks, dancing on the ND Dance Company and spending too much time trying to pick out clothes. Her goal in life is to be Audrey Hepburn, but if that doesn't work out, working for a designer like Lilly Pulitzer, Juicy, Chanel, or Tiffany (Breakfast at Tiffany's?) would be the ideal dream job. You can catch more of her golden wit (and senseless ramblings) on twitter @AlisonJanet124
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