We love a ponytail moment, but bun styles will always hold a special place in our hearts. Exhibit A: The messy bun. This classic look can be whipped together in seconds and still looks effortlessly chic. Exhibit B: The sleek top knot, which makes anyone feel glamorous. Simply put, a bun is a versatile updo that can be worn all the time. Whether you’re rocking a silk press or box braids, we found 35 natural hair bun styles to suit every hair type and occasion.
30 Natural Hair Bun Styles to Try—From the Super Chill to the Downright Glamorous
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1. Messy Bun
Ciara has a solid recipe for a messy bun: a few front pieces to frame the face, a solidly wrapped bun with plenty of height and little to no flyaways.
2. Top Knot
Enter one of the most iconic bun styles out there—the top knot. To recreate this look like Sofia Wylie, you’ll want to grab a boar bristle brush, gel, hair ties and bobby pins. Start by brushing all your hair up into a ponytail and securing it with a hair tie. Next, begin wrapping the tail around the hair tie until you reach the ends and pin them in place with some bobby pins to finish.
3. Intricate Top Knot
This intricate style goes beyond the traditional top knot above and weaves in more defined details. To get a look that’s similar to Issa’s, you can weave smaller braids into the bun to create dimension. You can also add additional hair to make the bun fuller and a few gold coils and cowrie shells to take things to a whole new level of chic.
4. Ballerina Top Knot
There’s the top knot and there’s the ballerina top knot. The latter relies heavily on playful placement, meaning it will require a bit more time to brush and secure the bun towards the front of the hairline for maximum effect.
5. Sleek Low Bun
This low-maintenance look keeps everything sleek and smooth. To recreate this red carpet worthy low bun, brush your hair back into a low ponytail that sits at the nape of your neck. Next, wrap your hair around the tail and secure the ends in place with some pins and viola.
6. Sleek Mid Bun
With a sleek updo at the crown of your head, you can unleash your inner Duchess, too.
7. Sock Bun
If you’re not the best at styling buns, don’t fret. The sock bun technique will help you get the cleanest, most precise bun. First, you want to create your own accessory by grabbing a thick sock (or two) and cutting the ends off before rolling the sock into a donut shape. (FYI, the thicker the sock or the more socks you use, the easier it will be for your new hair accessory to hold its shape.) Once your DIY sock donut is ready, slide it over your ponytail so it sits snug on top of your hair tie. Then, start combing your hair out and over the sock bun until it completely covers the fabric. Lastly, grab another hair tie to go over the sock bun and secure it before tucking any flyaways underneath. (And if you need more guidance, here's a helpful tutorial.)
8. Curly Bun
Curly queen Yara Shahidi offers proof that you don’t need to rock a sleek, pristine bun all the time. Show off your curls by pulling out a few pieces all around and adding some bangs to further round out the style.
9. Coily Bun
And hey, tight coils are fun, too. Logan Browning wears hers in a high puff to show off her stunning spirals.
10. Space Buns
This double bun look is out of this world (pun intended). Janelle Monae took things up a notch by including some bold accessories to make her space buns really pop.
11. Braided Double Buns
Again, double buns are a fun choice. The ‘90s trend can be tweaked by wrapping braided ponytails around instead.
12. Box Braids Double Buns
Those with box braids can join in on the double buns fun, too. This protective style can be worked into many different looks including double buns. (P.S. Here's 25 ways to style box braids for every occasion).
13. Box Braids Top Knot
Want more proof that you should get box braids? Take a look at Tia Mowry’s braided top knot, which is certified gold in our books.
14. Wrap Around Braided Bun
Whether you prefer the front to be decked out in intricate rows or kept simple with two large braids around your bun, your braids can be weaved in any way you prefer.
15. Headband Braids
Give your low bun some love with front braids running across your hairline. Don’t forget to sleek down your baby hairs for a casual ‘do.
16. High Puff
This high puff gives more texture and definition than your average bun. Plus, it’s a great option for coily textures and short hair.
17. Voluminous Puff
It’s time to take your bun to new heights like Lupita Nyong’o here. If you have thicker and/or coarse hair, don’t be afraid to brush out your mane to achieve this look—or you can add some extensions to make the bun fuller.
18. Afro Puffs
Similar to space buns but brushed out. The puffs can be big (like Storm’s) or small, depending on your hair length. Tip: Invest in a hair pick to get and maintain maximum puffiness.
19. Cinderella Bun
If you’re going for an ultra-glam look, consider Tessa Thompson’s jumbo bun. A smoothed down side bang adds the icing on the cake.
20. Twisted Bun
Twisting your hair adds depth and body to a regular bun. Once you have your ponytail in place, start twisting the ends around the hair tie and tuck them in with some bobby pins to finish.
21. Flat Twists
OK, we talked about twisting the actual bun, but what about the rest of your hair? Zendaya’s twisted updo is broken into three separate sections that are woven all the way down her head until they are added into a low bun using bobby pins.
22. Spiked Bun
The spiked bun is all about height and design. It’s also a fun look you can make entirely your own. Like Meg, try pulling out loose strands throughout the bun and focus heavily on customizing your edges.
23. Bantu Knots
The possibilities are endless with these mini buns. You can add as many bantu knots as you want and place them in any direction. Oh, and they can be worn to bed as a protective style as well.
24. Headwrap Style
Listen, sometimes we don’t have the time (or the energy) to do our hair. A headwrapped bun is a great alternative that’s convenient, stylish and protective of our mane. There are many ways to rock one, but we’re using Kiki Layne’s look as a reference.
25. Money Buns
Add some money pieces to frame your face and bring everything together. Run the chunky strands through your curling iron like Mary J. Blige to give them shape and soften the overall look.
26. Bedazzled Buns
Why not decorate your bun in some gems and jewels? Honestly, any accessory (i.e. headbands, tinsel, hair clips) works to elevate this look.
27. Half-up Bun
You can show off your flowing locks and a bun with this half-up ‘do. Divide your hair into two sections and mold the top section into a loose bun for added height.
28. Triple Buns
Usually a half-up ‘do features one bun, but Marsai Martin switched up the rules by styling her box braids into three mini buns. (We’re definitely saving this look to our hair inspo folder.)
29. Mini Bun
Yup, even with short hair, you can still rock a sleek mini bun. If you have a hard time wrapping your ponytail, try using bobby pins to secure the shorter pieces. Plus, a good curl gel can keep things slick and smooth.
30. Layered Bun
Step out of your comfort zone by recreating Lizzo’s three-tiered bun. The layered look defines gravity and will definitely turn heads at your next shindig.