Creating a chic messy bun is all about the subtleties of how you style it. It should look effortless, but not like you just rolled out of bed. There should be more shine and definition than tangles and flyaways. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time styling it—it can be as quick as a five-minute hairstyle, especially if you’re working on day old hair. “The best part about the summer messy bun is that you can embrace your natural texture and play it up. It’s simple, easy and sexy,” says celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel (his clients include Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Giada De Laurentis and Diane Kruger, to name a few). He created the messy bun shown above on Maria Sharapova and shared his tips with me on what makes the difference between rats nest and effortlessly chic.
Step 1: Shine It Up. The perfect messy bun looks soft and shiny, not matte and matted. “Begin by prepping dry hair with a glossing cream to give it some texture and definition,” says Adir. Try Alterna Bamboo Silk Sleek Brilliance Cream, $24. On the flip side, since you don’t want hair to look matte or stiff, avoid dry shampoos and hair gels.
Step 2: Create texture, optional. If you want, you can hit a few sections with a curling iron or put your hair up in hot rollers to add waves. Another idea: Create a few skinny braids around your hairline. But this isn’t a must if you don’t have a lot of time.
Step 3: Pony up. “The best trick is to start with a loose ponytail. This way you know the exact placement of the bun and it creates the structure and proportion,” says Adir. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, the ponytail can be placed in the middle of the head, at the crown for a topknot or low on the nape for a chignon style.
Step 4: Twist and pin. Twist and wrap the ponytail hair around the elastic, then tuck the ends underneath it to create some refinement. “Secure with just a few of the Gloria Haarpfeil Hairpins—they’re a must-have for any updo. They’re made with this unique angle that perfectly anchors the hair in place,” says Adir. GloriaHaarpfeil Hairpin, $2.50 for 10.
Step 5: Mess it up. “You don’t want to have too many pieces fall out, otherwise it’s going to look too messy,” says Adir. The key is to pull just a few pieces out around the front of the face to soften the look and frame the face. Avoid using too much hairspray, so it doesn’t look like a helmet. Adir’s pick: Oribe Superfine Hair Spray, $36.
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