Often, relaxed, ruffled hairstyles are the most difficult to achieve. In the past, I’ve had immense trouble trying to strike that balance between well-groomed chic, and the kind of artful rumpled-ness that makes it seem like you just woke up looking this cool. Not surprisingly, it’s as if the harder you try to get your hair looking casual and attractively windswept, the more it wants to lie smoothly and behave itself. Invariably, after hours of styling, you end up with a stern school-mistress chignon instead of the soft romantic tresses you were going for. If you struggle to achieve that fabulously unkempt look, read on: I’ve put together a list of 8 easy steps to create a tousled bun.
When you’re going for the artfully ruffled look, you don’t want to weigh your hair down with a lot of heavy product. In order to ensure that you can still achieve the volume you’re after, simply work a light straightening balm though your damp locks. This will help to guard against fuzz and fly-aways, but it shouldn’t make your locks look limp and lifeless.
Before you get on with your heat stylers, it is always important to apply a defensive product to your still-damp hair. A spray or mist is probably your best bet here; while waxes or serums might load your locks with residue, a spritz should keep it feeling light.
Using a powerful hair drier, and directing the flow of air down the way, dry your hair with the help of a wide ‘paddle’ brush. If you are looking for a little more volume, or to create big, soft curls, you’ll want to get hold of a rounded brush instead. Whichever variety you choose here, however, your goal should be to keep your hair as smooth and fuzz free as possible: nothing spoils a tousled look like dull, broken tresses.
Using a hair elastic that is the same colour as your hair, pull your locks into a ponytail at whichever height you’d like your bun to sit. If your hair is very long and heavy, remember that a high-sitting style may need extra support so be prepared to add a few more hair bands and elastics into the mix.
Take hold of the end of your pony-tail and twist it into a long coil. Wind this around your hair elastic as you ordinarily would, but don’t tuck the end through the securing band. Instead, leave it free – this part of the tousled charm – and secure it in place with several bobby pins.
At this point, you should have a well-secured, basic ballerina bun with a bit of a tail sticking out from one of the sides. Don’t panic if it’s looking far too neat: after this next step in the process you should start to see your style really come together. Using your fingers, gently tug at the hair that’s pulled smooth over your scalp to give it some height and texture. You might also want to release some tendrils over your ears or around your temples. In the same, very careful way, work at the bun itself until it is looser looking a little more relaxed.
You may choose to leave your bun as it is at this stage, or you could accessorise with grips and head bands. This kind of addition will give you added support, while jacking up the volume as well. Use thin, elastic head bands, imperfectly aligned, to achieve a Grecian style, or embellished hair combs, placed on either side of the bun itself, to lift the hair away from the scalp to create the illusion of thickness.
To finish your messy up do, simply spritz with a medium hold hairspray. Don’t go for a very powerful product. Remember that you want to keep the look natural and soft, and this means avoiding ‘crunchiness’ at all costs.
The art of tousling hair is not always as easy as it appears. It is hard to strike the balance between authentic bed-head and immaculately finished up-do. Hopefully this list of 8 steps to create a tousled bun will help you to achieve success; do you have any expert tips of your own to add?
Top Photo Credit: Sosbyn
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