Natural Beauty: Messy Ballet Bun Tutorial

March 7, 2014

messy ballet bun, hair tutorial

The coy, perfectly disheveled ballet bun is having a moment—and has been for a few years now.  (Should we send our thank you notes to Black Swan?)

The off-duty ballerina bun is perfect for second-day hair.  It hides your unwashed (though clean enough hair) while giving you a flirty, posh-casual flair.  Now let’s get down to it!

You will need:

1.5” barrel curling iron (if you have straight hair).

strong-hold hair spray—I’m using a natural, vegan hairspray: Giovanni: Eco Chic Hair Care L.A. Hold Hair Spritz

5-10 bobby pins, depending on the texture and cooperativeness of your hair 🙂

1 hair elastic big enough to hold all of your hair

hair brush


curling hair, messy bun tutorial

Step One: Using a large-barreled curling iron, curl the ends of your hair towards your face.

Step One: If you have fairly straight hair like me, you may want to curl the ends of your hair with a 1.5” barrel curling iron.  (Any size of curling iron is fine—the fatter ones just make the process go a little faster). This step is optional, but if some of the hair falls out of your bun, it may look better if it has a slight wave.

Keep things simple and quick by curling the ends of your hair toward your face.  Lightly spray.

messy ballet bun, hair tutorial

Step 2: Create and adjust a ponytail.

Step TwoFlip your head upside down, and pull hair into a high ponytail. Holding your high pony with your hand, flip your head back up and adjust the position of your pony.  (I like mine to sit on top of my head—but any position is fine!)  To create an organic look, avoid using a hairbrush to smooth your hair–rake with fingers instead. Secure with a hair elastic.  After tying up my hair, I usually pull out a few face-framing pieces and further adjust the position of my ponytail.

Step 3: Grab the end of your ponytail and gently backcomb with a hairbrush.  This step is also optional, but it’s a great way to get a little volume!

messy ballet bun, hair tutorial

Step 4: Twist ponytail into a rope.

Step 4Loosely twist your ponytail into a rope.

messy ballet bun, hair tutorial

Step Five: Twist hair into a bun and secure.

Step 5: Wind the rope around the base of your ponytail.  Tuck the end of your pony tail under the bun you’ve just formed and secure with a bobby pin.  Carefully adjust your bun. You can create the illusion of more volume by slightly loosening (without completely pulling out) the hair in the bun.

Step 6: Secure your bun by inserting bobby pins around the base of the bun and against your head.  Make sure to catch a little bit of the hair from both bun and surrounding hair. Give it a good spray!

 Messy Ballet Bun Tutorial, Standing Outside

Messy ballet bun tutorial, standing outside

Look at me not even caring that the wind is making my messy ballet bun even messier!


Photos: Mary Hood


Peaceful Dumpling Beauty Editor and creator of Bisou du Jour, Mary Hood Luttrell lives with her husband in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mary is a freelance writer and writing and blogging consultant. A lover of whole foods, Mary delights in learning new ways to prepare vegan dishes. Mary also enjoys reading and writing poetry, art journaling, running, and practicing yoga and ballet. Follow Mary on her blog Bisou du Jour, Instagram and Pinterest.


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