Messy Ponytail/Bun

I used to say ponytails meant defeat. They meant “I surrender hair. You will do what you want.” But as I’ve gotten my hair a bit longer, I’ve enjoyed wearing a ponytail!


So here is a tutorial for one of my favorite ways to wear my hair. My husband loves my hair both in a ponytail and in what he calls “the explosion” (aka messy bun)!

The Messy Ponytail/Bun/Explosion

*the clear rubber bands I use are Conair Poly Bands. 
**you will have greater success with curled/curly hair. Here is the tutorial for curling your hair. You may get a similar effect with straight hair, but probably with less volume. 

My Outfit — Earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie Jewelry, White 3/4 length shirt: J. Crew Outlet, Grey vest: Banana Republic Fall 2011, Scarf: Banana Republic Fall 2011, Jeans: very old clearance Gap jeans!

so throw that hair up and rock the messy bun!


  1. says

    You have THE best tutorials! I always make sure my ears aren’t sticking out when I make a ponytail too…I thought it was just me! I struggle with the height that I should wear mine (nape of the neck vs. on top of my head, haha) but this was definitely helpful. Great video:]

  2. Anonymous says

    I just found your blog the other night and spent so much time watching your tutorials!:) They are GREAT! And then I realized with this morning’s post that you look very much like the mom in Modern Family! Hope you take that as a compliment:)
    Great tutorial today and I’m excited to see the make-up one when it is ready:)

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  3. says

    Love this tutorial!! I have tried to do this style but always failed. I think because my hair is so straight and I didn’t curl it first. Thanks!

  4. says

    Oh wow!! This is AWESOME! I’ve never even heard of or thought of 2 rubberbands. Pure genius!! I’m totally going to go buy the equivalent of what I can find here in Spain and doing this the next time I do my hair! LOVE it!! Thank you sososo much!! I love your makeup, btw, esp your eyes! You should do a tutorial on your eyeshadow/eye makeup :) You’re so stylish!!

  5. says

    This is great! I wear buns all the time since I’m always working out and definitely will keep this tutorial in mind.

    Thank you for posting it!

    • says

      After research a nubmer of the blog posts in your web site right now, and I enjoy your own method of blogging. We bookmarked this to my personal save website listing and will probably be checking again soon. Please check out my personal web page as nicely as well as let me know what you believe.

  6. says

    Wow, your blog is awesome! I am definitely getting my haircut soon so I can try all your styles :) Quick question though, I can never manage to get the volume you have at the top when I do a ponytail/bun. How do you manage that??

  7. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas. I’ve been putting a few of them to use on my hair and it’s made such a difference. How do you get your bangs to always look so great?

  8. says

    I always love your tutorials. You do a great job! I also like how you noted your outfit on this post. I love your scarf and earrings. Cute, cute, cute!!

  9. says

    I spent over an hour last night reading through your blog and tutorials. I think you are adorable and you have the best hair. Thank you so much for all the hair tips. You have inspired me to actually take the time and do my hair and invest in some better products. :)

  10. says

    I just found your blog through Pinterest! One of your hair tutorials was posted there :) Anyway, I just wanted to say that your blog is super cute and I have spent this whole morning reading all your posts! I am the worst at styling my hair, but I’m gonna try to follow some of your tutorials! Thanks for posting them!

  11. says

    love love love the messy pony! great look and great tutorial. i’m visiting from the keeping it simple link party and have pinned your great post!

  12. Lauren says

    Love your hair! Totally cute! Will try this.. not sure if my hair is long enough.. I have the exact same haircut as you, but a tad shorter at the moment. Trying to let mine grow out! :) Love seeing all your hair tutorials. BTW–I have managed to get fairly close results with the flat iron volumized hair w/ the teasing. I now love my hair! Thanks Kate!

  13. says

    I found your blog via Pinterest and it’s the best thing I’ve found on there so far!!!!!! I love love love your tutorials!! My hair is a smidge shorter than yours and it hasn’t been this ‘long’ in almost 20 years (I’ve always been a lover of short hair) ) so I really love that I can *almost* do the styles you show – I have a few layers that don’t want to cooperate just yet! Thanks for the work you put into your blog…it’s great!! :)

  14. Carrie Nicholson says

    Hey Kate! I remember you vaguely when you lived in Greenville and went to Covenant. I just wanted to say that I found your blog on Pinterest and girl, I’m hooked! I have tried, tried, and tried to practice the tutorials but my finished product is never as good as yours– you are truly the hair god(dess). Keep them coming! I love the variety of styles!

  15. Anonymous says

    How do you keep so much volume in your ponytail? I for the life of me cannot get a pony with any life in it.


  16. Anonymous says

    I am with Kari… would love to know how you tied your scarf?! I love to wear them… they are one of my favorite accessories, but I can never come up with cute new ways to tie them.
    Could we possible see a tutorial or a step by step photo post?

  17. says

    I followed your video for this messy bun today and i was so shocked that it actually worked! My hair is super super silky so it never holds anything unless i wash it in hairspray! I was so happy when I did this and it worked! Thanks so much for the help!

  18. Anonymous says

    Hi Kate,
    I Love tour hair style! I have an appointment next week. Any tips on what to tell my stylist for the layers like yours?


  19. says

    You look beautiful! Love this look on you, and such a cute updo too! I discovered your lovely blog through Pinterest and am so glad I did!

    Liesl :)

  20. Jessica says

    I just found your blog yesterday and I love it! At some point, could you do a video on how to blowdry your hair with details on the brush and products you use? I love your video tutorials – they’re all so helpful :)

  21. says

    Q-you have so much volume, when I pulled my hair back, it was totally flat…if I use the Aquage Uplifting Foam is that what creates that affect? Would that work on a wig? I’m bound and determined to learn how to do my wig like normal hair, and I’ve never had a knack for hair to begin with…but your tutorials really inspire me!

  22. says

    Asrubin: I have never used it on a wig, so I can’t advise one way or another.

    And pull some of your hair up after you pull it in the ponytail to get a little bit more lift at the crown!

  23. Anonymous says

    I saw your tutorial on Pinterest, and I had to try the messy bun. It turned out pretty well, although my hair is a little too short to pull it off perfectly. I was also worried it might not stay, because my hair is thick and somwhat course, but I loved the end result!I also purchased some of the clear hair bands by Goody, and I love them. Thanks!!

  24. says

    My ponytail is my BFF!!!! So glad you posted this beacuse mine is looking a little dull these days!
    Can’t wait to try it!
    I’m also a Carolina girl! I’m just below you in SC.
    Any who! So glad to find you and your great tutorials! I’m goin’ to get my bun on! 😉

  25. says

    This was such a help to me. Found your blog last night after looking around on Pinterest. You’re as cute as can be! Can’t wait to keep reading your blog as well as your sister’s.

  26. says

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I always see these girls with cute hairstyles, but I can never figure out how they did it. I tried it this morning and it was totally cute. I felt so stylish! I can’t wait to read some of your other posts.

  27. says

    Love this style!! Thanks so much for posting this. My hair is the same length as yours, and I never know what to do with it! I tried this out yesterday for work and received a lot of compliments! I can’t wait to try your other tutorials out!

  28. says

    Amazing!! You, my dear are a hair genius!!
    Loving all of your stuff, pretty sure you’re a celebrity on Pinterest!! :)
    I will so be doing this, this week!
    Thanks very much for linking up to Show & Share!!

  29. Anonymous says

    I love your tutorials! You are gorgeous and have great hair! You give us all hope! You are an average, nice girl and you are showing us easy things to do with our hair that it seems we can all try and be successful at!

  30. Anonymous says

    I love all your hairstyles!!! I have long frizzy wavy hair. The wave hair is kind of coming back where I live but I have problems controlling mine. Do you have any tips for naturally wavy hair? Also where do you get your earrings…I am in love!!!!

    • says

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    • says

      BEST YOUR LIFE Change Your Life NOW! Mastermind Group I was recommended this wetsibe by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are amazing! Thanks! your article about BEST YOUR LIFE Change Your Life NOW! Mastermind GroupBest Regards Yoder

  31. says

    I love your blog!! You are absolutaly gorgeous!! I have tried many of your techniques and they turn out great. I shared this one on my little blog. Hope that is ok. :)

  32. Anonymous says

    I am at work watching your Hair Tutorials and it makes me want to go home and start now……Cant wait to try these ideas out:)

  33. says

    Do you have any tips for pretty long hair? Mine is typically lower to mid-back length, but sometimes I really struggle making cute things because I have too much hair versus too little hair :)

  34. Anonymous says

    I’m dying to know what your natural hair color is and if it just lifts well or are you naturaly blondish… I’m thinking about going blonde myself.

  35. Katy says

    I love your tutorials!! My hair is much longer (it’s 3 inches past my shoulders) and I just tried this messy bun technique. Lets just say it didn’t turn out as well as I hoped :/ How can I make it work for longer hair? Is there another way? Thanks in advance! 😀

  36. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for making this so easy for me! I found your blog on pinterest, my hair is about the same length as yours and I have always tried the messy bun look, but it never looked very cute. I did it your way the other day and loved it! I also tried the style with the hair half up with braids, but I used twists instead since I was in a hurry, loved it! Anyway, I have really enjoyed your tips and I will be continuing to check out your tutorials to play with my hair! Thank you so much for sharing! Oh and I also really appreciated your comment in your about me on how we have to find our worth in Christ not our looks or talents; I couldn’t agree more! God bless! :)

  37. Anonymous says

    I love this! I work in construction management and am always looking for cute ways to rescue hard hat hair! This seems to work for me. It is very quick. Thank you for allowing me to look somewhat stylish on a job site! Ha. (: I ran across your tutorial on pinterest and had to repost!

  38. Anonymous says

    just found your blog off of pinterest, and I wanted to say that it’s probably the best pin I’ve found yet. many of the things I have found on there are not helpful once you click on the links but you are absolutely wonderful.

  39. Anonymous says

    Hello Kate, I am learning so much from your turorials. I first found you on pinterest and now check your blog often. I’m growing out my bob and haven’t had any luck with styling it as it grows. The messy bun is a lot of fun to wear (hard to mess up messy). I got many compliments on it at a Christmas party last weekend. Thank you for sharing :) Alesha

  40. says

    Oh so cute!! :o)
    I am heading into the bathroom now.
    I have a bit of curl to my hair and
    it is nearly as long as yours, but
    my bangs are a bit shorter. :o)
    Thanks so much for showing us how!
    Sincerely, Trish

  41. says

    I have long hair, is there a version where I can do the messy bun? I have tried it but it doesn’t work because my hair is too long. Thank you! Your blog is awesome and you have the most perfect hair.

  42. says

    Seriously, your blog has changed my hair life! I love to leave my hair down but when I’m at the office and things get stressful I can’t stand having down near my face and neck and always throw it into a sad, pathetic messy bun. This makes it look classy. :)

  43. Anonymous says

    LOVE your blog! Can you tell me the brand / color of your higlights and lowlights? You have beautiful hair! Boo from Texas

  44. says

    hi. i know you have a zillion comments on this tutorial, but i just wanted to say thanks. because of you, i was finally able to do a messy bun. i had searched youtube, vimeo, etc. looking for something to work on my fine hair and the bun always looked wrong…too small or something. also, with the other techniques i tried never felt secure. thanks for the ideas. i love your tutorials.

  45. MallieJo says

    So, I just found this blog and I love it! I’m in high school (senior, woohoo!) and have just cut my hair to right above my shoulders because I needed a change from long hair. The only problem is, I’m lazy, so I need quick but cute things to do with my hair on the mornings! This one is perfect for me:) thank you for all the lovely ideas!!!

  46. says

    I am so hair challenged, but I followed your tutorial and did the messy bun today and it worked! I could not believe I was actually able to put my hair up withouy using a hair clip! This looks so much more professional than the Scunci clip I’ve been chained to for 5 years! Thank you so much!!!

  47. lovestomatch says

    Sooo…first of all, love your blog! :) Second, you may have already told this somewhere, but how do you fix a messy bun if your hair is longer? Can you still use the two elastics? I can figure out what to do with the first one!

  48. says

    Love this hairstyle and am currently wearing it for the 2nd time! This time I tweaked it a bit and pulled it to the side for a little different look and it works!! Thanks so much for your hair tutorials! I love trying them out!!

  49. Anonymous says

    I just found your blog today through pinterest, and I love it. My hair is in the in between stage right now (not long, but not short) and I never know what to do with it, your videos have given me so many ideas. Thanks so much!!! Can’t wait to try them out!!!

  50. Anonymous says

    I have been slowly watching all of your fabulous tutorials! They are great and so are you! such pretty skin, hair, but most of all you seem beautiful from the inside out! My hair is very thick and is virgin, with no color or anything. I’ve been wondering if maybe I need some layers to help with the styling. Plus I have been anti-product for a while and I guess I should drop that too! Well, off to try the messy bun again…think I’ll do better this time! Love your blog!

  51. Anonymous says

    Hi Kate! So digging you video tutorials. Wearing a side messy bun and head band today and it looks fab. Could you do some hat & style tutorials? Especially interested in baseball caps.

  52. Blakley says

    Hi Kate! I just found your blog and I love it! I am getting my hair cut soon and came across your blog and you have definitely inspired my new cut. Are the earrings you have on in this video still available on your etsy site? I didn’t see them but I know it was filmed a while ago. Thanks for the great hair tips!

  53. Anonymous says

    Please help: I haven’t had a REAL haircut in years and love the style you have, its seems you have limitless possibilites with that length…Is there a name for your haircut / sytle?

  54. says

    My daughter showed me your link on pinterest and off we went into the bedroom ready for a good half hour session to do this. We both did it in minutes with a fabulous result. We both have very curly hair and just a little longer than yours and we tried this last night. It was so easy to do and I wanted to say thank you for sharing this I have been so sick of tying it up in scrunchies. We have thr type of hair that looks good the first days wash and then takes on a life of it’s own. love your tutorials.

  55. Anonymous says

    I’ve styled my hair somewhat lime this for almost a year now, but only for work. Never really liked it. After watching your video I made just a few changes, wearing it lower and just slightly covering my ears. And what a change!! My new go too!!!! Thank you!!

  56. Anonymous says

    Thanks, this really helped me! Love your videos and I’ll have to let you do my hair sometime 😀

  57. Emily says

    Thank you so much for all the great tutorials! I struggle trying to figure out hairstyles for my hair so these are verrrry helpful :) love your hair by the way!

  58. Melissa D. says

    I did this ‘do this morning – so easy, so cute! It took me less than 3 minutes. I have naturally curly hair, and this is a nice, “polished” look for work or out! All your tutorials are so straightforward. I’m no longer scared to tackle certain styles! THANK YOU! :)

  59. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for this site! I am CLUELESS when it comes to my hair. It’s thick and SUPER fine. I have been on here for about an hour looking around. Thank you for taking the time to show up “hair virgins” a thing or two!!!

  60. says

    I love your site!! Your hair and instructions are amazing! Thank you so much! I just found this today and am obsessed with your awesome ideas! Again thank you so much for sharing all your info and great ideas!!!!

  61. Anonymous says

    Thank you Kate for the tutorial of the Messy Bun! I’ve tried numerous times and with straight hair it was just not looking right. But your little tips here help. Thank you so much.

  62. Anonymous says

    Thank you, I’ve never got the messy bun look down to how I would like it, or any hairstyle for that matter, so this is helpful! Also, weird compliment, but you have a really nice voice! LoL :)

  63. Anonymous says

    I actually want to cut my hair like yours. I have seen your pictures all over pinterest and loved them for how you show what you can do with your hair in that cut. If only I could have found this earlier my ugly hair days would have been far and few between.

  64. Anonymous says

    I’ve tried sooo many Pinterest “hair tips” and yours was the only one that was actually doable! Tried it today and mine looks almost identical to yours… yay!

  65. says

    You get height to your hair when you put it in a low ponytail and tighten it. I don’t ever get that. Could it be that my hair is thicker and heavier than yours? How can I get this height?

  66. says

    hi there, nice picture , and haircut, its like from 20’s. Im not sure but for me the best chose for this style is a hat i mean the trilby one. You can believe or not but im a serious maniac of the hats thats why i always talk about it ;P.
    Last year i found this shop before it i have been wearing hats and caps from chain stores but its not the same.

  67. Taylor says

    Hey Kate! I am a dancer and I just cut my hair to about how long your hair is in this video. I am trying to learn how to do this bun because this is the best one I have seen for my length of hair. How stable is the bun? Do you think that doing it this way it would work for dancing? Thank you so much for your awesome website!!

  68. Franchesca says

    I have dark brown hair, would you recommend me buying the Conair poly bands in another color? Or should I just get them in clear? Thank you!

  69. says

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