The Alternative Bun

Today’s tutorial is a simple way to pull your hair up. I’ve been enjoying my hair up in ponytails and such even more these days as it’s gotten longer. Plus it’s been quite muggy and humid in my neck of the woods and sometimes I think wearing my hair down adds another 50 degrees to my overall temperature.

You can start with nearly any length hair (it needs to be long enough to be pulled back in a ponytail, with about 4+ inches of “ponytail length”), but the longer the better. And, I think it would be a beautiful option for naturally curly hair as well.

Don’t ever feel limited by the texture I’m starting these tutorials with. A lot of times you can start with a different texture or length, and use the same techniques to create something that will work for you. 

lipstick: MAC LoveLorn

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Comments (77)

  1. JANNA says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Cute, cute hairstyle!! And…I love that top alot!!! When I was preggo and wearing maternity, I had clothes envy from all of your outfits during that time. Now that the little one is here and I am no longer in maternity, I have a feeling I will have clothes envy all over again! 😉

  2. Posted July 1, 2013

    The photo of you looking back at the camera is stunning! You look radiant =)
    (the bun is cute too)

  3. Posted July 1, 2013

    HI! am i just NOT seeing it…is there a video with this??? lol! 🙂

    ~jennifer christine

    • Kate says
      Posted July 1, 2013

      Video embed problems. My sister is fixing it pronto!

    • Posted July 1, 2013


  4. Posted July 1, 2013

    Ummm…kind of disappointed…where are the earrings?? ha ha Looks great!

  5. Morgan says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Pregnancy suits you… You look beautiful 🙂

  6. Posted July 1, 2013

    I love wearing burns! They are such a cute hairstyle for the summer 🙂
    Suzanne from written by suzanne

  7. Shelly says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    I have to tell you that lipstick looks absolutely AMAZING on you. It is a perfect color for you. Gorgeous…and the hair too.

  8. Posted July 1, 2013

    I LOVE this! I like to keep my hair up while I’m at work and now that I am approaching 30, a ponytail just doesn’t always cut it. I’ve been doing the ‘messy bun’ for sometime, but this is a nice alternative that is a little more polished looking.

  9. Posted July 1, 2013

    Ok, first of all…LOVE the top. And secondly, LOVE this style. I will be using it tomorrow. Today, I am rocking “the messiest of buns”. Thanks Kate!!

  10. Posted July 1, 2013

    Love this look! Very classy, yet casual!

  11. Posted July 1, 2013

    You are absolutely beautiful! Your skin, hair, smile…everything is perfect! Motherhood looks good on you! This hair style is really great! I have some growing out to do (as usual) but I’m definitely saving this one in my memory!

  12. Heather says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    You look so great! I will be trying this out for sure!!

  13. Posted July 1, 2013

    What an amazing hairstyle! And I love that top on you – the pop of neon is fantastic, especially for a hair tutorial! It’s neat to have some interest in the back when we’re looking at the back of your head, haha!


  14. Leann says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Okay weird maybe personal question, or maybe a blog entry you’ve already done or could do in the future. But what type of bra’s do you wear. I know odd, but I can never wear wide neck shirts like you have on, my straps always show! And I never get the right fit, So disappointing. Anyways you look super cute, pregnancy suits you, you’re glowing 🙂

  15. Kristen says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    You are glowing in that second photo with the side angle. The bun is adorable on you. I love trying all of your hair tutorials. I will add this to the list!

  16. Posted July 1, 2013

    I’m sure you get told this a million times a day, but your hair is perfect! I love all your styles and your color. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Mia @

  17. Jamie F says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Now that my hair is getting longer, ! really like wearing it up! I love this tutorial!

    Bugs and Beans

  18. Missy says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Could you please tell me the paint color on the wall behind you, I want it in my house!! Thanks so much!

  19. Posted July 1, 2013

    I love this bun! TOO cute! And I just noticed your new header with the bobby pin.. LOVE it!!


  20. Melissa says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    I’ve been looking through your blog and was curious what is your “go to” volumizing product? I love how your hair always has such great volume whether it’s up or down!

    • Posted July 1, 2013

      I believe she uses Aquage Uplifting Foam. That’s what she’s used in the past, at least and I bought it as a result. I love it! It’s not available at regular stores, but many salons carry it.

    • Melissa says
      Posted July 1, 2013

      thanks so much for the tip! 🙂

  21. Posted July 1, 2013

    Hi there ^^,
    This hairstyle is just sooo cute, and it looks so effortless and I think its great for every situation, well done 😀
    XOXO Abby

  22. Kay says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    LOVE the hairstyle! Also love the music! gettin fancy in here! haha

  23. b-look says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    I know its about the bun, BUT! You are beautiful!! the lipstick, the neon zipper… stylish! 🙂

  24. Posted July 1, 2013

    I love this!! I’m definitely going to be giving it a try today. My hair is thick so when it’s humid out I’m feeling that extra 50 degrees too!

  25. Posted July 1, 2013

    I found the sweater online! It’s almost sold out- but I was able to snag one in my size! I’m loving being pregnant the same time as you– your great style will be so fun to use for inspiration! I adore this bun too- I have longer hair with layers that always poke out of more sleek updos- so this is perfect! Thanks for making my day, Kate!

    The sweater link is:

  26. Carly says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Love this, and that top! They didn’t have it at my DM!!!


  27. Leng says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Super cute! I recently donated 12″ of my hair and it’s almost to the point where I can start doing this – so excited! Thanks for the great tutorial 🙂

  28. Posted July 1, 2013

    Thanks Kate! I’m away from home and it’s much hotter here than I thought it would be so this bun is just perfect for me! I took out my sock bun and put this in the second I saw it. So cute!

  29. Posted July 1, 2013

    Great hair-do, but I love the new header to your blog 🙂

  30. Posted July 1, 2013

    Thank you for another cute up-do. As you know, the South’s humidity is making my hair a curly, frizzy hot mess. This helps a lot 🙂 And you are positively glowing! So happy for you.

  31. Posted July 1, 2013

    Lovely tutorial–and it will probably work for my hair length! Yay! It’s so hard to find styles that work for shoulder-length, or just-below-the-shoulders, hair.

  32. Dranrab says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    3rd pic down of you is friggen GORGEOUS!!! You look like a mix between Brooklyn Decker & Gisele!

  33. Posted July 1, 2013

    I just noticed the new header, I LOVE it. Great tutorial too 🙂

  34. rachh10 says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    I LOVE the third picture of you!! That needs to be your main blog pic!

  35. Posted July 1, 2013

    Oh Kate!! Thank you so much for this easy updo. I am going to try it today. I live in Central San Joaquin Valley in California and it is so hot here today. 112 degrees. With clouds (:. Thanks again. Happy fourth to you.

  36. Lauren says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    This is so cute, and looks so easy– anytime I put my hair in a bun it ends up looking all wonky and weird. I’m hoping something cute and easy like this will help–I’m kind of bun-challenged. 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  37. Posted July 1, 2013

    I love this! I recently cut off 8 inches of my hair so that it’s just below my shoulders (a very new look for me since I’ve had my hair very long for a while now) and have been looking for updos to try. This actually seems like something I can do!

  38. Emily says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    Very very cute.. Looks easy enough to at least try! 🙂

  39. ne-on says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. ne-on says
    Posted July 1, 2013

    I really like my hair in a bun and I try to make it as different as possible. So, I’m definitely going to try this one. Xx


  41. Posted July 1, 2013

    Gorgeous hair style!! I love doing low buns, they are so comfy but also chic.

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  42. Posted July 1, 2013

    Most hair tutorials make me feel overwhelmed by the difficulty. But with yours I say to myself, “I can SO do that!” Beautiful photos too!

  43. Ashley says
    Posted July 2, 2013

    I know you’re cooking a bun in yo oven…but you look so skinny and healthy…must be all that happy going on

  44. Posted July 2, 2013

    Love this look, and I love that it’s super easy and it will take me no time to do in the a.m.!

  45. Robin says
    Posted July 2, 2013

    Your hair has gotten really long!

  46. Posted July 2, 2013

    Such a pretty summer updo! I can’t wait to try this! I can’t thank you enough for your tutorials! For years, I’ve gone through the cycle of wanting to let my hair grow, but once it gets just below my shoulders, I can’t do much with it, then I would go back to the stacked bob (b/c it was easier for me to work with) and then letting it grow out, etc, etc. I’ve found your videos during a growing out cycle and using your product suggestions (AQUAGE!!) and following your tutorials (which are so straight forward and easy to understand), it’s actually fun to work with my hair and I’m doing much more with it than just pulling it up in either a clip or a pony tail holder (and waiting until it annoys me enough to get it cut short again). THANK YOU!!!!!!

    • Niki B says
      Posted July 12, 2013

      I too was ready to chop the locks and then I came across this blog. I go thru the tutorials every morning now and and choose one to watch and tackle for the day. I’m actually excited about doing my hair now! Ditto on the Thank You Kate!

  47. Posted July 2, 2013

    Love the style. simple and chic


  48. Posted July 2, 2013
  49. Posted July 2, 2013

    Tried this today and it looked awesome! Got me through a day at an amusement park with 2 kids, still looking cute. Now that is an accomplishment!! 🙂

  50. Posted July 3, 2013

    Who knew a bun could look so good?! great job!

  51. Posted July 3, 2013

    Hi Kate!
    Could you do a tutorial doing a center parted bang? Either with hair down and wavy or an updo that has some lift at the crown? My bangs are about the same length as yours, I am growing out a blunt cut bang. I’ve had side bangs for more than a decade and just need a change!!! I found some cute pictures of center parted bangs that are sort of voluminous and flow back into the rest of the hair but I’m not sure how to do it.
    Thanks for all the awesome hair styles!

    • Posted July 3, 2013

      I second that request!! I am in the same exact boat. Pleeeease help me style my center bangs.

  52. Posted July 3, 2013

    All over getting my hair up and out of the way with a one year old, thanks for the idea!

    (You look GORGEOUS in these photos, pregnancy looks fantastic on you.)

  53. Yishey says
    Posted July 5, 2013

    Thank you so much for this. Toronto (Canada) is a hot, muggy mess today and I’m wearing this as a high bun to work. Thank you for giving us tutorials and tips that actually work – I’m sure we all look a bit more polished and pretty for it 🙂

    p.s. that lipstick you have is a keeper!

  54. Posted July 11, 2013

    I just did this to myself while watching the video. I naturally very wavy hair and it looks great. I am going to an interview for graduate school and it looks fancy enough to wear there, and out to dinner with my boyfriend afterwards. It also feels super secure! Thanks Kate.

  55. Posted July 11, 2013

    love this, thank you!!

  56. Posted July 16, 2013

    This is so gorgeous! And your shirt is so COOL!
    I was wondering if you’d consider adding the Subscribe by Email gadget to your sidebar so I can get your posts directly to my Inbox.

  57. Posted August 1, 2013

    I had short hair growing up so I never learned how to twist, braid and “do” my hair in cute ways. Thanks to you I am sporting an easy messy bun today at work. It was easy to do and quick to pin up this morning before work. Saying goodbye to my boring ponytails! Thank you so much! XOXO!

  58. Posted August 30, 2013

    This looks greeat! Just perfect for a hot and humid day. It’d be nice to wear something other than the usual bun/chignon.

  59. Michelle D says
    Posted June 2, 2014

    Hey Kate~

    I just recently found your blog and have never been good at creating anything cute when it comes to my hair, so am loving all the different looks you have for casual as well as elegant hairstyles. I do have one major question: is there an alternative, more durable hair tie that can be used rather than the elastic ones? I’ve been trying to get them to work in my hair, but they usually break when I’m tying the second twist or the pony tail doesn’t stay up, it basically falls down from the weight of my hair.

    Thanks for all the tips!

  60. Grace Asher says
    Posted July 11, 2014

    I just have to say I don’t know what I’d do without you!! I’m an actress and I so a LOT of my own hair. Until I found your blog, I was always stressed and couldn’t even sleep well the night before. I just want to thank you for sharing your talents because looking good is such a big part of feeling good. And you help us ladies to feel better. I’m gonna share your blog on my FB page!! 🙂

  61. TAF says
    Posted December 22, 2014

    New to your blog and looking to “refresh” my style. Just saw this tutorial and had 1 question.
    While you didn’t verbally note it, it looked like you alternated the direction of the wrapping of the hair pieces from left to right. Do you recommend doing that to make it look more interesting?

    P.S. Your instructions are quite easy to understand and I feel like I, a novice, could make a go of it.

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