The Lived in Bun Tutorial



While this isn’t a profoundly new hair tutorial (I did a messy bun tutorial here), I thought it maybe be helpful to break down the steps to a “lived in” casual messy bun. There’s nothing I love more than soft, casual, and easy to wear hair — Β and this lived in bun has been on repeat for awhile.

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Comments (50)

  1. Posted January 26, 2015

    Such a fun, relaxed style! I need to make mine look more pulled together like this!

  2. Posted January 26, 2015

    The pulling to loosen is genius! I wonder if I could make this work with my hair – it’s mid-back length… maybe double fold before the hairband or tuck and bobbypin some more? Also – I love the wall colour!

  3. Cynthia says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Kate! I tried this style for Christmas, because after an entire day of cooking, I didn’t have time to wash and style my hair. I have long hair, down to my lower back. Any tips on how to pull this off with loooong hair? I had issues with hair falling out of my elastic all night long. I had to use like 20 pins. Maybe fold it twice and then put on the elastic?

    I loved the style and my husband loved it too.

    • Kimberly says
      Posted January 26, 2015

      I have long hair and I’ve found a lot of these bun tutorials don’t work for me. I love the messy bun tutorial, but I have to wrap each piece so many times before I can get it to a length that I can pin it without 6-8 inches dangling from it that it never comes out looking right. I’ve often considered just chopping a lot of it off so I can do more of these tutorials! lol

      • Cynthia says
        Posted January 28, 2015

        I know, right!? I’ve had the same thought about cutting my hair too.

  4. Riley says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    You must be getting close to your due date. Can you remind us when it is? I’m sure you’re excited to meet your next family member. πŸ™‚

    • Caroline says
      Posted January 26, 2015

      She posted a few days ago on Instagram that she had 20 days- so getting close!

  5. Posted January 26, 2015

    This looks So comfy and cute! Hope I can perfect it!

  6. Sarah says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    I love this look!! My hair is very thin so I haven’t perfected this look yet! What kind of shampoo and conditioner do you use? I remember you saying it one of your post but I’m not sure which one it was πŸ™‚

  7. Posted January 26, 2015

    I love the name of this “lived in” bun haha I’m looking forward to trying it!

  8. Liz. says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Kate, I just love your hair tutorials…even though my hair is too short to try! I’m an “older” follower of yours (55!) and I have tried many times to grow my hair longer. I reach a point and head to the salon for a cut! Then I think, “why didn’t I wait a bit longer?” Ugh!! In one of your recent posts I believe I recall you mentioning that your natural hair color is showing more now at your root line…I must say I think your natural color is lovely! Best wishes and blessings as you near your delivery of the new baby!

  9. Jennifer says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Beautiful! Are you wearing your fav cargo blush in these photos? Love the color!

    • Janna says
      Posted January 26, 2015

      That’s the first thing I noticed in these pictures! That blush is a beautiful color on you, Kate!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 26, 2015


  10. Beth says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    I have worn my hair in a messy bun 2 or 3 times since watching your last tutorial and gotten a few compliments on it. πŸ™‚ I watched today’s video and will continue to perfect my messy bun. It’s a cute look and great way to style 2nd day hair. #winning

  11. Kim says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    I love this look! Isn’t it weird how it’s harder to make your hair look messy..? LOL thanks for sharing!

    Kim .. I’m UNBOXING?!

  12. Amy says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Its pronounced A-me-ka. πŸ™‚ Loved the hair!

  13. zoe says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Hi, loved your blog I would really like to collab with you

  14. Sissi says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    This updo is perfect for every day- I love it and must try it!

  15. Allison says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Love this look! I particularly like how soft it is around your face. It looks so casual and natural, but so, so pretty.

  16. Moja says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Such an easy way to throw up your hair on the go and still look great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Susie says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    thank you

  18. Leslie says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    I currently have no bangs and I’m wanting some longer ones. What would i tell my stylist to get bangs similar to yours?

  19. Posted January 26, 2015

    Looks so pretty! I’m going to try this out tomorrow!

  20. Posted January 26, 2015

    I’ve never tried one of those fabric elastics! I’ll have to get one asap!

  21. Posted January 26, 2015

    This is my favourite type of hairdo – thanks for sharing! Also loved watching your tutorial – I found it really clear and easy to follow πŸ™‚

    Jess xo

  22. DRAMA says
    Posted January 26, 2015

    Cool tips!

    Welcome to WORLDWIDE 100$ GIVEAWAY on my blog!

  23. Denise says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    Hi Kate! Another small things blog groupie here ….. need to know suggestions on how to do the messy bun on longer hair. Like another commenter i find myself using a million bobby pins and do more wrapping and twisting =/
    Help ?!?!? Thanks.

  24. Heidi says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    Hi Kate! I would love to see another hair styling tutorial now that your hair is so much longer, especially for the bangs. I have been growing my hair out for 8 months now but always get frustrated with my bangs. Love this messy bun!

  25. Tyana says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    love this, its so casual and formal at the same time

    check out my newest post

  26. Marlene says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    I have a request. My hair is severely damaged from pony tails, clear elastics, etc. I have been put on restriction by my hair stylist to not use pony tails or elastics for some time. πŸ™‚

    My request is, can you film a few tutorials that do not require elastics? And preferably no teasing. Bobby pins only! That is a nice challenge and I think several people would benefit from it πŸ™‚

    • Cynthia says
      Posted January 28, 2015

      I don’t style my hair, but when I want it out of my face, I just pull it back into a bun and use a claw clip to keep it in place. It’s gentle, doesn’t cause and breakage and it leaves beautifully wavy hair when I take my hair down.

      I don’t know if that helps, but I thought I’d mention it.

      • Marlene says
        Posted January 28, 2015

        Cynthia, I have tried clips, but my hair is on the short end so I can’t hide it well! It just looks undone when I try it :/ but thanks for your thoughts!

        • Kristi Nicholson says
          Posted May 27, 2015

          My daughter has fine hair & breaks when using some elastics also. We find that the tiny claw clips work well. They come n many colors, so can be used decoratively or in same tone as hair to “hide” much like pins. Using several of them we have achieved things from messy buns, to a “flipped” ponytail look on her. Hope this helps you.

  27. Victoria Smith says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    Hey Kate:)……my name is Victoria Rose Smith! I live in little Asheboro about two hours from you, I am 17 and I attend Bailey’s Grove Baptist Schools, I’m a junior; I am taking CNA classes right now, and plan to become a Maternity nurse, and I’m thrilled about it, my boy friend’s name is Jonathan, he is 19, we have been together for 3 years!!! He is the best, he is”the one” and I just want you to know you really inspire me, you just are have such a sweet spirit and I would love to get to know you better, and I always love looking at your blog:) your style, family is definitely something I want to follow after out model similar to! I know it’s not always perfect, Cause none of us are! But I want you to know that even tho I don’t know you all that well, I have been praying for your pregnancy and delivery! And for Davi

  28. Victoria Smith says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    David as this transition will be a little different for him also! Not in a weird way, but I love you, and thank you so much for bring an enjoyment got me:)

  29. Victoria Smith says
    Posted January 27, 2015

    Sorry for like telling you a bunch of random stuff!:(

  30. Maegan says
    Posted January 28, 2015

    Kate, can you please address the long hair issue? I tried this up do after I saw the posted video earlier and I couldn’t get it right because of the length of my hair (long). I then tried doing it the way you showed in another video using two elastics and that worked better but kind of petered out too. Maybe when you’re back home and off maternity leave you can have a friend be your model and you can show us what to do. OR, you could wear your wedding extensions again! πŸ˜‰

  31. Zalona says
    Posted January 29, 2015

    amazing blog post and very inspiring blog! Keep up the great work! I’m a fan! πŸ™‚ XO

  32. Natasha says
    Posted January 30, 2015

    Woooow this is amazing. Will have to try it out sometime. I always struggle with my messy buns

  33. Ciara says
    Posted February 1, 2015

    I have long, thick, somewhat naturally wavy hair. I am a hairstylist as well. I do the messy bun a lot because I don’t wash my hair daily. So it’s quick and easy for me. How I do it with long hair is put my hair in a ponytail with a thicker hair elastic. The clear elastics do NOT work for my hair, they would break in a second. I use a regular one without the metal piece. (the cute fabric ones that she uses are too small for my hair as well) I will either do a “base” ponytail or a ponytail that I don’t pull all the way through. I then take my hair and kind of “clump” it up with another regular sized ponytail holder. I still follow a lot of these steps, but I use BIG, thick bobby pins/roller pins that you can purchase at Sally Beauty Supply. One of those equals about 5 regular pins. It allows you to grab a thick piece of hair and gives the support long hair needs to be held up. I only need about 2-5 of those big pins. I still pull at the root, sides, nape, and on the bun itself. I don’t need to do any back combing really either with pulling up at the root. I use a strong hold finishing hairspray to hold it in place, and I generally apply a lot because of my heavy hair! Hope this helps some of the girls with long hair!! You can still follow her tutorial which is great, but us ladies with long thick hair can’t use the clear elastics or the small bobby pins! I even have a hair stylist friend that would “base” her messy bun with a scrunchy and we have the exact same hair type! She said it held better and would make it bigger! Sometimes I use a clip underneath too and pin around that!

    • Cynthia says
      Posted February 2, 2015

      I use strong elastics too, the rubbery ones that don’t slide out of hair when you work out. I think I need to try your trick and not pull all my hair through… That would probably help immensely and then I might not have to use as many pins.

      Thank you for your suggestions! I love Kate’s hair tutorials, but some are hard for me to do with long hair.

      • Ciara says
        Posted February 2, 2015

        yep! I love all of her tutorials, too! even as a hairstylist I get a lot of ideas from her, as well!

  34. Anne says
    Posted February 4, 2015

    Just tried this style and it worked like a dream. I have never been able to get a good messy bun until now. Thanks for another great tutorial!

  35. Raelynn says
    Posted March 14, 2015

    I love you video’s on YouTube. I have tried every one of your style video’s. Thanks Kate!!!:)

  36. Madelaine Pienaar says
    Posted July 13, 2015

    Oh wow! this is great! I tried your tutorial and my hair looks BEAUTIFUL!
    Thank You

  37. mindy says
    Posted August 13, 2015

    what a carefree love! i totally adore!