Messy Bun for Thick, Heavy Hair

If you have ever seen me before in your life, you’ve probably seen me with a messy bun in my hair.  It’s the hairstyle I choose at least 3 or 4 days a week, because I’m lazy like that. Yes, I was a hairstylist for many years, but that job required me to make other people’s hair look good, not mine! Today I want to show you how I do my messy bun for thick, heavy hair, because having lots of hair changes the game more than people realize.

Messy Bun Tutorial

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite blogs to read is The Small Things Blog.  Mrs. Kate, who writes that awesome blog, does all of these video tutorials on how to style your own hair.  *Gasp*!  What a concept!  She’s built a huge following mainly from these video tutorials.  She keeps people coming back with her cute-as-a-button face and personality!

I can hear you now:  “Martie, you’re a hairstylist, why would you need to watch videos on how to style your own hair?”  Of course I know how to style hair!  But learning is every bit a part of doing hair as shampooing is, and I’ve always been open to learning new things when it comes to hairdressing, even now that I’ve left the industry.  Any hairdresser who thinks he/she already knows it all can’t be a very good one.  Plus, it’s just really fun to get a different perspective on doing my own hair, since most of the time I don’t.  Do my own hair, that is. heh heh.

I’ve even been known to sit up from my slumber, and before my feet hit the floor, slap in that messy bun, and go.  No brush, no pick, no nothing…just twisted up bed-hair.  That’s how I ended up here one time.

So, I’m reviewing sweet Kate’s tutorial from Tuesday.  This required me to take selfies.  Lots of selfies.  I’m not good at selfies.  At. All.

messy bun


But I wanted to try out her tips and tricks to see if I could get my messy bun to stay where I put it a little bit better.  I have very long, wavy, thick, heavy hair, and usually on messy bun days I have long, fuzzy strands hanging out of my ‘do in every direction.  By lunch time, I’m yanking it down and doing it over, bringing it a little higher, because it’s drooped halfway down my head and coming apart. Same around 2:00. Again at 6. Kate’s solution?  Do a little prep work!

Messy bun for thick, heavy hair

Ok, so that’s never been my bag, Babe.  That’s the work part, the part I usually avoid, and the reason I’m sporting a messy bun in the first place!  But, after watching her video, I decided that re-doing my hair several times throughout the day was just as much work as doing a little prep, if not more.  I also realized quickly that I would have to modify her instructions doing a messy bun for thick, heavy hair. For example, those little clear elastics?  Yeah….no.  I could’t get 1/3 of my hair in those things!  And all that product would actually weigh me down more, which is what I was trying to avoid. The rest was game on!

Here’s how I do it normally.

messy bun

Not a great shot, but you can see how out-of-control it is. A messy bun, even for thick heavy hair, can definitely be too messy. I mean, it’s ok, but after an hour or so there will be escapees. First things first…curling iron. I actually curled my hair. I used my favorite curling iron, which is the Hot Tools Big Bumper 1-1/2″ iron.  It gives a nice bend and some volume to my hair, without over-curling it.

messy bun

Of course, I did it the Martie way, which means only about 3/4 of my hair got to interface with the iron.

messy bun

The results.

I skipped the texture cream, because that’s the stuff that usually makes my hair tip the scales and spill out of itself.  But I did do the teasing bit!

messy bun

I did the crown and the sides, just as Kate showed me.  Then, I messed it up real good and sprayed some hairspray at the roots…my favorite kind, Big Sexy Hair’s Spray and Stay. messy bun

Kate used a little dry shampoo, and I was going to do that, too, but I’m already as dry as they come and those usually make my scalp itchy.  The hairspray was a good alternative for me.

Now, if you watched her video, you saw that when you put your hair up into this style, you sort of do a “fold’.  My sweet friend Vroom Vroom (the nail tech at the salon) just could not get that concept down.  I teased her that it was her type A personality; she couldn’t leave something half-done!  You actually pull your hair only halfway through the elastic, then make your second revolution with it.  It actually took me a few hundred tries to get that concept down myself, and my little sister, The Squirt, is the one who taught me, years ago.  She would do it so fast and it turned out so cute every dang time!  Some of Kate’s readers complained in the comments that she did it too fast, as well, and they couldn’t figure it out.  I already knew what she was doing back there, so I was good.  If you missed it, just start like you’re doing a ponytail, stop when the hair is half-way through the elastic, and do your second twist just like you would if you’d pulled it all the way through.  That’s the best way I know to describe it.

I, of course, went for some sturdier elastics, and to really give it some support, I have to use 2.

messy bun

I use these Goody Ouchless elastics, which have no metal and won’t pull or shred your hair. Then I went in and loosened up the sides and the hair at the nape, as Kate directed.  I did have to place one little long string that escaped with a hairpin, but I brought it around to the top to pin it (pinning at the bottom drags it down on me).  I just smoothed back the shorter layers around my face, because I can’t work with hair in my face all day.  I smoothed it “loosely”, so to speak, so it wouldn’t look too severe.  I finished it off with another coat of my favorite hairspray, and examined my results.  My messy bun for thick, heavy hair was complete!

The Results:

messy bun

messy bun

messy bun

messy bun

It looked pretty darn cute (in spite of the silver, tinsel pieces)!  The true test for me was: how long will this hold up?  Was all the curling and teasing and pinning really worth the effort?  Well, Madre and I went for a walk, and the temps were in the high 30’s, so I wore this. messy bun

When I got back, the front had a little bit of cray-cray,

messy bun

but I smoothed it out and it went right back to cuteness!

messy bun

messy bun

Aside from our 2.5 mile walk, I made two salon capes yesterday from start to finish, washed some clothes, photographed some listings (outside on a step-ladder in the wind), helped with homework (the most hair-ruining inducer there is), worked on my taxes (there’s another one), cooked a meal, and finally sat down to color in my new coloring books (yep, I’m a big ‘ol baby) at 7:30.  Coach looked up at me and said, “your hair looks cute”.

Okay, that’s a big fat lie. Coach only notices my hair when I spend an hour flat-ironing it.  But the fact is, my messy bun for thick, heavy hair did still look cute!

The Aftermath

Last night at 8:30, when I was washing my face and brushing my teeth, my hair still looked great.  No crazy, scraggly hairs, and the bun was still in the same spot I had perched it in that morning!  I most definitely give Kate’s tutorial 5 big, fat stars!  Not only did her tips work, but they worked on my enormous mop, and my ‘do stayed in all day!

What’s your go-to hairstyle? Do you have baby-fine locks, or fat hair like me? Do you work at it, or just give it a lick and a promise? I used to tell my clients all the time that a little effort can go a long way in styling…use some product, a little heat, and it’s not that hard!  It’s a shame I don’t heed my own advice.  Taking the time to do a a little curling, teasing and spraying before creating my messy bun was totally worth it!

Have a GREAT hair day!

X,O,X,O,  Martie