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How To Style A Bun With Short Hair: 11 Easy Tips

photo of woman with bun hairstyle

On the surface, there are only upsides to cutting your hair short. You’ll save time on styling, lose all those split ends, and look more youthful in the process. Just about everything seems peachy—that is, until the first time you try to tie a ponytail or bun for short hair. Suddenly everything becomes loose pieces and tiny pigtails. Not a flattering look.

If you’re interested in learning how to style a bun with short hair and still look like a stylish adult, you’ll want to read these tips. Happy bunning!

Throw thick elastics in the garbage.

When it comes to short hair, you’ll need to rethink everything you knew about styling when you had a medium or long hair. Instead of depending on inches and gravity to do the work, you’ll be leaning on hair products and pins to hold your updo together.

As a first step, toss your thick elastics in the trash and purchase a set of neutral or clear no-tangle elastics from your nearest beauty supply store. These thin bands will cover up less of your hair and minimize tugging, leading to a better bun.

Make sure your hair has grip.

Your long hair might have stayed put in just about any updo, but your short hair needs help to become a gorgeous, textured messy bun. That’s why it’s so crucial to stock your beauty arsenal with texturizing sprays and mattifying pastes. Products that give your hair grip and lift are key. As an added tip, working with lived-in hair will always be easier than trying to make the squeaky clean version hold.

Pins are your new best friend

Short haircuts often come with layers and blunt ends that look beautiful when your hair is styled and worn down. For buns, however, you’ll find those extra pieces can be quite a nuisance. Purchase several packs of standard size and miniature bobby pins to help mask the appearance of flyaways.

When in doubt, hairspray it.

Even when you’ve prepped your hair with a texturizing product, you’ll likely see free pieces along the nape. Spritz them with hairspray, then use a comb or brush to push them back into place.

Don’t fight your short hair.

It’s important to realize that a low bun for short hair will never achieve the deluxe top knot status you see all over social media. Don’t worry! There’s a reason you see so many models and influencers wearing a cropped style. Understated never goes out of style.

Work braids and twists into your look.

Another way of coping with strands that keep escaping your bun is to work with them instead of trying to fight them. That means opening up a whole new world of bun possibilities. Whether you’re French braiding the top section of your hair or creating one giant twist in the back, experiment to see what styles play best with your cut.

Try to use bun-making tools when possible.

There’s a reason every beauty supply store seems to have no less than 15 bun donuts and styling tools: Everyone else has short hair problems, too. If you’re short on time and need to look professional, these twisting tools are the way to go.

Changing bun placement can fix everything.

Don’t be afraid to play around with placement as a way of building the prettiest bun possible. If you find that the traditional top knot placement allows too much hair to slide free, experiment with a knot just above your nape or even two buns behind either ear.

Two words: bun cuffs.

Like hair donuts, bun cuffs were specifically designed to solve many of your short hair problems. If you’re finding that there’s not enough room to create a satisfactory twist and maintain your bun’s volume, nab a matte metal cuff. The helpful accessory will hide your elastic without using up any of your short mane. Once your cut starts to grow out, you can put this one to use around your ponytails.

Multiple buns are always a good option.

In even the most strict of corporate offices, you can get away with multiple short buns instead of a single large one. To test this theory, try grouping several along the back of your head as a faux-hawk or forming a grouping to mimic the look of long hair.

Loose is better.

Above all else, the golden rule of styling short hair is that no updo should be tight to the scalp. This creates a stretched look that can make it seem like you have even less hair than you really do. Just like you’d pancake a braid to create the illusion of added volume, opt for loose when it comes to your bun.

For more personalize advice about styling short hair, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a professional near you.

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