A good compliment can really brighten your day. In fact, it can still bring a smile to your face days, weeks, months — years? — after it was given to you. And the more sincere the flattery is, the longer it sticks.
While my ultimate motivation behind dressing up and spending time on my hair, nails or outfit is to feel good for myself, I also love the reward of getting complimented on all of the above. A good updo that makes you feel beautiful and earns you compliments? That’s a double win in my book.
The below elegant bun hairstyles are all relatively easy to recreate yourself, but have an air of complexity that makes people think you spent hours and hours in front of your mirror perfecting each strand. Let the compliments pour in.
The Beach Side Braided Bun
You’ll have the prettiest hair in the office in four easy steps thanks to this fab tutorial at Makeup.com. To recreate the look, you’ll want to give your hair a little dusting of texturizing spray or powder, then gather your hair into a low pony. From there, braid your ponytail, secure the end, then wrap it around itself around the base of your ponytail. Pin it town, finish with hairspray and you’re good to go.
Double Bun Hair Tutorial
What’s better than one bun? Two, of course! This Mini Double Buns hair tutorial by YouTube user leighannsays is perfect for those casual, low key days, or days when you simply want to make a statement without exerting too much effort. “I like to think of it as the ’90s, Gwen Stefani-ish mini buns,” she says. We have to agree! That said, they’re still totally wearable today.
Fabric Bun Tutorial
Want to add a playful touch to your standard bun? All you need is a little fabric and about two minutes. For this tutorial, you can use whatever fabric appeals to you most. Perhaps it’s something bright and cheery, or maybe it’s something sheer and sparkly. Whatever you choose, follow this fun YouTube tutorial put together by Steamfaerie and Seventeen magazine.
The Simple Donut Bun
It was all the rage in its heyday, and now we’re seeing a revival of the donut bun. This time around, though, it’s taking a softer and more romantic approach, and less sleek and very “done up.” If you want to give the ol’ donut a go again, we suggest following this tutorial on the Confetti Day Dreams blog. It’s super airy, almost taking on a cotton candy texture, and finished with wispy hair wrapped around the base of the bun.
Romantic, Layered Bun
“When it comes to hair, my attempts at anything more than a ponytail or top knot leave me feeling frustrated and looking ridiculous,” writes Anne of the Anne Sage blog. “But as elaborate braids and buns have gained popularity, I’ve longed to go beyond the basic. So I asked Heidi Marie Garrett of 1011 Makeup to help me create a tutorial for this simple yet stunning updo.” Simple and stunning it is. This layered, romantic bun has a floral quality to it that makes me want to read books in a secret garden lush with tangled ivy.
Messy Bun with a Braided Wrap
The Small Things blog, run by blonde-haired Kate, is one of my favorites. I’m obviously not alone in my adoration, as she’s built quite the following. Anyway, Kate has a way of simplifying complex hairstyles and breaking them down into easy-to-understand steps. This messy bun with a braided wrap offers the perfect mix of casual and sophisticated, making it deal for any upcoming elegant affairs. Check out the video tutorial for everything you need to know!
Waterfall French Braid Bun
This French braid hairstyle is so rich it hurts my teeth (in a good way). To achieve the super glossy and refined finish, you’ll want to prepare your hair by brushing it out and applying some hair serum to keep frizzies away. According to the tutorial, day old hair works best for this elegant bun hairstyle since the braid will hold better.
Elegant, Low Hanging Side Bun
This hairstyle from blogger Negin Mirsalehi is of the most sophisticated, yet unexpected, hairstyles I’ve come across in a while (and I look at hair blogs a lot). Like the other hairstyles listed here, it’s one you can recreate at home without much hassle or frustration, but it will definitely earn you oohs, ahhs and questions like, “How’d you do that?” This one’s best for those with super long locks, but medium length hair will yield a similar version by following the same steps.
Easy Knotted Updo Bun
Emily of the The Freckled Fox included this easy, knotted updo/bun in her “Summers End Hair Week” series, so I deem it wearable for end of summer and through the fall. She says, “This is one of those [hairstyles] that can be worn with sunglasses and a pair of jeans during the day, or with a little sequined dress and some heels for the evening.” Versatile is always good. Emily thoroughly details the how-to on her blog with loads of pictures, a supply list and text instructions, so head over there ASAP.
Elegant Sleek Bun Inspired by Angelina Jolie
YouTube’s prolific Lilith Moon can seriously work magic on hair. She also has a way of making her hairstyles easy to recreate, even if you’re not very hair savvy. This elegant, sleek bun updo is no different. It was inspired by Angelina Jolie and packs the same sort of refined elegance that the brunette starlet always has. Lilith uses some hair extensions to recreate this look, so if your hair is on the short side, consider doing the same if you want all that volume.
Got buns on the brain? Check out these “5 Effortlessly Chic and Messy Buns.”