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How to ace a sleek, smooth bun: 5 expert tips


How to ace a sleek, smooth bun: 5 expert tips
A smooth and sleek bun is a perfect hair style for numerous occasions. Achieving its perfected look takes a few expert tricks.

When it comes to a wedding you just can’t beat the classics.

Beyond the dress, the bouquet and the music, choosing to go with tried-and-true hair and makeup styles will mean you’ll never look back and cringe at your treasured wedding photos.

Case in point:  When Sofia Richie wed music exec Elliot Grainge, Richie chose an elegant low bun (see below) without a hair out of place to accompany her custom Chanel couture dresses.

It’s the type of hair look that works for so many occasions from professional work settings to tropical holidays or black-tie events.

To create the look, it takes a little practice to get a perfect finish. 

Before you start, gather the essentials. At the very least you’ll need hairspray with strong hold and a shiny finish, a dense-bristle hair brush (experts love the iconic boar-bristle brushes from Mason Pearson), a tail comb and some elastics. 

Then, follow these tips to ensure your hair is smooth and tight and will stay in place for hours:

Work with damp hair

Some stylists suggest washing, drying and straightening hair first while others say working with damp – but not dripping – hair is best. Using a mister filled with water is one way to add just a touch for grip.  If you’re using dry hair, try using a decent amount of styling cream or serum to help give that damp effect that lasts.

Stylist Halley Brisker, who has created looks for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Julianne Moore and Lily James, told Glamour shiny hair product will help create the slick finish.

Use a glossing serum to achieve a glassy but flexible look. Apply small pumps consistently from roots to ends, by first rubbing into palms and distributing throughout in sections. Don’t worry about getting this ‘perfect’, just focus on making sure it feels and looks saturated. Then brush through from your parting downwards, to make sure the product is evenly dispersed.

Bun-lover Hailey Bieber also prefers dampening hair with products to achieve her go-to style, including applying a small amount of hair mask on occasion.

“I style my bun with a bunch of leave-in conditioners and hair treatments, because then I feel like I’m actually doing something good for my hair when it’s pulled back tight,” she told Refinery29. “My hair gets greasy really fast, so I’m really only putting product from the mid-length down to the ends.”

Choose the angle

For a more ‘snatched’ or uplifting look to the face, celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton creates a modern, center-parted bun by pulling the hair back ‘following the line of your cheekbones’ to decide the angle.

Appleton initially divides hair into three sections, one on each side keeping a triangle-shaped top section along the forehead hairline pointing back to the rear of the head free. First, he secures the two sides up and away at the back of the head, then uses a tail comb to create a perfect part on the top section before saturating with hairspray at the roots and smoothing it back to gather into the elastic at the rear of the head.


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A post shared by Kathleen (@kathleen_hair)

Bump up the volume

For Richie’s wedding, her hairstylist Kathleen Riley used a clip-in hair extension to help ensure the bun was even when Richie’s hair has a number of layers. To keep the look sleek and keep all flyaways in place, she used Got2b hairspray along with a blonde Shae Hair clip-in that helped “to conceal some of her layers to make the bun perfect.”

Clean up the edges

To keep the look sleek hairstylist and Dyson ambassador Jen Atkin has an easy trick. “Spray a toothbrush (not the same one for your teeth!) with hairspray and gently brush down the flyaways while using the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer on the cool setting with its styling concentrator attachment for precision styling.” 

Cheat a smooth finish with a net

Brisker tips that invisible hair nets (available in bulk on Amazon) are often used to create red-carpet chignons as they gather all flyaways that are seemingly impossible for us mere mortals to keep tucked in. Hally anchors the almost-imperceptible net at the base of the ponytail with a pin and tucks the ponytail lengths inside.

Once ready and inside the net, you can freely twist and bend the hair into various shapes and pull throughs before securing with U-shaped pins that tuck away neatly.” 

Image (top): @Kathleen_hair


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