A Hairstylist Just Told Me How to Do the Perfect Slicked-Back Bun

If there's one hairstyle that's dominating red carpets, runways and our feeds right now, it's the slicked-back bun. This cool-girl hairstyle has been gaining momentum for a while. With the rise and rise of the "clean girl" aesthetic, it seems like the super-sleek bun is everywhere right now. Supermodels such as Bella Hadid and Jourdan Dunn have been seen wearing the snatched bun both on and off the runway, while cool girls Hailey Bieber and Simone Ashely have also worn the hairstyle on many a red carpet from the Met Gala to the Oscars. And you only have to open your Instagram feed to see the trend everywhere right now. In fact, it's one of the easiest hairstyles you can create, but it looks like you've put a lot of effort into it.

Slicked bun hairstyle: Simone Ashley @peterluxhair



Simone Ashley wore this super-sleek bun to a Tiffany & Co. exhibition this year.

Slicked bun hairstyle: @bellahadid



Bella Hadid has become synonymous with the slicked-back-bun look both on the runway and off duty.

It's no wonder that the slicked-back bun has become so popular—it's a versatile look. It works for running errands in the daytime but looks equally elegant for a dinner or evening event. And the best part is, despite its associations with the clean-girl beauty trend, it often works better on second-day hair, making it a great option when your hair wash schedule hasn't lined up with your social events or you don't have time for hours of heated styling. It can also be easily created on freshly washed hair with a couple of key products and tricks.

Slicked bun hairstyle: @jourdandunn



Jourdan Dunn's sleek-bun hairstyle taps into the '90s trend with tendrils of hair spiking out of her bun.

Slicked bun hairstyle: @haileybieber



Hailey Bieber is often spotted wearing a sleek bun tied low on the nape of her neck.

However, while the sleek bun looks totally effortless, there are some tips and tricks to know about. So I reached out to expert hairstylists Jemma Mewies at Mewies & Co and Jake Wanstall at Larry King to get their top tips on how to get the slicked-back-bun look.


Slicked-Back-Bun Tutorial: Get the Look

Slicked bun hairstyle: @Jlo



Jennifer Lopez gives us a lesson in slicked-back hair for daytime dressing in a crisp white shirt and gold jewellery.

1. Prep your hair

Slicked bun hairstyle: @joansmalls



"For the perfect slicked-back look, start with clean hair and dry in a light product with flexible hold—my go-to is always the Shaping Cream by Authentic Beauty Concept. This will help give the hair more grip and texture without making the hair too heavy," says Mewies.

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This styling cream provides hair with a medium hold to help set the base for your sleek bun.

2. Straighten your hair

"Once dry, part the hair in the centre for this look and straighten (after applying heat protection!) in small sections to help eliminate frizz and create a cleaner, smoother finish," says Mewies. "Make sure to get the irons close to the head, especially around the hairline."

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This cult styler creates sleek styles in a matter of minutes.

3. Apply hair oil



"Once straight and cooled, apply your go-to hair oil to smooth the hair and create a high shine," says Mewies. "My favourite is the Authentic Beauty Concept Indulging Fluid Oil as it is super lightweight but gives maximum results. Be sure to brush the product through as this helps to get an even distribution."

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This oil smoothes the lengths to create an ultra-sleek look.

4. Secure your bun

"Next, it's time to secure your ponytail," says Mewies. "Position is so important, so don't go too high or too low in the nape. The middle of the back of your head is where you want to be," she says. "Once secured, twist and bend the ponytail into shape winding around the hair tie and pinning as it starts to bend. Allow the hair to move in its own direction. Don't force it too much into a shape it doesn't want to go!"

A bungee hair tie will make creating this style much easier, says Wanstall. "A Bungee tie will get the ponytail super tight. Then use grips to pin in the bun to make sure it's super clean," he says.

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A bungee hair tie will allow you to wrap the hair tie around the hair multiple times before hooking onto the other end, allowing a better hold than standard hair ties.

5. Fix in place



"Once in place, make sure all pins are hidden and then smooth over any flyaways around the hairline using a hairspray or cream," says Mewies. "Use a pomade to give super shine and strong hold without overburdening the hair."

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Smooth edges and tame flyaways with this handy cream and brush.

Shop more sleek hair bun products:

The smoothing nozzle on this hairdryer helps to deliver seriously shiny hair and smooth lengths.

This pomade is loved for giving a matte-effect finish to the hair.

Double up your sleek-bun look with a hair-mask treatment. Simply apply through the lengths of wet hair and style for a multitasking hairstyle throughout the day.

A natural bristled brush is ideal for catching all your hair as you pull it back into a bun, leaving a smooth, bump-free finish.

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