45 Pretty Ideas for Casual and Formal Bun Hairstyles

There are certain hairstyles that are simply timeless, universally-flattering and suitable for a variety of hair types. Bun hairstyles got into this category thanks to their flexibility in styling and invariably gorgeous feminine look. We have prepared a gallery of very different buns for any occasion and style of the look.

Bun Hairstyles Ideas and Inspiration

Whether you opt for a loose bun for wavy hair, a curly bun or something in between, your styling possibilities are endless. Buns can be edgy, conservative, modern, classic, or vintage-inspired – it’s all about the style of your outfit and personal preference. If you love to rock your hair in a bun and are looking for some style inspiration, check out the photos below for some stunning ideas.

#1: Wavy Floral Updo

This formal hairstyle for long hair features a blend of a curly bun and a loose curly updo. One of the most tried and true methods to personalize any hairstyle is to add hair accessories or fresh flowers rhyming with your lip color, for instance. The flowers in this case are small enough in size not to overpower the hair – they are gracefully resting on the cushion of luscious curls.

#2: Back Braid and Bun

Many bun hairstyles incorporate braids, making it somewhat difficult to choose a braided idea that stands out. This one however, is definitely more modern. A braid around the bun is an option, but if you choose to keep it, make sure it’s as wide as the vertically running braid (or you can make it even lacier for a beautiful and eye-catching rim.)

#3: Curly Loose Bun

Subtle highlights for black hair is a wonderful way to make your locks dimensional which looks particularly beautiful in curly updos like this one. It would be ideal for a formal occasion such as a wedding or an outdoor party. Flowers in hair often turn out to be most beautiful hair accessory.

#4: Multi-Braided Bun

Sure you can add a few braids to your bun for some added pizzazz, but nothing compares to a black braided bun that features a head full of multiple braids coming together to form a thick and tall knot. A cornrow bun is never out of style.

black braided bun

Instagram/ @kersti.pitre

#5: Side Bun with Fishtail and Dutch Braid

One of the characteristics of bun hairstyles that make them so versatile is that you can position your bun in a variety of ways. Worn slightly off to one side, this bun is formed loosely from two crisscrossing plaits – a Dutch braid and fishtail. The final result is a voluminous, intricate-looking bun that is sure to turn heads.

#6: Low Braided Bun

This updo is also made from two different types of braids – a vertical French braid for the upper section of hair and a fishtail, wrapped in a bun, for the lower section. The way this messy bun rests softly at the nape of the neck pulls the whole look together.

#7: Front-Braided Messy Bun

Having fun with braids is a part of the experimental process when trying out different updos. Try a waterfall twist as a headband braid and lift the rest of the hair into a messy bun. With a small bouffant this updo is going to look even prettier.

#8: Pinned Mini Buns

The only thing better than a single bun is a row of buns that gives a Mohawk look to your updo. Bun hairstyles rarely get any cuter than this, thanks to the idea to collect mini buns in one hairstyle. Great for shorter hair or medium length locks, these tiny knots are fun and modern with just a hint of edge.

#9: Highlighted Twisted Bun

The highlights may be the first thing that catches your eye, but the interesting technique of the twist bun is what will have you doing a double take. What makes this updo unique is that it appears to be effortlessly pulled together, however, upon closer inspection you will see that the twisting, tucking and pinning of the hair into a bun is actually quite strategic.

#10: Polished Chocolate Brown Bun

Sometimes the most beautiful bun styles are those that are the simplest. From the rich chocolate brown hair color to the sleek, twist over the base, this is a lovely formal bun, but also appropriate for the office.

#11: Black Bun with Twisted Base

Sleek bun hairstyles succeed when the bun is bulky and sitting high on the top of your head. This beautiful black braided bun looks like a crown. It includes twists of varied thickness and perfectly smoothed edges.

#12: Messy Side Bun with a Braid

Balayage coloring and a large, loose braid prove they can go the distance and add some spice to a banal low side bun. With a bun carefully placed off to one side, the updo itself is actually pretty simple, effortless-looking and messy, even though there are no flyaways.

#13: Half Up Half Down Seashell Bun

If you are blessed with naturally thick or curly hair, here is a way to wear a bun and show off your natural texture at the same time. The half up, half down is the best of both worlds and this pretty style proves it. The half bun is wrapped into a seashell shape, and the rest of the hair is curled into perfect ringlets. The hair looks fluffy and very special.

#14: Braided Bulky Bun

Braids have become good companions of bun hairstyles but nobody has ever blended a fishtail so flawlessly into a bun. The braid doesn’t wrap around the bun, but it’s a part of it! Really amazing!

#15: Twisted Low Blonde Bun

A chic way to spice up a low ponytail is to turn it into a chignon. Positioned right at the nape of the neck, the blonde twist bun features simple details that manage to create a unique updo. There is twisting around the base of the bun, as well as along the sides. Slightly loosen the hair that covers the crown before gathering it at the nape of the neck.

#16: Two Buns in One

Two buns instead of one is a fresh take on the classic hairstyle that may be sometimes referred to as “boring” because you see it on so many girls. A double bun also appears more voluminous, especially when you include a wrap around its base.

#17: Intricate Braid and Looped Pony

This is not just a cute bun hairstyle, it’s an intricate updo with elaborate details and a messy touch to the overall look. However, if you’d like to recreate it, you only need to reduce the styling process to the elements you will cope with even if you are a beginner. These include a jumbo dutch braid topped with a fishtail and a looped ponytail.

#18: Twisted Side Bun

A donut bun usually sits high on the crown or closer to the nape. If you want to experiment with an asymmetrical (side) bun, it’s better to opt for a twist that can be sleek and polished like on the photo or messy and maximally imperfect. Anyway, the side position is very deliberate and adds to the drama of your look.

#19: Fishtailed Seashell Bun

The side position adds to the playfulness of this particular bun creation. It looks very lively and naturally cute, because we can see the hair texture and wispy flyaways. The fishtail braid is though very carefully rolled up into a perfect seashell bun.

#20: Overlapping Blonde Bun

This is at the top of the list of cute bun hairstyles, as a big bun and a formal bun come together to form an absolutely stunning updo for a wedding or gala. The bun is covered with chunky strands at different angles which convey a futuristic feel to the classic hairstyle.

#21: Medium-Sized Braided Bun

This is a classic way to wear your braided bun that’s made simply out of a braided pony – a hairstyle you can do yourself in a matter of minutes. Of course, it works best for long hair, because longer strands promise a bigger bun.

#22: Middle Bun with Long Back Braid

Perhaps this take on a bun is best suited for costume balls or dramatic performances, however that doesn’t mean it isn’t charming. Unless you have extremely long hair, you will certainly need extensions for this style, as the extra long braid in the back is the focal point of the look. A gold hair accessory and a small side bang add nice finishing touches.

#23: Blonde Bun with Side Braid

Here’s a cute bun hairstyle that’s absolutely casual and easy to complete even if it’s the first time you do updo on your own. This bun is highlighted by a single side braid and complemented with wispy side bangs.

#24: Asymmetrical Bun for Wavy Hair

When texture steals the spotlight of your hairstyle, its design can and should be pretty simple. This romantic curly bun is tender and lovely, to say the least. Whether you have naturally curly or wavy hair or simply use a curling iron to create texture, the right curls are the most important element to creating it. Once you have abundance of loose waves placed throughout your entire head, you simply guide them to one side to form a bun, and then pin it loosely in place.

#25: Afro Buns

Wearing your hair in two buns has never looked as adorable as it does here. The curly buns for shorter natural hair are equally playful and flattering, being a pretty update of the more traditional bun look. This particular style is ideal for black hair, but other races can also recreate it with heavily backcombed hair. The bright red spots add the perfect punch of color to complete this modern take on the updo.

two ponies hairstyle for medium natural hair

Instagram/ @modelesque_nic

#26: Bun for Dreadlocks

Buns hairstyles only win from new unusual colors and textures. These rich, burgundy dreadlocks are formed into a very neat bun with a bang section that falls off to one side. You can include a few shiny beads as an accent.

dreadlocks bun updo

Instagram/ @kersti.pitre

#27: Coiled Side Bun

It’s not big or overly dramatic, but compact, pretty and very feminine. Even with very fine hair, this twisted low side bun looks decent. Twist section loosely and pin them in loops that also remind flower petals.

#28: Two Sculpted Buns

Two buns like these require a lot of hair, so you may opt to use hair extensions. Each bun is expertly sculpted and smooth, creating a flawless look that is definitely a head-turner.

#29: Triple Coil Bun

Deciding to wear high bun hairstyles is a great way to show off your facial features and neckline. There are three, medium-sized coils placed neatly on top of each other in a stacked way. The rest of the hair is sleek and there are no bangs, braids or stray hairs peeking out to distract from the sleekness and perfection of lines and form.

#30: Thick High Bun

Another way to wear a bun high atop your head is to go the extra thick route. The actual bun is the focus, so there is no need for any other elements to take attention away. Once placed into a bun the hair is divided into three sections, backcombed, pinned and tucked into thick rolls that create depth and dimension.

high textured bun

Instagram/ @dionnesmithhair

#31: Basket Weave Braid and Bun

A basket weave braid uses more strands than a typical French braid, resulting in a chunkier and intricate-looking plait you can try to diversify your updos with a bun. You can also substitute basket weave with a Dutch braid and get another cute and slightly different style.

#32: Sleek Fancy Bun Updo

Side bun hairstyles can border on artistic, just have a look at this highlighted, sculpted style that resembles an origami flower. You would wear something like this for a very special occasion, like wedding or prom, so, if you like the design, trust this masterpiece to a professional.

#33: Four-Strand Braid and Messy Bun

A four-strand braid is the best if you want to create a wide braided headband. Finish it with a messy bun and another thinner four-strand plait to get a casual hairstyle that’s good enough to be worn for a big event.

#34: Sleek Bun with Mini Hair Bow

Upgrade your sock bun with a twist around its base and a sassy detail, like a bow made from your hair. It’s placed right underneath the twisted base and slightly off to the side – an unexpected yet edgy touch that spices things up.

#35: Red Hair Bow Bun

The fire engine red hair color gets your attention, but the big, beautiful hair bow is what makes your jaw drop. Cute bun hairstyles are taking on new forms today.

#36: Sleek Bun with Full Bangs

Buns with bangs are common, yet you rarely see them look this sleek and neat. The thick bangs are cut precisely above the eyebrows with not a hair out of place. The bun is formed just below the crown and accented with a single, pearl hair accessory that looks both romantic and feminine.

black bun updo with bangs

Instagram/ @dionnesmithhair

#37: Half Up Bun with Middle Braid

The half up, half down look strikes again and this time it features a very thick, middle braid. A thick, loosely braided plait is the best way to highlight a cute half bun that sits right on the crown – the point from where the lower locks fall down.

#38: Greek Style Messy Updo

Braided bun hairstyles can be done in a Greek style and paired with an empire waist dress for a very special occasion when you want to look very feminine. This blonde bun is messy and adorned with a fishtail braid, but you can just take the idea and experiment with details and textures.

#39: Pine Cone Bun Braided Around

This bun reminds a pine cone which is a fun take on the classic bun. To go even further in customizing your bun updo, add a side braid and a braided rim – awesome for a casual style.

#40: Fishtail Braid Bun

Another charge of inspiration for low bun hairstyles is an interesting fishtail braid style. Stray hairs are a charming detail. They make the braid look like a spikelet. It’s also a plus that usage of styling products isn’t evident.

#41: Side-Braided Bun

A great way to personalize your bun and add a little spice to it is to experiment with braids. Hair braided on one side is a cute detail that turns your basic ballerina bun into a fancy updo. There is also a single twist braid that goes around the bun. The final result looks effortless with just a little edge.

#42: High Bun with Braided Base

Opting for a bun with a braided detail is a way to give your updo a bit more personality. If you want to try out a braided base, this style is a perfect example to take your cue from. The actual braid is thick enough to be the main attraction of the look, just like a fancy hair accessory.

#43: Beadhead Bun Updo

The best thing about a messy top knot bun is that you really don’t have to do much to style it, and the actual messiness is exactly what makes it so appealing. Style with no previous combing and pull gently at the bun when it’s finished to loosen some pieces more than others.

#44: Big Round Bun

Proving that hair extensions and hair accessories can be used to create the perfect bun, this look is a perfectly-rounded wonder. You could incorporate several hair extensions to create the sculpted roundness or simply insert a bun-maker hair accessory that you place on a ponytail and form a bun around it.

#45: Sleek Formal Bun

The striking, black hair against the red lips and matching dress is the main attraction of the look, but the design of the voluminous bun is also worth of a double take. It has sort of a half-crescent shape that is smoothed to perfection with no messy strands or wisps of hair left out.

With so many bun hairstyles to choose from it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so, don’t forget to save those you like the most and would like to try in the near future. Enjoy your styling and new updos! One thing is for sure, when you decide on a bun there is never a dull moment.