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The Editors
Updated on August 10, 2021

The sock bun never looks dated; it’s a quick hair fix for second day hair, a chic and feminine updo that you can do yourself within minutes and it’ll look professionally done. Wow, can you ask for more when you need to get ready quickly and look put together for your work day? Don’t want to look prim and proper? A messy version of the sock bun is an appealing idea even for those less experienced in hairstyling.

How to Do the Sock Bun?

  • Prepare the sock: steal one from your boyfriend or dad and cut the toe part off the sock. You need a sock with a tight band for a better hold of the updo. Roll the sock down to make a donut.
  • Pull your hair back into a ponytail and brush it.
  • Holding the ponytail up or at an angle, pull its end through the donut. Wrap the end around the donut once and tuck it under the band of the sock to stay in place.
  • Now turn the donut over and over, moving down towards the base of the ponytail, letting the hair to wrap around along the way. Try to cover the sock and distribute the hair evenly.
  • Use bobby pins if needed.

The Sock Bun for Layered Hair

The problem frequently occurring to layered hair that is put into a sock bun is many uneven pieces that fall down out of the bun. These can get really annoying, and you need to wrap them around the bun and pin in place.

A fix for this problem is a sock that you roll down from the cut off end to the heel and past the heel, but not all the way down to the band. Holding the sock with the band down, pull your pony through it. Start rolling the sock with the hair towards the base of your pony. The layers will get in without problem, and the bun will hold without any bobby pins!

The Sock Bun for Shorter Black Hair

Girls with shorter hair, naturalistas, we know you also love this elegant look, and we’ve got you covered. If your hair is too short or thin to cover the sock or donut, braiding hair is the way to go. Use Kanekalon hair for a smoother look or kinky twist hair for a textured bun. Wrap a piece of braiding hair around the donut to cover it completely. Use hair glue to secure the hair on the donut.

Pull your hair back into a ponytail, positioning it as you want – low, high, or to the side. Pull your pony through the wrapped donut and then spread your natural hair from the pony over the donut. Secure with an elastic or bobby pins.

Products to Use for the Sock Bun

The sock bun is not demanding to the choice of products. You can really go without any products at all, but if you wish, you can apply some dry shampoo and backcomb your hair for texture before you begin. For the shiny finish, use some smoothing pomade or hairspray, especially if you have straight hair that gives many flyaways and you just want to tame them and get a nice, smooth bun.

Sock Bun Ideas and Inspiration

Although the sock bun is a pretty self-sufficient hairstyle, we live in the time when blends, mixes and contrasts are very popular. Pair you bun with a braid, a bouffant, add in bangs, play with colors and textures, create your perfect updos, drawing inspiration from the latest bun looks below.

1. Side Braid into Puffy Bun

With shorter, thinner hair, it can be extremely difficult to manage a style that mixes both braids and buns. But with a sock, flat, limp locks instantly transform into a cute hairstyle with texture and volume. Don’t worry about making yours too perfect – a messier look is better.

Fishtail With A Side Bun


2. Giant Top Knot with Pompadour Bangs

Sock buns can be fairly recognizable, as the shape tends to resemble a donut. If you like extra big buns, balance the volume of the back with pompadour bangs carelessly twisted and fed into the bun.

Big Messy Sock Bun Updo


3. Simple Angelic Donut Bun

In recent years, we’ve seen a move toward foam twisters (as opposed to socks) when creating that classic donut shape. Those are available in most beauty and fashion stores – which can be monumentally helpful for girls with thin hair. For this look in particular, tease the crown to create volume throughout.

Blonde Low Sock Bun


4. Low Messy Bun with an Accent

It’s quite possible that this updo from @theprettyparlour is too pretty for words; it relies on flyaways and a messy texture to make an otherwise formal hairstyle more undone and sexy. The delicate decoration that could be a DIY piece brings everything together and works as a pretty accent.

Low Tousled Updo With Sock Bun


5. Formal Bun with a Wrap

Despite its full, put-together appearance, it’s actually not so hard to make a sock bun – even for a wedding or black-tie event. This bun features sleek texture, draping side sections, a small bouffant and a hair wrap – fancy and flawless.

Sleek Sock Bun Updo For Prom


6. Rocker Updo Hairstyle with Braids

Not all donut buns need to have that same signature style where the hair is tightly pulled back into a neat coif. Rather, some of the sexiest and most creative updos can incorporate dramatic color variations and rows of braids.

Sock Bun With Cornrows


7. Unicorn Donut Bun with Two Braids

From Starbucks drinks to nail polish patterns, the unicorn trend is everywhere right now – and we couldn’t pass it unnoticed either. Wearing unicorn hair is a great fun and a feast for the eyes! Styling it into a high bun lets show off all those gorgeous hues – absolutely stunning!

Two Braids And Sock Bun Updo


8. Sixties Top Bun with Wrapping Braid

You don’t need a YouTube sock bun tutorial to recreate this charming, sixties-inspired updo. Gather your hair into a high ponytail just above your crown. Leave a section for the braid; gently wrap the rest of the pony around a foam donut or sock, and complete by braiding the left-out section and wrapping it around the bun.

High Sock Bun With A Braid


9. Sleek and Smooth Ballerina Bun

Polished sock bun hairstyles are picture-perfect for galas, black-tie events, proms, high school dances, and even weddings (bride or bridesmaid). A smoothing serum can do wonders!

Sleek Sock Bun With A Wrap


10. Gothic Updo

Just because the hairdo you’re wearing isn’t oversized, doesn’t mean it can’t be dramatic. With this reverse-crown updo, the two-tone hair and messy finish of the braids and bun will attract many admiring glances – no doubts!

Two Braids Into High Bun Updo


11. Whimsical Messy Top Knot

Channel your inner enchantress with this beautiful braid-to-chunky top knot hairstyle that incorporates opposites – neat braiding and flyaways, chocolate brown and platinum blonde hues. With so many cute details, it’s hard to believe that a style like this can be achieved when you simply do a sock bun, but it’s definitely possible.

Bun With Braid And Bangs


12. Curly Bun with Highlights

Creating a big sock bun isn’t always easy on your first try. But if you have curly hair to begin with, the added texture is bound to make styling significantly easier. Don’t be afraid to let flyaways do their thing – messiness and a certain amount of undone texture won’t hurt.

Sock Bun For Curly Hair


13. Zebra-Stripe Bun Updo with Braids

Modern hair colors are not solid which works fantastic in updos. If you have a high contrast root fade try this braid into bun version that takes a popular (though not new updo) and brings it to the next level of chic.

Blonde Sock Bun With Braids


14. Elegant and Messy Updo

This elegant updo is easy and classy – inspired by the idea of the good old sock buns but upgraded with texture and color resulting in a cool dimensional hairstyle. Prior to pulling your hair back, consider rolling a curling iron from crown to ends, brushing through the curls and finishing with hairspray. This will add mounds of volume.

Low Sock Bun For Shorter Hair


15. Casual Updo with Braid

A traditional foam donut updo tends to look particularly put-together, as its perfect round shape is ideal for fancy occasions. However, this type of style can be worn casually during the day as well – especially in place of the common, just-got-out-of-bed messy hairdo you tend to see at college and while running errands.

Braid Into Sock Bun Updo


16. 60’s-Style Wrapping Bun

Ever looked at a picture of your mother or grandmother with a teased 60’s bouffant and wondered how you could possibly recreate it? With a sock, that round, wrapping, super done-up style is easily attainable. Just be sure to use plenty of hairspray to keep everything together.

French Twist With A Sock Bun


17. Low Sock Updo with a Messy Touch

Sock bun curls offer a heatless solution to get pretty messy curls which work great for longer hair. Wear your bun today and enjoy bouncy curls tomorrow – handy and beautiful!

Messy Low Blonde Sock Bun


18. Ballet Bun with a Twist

Traditional ballet buns give off a particularly prim and proper vibe that is nice to ooze for a while as a change to your bedhead updos. For an edgier twist, consider teasing your crown ever so lightly and adding in bangs.

Sleek Sock Bun With Bangs


19. Extra-Large Bun With a Braid Around

When it comes to buns made with cut-off socks or foam bun makers, the sky is the limit – quite literally. Don’t be afraid to take yours to new heights, especially when styling your hair for a big event like prom or a party. Customize with an encircling braid.

Big Sock Bun With A Braid Wrap


20. Waterfall Braid and Bun

This braid and bun are literally tied together creating a cute blend for a creative updo. Wear on a beach vacation or to a formal event, and you’re sure to draw attention of more than a few onlookers.

Bun And Braid Updo


With a sock bun, pretty much any updo – whether casual and understated or diva-esque and undoubtedly classy – is within reach. Experiment with braids, wraps and hair accessories to diversify this traditional look and show off your sense of style. Hopefully, our portion of inspiration was helpful!

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