20 Volume-Boosting Sock Buns You’ll Love to Try

There are two types of girls: those who can effortlessly pull their hair up into a voluminous messy bun, and those whose updos look a bit more underwhelming when carefully styled. For the latter (and to be frank, the vast majority of us), a sock bun is a styling miracle, capable of adding tremendous thickness and shape with a little extra effort.

Thin-Haired Girl’s Replacement for Extensions: A Sock Bun

Whether you want something slightly more undone or a sleek, slick ballet-style bun, buns are highly versatile. Of course, not all of these updos are necessarily created with a sock. Rather, donut bun makers, foam sponge twisters and other hair add-ins can be used to create more dramatic, upscale hairdos.

#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.

#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

Instagram / @art4studio

#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.

#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

Instagram / @theprettyparlour

#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

Instagram / @ellasbridalhair

#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

Instagram / @braids_in_action

#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

Instagram / @chitabeseau

#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

Instagram / @hair_by_pelerossi

#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

Instagram / @hairicome_

#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

Instagram / @hairbyjaxx

#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

Instagram / @nettespaghettiii

#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.

#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.

#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

Instagram / @theprettyparlour

#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

Instagram / @jodieblowdrycafe

#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.

#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!

#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

Instagram / @braids_in_action

#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

Instagram / @hairbykatieanne_

#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

Instagram / @ginger__roots

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!