How To Style A Ballerina Bun, Straight From A Celebrity Hairstylist

Josh Liu, the celeb hair guru known for snatching updos, spills.

A modern ballet bun hairstyle is perfect for heatwaves. Here, Josh Liu tells Bustle how to pull your...
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Whether you’re on day three (or five) of unwashed hair, or just want a sleek, model off-duty look with your strands pulled away from your face — there’s nothing quite like a snatched ballerina bun that looks oh so chic and put together (and with minimal effort, might I add). For a quick how-to on the versatile, always-in staple style, Bustle has tapped Josh Liu for his expertise.

Having worked with Ariana Grande for years creating some her most iconic hairstyles and memorable looks, along with other A-listers like Miranda Kerr and Demi Lovato, Liu knows a thing or do about an updo and has even created his own range of ideal hair ties à la útiles beauty to get the job done.

Liu shares three easy steps on achieving the ballerina bun — and a few ideas to keep your bun looking modern, fresh, and on-trend.

The Ballerina Bun Basics

Step 1: Detangle & Smooth

“Start with detangled hair. Apply your favorite leave-in conditioner, mix it with your favorite gel, and apply [the combination] to your hair near the roots to begin the sleeking process. [Then,] apply edge control and/or extreme hold gel along the perimeter of your hairline and nape of your neck.”

Step 2: Gather & Tie

“Use a nylon boar bristle smoothing brush to begin gathering all your hair up to where you will tie your hair. Use a super secure hair tie (like "the hairtie" by útiles beauty) for a strong, all day snatched hold, and loop your hair tightly.”

Step 3: Twist & Secure

“Use your leave-in conditioner and gel combo to apply it to the tail of your hair. Twist it and wrap it tightly against your head until the remainder has been tucked within itself. Secure your bun by pinning it in place using "U" shaped French pins or bobby pins. You could also use another hair tie that blends with your hair color.”

Et voilà.

It’s All About The Placement

While you can really place your ballerina bun wherever you’d like (I personally love a messy, low bun moment), Liu shares this hot tip: “Typically speaking, a mid to high placement on the head following the highest point of your cheekbone is universally flattering as it lifts for a more fierce and youthful appearance.”

6 Ways To Keep Your Ballerina Bun On-Trend

1. “You can do a three-strand braid for the remainder of your pony, and then wrap it into a bun for some more texture (you can do multiple three strand braids for even more drama).”

2. “Curl your ponytail hair, spritz it with texturizing spray, then pin the curls into a messy Pamela Anderson bun.”

3. “You can do a rope braid and pin it in place.”

4. “Implement parting by doing a center part or a side part bun, tying your hair a little more directly to the back of your head (this will keep the parting from disappearing).”

5. “You can leave bang pieces out: side bangs; side bangs hair sprayed and snap-clipped behind the ear; middle part pieces out hanging to frame the face.”

6. “Wrap your ponytail into a bun and leave the ends of your bun out for a Y2K look.”