How To Nail The Slicked-Back Bun (AKA Summer's Easiest Hairstyle)
Expert tips and product recs, straight from a celeb hairstylist.
From being spotted all over the red carpet (hello, Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s historic dress at the 2022 Met Gala), to going completely viral by way of beauty’s corner of TikTok — it’s safe to say that the slicked-back bun trend is having a serious moment ahead of summer. Luckily, the hairstyle of choice for off-duty models also happens to be one of the easiest looks to recreate ...
While the warmer months are perfect for a sleek ‘do that keeps hair sweat-free and away from the nape of your neck, it also means that your strands are prone to unwanted frizz and pesky flyaways that seem to perk up when the sun is hottest. A foolproof hack? Gather your hair into one point (here, you can choose a high, mid, or low placement) and grab a boar bristle brush that quickly smooths and softens any bumps or spots where your scalp peeks through.
Rather than coating your hair with an overpowering mist of crunchy hairspray, TikTokers recommend a few swipes of Bed Head’s Hair Stick (with some on the platform calling the product “life changing”), which easily creates that perfectly slicked, clean look. Others are a fan of göt2b’s Glued Spiking Gel — and those who have thicker locks may want to consider this $7.99 powerhouse for the trending look, using a brush (or a toothbrush or edge-control tool) to work in the product.
For those on-the-go touch-ups, or perhaps shaping your baby hairs — throw Insert Name Here’s Quick Slick into your purse (it’s the size and shape of a mascara wand, but is formulated to pin down flyaways in a pinch).
Laura Polko — Aquage brand ambassador and celebrity hairstylist that’s worked on the likes of Gigi Hadid, Madelyn Cline, Emma Chamberlain, and more — shares with Bustle how to achieve the “baby part” (aka a tiny middle part) it-girls of the moment seem to be a major fan of when donning a slicked-back bun: “[For the baby part], I divide [a small section of the front pieces of hair] into two sections, tie them off, and make loose wraps around bun. The most important thing, as you [apply product] is that you're really working with the brushstroke — that's why I use a fine tooth comb so that the brushstrokes are working in a way that compliments your face.”
As for her tips centered around product dosage for different hair textures? Polko explains: “You can totally build [product], but always start small. Fine hair can obviously take a little less product, and I think thicker hair can use a bit more if you want.”
We at Bustle only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.