Curls N Pearls

Updo How-To: Messy Bun w/ Pompadour

This is an easy updo that works great with second-day hair, or dressed up with a cute headband or hair accessory for a fun evening out look. You only need a few items to do this simple hair tutorial, many of which you probably already have at home.

(click here to jump to the step-by-step instructions)

  1. Gather a small section of hair at the center of your forehead, about two inches wide and two inches back towards the crown of your head. Clip this section off to keep out of the way for now.
  2. Gather remaining hair into a ponytail at your crown.
  3. Smooth the sides and top of the hair gathered into a pony tail with a boar bristle brush. (I just purchased this boar bristle brush last week and I love it.)
  4. Free the first section of hair at the center of your forehead, and begin gently teasing the hair at the roots, starting with small sections furthest away from your face. (attention volume-loving ladies: Redken Powder Grip 03 works great for teasing)
  5. Continue to tease in small sections, but leave a final thin section (right at your hairline) smooth. Use a boar bristle brush to smooth the teased pompadour back towards the crown of your head, and secure with bobby pins at the base of the section. Use the boar bristle brush to blend ends with the top of the ponytail. Don’t worry about making it blend perfectly – the big messy bun will bring it all together.
  6. Once you have secured your pompadour in place with bobby pins, place the hair donut around your ponytail. If your hair is super clean and/or fine, you may choose to secure the hair donut in place with a few hair pins as needed.
  7. Since we want to create a big and messy bun, tease the ponytail in small sections. Don’t overdo it; we just want to create a little more volume to give this updo a playful look.
  8. Once you have teased the ponytail, begin wrapping the ponytail around the hair donut and securing with hair pins. The goal is to create an evenly placed bun that also hides the hair donut.
  9. Continue wrapping the ponytail around the hair donut, securing with hair pins as you go. I used 5-6 hair pins total; the mesh texture of the hair donut really helps to secure your hair without needing to use a ton of hair pins.
  10. Once you have secured your messy bun with hair pins, check it out in the mirror to make sure you have covered the hair donut well and that it isn’t lopsided. Spray away with a versatile working spray (I love Kenra’s Platinum Working Spray).
  11. Gently pull some sections around your face free so it doesn’t look too perfect.
  12. Optional: add a playful headband or cute hair accessory to dress this simple look up for a night on the town.


Nordstrom Headband Redken Powder Grip 03 Redken Powder Grip 03 Kenra Working Platinum Spray 14 Kenra Working Platinum Spray 14 Scunci Wood Club Boar Bristle Brush Hair Donut Hair Donut
  • Fefe Aler says:

    I love this. But I’ve never heard of a hair donut. Where do I get one? thanks for the idea. xoxoxox

    December 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm
    • Christina Stallings says:

      Thanks! You can get them at any drugstore or Target. The grocery store may even have them. They make it so much easier!

      December 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm
    • Mandy says:

      You can also make a hair donut out of a tube sock. Cut a tiny part of the toe end off, turn it inside out (preference) and roll it up.

      February 18, 2012 at 1:36 am
      • Christina says:

        Hi Mandy! Thanks so much for reading and for sharing this tip. I have seen one or two pots on Pinterest demonstrating the “sock bun”. Seems like a pretty good idea. I think the only thing that gives the hair donut an edge over using the rolled sock is that the hair donut is made out of a mesh material that is very helpful for using hair pins to secure the hair around the donut. Have you tried the sock bun on your hair? I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Thanks again for stopping by and sharing the helpful info! :)

        February 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm
        • SQMA says:

          The sock hair donut is used a lot with women in the military since we have to have our hair up neat. You use two hair ties… one to secure the pony tail and then the second to secure the hair tightly around the donut. Leaves you with a fan of hair all the way around. You then neatly coil this excess hair around and secure with pins. Clean, neat and professional.

          February 26, 2012 at 1:22 am
          • Christina says:

            That is a great point! And thank you for the details about the sock bun, that is helpful info. :)

            February 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm
      • Christina says:

        Thanks, Mandy! :)

        February 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm
    • Mandy says:

      you can actually make a hair dounut just but taking a old sock ( long one and probably a black or brown or what will match your hair the best) cute the toes off and roll it! :]

      February 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm
    • izzy says:

      i got mine from primark 😀

      July 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm

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