What Your Bun Says About You

Sophie Milrom | September 26, 2014

We interviewed 1,000 different anacondas and this is what they said:

The Messy Bun:


Messy buns are the hair-equivalent of sweatpants. They’re either worn by someone who could not care less what you think, or — like pigtails — they’re worn by someone who is trying super, super, super hard to look cute without looking like they tried at all. Very often you can discern the former from the latter by asking yourself, “Is that bun actually messy, or artfully messy?” Signs of an irreverent MB: front bumps, pieces that failed to make it into the hair tie, weird bits sticking out in unflattering ways. Signs of a messy-on-purpose MB: J.Crew-esque whisps of hair surrounding the face.

MBs are the knot of choice when the subway is too hot after a long day, when your first rubber-band breaks during a workout class (always carry a backup), when you haven’t had your first cup of coffee yet but need to run an errand, or when you’re watching “the game” at a sports bar.

The Ballerina Bun:


Slicked back and twisted behind the head, ballerina buns should be avoided unless you are, in fact, a dancer, or if you have a celebrity stylist grooming you for a black tie event.

This style is hard because most people don’t have enough hair to prevent them from looking slightly bald at the temple. However, if pulled off correctly it says, “I can drink red wine in a white dress and not spill a drop.”

The Sock Bun:


The sock bun is the exception to the ban on ballerina buns for the woman who wants to look polished. A blazer and gobstopper pearls are often nearby. By following the instructions of at least 20 different YouTube video tutorials, this look can be achieved by almost anyone whose hair hits her shoulders. It’s acceptable for corporate jobs and non-weekend nights out, but beware: it’s a look, and someone will absolutely ask you if there’s a donut hiding in there.

The Top Knot:


The bun of choice for anyone who works in fashion, art, music or lives in Williamsburg — aka influencers, hipsters, people who care about influencers/hipsters or at the very least people who use the word “influencers.” And “hipsters.” Sitting at the crown of one’s head, the top knot is like a loud-printed statement piece: if you wear it, own it. Top knots also require your hair to satisfy the Goldilocks test of not too much,  not too little. With thin hair you run the risk of looking like you’re preparing to put a wig on, and with too much you’ll end up looking like a small furry animal is chilling on your head.

The French Twist:


Wearing a French twist is like faking a British accent — the effort to appear sophisticated is typically extremely counterproductive. But there are two kinds: those held up by bobby pins, and those secured with clip. French twists held up by bobby pins are exclusive to black tie events with a cultural components, like the opera. Rule of thumb: if you can’t wear elbow length gloves, don’t do one.

Meanwhile, French twists in a clip are reserved for moms who are running late to pick up their kids from school. To avoid temptation, throw out any clips large enough to engulf your forearm.

The Half Bun:


Half buns are quickly taking the place of top knots in both fashion and hipster culture. It says, “I consider style without putting too much effort into it,” or, “I forgot to shower again, but only the top part of my hair is gross. The bottom part is still killing it though, so I’m gonna let it do its thing.”

The Cinnabon (contextually, the Cinna-bun):


The Cinnabon cinna-bun says, “I am enjoying life today.” It’s a highly caloric but freaking delicious delicacy that can be purchased at indoor malls and transportation centers.

Like comedian Jim Gaffigan once said, you need a nap about halfway through the pastry. Set your alarm, though, because it’s the middle part that counts — it’s gooey and doughy and has absorbed extra frosting, so it’s more or less a forkful of heaven. Avoid contact with actual hair.

The Man Bun:


The holy grail of buns; a topic ripe for controversy. Some people revere a man who dares to bun his hair (think John Snow, Jared Leto, Miles McMillan). Those who don’t like it — male or female — secretly wish that they themselves could pull it off.

Now show us your bun and tell us what it says.

Illustrations by Charlotte Fassler. Click here for more insight into what your habits say about you.

  • Amelia Diamond

    I want a cinna-bun and a man bun asap

    • ali

      don’t we all.

    • Lulu

      I call dibs on Jared Leto!! Lol! :)’

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

        You can have him, haha! So not D.

        • Lulu

          Lol! Well, I grew up in the 90s so Jordan Catalano will always have a piece of my heart!

          • Kiki

            Ooohh Jordan Catalano!!! *swoon*

        • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

          wait what does so not D mean?

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

            Not down, durrrrrr

          • Kiki

            I dunno, valid question — last time I checked the D meant something you go down on.. Not down. Durrrrr

          • Guest

            Must be a regional/generational thing!

    • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

      the man bun has just recently taken over Chicago, where I live, and it is horrifying. I would like it if every single bun head didn’t look exactly the same, dress the same, act the same. So tired of Chicago’s check list alternative conformists. (but not tired per se for it’s fun to watch certain trends reign supreme) Obviously I’m an elitist!

      • Currently Caroline

        The man bun brings to mind images of yoga-doing male hipsters who don’t have time (or want to appear as if they don’t) to cut (and sometimes wash) their hair.


    • Shelby Soke

      Ideally, a man sun serving you a cinna-bun while chillin’ in a high bun.

      • ajsas

        yeah right, that remind me of someone though

  • Cc

    I have to disagree with the french twist situation. There are so many variations that can be elegant and casual at the same time! Take super-low-maintenance farmer Annie Novak who is a casual french-twist pro: http://instagram.com/p/tTcIOxGwKo/

    • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

      i agree. I love a messy french twist.

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

        Agree! My mama wears a messy French Twist, and it always looks so nice.

        • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

          mine too, go moms!

        • Kiki

          Like they said — reserved for moms….

    • Amelia Diamond

      whoa whoa whoa how did she do that

    • jason

      this is awesome, nice way to get a better chance
      i like it
      sewa mobil di bali for vacation

  • StyleNonsense

    Oooohhh, I live for a top-knot, or 10…


  • Cookie

    I love this. This past summer I’ve been obsessed with perfecting the perfect top bun. It always ends up looking like a messy bun because I have so many layers. I started doing the half bun because I can’t make a top bun in the middle of class (it’s too much work/makes a scene). I once walked in to class with a top bun and my teacher said I looked like a Chinese warrior.

    • Amelia Diamond

      that’s a top top top knot and i am feeling it

    • Nancy

      That is in unicorn bun territory.

    • sketch42

      I just love you Cookie 😉

      • jason

        cookie…we shall continue talk about this though

        i see very delicious..hmm..

        sewa mobil di bali

  • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

    I like the half bun because it makes me look Danish when I wear it with a fanny pack slung across my chest and the right sneakers.

    And I feel like at this point in time the Man Bun is entirely inescapable. It’s taken over every metropolitan place, and more specifically the city’s inhabitants who have a propensity for biking in niche sneakers. I do not abhor this look, however. Some guys totally rock it. In fact, there’s a guy I see around campus like clockwork (we must get out of classes at the same time), who rocks his MB very nonchalantly. Would be lying if I said he didn’t provoke me to discreetly bite the corner of my lip and immediately divert my eyes to the ground. Maybe my HB can meet his MB…..is that creepy?

    • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

      fanny pack across the chest?

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

        yeah bb.

    • Tara Jayne

      I am wondering if the guys with man buns would keep their hairs in the bun when making love. You should ask that guy out and find out and report back.

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

        ….Actually, I’ve contemplated that question as well.Would be interesting to know. I feel like not because think about how hard it is to run with a bun…….

        • Tara Jayne

          clearly time to do some investigative journalism. but you are right. runs and buns don’t mix.

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

            edit: so I was thinking and maybe they go from MB to soft braid for such activities?

          • Tara Jayne

            I think it might kill the mood for me if the dude takes out his bun and softly caresses his hair into a braid…

          • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

            what if it was a fishtail braid?

          • Tara Jayne

            then i guess i’d just be super impressed? but also kind of choked because i can’t even do a fishtail.

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

            I’d be impressed and then I’d ask him to teach me and let me meet his boyfriend.

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

            I’m out.

          • Tara Jayne

            no. you have to do it for science.

          • basura

            i can see more wisata pulau tidung for travel vacation in beach, shall we? then we can go to the store buying herbal like peninggi badan to make us taller, it will works!

        • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

          Harry styles takes his hair out of the bun most times.

          • Tara Jayne

            I don’t even know who that is.

          • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

            one direction

          • Tara Jayne

            too old. Backstreet Boys were my thing. As Emma said about JD, they haven’t aged well. But I’m pretty sure Howie may have been the trendstarter.


          • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

            i’m 26………….

          • Tara Jayne

            Hahaha omg I’m laughing so hard. Sorry. You can love One Direction if you want.

          • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

            as far as BSB goes, I was AJ all the way. Love me dem B@DBOYZ.

          • Tara Jayne

            I was also on team AJ. No one liked Howie or Kevin. Must’ve been brutal for them.

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager
          • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

            you are being so mean

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

            It’s not you, it’s One Direction. <3

    • Charlotte Fassler

      Yo Emma- give him my digitz.

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

        Sure thing!!! We can share 🙂

  • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

    When I was eleven or twelve I took ballet classes and everyone had to wear their hair in a bun. At one point people got sloppy and an entire first half hour of class was dedicated to perfecting the ballerina bun. Funnnn tiiiiimes…..

    • Shelby Soke

      I’ve also lived through this. We would have to take our buns out and the teacher would check to see how many bobby pins we used and if we had a hairnet, etc. Even now I can make a semi decent bun with whatever I find laying around so it wasn’t totally a waste.

  • http://modavracha.com/ ModaVracha

    This is such a funny but informative post, i’m a top knot and half bun girl but i also love seeing very skillfully done messy buns and french twists.

  • Tara Jayne

    i’m gonna have to spend the afternoon on youtube so a ten year old can teach me how to do a french twist.

    • Amelia Diamond

      looks soo good w the blue

      • Tara Jayne

        thanks! I actually did learn how to dye my hair blue from a 10-ish year old on youtube. super helpful, kids these days.

    • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

      hahaha 10 year olds. so true

  • mafer_dm

    I am a textile designer and wear my TOP KNOT with pride!

    • Amelia Diamond


  • Shelby Soke

    I have really mixed feelings about the half bun. When I attempt it, it doesn’t look cool and messy. t looks like I’m 12 and should adorn my half-up ‘do with some sparkly butterfly clips.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i can’t pull it off

    • Tara Jayne

      I used to do the half bun with sparkly butterfly clips when I was 12 too! I just had a great flashback. Haven’t made it work as an adult.

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    The cinna-bun is my fav.


  • http://www.9outoften.com/ WengYee

    Yay, I love this! My bun always transforms during the day from ‘The Top Knot’ to ‘The Sock Bun’ – what does that make me?

  • Leanne

    I wish everyday that my hair was as good as Jared Leto’s when it’s in a man bun. Every. Day.


  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2


    • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

      GTFO. No. 20+-going-on-12, you are!

      • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2


        • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager
        • Tara Jayne

          i still don’t know who this is. but i don’t like it. why aren’t we talking about johnny depp?


          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

            I see him on the beach on occasion and he hasn’t aged well.

          • Tara Jayne

            I can’t even handle that you see him on a beach. One time I spoke to Samuel L Jackson and also once shared an elevator with Keith Urban. That is my only interaction with celebrity. Both times I behaved inappropriately.

        • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

          Did you take this when you went to a show?

          • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

            no, but i have a lot of videos I took that i can send you?

          • Quinn Halman

            dont put them in the group chat

  • Shelby

    Long live the top knot!

  • Alyssa

    Man bun = mun.

  • Shauna King

    Man Buns are hotter than Man Ponies.

    • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

      Oh, 100%. Man Ponies make me think of guys who wear snakeskin loafers and pop to Vegas every weekend to find true love (….every weekend)

  • Thamsa

    I always rock a top knot. It’s the easiest to do with dreaded hair 😛

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    i like to call mine “the rat’s nest” i have a small rat in there right now!

  • firefirepants

    I wish I could do a top knot! Damn scraggly thin hair.

  • lavieenliz

    the cinna-bun!!!!! I go my top bun right now!


  • Kandeel

    fav man bunsz are Devran Taskesen and Avan Jogia

  • http://coocooforcoco.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    what about no bun? ponytails 4 ever

    actually i can’t wear buns because my head has a weird shape IMO

    • Amelia Diamond

      sometimes i feel like my head has a weird shape too 🙁 i bet yours does not though!

  • http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com/ Michelle Panting

    Love that you threw cinnabon in there AND referenced jim gaffigan.


  • http://savvynista.com/ Maria Von Losch

    Cinna-bun all the way. I didn’t think anyone did the Half-bun…I did it years ago just because I have long hair and now I find out on MP it’s the newest thing. Yes! http://savvynista.com

  • Lila&Sirena

    My bun says I’m very lucky, I was rocking a top bun the holy day I met shirtless Penn Badgley =)


    • Amelia Diamond


  • http://www.livingzbeautifulmix.com/ Zuma A.

    Most of the time, I am a sock bun kind of girl (mastered after watching a tutorial from a girl half my age lol). Sometimes, I am a half-bun kind of girl. And on a bad day, I’m a cinna-bun all the way!

  • Silvie Mee

    did them all already, top knot and half bun as signature ones – duh!–, now I just need to grow a beard
    love you deeply Leandra –

  • Samantha

    In Melbourne the man bun has been dubbed the ‘mun’, being one from a city that has been highly influtrated with hipsters and ‘mun’s’ I still can’t seem to see the appeal of a man who pulls of a better bun than I do. It’s just a little awkward

  • Dominique Harris

    The half-bun = “I only had enough time to straighten the bottom of my hair and the top is still wet.”


  • Currently Caroline

    I tend to wear a messy bun because if I try any other type of bun, I feel uncomfortable. Doing my hair in a way where there is nothing falling on my shoulders makes me feel naked. My hair is somewhat of a security blanket and I feel weird without it.


  • Topknot

    Regarding the top knot: also warn when one has too much hair to wear it up any other way without getting a headache.

  • patternslave

    what about hair stick/pencil buns?

  • http://blogbarbaridades.com/ Gabi Barbará

    I want a cinna-bun! My boyfriend used to wear the Man bun quite often about 10 years ago. But now the scissors took control.

    Gabi Barbará

  • cmoo

    and the curly bun?

  • Natalia
  • Ivana Markovic

    the sock bun sucks! cinnabon I have never seen and tried before. never tried man with bun, as well, but I’ve seen that 😉

  • http://seelark.com/ knivesliao


  • http://heritagepurple.blogspot.com Liz Min

    I love this post! My favorite is the Cinna-bun!


  • http://fashionblogbell.blogspot.co.uk/ Bell Santiago

    Haha amazing post, I always fail on doing the arty messy bun, it always just looks weird 😉

  • http://www.duchessoffashion.co.uk DuchessOfFashion

    This post is hilarious…the cinna bun lmao!

    I’m definitely a top knot girl – hence fashion!


  • http://www.strippedchic.com/ Shannon Kearns

    Yeeeeea Ima #hipster

    Much love

  • http://viiedit.com KJ O’Connell

    I’m a messy bun and top knot hybrid. however, i wear this when i go to the gym. it’s a cooler look that a tight pony. wooffffie… you can’t do a chic tight pony unless you got some product gurl

  • http://www.averageadventures.org Toni’s Adventures

    Haha at the man bun and the half bun. I often rock the half bun to let the rest of my hair do its thing!

    average adventures

  • http://www.housekeeperslondon.co.uk/ Zara A.

    What about the double bun? What it says about me?

    It often looks something like that -> http://www.viphairstyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Double-Bun.jpg

  • CarlotaLMorais

    Not to mention Shia Labeouf! OMG There is something so sexy/homeless like about it. A bit too hipster, but who cares??!!

  • Ago Prime
  • Guest

    This amazing furry man-bun observation got me seriously thinking here… Has it evolved as a species (?) from it’s original form – a slicked back man-pony? Is the man-bun to the Millennials what the man-pony was to Gen X’ers??

  • Shel

    his amazing furry man-bun observation got me seriously thinking here… Has it evolved as a species (?) from it’s original form – a slicked back man-pony? Is the man-bun to the Millennials what the man-pony was to Gen X’ers??

  • oyoy

    how did people even do hair and makeup before youtube? i personally took a sick day to do a good enough sock bun to be seen in public. oh the pre-youtube horror!

  • toni

    i have a top bun and my bf has a man bun, I feel very validated atm. 😀

  • mara

    I am actually one of those people who can pull off a ballerina bun, not because I am a dancer (I wish!), or a celebrity (I definitely do not wish), but because my hair is so thick and heavy, that the top knot eventually drops and transforms into a ballerina bun. But it looks good!

  • Trovea

    The top knot is definitely what’s fits me best.Easy and practical..
    Some days thought, specially on my way to yoga I love wearing my Discipline cap.


    It is very comfortable and I can fit my top knot perfectly!

    Shop new designers from places you’ve never been on:


  • nercy

    cinna bun looks creamy
    fashion wanita

  • Vanessa Roberts

    I’m so glad someone is commenting on this stuff!

  • http://www.giveashitaboutfashion.com/ Aurélia Bode

    What about the matching bun? My BF and I have the same length hair and both wear buns 90% of time. Nothing screams ‘COUPLE’ like matching buns. If he doesn’t let you choose his clothes,make him grow his hair, because the couple that buns together, stays together.

  • http://blizzard-girl.blogspot.com/ Blizzard Girl

    Hair problems? check out my new blog post:) http://blizzard-girl.blogspot.com

  • Paola Pou

    The half bun!! LOL !! I loved this post, teach me a lot of what my hair style can say. I am definitely ‘ The Top Bun’.

  • Cowboy_X


    One evening, thought my girlfriend’s hair looked particularly nice and made the mistake of telling her so.

    “You only compliment my hair when it’s down. Do you not like it when I wear it up?” (her bun style was the Librarian, which I think is sort of the Top Knot with the rigidness of the Ballerina)

    “Um… not… particularly…” and the rest of the night was sheer anguish.

  • FashionandFrappes

    So glad I chopped off my hair – cannot deal with this.


  • Nick

    I love the french twist

    manfaat teh hijau

  • Nick

    i love the top knot

    teh hijau

  • Nick

    I Love the top knot

    teh hijau

  • Robyn

    I wear a bun every freaking day. I have hair past my butt, so it’s a public safety move. Mind of its own and all.
    I do the cinnabun because it is easy, the twist because easy gets old. I’ll stack two, do a half up with loose hair, half up over braid and, to get a loose style the next day, Bantu knots with a tam hiding them.

    But Man Buns.
    Men with enough hair for a bun? Ohhhh, yes.
    And usually you have to remove the hair tie. But, he has to remind me to take the spiky sticks out, so it’s fair.

    But having that hair appear, just for you… Is it hot in here?

    Make it forepaly and call it good.

    And I’m an old chick. My partners are all 49 and better.

  • ghirlieee

    You nailed it! You really define my messy buns and top knots. Uugh I love you MR! ♥ And I think I should try cinna-bun too huh? Thanks for that! 😉

  • edvards

    damnit i’m totally a top knot who has a half bun in right now.

  • edvards

    Damnit, I’m totally a top knot that has a half bun in right now. THE CHANGE IS HAPPENING.

  • Mae

    I love the French Twist when I’m going for elegant- always book to get my hair styled through http://www.lookbooker.co to save myself the time and a phone call!

  • gfdgdfg
  • http://www.addictedtolace.com Roshni

    And I’m terrible at making most of these buns -_- *le sigh*


  • http://www.thescooplist.com Erica | The Scoop List

    messy bun x top knot combo anyone?

  • http://www.ktinka.com Katharina

    I love this article! hilarious! thank you, you made my day!
    Katharina || ktinka.com

  • Cris Costalda

    The problem with very straight hair: going for the top knot but ending up with a sumo wrestler bun

  • Magda McCann

    Messy bun, sitting high= Jersey Girl Updo

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