Bonus points for the ladies who never stopped using these fluffy little wonders—we can all take a lesson in your allegiance.

By Patricia Shannon
April 02, 2020
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Mama taught us the art of always looking put together, but who has time for twice-weekly salon blowouts anymore? Even if our outings currently consist of a once-daily jaunt over to the mother ship (aka Target) for a drive-up order, it’s still no excuse not to put on a little concealer, a swipe of mascara, and pull that hair together in some sort of tidy fashion. Mama would have no part in it if she caught wind that we had rolled up looking like the hot mess express. The most obvious hair choice? A quick little bun, and it's made infinitely chicer with the addition of a certain 1990s hair accessory that became the calling card of a generation. The hair scrunchie is back, and it’s the secret to your best-ever bun.

There are plenty of ways to style a bun, add in a scrunchie and you’ve just made the possibilities endless. While all of our favorite ideas should work on medium to long hair, short-haired ladies might find half-up buns are more their speed. One more bonus of a good hair scrunchie? It's a low-damage way to tie up hair. Elastics might stretch, pull, or break the hair even when the upmost attention is paid, but a scrunchie was made with hair care in mind. Rightly so, with the teasing, spraying, and fluffing that we saw in the 80s, our strands might not have made it through the decade if it weren’t for these pillowy little accessories.

The Scrunchie Top-Knot

We love a good top knot for keeping every last strand out of our face, but it can quickly go from smart to severe depending on your face shape and hair type. Use an elastic hair tie to secure the bun, then wrap with a voluminous scrunchie to soften things up.

The Scrunchie Ballerina Bun

Is there anything chicer than a perfectly pulled-off ballerina bun? We didn’t think so. The one caveat: Ballerina buns are harder to execute than one might think. Hide any imperfections (or loose ends) with a scrunchie. For thin or straight hair, try a thin, bowed version like this one

The Scrunchie Low Bun

No muss, no fuss. A low bun is the laid-back lady’s go-to. She's a breezy alternative to her more prim cousin, the ballerina bun, but you can still see the family resemblance. For a looser look, skip the elastic and let the scrunchie hold it all together. It will lend more volume to the bun and keep the threat of hair damage at bay.

The Scrunchie Half-Up Bun

Short hair? No problem. A half-up style can help you get the look. You can even spin any of the styles above into a half-up version to work with your hair. If pulling up half of your hair is still pushing it, try just the top third.

Whether you’re air-drying, diffusing, or rocking a fishtail braid, off-duty hair doesn’t have to be boring—or unkempt—we’ve got the buns to prove it.