From the ‘bottleneck’ bob to the ‘butterfly’ haircut, it’s hard to keep up with the many hair trends that flood Instagram and TikTok on the daily. Even the banana clip is back with a bang. But if social media is anything to go by, one hairstyle is currently reigning supreme and it counts celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Saweetie, Bella Hadid and Zendaya among its devotees.
Enter: the snatched bun.
@chrisappletonhair Snatched middle part bun let’s go 💪🏽 @Color Wow Hair ♬ original sound – Chrisappleton1
Slicked-back buns are nothing new, but thanks to the internet’s obsession with invisible contouring and natural face lifts, 2023’s version is a lot tighter and a hell of a lot more sleek — with heaps of added shine. On TikTok the #snatchedbun hashtag has 639.8k views and counting, while #slickedbun has amassed an enormous 50.4 million views. Needless to say, it looks like we’re going all in on slicked updos this summer.
Celebrity hairdressers like Chris Appleton (who tends to the tresses of Dua Lipa and Kim Kardashian) are championing the hairstyle ahead of summer, while stylist Andrew Fitzsimons (who counts Barbie Ferreira and Megan Fox as clients) recently revealed that the style is taking LA by storm. “The snatched bun is a great one,” Andrew told R29. “Not only does it get your hair off the back of your neck in the summer, but you can use such a variety of products,” including a conditioning treatment instead of a gel (which Andrew said can improve the quality of over-processed and fragile hair), as well as hairspray or shine spray.
So how exactly do you achieve the snatched, slicked-back bun? And is there a way to do it without inducing a pounding headache? Here’s all the inspiration you need, whatever your hair texture or length.
How to do a snatched bun on long hair
@pelo_by_jeanette I attempted the Chris Appleton “middle part snatched bun” and you should too😁 #snatchedmiddlepartbun #snatchedhair #snatchedbun #chrisappletonbun #buntutorial #hisandhers #hisandherschallenge #santamonicabeachbun #downtownsantamonica #Randcohairspray #randcotutorial #santamonicahairstylist #tiktokhairtutorial #icandothisforhours #munilong #fyp #springbreak2022 ♬ Hrs and Hrs – Muni Long
“Before beginning, ensure your hair is fully detangled,” explains Tyler Moore, stylist at Live True London, particularly if it’s very long, like TikToker @its_juh_nette. The trending slicked bun almost always features a middle parting, so Jeanette sections off two pieces of hair at the front and clips them up to return to later.
She spritzes her roots with R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray, £24.50, and uses a natural bristle brush (try the Cantu Updo Natural Bristle Brush, £7.50) to slick her hair back into a ponytail. Once the ponytail is secured, Jeanette unclips the front sections of her hair and saturates with more hairspray before connecting them to the bun. “When the hair is nice and tight, twist and wrap your ponytail before securing all the hair in place with another hair tie,” says Tyler. “This will ensure the bun is tight.”
With long hair, you might notice some stray strands poking out of the bun. Take a leaf out of Chris Appleton‘s book and clamp them straight with a pair of straighteners for a spiky feel reminiscent of the ’00s.
How to do a snatched bun on short hair
My hair is blown out so it was way easier today but here you go! I have fine hair so it doesn’t take me that long.
If you have bob-length or slightly shorter hair, you’ll need a lot less patience to achieve the snatched bun. After spritzing her hair with water, TikToker @tashimrod simply uses her fingertips to coat her roots in Eco Style Olive Oil Styling Gel, £3.99, and scoops her lengths back into a ponytail. “Start by brushing the hair backwards, ensuring you hold tension,” says Tyler, then twist the ponytail, secure with a hair tie and pin any shorter sections which may not have made the ponytail with hair grips. Finish with a solid styling stick applied to your roots, such as KeraCare Styling Wax, £13.45, or the TikTok-viral TIGI Bed Head Wax Stick, £11.76, to ensure hair doesn’t budge.
How to do a snatched bun on natural hair
@ms.naomirob Quick & easy Sleek Bun. Enjoy! #4chairclub #4chair #naturalhairtutorial #naturalhairstyles #afro #4chairstyles #hairtutorial #sleekbun #fyp ♬ Kontrol – Maleek Berry
Back in 2020, TikToker @ms.naomirob went viral with her quick and easy sleek bun tutorial on 4c hair. The first step is a little water. “Start by wetting your hair so it’s damp,” says Tyler, “as it’s a lot easier to slick away.” Beginning with a middle parting, Naomi enlists hair oil combined with Eco Style Olive Oil Styling Gel, £3.99, to slick down each section of hair. She starts at the back to form the bun and incorporates every other section of hair into the ponytail, using a natural bristle brush to achieve a sleek finish. Tyler advises going over your hair with a little more gel to ensure all flyaways are caught. Naomi finishes with Creme of Nature Argan Oil Perfect Edges Extra Hold, £5.99.
How to do a snatched bun on curly hair
@heavenmarleyy 🖤#buntutorial #naturalhair #fypシ ♬ pushin P (feat. Young Thug) – Gunna & Future
For curly locks, TikToker @heavenmarleyy parts her hair and gives it a good spritz with water followed by a helping of Pattern By Tracee Ellis Ross Pattern Curl Gel, £25. Try Imbue Curl Empowering Crème Gel, £6.99, which is similar in texture. Use a natural bristle brush like the Kent Bristle Brush, £38, to collect your hair into a ponytail. Secure it in place and wrap it into a bun. Heaven uses an edge brush to finesse her edges.
How to do a snatched bun on medium-length hair
@frayedfeems middle part snatch bun inspired by @chrisappletonhair #hairinspo #cleangirllook ♬ you look lonely – jimbotheboy
Again taking inspiration from Chris Appleton, TikToker @frayedfeems starts on damp hair and pulls forward two front pieces of hair to twist into her bun at the end. First she uses a Tangle Teezer-style brush, like the Tangle Teezer Compact Styler Hairbrush, £15, to collect her hair into a ponytail. Next, she uses a narrow bristle brush and enlists her cheekbone as a guide to brush the hair upwards for that snatched look.
Once you’ve done that, integrate the front sections of your hair into the ponytail, secure with a hair tie, wrap it around loosely to form the bun and pin using hair grips. An extra spritz of shine spray will amp up the sleekness. Try Andrew Fitzsimons Prism Shine Hair Spray Smoothing Mist, £11.
How to do a snatched bun on thick hair
@curlsbykeish quick bella hadid inspired hairstyle for all my ladies with thick, coarse hair! #bellahadid #hairstyle #sleekbun #hairtok ♬ Heartbreak Anniversary – Giveon
If you have thick hair, you’ll need a comb, two hair ties, curl cream and some styling gel. Take TikToker @keishatahirih, for example, who starts on dry hair and slathers on Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea All Natural Curl Defining Creme, £12.98, from root to tip, followed by dippity-do Girls With Curls Curl Shaping Gelee, £5.99, on her roots. Rake it all through with a comb, gather up your lengths, twist into a bun and secure with your hair ties. Keisha touches up her edges with a little more gel on a spoolie brush.
How to do a snatched bun on fine hair
@thxlizzle Reply to @katie_dombrowski practice makes perfect!! <3 #sleekbun #hairturtorial #bellahadid #fyp ♬ That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
Besides a spritz of hairspray, TikToker @thxlizzle doesn’t use many traditional styling products. Rather, she looks to Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother, £28, to slick her hair back into a ponytail. The trick is to wrap your ponytail around the base. “Once this is done and it almost looks like a doughnut, you can secure this in place with another hair tie and a little hairspray,” says Tyler. “Lastly, when you’ve spritzed in hairspray, you can set your hairdryer to cool and slightly place the air over the slick hair to secure it for longer.”
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