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Getting the Look

Getting the Look – Loose Bun Wigs

One of the hottest hair trends right now is the messy bun wig look. In a lot of ways, it looks like an Irish Dance updo. So, in the spirit of the current US Prom season, I decided to do a tutorial on this popular style!

This style has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. Ciara Sexton did a lot to popularize the style when she shook up her tight bun style. Here’s Ciara at the 2010 World Championships, looking glamorous as always!

There are several different varieties of the style. In Ciara’s version, she sideswipes her bangs into the curled tendrils that frame her face. Her bun wig also still has the tight curls of more traditional styles. Another style was exemplified by Nadine Martin at this year’s Worlds. Here’s a picture of her style. Nadine does more a curly poof and a looser curl in the bun. And here’s a picture of Shannon Daly’s style. She does more of a traditional poof with the rest of her hair secured loosely.

So, as you can see, there a lot of different option in this style! The key is to doing what looks best on your hair.

For straight, flat hair: Ciara’s Style

Ciara’s style is the perfect way to work the loose bun for girls with pin straight hair. It requires the least amount of curling and volume. Granted, it does require your hair to hold a bit of a curl, so if it can’t maybe one of the other styles would work better.

1. Take your bangs and blow dry them across your face, whichever way feels natural.

2. Take a little hairspray to make sure your hair stays in that direction.

3. Pull out a few select tendrils around your head and pull the rest of your hair back and fasten it securely on the crown of your head. Select 3-4 tendrils of varying width right around your face and ears.

4. Curl the tendrils with a curling iron – a 1 inch barrel would work well. Depending on how well your hair curls, it might help to hair spray your hair first and then use the curling iron.

5. Place your wig on the crown of your head and top with your tiara. Make sure your tiara and wig are placed so that you can’t see a ton of your other hair that’s not curled. Ciara has a tightly curled wig which looks lovely, but a loosely curled wig would work as well!

6. Finalize placing the tendrils around your head so that it looks delightfully messy. Maybe separate a few tendrils to add to the look and voila!

For wavy hair: Shannon’s style

This style features an all around poofed, loose look. Perfect for wavy hair that can take a curl pretty well. It can also be adapted if you can’t really curl your hair with a well-placed poof.

1. The easiest way to start this look is to curl the front of your hair the night before a feis. Take two layers that frame your face and curl them in medium width sponge curlers overnight. I always found that my curls came out best when I did it when my hair was damp and I put a bit of gel in it.

2. The next morning, take your curls out (and hope that they set!). take the middle pit on the top of your head and brush it out into a smooth poof on the top of your head. I like mine to be about an inch high at their height and then fall down smoothly to the sides. Once you have yours how you like, secure it with a few bobby pins.

3. Take the rest of your hair that’s not curled up into a ponytail at the crown of your head. Tighten it as loosely as you feel comfortable with. Make sure that it’s tight enough to stay secure as you dance and hold your bun wig.

4. Leave a few tight curls by your ears and by your poof. Take the rest of the curls and smooth them back to your ponytail. You want there to be volume, but not defined curls. Pin them back with bobby pins. Keep the height more concentrated in the center of your head with some volume around the rest.

5. Put in your wig and tiara. Play with the remaining curls until you achieve the look you’re going for. This will look a little more controlled in the front than Ciara’s version because the tendrils are less obvious and more tucked into the face. But the overall effect is looser. I think this version looks nicer with a looser bun wig to match the loose hair pulled back. Make sure the tiara rests not too much further back than the end of the poof – maybe right on where the bobby pins are.

For curly hair – Nadine’s look

This look would work well with hair that’s naturally curly, but if you have hair that curls really well, it could work for that too!

1. Once the front of the hair is curled (following the steps from above),  pull the back of your hair into a ponytail on the crown of your hair.

2. Take the rest of the front of your hair and twist it and poof it back towards your pony tail. In contrast to the previous style, the poof in the style should be universal across your entire head and hair line. Add a little extra height in the center though.

3. With all your hair pulled back, place your wig and tiara on. Place your tiara a little further back that in the previous style, but make sure there’s still a lot of volume around it. I love the way Nadine’s loose bun wig looks with this style!

4. Finish the look by pinning some loose tendrils around your ears. Make sure they’re fairly short to keep the look contained and even out the messiness of the poof.

Now that you can do your hair, here are some suggestions for bunwigs!

For a traditional look, a bigger bunwig will still add an element of messiness. This one is a nice one.

Here’s a nice loose bun wig from Camelia Rose that also shows a poof way to style it! Here’s another nice loose style.

Alternatively, if you have cooperative hair and time, you can do it yourself! Here’s a good youtube video that shows a method that can easily be adapted for an Irish Dance bun. Just pin it in higher and make it tighter or looser as you like!

Hope that was helpful! What do you think of the style? Any tricks or tips that your have? 



  1. Pingback: In Depth: Oireachtas Fashion Preview « Feisonista - August 22, 2011

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