Everyone's doing the slicked-back bun look—here's how to nail the polished style for the ultimate chic hairdo

A slicked-back bun needs to be in your beauty wheelhouse—here's how to recreate the viral look...

Bella Hadid, Lori Harvey and Hailey Bieber pictured with variations of the 'slicked-back bun' in a pink and purple template
(Image credit: Getty Images: (L to R) MEGA/GC Images)/ Jamie McCarthy/Gotham/GC Images)

The slicked-back bun is one of the chicest and most popular hairstyles around, with everyone from Lori Harvey to Hailey Bieber rocking the look.

The '90s-inspired, high bun is truly the hairstyle that never misses—whether you're wanting to channel Balletcore realness or cap off your event or party look, with a clean and sophisticated swept-back look. It always makes you look put together and elevates any fit, with minimal fuss.

Now, of course, this hairdo is by no means new, but in 2023 it's really become a staple for many—and made its way onto the red carpet countless times. So, for anyone looking for a cool but low-maintenance hairstyle to pair with their capsule wardrobe outfits, stay tuned, as we breakdown down the trend and how to nail it IRL—no matter your hair length...

What is the 'slicked-back bun' hair trend?

The hairstyle is really as it sounds. It simply involves sweeping your hair up into a bun and slicking it back to ensure that there's no frizz of flyaways escaping. It works as both a polished look and for easily disguising those greasy, 5-day-old hair days...


♬ OUT NOW Enzo Smooth Operator - Enzo

On TikTok alone, the hashtag 'slicked-back bun' has over 33.4 million views to its hashtag, which just signifies how popular this look truly is. 

The beauty of this hairstyle is that it suits everyone and can be adapted to every hair type, length and parting preference. Plus, there are so many variations you can play with, like a slicked-back ponytail or half-up-half-down moments, that will up your hairstyle game to no end. 

As for celebrity inspo, you can spot this clean look on the likes of Laura Harrier, Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Sofia Richie, Lori Harvey and Bella Hadid—basically, you name them, they've probably repped a slicked-back bun!

Through our TikTok sleuthing, we've also spied a certain Amazon wax stick topping the list of TikTok viral products, for helping to hold the stylish look. And, like with these Amazon Olaplex deals, this flyaway-wicking wax stick is currently on sale for Prime Day!

Bed Head by TIGI Hair Wax Stick: was $19.99 now $11.99 (save $8) | Amazon US

Bed Head by TIGI Hair Wax Stick: was $19.99 now $11.99 (save $8) | Amazon US

This stick is formulated with beeswax to smooth the hair, to provide frizz-free results and a semi-matte finish—ideal for a bun!

You can also shop this wax stick alternative for just $7.59, also in the Amazon Prime Deals, plus a number of other slicked-bun staples below...

How to achieve a slicked back bun

So, now that we've got TikTok's fave wax stick and other styling essentials in our cart, how do we go about recreating the slicked-ban bun IRL?

Well, there are a number of different methods depending on your hair thickness and length. If you have a curly hair type, for instance, you may need to section out your hair more and opt for a gel. If you have fine hair, the wax stick is a great option for sticking down those pesky flyaways, but you might also need a hair donut—to boost the volume of your bun.


♬ som original - ☆duda

♬ Borderline - Tame Impala

From our hours spent on TikTok, the most popular way to achieve the bun, however, seems to be with a middle parting and first tying your hair into a high ponytail, before twisting the length and wrapping it around the base of the pony—where the hair tie is. Using a bristly brush is also a must for smoothing down the hair and catching any of those flyaways.

  1. Parting: decide on your chosen parting and section out your hair (you can apply your fave gel before brushing your hair back for extra hold)
  2. Fringe: if you have bangs or face framers, section them out, to pin them back once your ponytail is complete
  3. Ponytail: brush your hair back into a high ponytail, securing it with a hair tie
  4. Bun: Twist your ponytail and then wrap it around the base of your ponytail and secure it with another hair tie
  5. Smooth: apply your chosen gel or wax stick to slick back any flyaways and frizz
Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.