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The Product People Are Using To Style A Slick Hair-Healthy Bun

Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
By Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
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March 20, 2022

Extremely valuable PSA: We've come across a genius reason to delay your wash day. So we'll dive right into it: If you're on beauty TikTok, you've likely heard of the famous "Olaplex bun." This is a healthy hair take on the slicked-back bun that traditionally calls for loads of hair gel and hair spray. While those styling products can definitely make your hair look sleek, they tend to feel stiff and dry to the touch. Instead, users glob on leave-in treatments that nourish the hair to create stronger locks. Think of it like daytime "slugging" for your hair. 

Now, we'd be remiss not to mention the controversy surrounding Olaplex No. 3's ingredient lilial, which the EU's European Commission has linked to fertility concerns. (There's no human studies at the moment to prove the link, but they regulated it's use out of an abundance of caution.) The fragrance note is no longer in the formula being sold in the EU and is currently being phased out globally. If you have any discomfort regarding the ingredient, you can check the INCI list of your Olaplex No. 3 and act accordingly. In the meantime, we're recommending using their other products.

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How to style the slicked bun.

First, here's a quick tutorial for the slicked bun: 

  1. Detangle your hair. 
  2. Use a comb to part your hair down the middle (or whatever part you prefer).
  3. Apply your styling product of choice throughout the hair, focusing on areas you tend to get flyaways.
  4. Use a boar bristle brush (or another comb with dense bristles) to brush your hair back, making sure to keep the part visible. 
  5. Use an elastic to secure a ponytail at your desired height. 
  6. Wrap the hair into a bun, then use another elastic to secure in place. 
  7. Use finishing spray if necessary. 
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For a visual tutorial, check out this helpful TikTok

Which leave-in products should you use?

Of course, the key to mastering the Olaplex bun is, well, Olaplex products. The brand uses patented bond-building technology to repair broken hair bonds, which leads to smoother, healthier, and more resilient strands. In terms of which specific Olaplex products are best for this look, there has been some controversy (and by controversy, we mean heated debates in the comments section). 

Don't worry: We've done the research to give you a quick guide to mastering the Olaplex bun and reap the most benefits from these powerful products. 

Say you're styling your hair in the morning and don't plan on washing until the evening or just want to skip washing your hair that day. You're simply looking for all-day wear that will help keep those pesky flyaways down and reduce frizz. In this case, reach for the brand's leave-in styling treatment: Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother. This product can be applied to damp or dry hair and is formulated to condition and strengthen. Plus, it works for up to 72 hours (which means you can delay your wash day…again). 

To level up your all-day Olaplex bun, add in some drops of the No. 7 Bonding Hair Oil. This product creates a high-shine finish and helps protect the strands from UV exposure. 

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The takeaway. 

Especially if you're a frequent hot tool user or have color-treated hair, the Olaplex bun is a great way to nourish your strands and look chic while doing it! Just be sure to use the right products to optimize the efficacy. As a quick rule of thumb: Use No. 3 for a quick treatment on wet hair and No. 6 for all-day wear. 

Hannah Frye
Hannah Frye
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.