updo and bun hairstyles 3 Ways to Put Your Hair Up When You Don't Have a Hair Tie

We’re breaking it down in a few simple steps.

April 18, 2022
Put Hair Up Without Hair Tie

We’ve all been there — sitting outside on a hot summer day or finally finding the motivation to workout, only to realize you’re without a hair tie. It might seem impossible to get your hair off of your neck and out of your face without a hair elastic, but it’s totally doable. 


There are simple hairstyles that can be created without hair accessories — all you need is your strands and a hairbrush. Ahead, we’re sharing three options for putting your hair up when you don’t have a hair tie.


1. Twisted Ponytail

You can easily create a low, twisted ponytail without the need for a hair tie or bobby pins. This hairstyle can be easily done on long or short hair


Step 1. Brush Your Hair

To ensure your strands are tangle-free, brush through your hair. If you don’t have a hairbrush on hand, finger comb your strands to get out as many tangles as possible. 


Step 2. Twist Your Hair

Bring all of your hair to the back of your head and bring it into a low ponytail. Then, twist the length of your ponytail a few times so that the upper half is twisted.


Step 3. Create a Hole

Hold the length of your ponytail in one hand to keep the twist from unraveling. Use your other hand to create a hole where the base of your ponytail meets the nape of your neck. Make the hole large enough so that you can bring your hand through the bottom of the hole and out the top.


Step 4. Pull Through Your Length

Use the hand that you stuck through the hole to pull the length of your ponytail through the hole and out the bottom. This will create a twist that will hold your strands in place. Gently tug the length of your ponytail to tighten as needed. 


2. Twisted Bun

If you prefer a bun hairstyle, here’s another twisted look you can create. This option is best for those with long hair.


Step 1. Brush Your Hair

You know what to do. Knots and tangles are a no-no for creating your hair tie-free style.


Step 2. Create a Ponytail

Smooth your strands back into a high ponytail. Pull and hold your hair tightly so your bun can stay in place. 


If you like a really sleek look, use an edge brush and some hair gel, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel to slick back your hair and tame any flyaways


Editor’s note: If you prefer a low bun, simply create a low ponytail as a base rather than a high ponytail.


Step 3. Loop Your Length

Place your hand underneath the base of your ponytail so that the length of your hair falls between your thumb and pointer finger. Pull your length toward the right. Then, twist the hand holding your length to the left, forming a loop. Keep your fingers within the loop so it has a large opening.


Step 4. Wrap Your Hair

Wrap the remaining length around the base of your ponytail, forming a bun.


Step 5. Secure Your Bun

Use both hands to bring the loop you created over the bun you just made, wrapping and securing it in the process. 


3. Pencil Bun

For this hair tie-free hairstyle, you’ll also need a pencil in addition to your hairbrush. A pen will do in a pinch too (or even an extra pair of chopsticks from sushi night). You may have even seen this hack on TikTok. Follow the steps below.


Step 1. Brush Your Strands

Comb through your hair to get rid of any knots or tangles.


Step 2. Create a Bun

Twist your strands into a bun at the top of your head making sure the bun is tight.


Step 3. Grab Your Pencil

Insert your pencil, pen, or chopstick into the bun at an angle. Placing it into your bun at an angle is the trick to using it in place of a hair tie to secure your strands — it works to secure the layers of hair together. 


Next: 3 Ways To Create A Modern French Twist


Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn