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Effortlessly Chic: The Art of Tying Hair without a Hair Tie

No hair tie? No problem! This latest hair hack for tying your hair up without a hair tie is a game-changer. Especially if you’ve got long hair, needing to get your strands up and out of your face is a must sometimes. And not having a hair tie one on hand can be a real hair emergency. Anyone who’s been in the precarious position of needing one and not having one knows how real that struggle can be. Not to mention, hair ties wear away your hair’s cuticle, weakening strands and causing irreversible damage. So you should have a few easy hairstyles and tricks for keeping your hair up without a tie in your hair arsenal. If you absolutely must use a hair tie, use only ones made from smooth materials like satin or silk, and wear them as loosely as you can to minimize hair damage. For all the other times, we’re breaking down this viral trend and telling you how to tie your hair without a hair tie ahead. Plus, our favorite tips, accessories and products to keep your hair in place.

Techniques for Tying Hair without a Hair Tie

These easy hairstyles will help you put your hair up without a hair tie. Keep them in mind the next time you need a low-key, chic updo.

Classic Top Knot

You can pull off a classic top knot with just your strands and a pen, pencil, chopstick or like object. Pull your hair up into a high ponytail at the crown of your head and hold it from the base, using your other hand to bring it into your knot and hold it. Stick your pencil through the bottom so that it sticks out of the top. Make a 360 degree turn until it completes one circle around the knot. Using the pencil, lift up a small strand of hair up from the top of your head for it to go through. Pull the pencil gently, tucking it under the strand so its secure.

Messy Bun

The messy bun is a more casual version of the classic top knot. Wondering how to put your hair in a bun without a hair tie? This is one of the easiest, most customizable hairstyles ever. Whether you have long hair or short hair, you can tie your hair into a messy bun without a hair tie. Just wrap your hair around itself and find some loose ends to secure it with. This one is simple to create and a go-to for all hair types.


One of the best hairstyles for frizzy hair to pull off without a hair tie is a braided one. A loose braid secured with the ends of your hair is effortless. The ends of your hair automatically form a hair tie when you reach the end of your braid. Braided hairstyles are versatile. You can loosely braid your hair and then wrap it into a braided bun, securing it with a pencil. And if you’ve got pro level braiding skills, you can go for a more intricate fishtail braid. 

Twisted Bun

This tool-less bun hairstyle is best for those with long hair. And while this twisted bun isn’t exactly the best way to hold your strands securely, it will keep your hair out of your face. To get the twisted look, twist your hair back into a coil at the base of your neck and pull the end through the center. This will keep your hair back for at least a little while.

Low Bun

If you prefer a low bun, pull your hair into a low ponytail as a base (rather than a high ponytail like with the top knot). Holding your low pony in place, use your other hand to bring it into a bun t and hold it. Stick a pen, pencil or chopstick through the bottom and turn it until it completes a circle around the bun. Lift a small strand of hair for your pencil to go through and tuck it so its secure.

Half-Up Bun

This simple hairstyle couldn’t be easier to pull off and it looks good on just about everyone. Part your hair at ear height and gather the top part into a high ponytail. Coil the tail around the crown of your head and secure with a few bobby pins. Pull out a few tiny strands for an undone, flyaway effect.

The Double Twist

This is a great hair tie-less hairstyle for thin hair. Part your hair down the middle and split it into two parts. Make a knot, similar to the first one you make while tying your shoelaces. Make another knot on top, to keep the twist secure. Use this hack to tie up just the hair from your crown area if you don’t want to tie up all of your hair. And voila, a second double twist hairstyle!

Pins to make hair stay in place

Tips for Making Your Hair Stay in Place

As much as we love this hair trend, keeping your hair in place without the support of a hair tie can be a challenge. These styling hacks can help.

Apply dry shampoo

Grip is key when it comes to getting your strands to stay in place, particularly if you have freshly washed or fine hair. And although it doesn’t hold like hairspray, dry shampoo can help your bobby pins grip to your hair. Spray it into your roots to add texture, then spray sections before placing your bobby pins in.

Tease your hair at the roots

It’s much easier to keep your hair in place when it has texture, so the next time your hair feels a little too soft or slippery, try teasing it. Use a fine-toothed comb to tease one inch sections of your hair. Moving section at a time, gently backcomb your hair at the roots, all the way around your crown.

Use bobby pins

The most popular accessory to reach for when keeping your hair in place is the bobby pin. Bobby pins come in lots of shapes, sizes and colors so you can use them on all hair types and textures. They also come in lots of colors so you can hide them or use them to make a statement. The best way to use a bobby pin is with the wavy side facing toward your scalp.

Use hairspray

When it comes to selecting a hairspray to help keep your hair in place while tied up without a hair tie, a strong-hold hairspray is best. You can also use it to smooth stray hairs around your hairline or nape of your neck. Spray a tiny bit onto a natural-bristle toothbrush and use it to smooth down flyaways. 

Accessories to Elevate Your Hair Game

Swap these hair accessories in to hold your hairstyles in place without a hair tie.


A scarf is one of the most versatile hair accessories. You can use it as a head wrap or a headband, but we love a low ponytail tied with a scarf. Roll it into a long band and wrap it around the base of a low pony before tying it into a knot on top.


In recent years the scrunchie has made a major comeback. Scrunchies are not only tres chic, but they help you preserve your curls, while avoiding major hair dents and frizziness. Replace your hair tie with a scrunchie indefinitely to help combat dry and damaged hair.

Claw clip

For a late-nineties/early-aughts French twist updo or a half-up style, a claw clip is your go-to hair accessory. Especially if you have long, curly or unruly hair, a claw clip will help you wrangle your curls without damaging them.

French pins

A French pin is a U-shaped hair pin that holds the hair up incredibly well. French pins add volume to your updos and don’t cause breakage or put stress on the hairline. Twisting your hair up with a French pin while it’s damp can also help you create texture as it dries.

The Bottom Line

This latest hair trend for putting your hair up without a hair tie is a gamechanger. If you’ve ever needed to get your strands out of your face and been without a hair tie you’ll agree. Add to that, the potential for hair damage and we say it’s time to toss your hair ties for good. Use our favorite tips and accessories to keep your hair in place without a hair tie. And remember to use only high quality hair products to care for and style your hair. All Davines formulas are free of harmful toxins, use natural ingredients, and are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. To speak to a professional about adding castor oil to your routine, book an appointment with a Davines stylist. 

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

Cleansing dry shampoo spray to refresh and clean hair without using water.

Waterless style extender that cleanses the hair, thus adding volume without any residue.

Stimulating leave-in serum for fragile, thin hair, or hair prone to falling out.

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