two key pieces of advice for achieving the perfect messy bun or topknot:
1. DO NOT LOOK IN THE MIRROR WHILE STYLING. it sounds odd, but if you're looking in the mirror you'll get the overstyled, perfect, ballerina bun which is not what we're going for. i've watched many a messy bun tutorial and surprisingly i've never heard them mention this. so avoid the mirror at all costs and it'll help you achieve that messy, i don't care look.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR HAIR IS UNWASHED. i usually just skip washing a day and use conditioner only. seriously, don't even try this after just washing your hair. it won't come out right. i've tried and tried, but there are just no styling products that will duplicate unwashed hair. the reason for this, is that unwashed hair has more natural hold and texture.
what you'll need:
light hold finishing spray
comb of some sort
1. start with wavy or air dried hair for some texture, then spray roots with volumizing dry shampoo. make sure to spray from a distance or it will give you white roots. (if that happens, the next step will usually make it go away.)
2. begin teasing sections of the mohawk area starting from the front and working your way back. this will give you some volume.
3. take all of your hair into a high ponytail and secure with hair tie. tease the pontytail for some texture and volume. start twisting and wrapping your ponytail into a bun while securing with bobby pins at the same time. make sure to keep this loose and fun. (and of course don't look in the mirror during this part.)
4. take your fingers and massage the hair around your face in circles. this will give it the undone, messy look. massaging your hair like this should free up a few pieces around your temples and ears, if not just be sure to leave a few pieces out framing your face for the messy look.
5. now look in the mirror and adjust as necessary. use the wide tooth part of the comb to smooth out any crazies. then secure the look with a light hold finishing hair spray and there you go!
i usually just leave those flyaways that fall down in the back. it just adds to the messiness of it all! i hope this tutorial helped.