Elevated Space Buns Are a Great Hairstyle to Keep on Rotation

The '90s have made a huge comeback, and we're soaking up every second of it, but there are certainly a few trends we're loving more than others. Skinny eyebrows, for example, are one trend we'd prefer to leave in the past, while marinated makeup is one we're excited to add back into our routines. When it comes to hair, not every retro beauty trend has made its return quite as strongly as the space-buns hairstyle. Space buns were a popular hairstyle in the '90s, but they've recently gotten a makeover. The "elevated" space-bun hairstyle trend has been worn by countless celebrities like Marsai Martin, Charli D'Amelio, Olivia Rodrigo, Yara Shahidi, and many, many more — not to mention countless people on TikTok and Instagram alike.

The secret to this "Zenon"-inspired hairstyle is its versatility. The simplest version of it — two pigtails twisted into buns — can be created in a matter of minutes with just two hair ties, but as this trend has grown over the last year or so, we've seen different variations of the space-bun hairstyle hit our social media feeds, leading to the creation of the "elevated space-buns hairstyle." Half-up, half-down; curled; and braided details make the style extra trendy and wearable outside of the original festival-type destinations that the look was produced from.

"I've been seriously loving space buns and have been seeing an increase in requests from my clients for that style," celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko tells POPSUGAR. "It's a universal style that looks great on any hair type and texture and lets your face truly shine through."

Ahead, we break down a space buns tutorial and showcase some of the best space bun hairstyles you can check out for inspiration.

"Elevated" Space-Bun Hairstyle Tutorial

Step 1: The first step to creating the space-buns hairstyle is a smooth blowout. Polko likes to use a leave-in conditioner to hydrate the hair before rough drying it and using a round-brush attachment to achieve that blowout look. "I use the round brush attachment to turn ends under," she says. "It's important to do the ends on the whole head like this because if not, some ends will pop out and you want it really consistent within the space buns as well."

Step 2: Part hair down the middle, and leave out two face-framing pieces in the front if you like that look.

Step 3: "Next, I section hair on one side of the part from the ear to the crown of the head and secure with the Scunci Clear Elastic ($6) – these are great because they don't break," she says. Then simply repeat the process on the other side.

Step 4: Once the two pigtails are secured, you can simply loop them into messy buns for the easy take on the space-buns hairstyle. However, if you want to put an elevated twist on the look, start on one side of the head and split the pigtail into two pieces. "Starting with the first piece, start twisting the hair until it begins to coil on top of itself, but leave the ends out (this is why it's important to blow dry ends nicely)," Polko says. Once you've created the desired shape, use hair pins or bobby pins to hold it in place. Repeat that process with the other section of the pigtail, then move on to the other side of the head.

Yara Shahidi's Braided Space Buns
Getty | Richard Cartwright

Yara Shahidi's Braided Space Buns

To get this look, part your hair down the middle and divide it into two sections. From there, pull the two sections into two high ponytails and slick them back. Braid each ponytail and wrap them into a bun. Then, secure with bobby pins.

Charli D'Amelio's Half-Up, Half-Down Twisted Space Buns

To test out this space bun hairstyle, start out by dividing your hair down the middle. From there, section off two small pieces at the top to put into high ponytails, while leaving the rest of your hair down (and be sure to include two face-framing pieces at the front). Then, twist your hair into two buns at the top of your head. Secure with bobby pins or elastic bands.

Tracee Ellis Ross's Sleek Space Buns

These sleek space buns are situated toward the middle of the head and not as high. Pull your hair into two ponytails toward the back of your head, then wrap your hair to create a bun.

Bella Hadid's Messy Space Buns
Getty | Estrop

Bella Hadid's Messy Space Buns

For this space-bun hairstyle, the messier the better. Divide your hair down the middle and pull each side into a messy high ponytail. Then, create a bun by wrapping the hair around and allowing pieces to fall out loosely all over. Secure with an elastic for a messier, loose look.

Millie Bobby Brown's Sleek Space Buns With Bows
Getty | John Shearer

Millie Bobby Brown's Sleek Space Buns With Bows

If you want to take your space-bun hairstyle to the next level, add a fun accessory like bows or ribbon. Once you've secured your space buns, pin something to the front of them for that "wow" factor.