We’ll only say this: Messy Hairstyles, don’t care! You’ve just found an article dedicated to what some might call a mess of a hair, but others would see it as art.
Gone are the days when your hairstyle had to be spick and span and not move an inch. Nowadays, messy hairstyles are all the rage as men and women alike are encouraged to play around and enjoy their natural hair and let it fall as it wills.
Still, that is not to say that you can’t style yourself to look lovely or that you can’t sport a hairstyle that is equally put-together and messy – far from it actually!
So continue reading to feast your eyes on the prettiest ways to wear messy hair – be it completely wild and natural or partially styled or actually made to look easy. It’s all up to you!
I. Messy by Hair Length
1. Short Messy Hairstyles for Women
Messy hairstyles will, expectedly, be all the more obvious on short haircuts such as this adorable pixie cut. We’ve talked all about the various ways in which you can sport and style a pixie, but another one won’t hurt anyone!
2. Messy Hairstyles For Women with Short Hair
Just a glance at a list of short haircuts for women will open up a world of possibilities in terms of wearing and styling short hair, no matter its length (because yes, there are several lengths of short hair). Above, admire a short to medium textured cut that adds volume to those adorably messy locks.
3. Short Messy Hair
Also, never hesitate to add layers to your hair, no matter its length. This is just a look at what short layered hair can look like if you style it in a messy manner. Add a bit of hair product and either create some spiky ends or even a wet look.
4. Messy Medium Wavy Hairstyle
Admire the beauty of a shag haircut that’s been so beautifully made on medium-length hair. After all, the shag might just be the embodiment of the “messy and don’t care look”. For those who might not know, the shag was one of the top-trending hairstyles of the 70s and one that is making a huge comeback nowadays.
5. Messy Medium Length Hairstyles for Women
Sometimes, less is more, and that’s just the case with this medium-length haircut. A well cut hair won’t even need that much styling – take the above as an example of how well slightly disheveled hair can look when coupled with the side-swept bangs and minimum makeup.
6. Messy Shoulder Length Hair
Jenna Coleman looks so pretty no matter the epoch she might be starring in. Here, the Victoria actress is keeping it simple with a messy and natural shoulder-length equal bob, minimum makeup, and a sweet white blouse.
7. Long Messy Look
It is generally true that once your hair has surpassed shoulder-length and is “officially long”, the number of hairstyles that open up to you is almost endless. However, and we will be the first to admit it, sometimes your hair looks at its best when you just leave it be. Ruffle it a bit and throw it over a shoulder and you’re good to go!
8. Messy Updo For Short Hair
We’ve argued once and again that even short hair can be worn in an updo. We’ve got an article on the matter and numerous other examples on this, but this particular photo is great to show how a messy short updo can look like – feel confident and wear it once your hair has grown a bit longer and reaches neck level.
9. Messy Updo For Medium Hair
There are various ways to wear a half up, half down hairstyle including on short to medium hair. This collage goes to show four of them, and how pretty they are! Our favorite is the second, what’s yours?
10. Messy Updos For Long Hair
You pretty much can’t get any messier than this with a long hair updo – but what an interesting effect. Instead of being tied in a full bun, the hair is instead gathered on top of the head and its tips and ends are left to run loose – all the better to showcase the blonde highlights.
11. Messy Bun Hairstyles For Short Hair
There are many pretty types of buns and ways to wear your hair in one. Above, admire a low messy bun made on shortish hair. The look is made all the sweeter by the face-framing strands left to accentuate this lovely gal’s facial features.
12. Messy Bun For Medium Length Hair
Alternatively, there’s also the high and messy bun. This can be worn on all lengths of hair, but it might look best on longer styles as it won’t leave that much hair out of the bun. Short locks or layered ones will see many flyaways.
13. Messy Bun For Long Hair
There is a variety of ways to make a messy bun (as surprising as that might sound to some). Take this tutorial, for example, to learn how to make a twisted and fuller messy bun hairstyle that will look great on long hair.
14. Messy Hairstyles with Volume and Long Bangs
Most of the hairstyles so far were naturally messy. Now, it’s time to start seeing some messy styled ones. Here, the left was styled to have a lot of volume, some frizz, and to draw attention to the tips of hair through its curled ends.
15. Messy Hairstyles for Long Hair with Center Part
Not everyone can wear center-parted hair, but this gal absolutely rocks it! Part of the appeal goes to the messy look too – ladies with slightly wavy locks can try and get this look by twisting their hair overnight and letting it loose in the morning.
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II. Messy by Hair Type
16. Messy Hairstyles for Women with Curly Hair
Naturally curly hair is a double-edge sword when talking messy styles – it can look amazing or (and we’re sorry to say it) like a bird’s nest. In this though, we’re voting for the wild and curly and free and beautiful alternative.
17. Messy Hairstyles for Women with Wavy Hair
Wavy-haired girls will find it easier to style their hair in a messy look than probably any other hair type. The natural waviness makes for a bit of extra volume and allure without the potential chaos of curly hair. It is also easier to style and hold than perfectly straight hair.
18. Messy Curls for Short Hair
Just as with their long counterparts, short and curly hair can be either a treasure of horror to style. Still, with a well cut haircut, you can simply leave them be and have a great hairstyle in minutes!
19. Messy Pixie Cut For Fine Hair
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it every time we can: layered and textured cuts can be the best friend of a woman with fine hair. Take this pixie cut that is both an example of how voluminous the hair can look – the messiness of it all also helps add extra body.
20. Short Messy Hairstyles for Women with Fine Hair
Alternatively, you can opt for a touch of French flair and adopt this look that just screams: add a berrette! The hair is kept straight and equal and messy at around chin-length. This time around, the curtain bangs help add volume even if they themselves are rare and spread out.
21. Messy Hairstyles for Women with Straight Hair
Love your hair and just let it be from time to time! There are many hairstyles for straight hair, but even a wild look like this can be the mood of the day and perfectly reflect your style too.
22. High and Messy and Voluminous Bun for Thick Hair
Fine, thin, and thick hair have a thing in common, and that is their love for layered and textured cuts. Still, thick hair can be difficult to manage even in such cases, so instead of fighting it, simply throw it in a high and voluminous bun, like above.
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III. Messy How-To
23. How To Get a Messy Hair Look – Go for a Shag
Completely transform your look and add instant style with minimal effort – all by going for a shag haircut! We’ve shown you its shorter version, now admire its long-haired look. There was also some hair dyeing involved here, but the effect, overall, is simply stunning.
24. How To Get The Messy Hairstyle Look
You’ve already seen a messy hair tutorial – well get prepared to see more of them! As mentioned, there are a variety of ways to gather your hair in a messy bun, and as can be seen above, this particular method relies on a simple twisted ponytail.
25. How To Style Messy Hair
In contrast, this messy bun is a bit more complex in both its making and its final look. Start with a pony that is then transformed into a bun and then twisted and turned until the whole hair is hidden behind a fuller initial bun. Follow the steps for guaranteed results!
26. How To Do A Messy Side Braid With Short Hair
What a pretty braid! Side braids – in this particular case, almost fringe ones – can add a touch of cuteness to any look. Depending on if it’s styled looser or tighter, it can fit relaxed as well as more formal occasions alike. The steps above will teach you how to do one, and the rest is up to you!
27. Step by Step Messy Bun Tutorial
Another step-by-step how to make a messy bun tutorial, another way of making it, other great results! This particular one falls somewhere in the middle between the other two judging by its degree of difficulty. The bun base makes it easy to just take a section of hair, tye it around the bun, and make for a very interesting final look.
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IV. All the Messy Hair Love
28. The Messy Bun Look
To our minds, this is the messy bun look complete with cool accessories and probably the leisure of summer days and a nice breeze. The wavy to curly hair is messily caught in a bun with two strands perfectly framing the hair and other hairs flying loose in the wind.
29. Messy Short Wavy Bob Hairstyles
You’ve already seen a shoulder-length bob, now admire the beauty of a stacked short bob on wavy hair. The whole look is made all the prettier and completed by the full curtain fringe that also adds a touch of mystery. Depending on the natural hair color (or the hair dye of choice) this style can look either sweet or mysterious, or both!
30. Maya Hawke Messy Long Bob Hairstyle
We all fell in love with her as Robin in Stranger Things and now, here, we are totally falling for Maya Hawke’s wavy and messy long bob. This is also a great way to draw attention to the brown to blonde balayage that can easily be replaced by an ombre too.
31. Messy Hair Bun Hairstyles with Face-Framing Bangs
Now that you know some of the various tips and tricks on how to make a messy bun (and so perfectly) start experimenting with yours. For example, you can leave those face-framing bangs loose to accentuate your facial features and also draw attention to your highlights (natural or dyed).
32. The Messy Top Knot
Initially just a guy’s look, the top knot is one of the coolest updos or half up looks for women nowadays – and we totally stand by it! As with a half up bun, you can play around and style the hair as neatly or messily as you want it. You can also play around and use both styles in the same look.
33. Messy Blonde Hairstyles with Half Braided Ponytail
We’ll enter and stay a bit longer in the wonderful world of braids, this time around. Play around with your braided hairstyle and instead of starting it from the top of the head, begin somewhere at nape level and continue only up till the shoulders for a very cool and messy take on the traditional braid.
34. Messily Braided Ponytail Look
This is a messier look obtained by braiding really long hair but in a style similar to the one mentioned above. It could have easily been a fishtail braid – instead, you get this mess of a look, one that we absolutely love!
35. Ponytail Messy Hair Look
Not all ponytails have to be high or braided or ultra messy. The one in the picture above keeps all of these elements in check and leveled. The pony is made at neck level, the hair was twisted just a bit, and it’s also a bit messy, but not overly so – the natural waviness helps with this.
36. Messy Layered Hairstyles – A Shag
We couldn’t resist adding one more shag haircut to this list. This shoulder-length variant is a bit choppier and more layered than its long alternative, but sweeter than the first shag on this list. The subtle cat eye makeup also helps add a feminine touch to the look.
37. Sharon Stone Messy Spiky Hair
Sharon Stone was and will likely continue to be a source of inspiration to women of all ages and there are few looks as famous as her spiky short one. Even well past her 40s (then), she had the courage and elegance to sport a spiky messy pixie to a red carpet event some (many) years back.
38. Hairstyles For Messy Hair with Hair Accessories
One way of making your messy look (or any hairstyle, for that matter) look cutter or edgier is by adding the right hair accessories. In the photo above, the messy hairstyle got an instantly youthful look by the addition of the brightly colored hair scarf. It is a very summery look.
39. Braided Messy Prom Hair
Just because it’s messy doesn’t mean it can’t be worn to more special events! Take this beautiful example of a twisted and very little braided ponytail as a source of inspiration for prom night. Boho gals will especially love wearing it!
40. Messy Wedding Hair with Crown-Like Braid
Why not add a natural crown to your hair on your big day – one made of the tresses themselves, nonetheless. This crown-like can be adapted for a ponytail or half-up hairstyle and will look just as stunning with loose and messy or sleek and straight ends alike for a wedding!
41. Messy Bed Hair
Take it as you want, but this is pretty much how yours truthfully looks in the morning. The half up, barely-there top knot coupled with the messy and unkempt locks and flying bangs make for the perfect messy bed head look, one that can nowadays be worn outside (and shamelessly too)!
42. Messy French Twist
The French twist is a classic and favorite among hairstyles for special events. Take a look at the tutorial above and replicate its steps to learn how to do one yourself. Then, once you’ve mastered it, start playing around with it and make it as loose and messy or tight and put-together as you want to.
43. Messy Half Up Half Down Style
The beauty of half up, half down hairstyles (or one of its advantages, in general) is that they will look just as good no matter the length of the hair on top of the locks on the bottom. In this example, the loose and very small top bun goes to bring out the messy beauty of the very long and slightly wavy rest of the hair.
44. Messy Short Twisted Style
Twists can also be done on shorter hair (but one that is about chin level, as probably expected and known by now). This style is easy to replicate – just section the hair on top in two parts, and reunite them in a loose and slightly end at the back of the head.
45. Messy Loose Low Bun
With the exception of the short hair bun, we haven’t shown you that many low buns. Well, this last example (for now) goes to fix this! Take a look at this pretty and messy low bun that looks just steps away from unraveling into a ponytail. But what a relaxed and comfortable look!
Ready to Change Your Look?
So there you have it, a list of ways to wear messy hair no matter the length of your locks or your type of hair. Also, while you got to enjoy the freedom of letting your hair loose, you also saw cute examples of braided updos, messy buns, or half up styles.
Which of these was your favorite and what is your go-to messy look for lazy days – or casual ones? I’ll go first: most times, you’ll find me with a top knot. So now, what about you?
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Betty has over 15 years of experience in writing and editing for hairstyle publications. Her career started soon after graduating, leading her to winning many awards and opening her own salon at a very young age. She specializes in hair coloring techniques and hair care. In her spare time, Betty enjoys running outdoors, learning new languages, and occasionally binging a Netflix series.