40 Perfectly Imperfect Messy Hairstyles for All Lengths
Untamed tousled hairstyles always seem so irresistibly charming and effortless that you simply can’t turn down their overwhelming appeal. There’s something extremely sexy and free of any constraint in tousled ‘dos, whether it’s an updo style, boyish pixie with sticking out feathers or fun loose curls. A messy style looks great on any length and type of hair – short or long, straight or curly, thick and flexible or fine and wispy. With the right approach you can create so many gorgeous and versatile looks with messy hair. Let some of them be stylish and extravagant, while others can remain on a more romantic side. Here are 40 ideas of envy-worthy hairstyles with messed up locks for short, medium-length and long hair.
How to Create Messy Locks?
“Maybe they simply stopped combing their hair?”, someone may think, contemplating some of the trendiest messy ‘dos at the biggest fashion shows. Well, messy hair often looks like an absolutely natural style but we know that certain manipulations do stand behind these perfectly imperfect looks. Normally for medium-length and long hair they include the following.
- Blow-drying and running your fingers through hair without combing.
- Upside down blowdrying or blowdrying in the opposite direction to the hair growth for added volume and layer enhancement.
- Haphazard curling for some locks with a flat iron.
- Applying texturizing/thickening spray or curl enhancing product all through the locks and squeezing them in your palms with optional light teasing at the roots to boost volume.
- A few final minutes of blowdry to fix the effect and a bit of hair spray as the last touch for the extra hold.
Best Messy Hairstyles
If your hair is short, a cute chaos can be easily organized with some wax or light pomade. Apply the product to wet hair and blow dry, pulling separate sections in different directions. Add a little bit more wax to the ends for a more distinct look.
Besides loose messy curls and chaotic straight tresses for longer hair you can experiment with a whole bunch of messy updos and downdos, including messy buns, knots, fishtails, half up and half down messy ‘dos, French twists and others. Here are some cute ideas to embrace.
#1: Short and Layered
Of course, short messy hairstyles are lovely too. Many of today’s layered cuts are actually shaped to look messy – that’s how popular this laid back trend has become. For women, layered hair that is shoulder length will look feminine without being a huge maintenance hassle.
#2: Formal Messy Hair
While many messy styles are designed for casual wear, there are also some formal styles for women that will look gorgeous on your prom or wedding day pictures. Messy buns can be further formalized with the addition of a hair embellishment or flowers.
#3: Youthful Updo
A quick and easy updo that is often seen on young women is a side chignon with plenty of strands flying free around. If your hair is highlighted, this wrapped, pulled back style will really bring out all its beautiful colors.
#4: Messy French Twist for Ombre Hair
As traditional as formal affairs themselves, this classic chignon is a glamorous favorite updated as a messy updo. Whether you choose to French twist your hair or simply finger comb and secure with a clip, this hairstyle will work for all long haired girls.
#5: Triple Knot
Keep hair looking beautiful with a sexy updo that really can be qualified as a lazy hairstyle. It might look intricate, but really the beauty of this triple knotted updo is found in the fact it doesn’t stretch for perfection. Some hairs remain out of place while others are a bit askew. Nonetheless, the end result is stunning.
#6: Messy Hair with a Side Braid
If you’re in a rush and need an easy ‘do that will get you out the door in less than 10 minutes while still looking fabulous, try a hairstyle that rocks a feminine front braid. Simply plait the front of the hair and pull the rest of the hair into a side bun.
#7: Cute, Knotted and Messy
Messy buns are a staple in every girl’s hair portfolio, and with good reason. Try a mussed low chignon, that’s extra carefree, by letting some strands of hair go loose.
#8: Criss-Crossed Messy Hair
Take your updo game up a knotch by overlapping that textured, messy hair into a fabulous formal shape. This hair style takes any look to the next level seamlessly. The updo is perfect for shoulder-length hair which can be hard to style at times.
#9: Twisted, Wavy and Messy
Get romantic by rocking a half-updo with twists and turns that are intricate and lovely. Make sure your hair is curled into beach waves before twisting two sections from opposite sides of the head and joining them in the back.
#10: Messy Blue and Purple Plait
Show off that gorgeous mermaid-like hair color by flipping it into multiple topsy-tails that are full and tousled. Your hair will look voluminous and vibrant.
#11: Messy Mohawk Look
The cool, faux-hawk look is very in right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to run to the stylist to have your hair shaved down the sides. Try one of many plaited messy hairstyles. This time try a Dutch braid down the middle and a small fishtail right next to it to give your ‘do some edge.
#12: Tousled, Messy Hair
Curly locks don’t have to be perfect. In fact, waves are at their best when they’re slightly undone and textured — especially when you`re messing them up for medium hair. You can achieve this by curling your hair with a large curling wand! Just flip your curled hair upside down and then style as needed.
#13: Cotton Candy Messy Braids
If you just got your hair colored with magical shades like pink or blue, you have to show them off right! There’s no better way to showcase your pastel locks than braids. Try two messy pigtail plaits on for size.
#14: Braided Messy Pony
Of all the cute messy hairstyles, this one may be the coolest, as it’s braided from start to finish … literally! Just French braid the back of the head (starting at the nape), until you hit the crown, then throw the style into a high pony. Braid the pony into a fishtail and secure with an elastic band. Tug at the pony braid to make it fuller and messier.
#15: Long and Messy Half Bun
Sleep through your alarm? Put that bedhead look to good use by throwing it into a half-bun hairstyle. And don’t worry about making this hairdo too perfect. The messier the better!
#16: Topsy-Turvy Messy Hair
Remember the topsy-tail hairstyle of your childhood? It’s time to recreate the magic as an adult by tying that long, luscious hair into a topsy-turvy pony that literally let’s it all hang out.
#17: Tangled Messy ‘Do
Bring new meaning to the term “silver fox”! Metallic, messy hairstyles are fabulous when worn in twisted, knotted ways. Just take your long locks and tie them into several knots for a cascading ‘do!
#18: Messy Wrapped Low Pony
Can’t do a thing with your hair? Try styling it into a low pony … with a twist. When wrapping the elastic around your hair, stop the hair from going all the way through on the third time around. Then, pull a piece of hair out and wrap it around the base of the pony. This look is especially chic on straight hair.
#19: Plaited and Bunned Messy Hair
The messy look never looked messier — or hotter! In addition to a chic, trendy half bun, a randomly placed braid is the perfect way show off your beautiful, boho waves.
#20: Multi-Braided Messy Hair
If you’re torn between messy hairstyles with large, full accent braids and small ones, it’s time to put your mind at ease … and go for both! Messy ‘dos mean anything goes, so, layer a thick shoelace braid on top of a small Dutch braid that wraps around the back of the head. Finish it off with a side bun and you’re good to go!
#21: Messy Braided Updo
Who says a messy look can’t be elegant? Try a formal, undone updo that features two wraparound braids and some loose, curled locks.
#22: Bobbed and Messy Hair
Tousled, layered long bobs (which are medium-length bobs) are low in maintenance but high in chicness. All you need is a bit of texturizing spray or powder, and you are good to go.
#23: Chin-Length Messy Bob
Nothing is hotter than short messy hairstyles! Take a page from your favorite celebs and try a messy, cute, chin-length bob. Simply curl your hair with a straightener, leaving the ends untouched, then fluff up the hair and break up the curls with your fingers.
#24: Double-Braided Messy Hair
If two heads are better than one, imagine what two braids can do! Try a beautiful bohemian look by braiding the top front section of your hair, wrapping it around to the back of the head, and securing it to the hair. Then, create a side bubble braid with fishtail inserts. Pull at the plait to make it messier and fuller.
#25: Messy Low Chignon
A low, undone side bun is messy hair at its finest. This look is about as classic as they come and looks amazing with everything from a formal gown to a sleek pant suit.
#26: Side Fishtail
Messy hairstyles are fun to wear, and best of all, they don’t take a huge amount of effort. This laid back fishtail braid is made more beautiful by being faded out of a top twist and styled to the side.
#27: Braids and Twists Combined
The epitome of cute and messy styles comes in the form of combined hair elements. For this look, a French braid is paired with twists and a messy low pony. One total fashion perk for women with long hair? Being able to dress hair up in a bunch of different ways, but sometimes not having to settle on a single style at once.
#28: Long Haired Loveliness
You don’t need to try too hard to look beautiful if you already have long hair. This sexy hair look is the epitome of lazy hairstyles. Messy hair is made gorgeous simply by pulling the top layer into a half up bun. Messy buns are ever popular and work well in a variety of hair types.
#29: Curly and Messy Ponytail
When it comes to quick hair styling, go for styles that aren’t too difficult and bank them into your memory. While there are some days when you will need to dress up your tresses, too many of us forget about the beauty that comes from messy waves and sloppy straightness.
#30: Fauxhawk Ponytail
By adulthood, we’ve all conquered the ponytail. But when you need a messy ponytail that really takes the cake, check out this idea with its twists and volume. If you have long hair and are seeking a change, try this Mohawk-inspired style on for size.
#31: Simple and Tasteful
While it won’t work on all hair types, a brushed back messy bun for long hair really looks beautiful. Make a low loose knot leaving some extra strands from the top layer of your hair to cover its base. Bring those strands to the centre and pin in place to cover the elastic, securing your knot. Don’t worry if some strands break free – that’s the whole point of messy hair life.
#32: Formal Style
This low, formal updo hairstyle includes some choppy layers that frame the face. A hair embellishment like the pearl headband shown in the photo will bring a touch of glamour to hair that honestly doesn’t take a whole lot of effort.
#33: Imperfect Low Bun
This bun looks like it was done with your little daughter’s hands. Messy hairstyles are best when they are versatile, and you can definitely wear this one to either a formal or casual occasion.
#34: Spiky yet Feminine
This style can be worn as a long layered bob brushed back if you have shorter hair or as a low loose updo for long locks. Two toned hair looks amazing in this style, and so does the chunky fishtail, messily incorporated into the side.
#35: Thin Hair Beauty
Fine, straight hair can often wage war against messy hairstyles. In fact, it often achieves a messy look naturally, but not in the styles you’ll like. If you have thin hair, try securing it in this French braid-inspired updo that still leaves room for flyaways down the back and sides.
#36: Shoulder Length Sass
Medium messy hairstyles sometimes don’t even involve any twist, braid or curl. Get a choppy layered cut and wear your hair “as it is” to achieve this lazy hairstyle that’s gorgeous and super simple.
#37: Fishtail Half Updo
This half up half down style with a fishtail headband is suitable for all hair types. Not so great at fishtail braids? They can certainly be tricky, but fortunately for this hairdo, messy is welcome.
#38: Fauxhawk Knots
A single knot might look a bit too casual and even banal these days, but two knots are a whole new story. Pull your shoulder length hair into two large knots at the back of the head for this easy updo that is inspired by the more formal top knot.
#39: Ponytail with a Twist
Messy hair is the right texture for a modern casual ponytail. This one is made a bit more grown up with a twisted piece held in place with a hairpin, effectively concealing the hair elastic. If your hair is highlighted or layered, then you can make it look even more fun.
#40: Super Simple Bun
With all of these fancy takes on messy style, it can be difficult to remember that this is a trend that shouldn’t require much effort. If you aren’t so into layers, twists, braids and hair accessories, simply pile your hair into a top knot and be on your way. Don’t stress if some hairs are out of place – in fact, that’s preferred. And you won’t even have to try to look amazing.
Getting every hair in its place can be pretty boring especially when you strive to avoid morning rush. Thanks God, nonchalant chic is not going to be out of fashion in the near future, so why not to incorporate a few of these great messy styles into your chic spring and summer looks?