Buns. Do you like yours free flopping or immobile? Do you look at other runners’ buns and feel a sense of envy? Is bun-running an everyday occasion or just for special days? 

Well, Oiselle has the BUN EXPERTS here to answer all of your bun questions. Allie Kieffer, Kami Beckendorf, Morgan Manuel (Mo), and Jess Barnard share their expertise on how to run with buns. 


When did you first start running in a bun and why?

Mo: I started running in a bun when I got to college. My hair was starting to get a lot longer and I didn't like how it would stick to my back and get all over and ratty when I ran. It also was much more controlled for steeplechase. A bun made me feel more together and secure, and made me feel powerful as a runner. 

Kami: I've actually always ran with my hair in a bun- I have really long, thick hair and if it's in a ponytail in the summer, I don't get much breeze on the back of my neck. If it's in a ponytail while it's windy or raining, it turns into a rat’s nest- the bun keeps everything together in one spot!

Allie: I started power-bunning last summer as I started running more mileage to prepare for the NYC Marathon. Removing the sweat-drenched hair sticking to the back of my neck made me feel cooler, and in a marathon every little percent adds up! Also, my top knot makes me look a little taller!

Jess: I have always been somewhat of a head case when it comes to racing + competing, so finding ways to keep it light and fun has always helped me. One of those things is how I wear my hair. Through high school and college I was constantly experimenting with race styles and they usually involved 1-2 buns of some sort. Top knot bun, double Princess Leia buns, french braid into buns, triple buns down the middle, etc. etc. 


How long is your hair...and do you ever just wear it down? 

Mo: My hair when down goes to about my upper/mid back, its super wavy unless it is straightened. Yes, I do wear it down to run sometimes but I don’t love doing that. I often find that it sticks to me and makes my shoulders itchy when I am wearing a tank top. 

Kami: My hair is anywhere from mid-back to right above my butt. I love donating my hair every few years so I usually let it grow out till it's borderline unbearable and then donate 10-12 inches and start over again. I wear it down on special occasions. If I wear it down though, it's a whole process with straightening that can take up to 45 minutes, whereas the bun takes 5 minutes max! 

Allie: My hair is on the longer side. I almost always wear it down when I’m not running.

Jess: My hair is pretty long (it grows fast)! I chopped it all off about 2 years ago and it’s already back to just past boob length. My fave. I love long hair, it makes me feel beautiful. So when I do have the time for a little primping in the am, I wear it down! *insert hair flip & wink*


How do you make that bun stay in place? 

Mo: In my years of doing my bun I have broken lots of pony tails and gone through many bobby pins! I just gather all of my hair on the top of my head to where I want my bun, I fold it over once and then tuck all the excess hair in ways so it will stay the best in the pony tail. I then use the 1st pony tail and wrap it around the bun 3 times to secure everything in place as well as I can. Usually the whole process takes about 1 headband, 2 ponytails, and 4-6 bobby pins depending on the security of the bun! 

Kami: It's kind of an art- I use just one hair tie, no bobby pins or anything, just gather my hair on top of my head and twist the hair tie a few times around without ever fully pulling hair into a pony, tuck in any fly-aways and it's done! I think one trick though is doing it while it's still a little wet, although possible when dry, being wet allows for some easier configuring.

Allie: I’ve gotten so many questions about how I keep the bun in place! The secret is two hair ties. I use one to put it in a high pony and then I wrap my hair around it secure the bun with another tie.

Jess: Double hair tie. Ditto on Kiefer’s technique! Sometimes a couple bobbies are required depending on my hair length.


Funny buns: 

Kami: I've had incidents when me and another coworker went to look at something and bumped buns accidentally. There are many cone head references when wearing a hood over it, and I've walked or ran under many trees and misjudged the height of my bun and gotten it stuck- knowing your bun clearance is important! :)

Jess: Ha! Well, there is nothing worse than when your bun decides to go rouge in the middle of a work out and starts flopping around everywhere. The bouncing really does cause a headache. One time I was running around the lake doing a hard tempo and the bun went wild… out of frustration I shouted “mother f&^%$#!” (a little too loudly to be honest) and this guy turned around thinking I was shouting profanities at him. My bad, dude. Just a bad bun day. #happens

There you have it! Shoot our bun experts your questions, and happy bunning! 



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Allyson Ely