The Donut Bun – Protective Hairstyle

I figured out this hairstyle quite by accident when I was attempting to put my hair in a regular bun. I love this style, because it’s easy, low-cost and protects the ends of your hair. If you’ve seen me withi the past 2 weeks, then you’ve probably seen me with this hairstyle. (Maintenance is so easy I was just too lazy too take it down LOL). The great thing about it is that you don’t need to use one of those spongy-donut things in your hair. Instead you make use of your natural hair’s curls to create the donut and provide texture. So here’s how I did it:

What you’ll need:

– two scarves- one narrow, one wide

– large silky scrunchie

– boar bristle brush

– gel (I usually use Eco-Styler clear for this)


1. Moisturize dry hair with leave-in conditioner. I use my own recipe or Oyin’s Juices ‘N Berries

2. Pull up into a puff with a thin scarf (Not a rubber band, those rip the hair) DON’T tie the scarf too tight, you’ll break off your edges.

3. Tuck ends of scarf in on itself

4. Pull hair through evenly so that sides, top and back are smooth

5. Using your hands, fan the puff out in a circle. Use your finger to poke into the center and then gently fan the hair out folding it over the scarf to hide it. Use  a little more leave-in condish to separate the hair more easily.

6. Open up the scrunchie

7. Holding the fanned-out puff with one hand, push the scrunchie over the top of the hair and the scarf all at once. It’s ok if it’s not even at first)

8. Holding the scrunchie in place, pull hair through the scrnchie just until only the edges of the hair are still tucked. Take your time with this part and adjust the hair evenly. You may also need to spin the scrunchie a bit to make it look even as well.

9. Take a littel gel and dab it around the edges of hair. Wet the brush and brush edges of hair towards bun.

10. Wrap the wider scarf around your head and tie securely. This is to just smooth your edges and maybe activate a few waves in the process.

11. After a minimum of 20 minutes, remove scarf and voila! Pretty donut Bun.
Feel free to experiment with scrunchies. The one I used here was satin black, but add a colorful one or even pierce the bun with chopsticks or a hair stick for a funky look!

That’s it! to maintain this style, I’ll wear 1 scarf over my head and another wrapped around the bun at night or when I’m changing clothes. Ain’t it cute?

  • What are some of your favorite protective styles?
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15 thoughts on “The Donut Bun – Protective Hairstyle

  1. Natasha --

    Thanks for the refresher! I’ve been trying to remember how to do even a simple bun over the past week and want to step up to a donut.

    Based on your nice tutorial, however, I think I know why I wasn’t able to make it work on my few attempts: my locs are too long.

    That said, I like your scarf + scrunchie solution. I’ll try it on my longer locs with two scarves (to replace the srunchie since I don’t think it would fit around the resulting bun).

    Thanks much!

  2. Savvy

    @Natasha Yes! I think if you used to scarves it would look wonderful. And you can control how big the bun in, by pulling less/more hair through

  3. Shak

    Cool – I will start doing this in place of my usual pulled back afro puff because this winter air is killer!

  4. ChocolateOrchid

    Lovely and so simple to do.
    My go-to protective style is the bun. My favorite protective style are two-strand twists. They also can be put in a bun and/or topped with a cute hat.

  5. chichichick

    Oooh, I could have used this style last week. My ends were so parched until I washed and twisted my hair last night. I think i’m going ot try this with my twist! Thnaks!

  6. Diva (in Demand)

    I think my hair is too short for your version of the donut bun. It’s shoulder length when straight and that’s the only way that I can get enough hair when I pull it back to flower out. And I still use a sock to hold mine in place….lol

  7. Savvy

    @Diva I disagree, (although I haven’te seen your hair), butI think if you went with a smaller scarf and s smaller scrunchie, you could pull it off. Also, don’t pull the scarf as tight, so that there’s more hair to work with. Just a suggestion…

  8. Pingback: How I Wore My Natural Hair This Summer | Savvy Brown

  9. Twiggy281

    Thank you so much for this post! What a lifesaver. I have been doing Kimmaytube’s ‘wash, tuck, and run’ for the past few months (wink, wink for all you chin length naturals). It’s a great style but I’ve outgrown it. Literally! I’m happy that my hair has retained length. However, I am type 3c and am having a devil of a time finding protective styles that will last for more than one day. I will try this one-I love the idea of using a satin scrunchie instead of that weird foam thingie. LOL, between you and Kimmaytube, my hair is going to be down to my feet before I know it!

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