05/02/2012 12:00 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Gwen Stefani Hairstyle How-To: The Wispy, Messy Bun We Had To Copy

When Gwen Stefani stepped out a few weeks ago, Easter paraphernalia in hand and her hair twisted high into a messy, wispy bun, she looked like a busy mom working an un-fussy hair style. But then a week later, when the singer-designer wore that same slightly-disheveled-but-gorgeous updo with Stella McCartney on a red carpet, it occurred to me: never has messy been so versatile.You couldn't tell if she had professionally styled it or hadn't washed it in three days: that was the magic of it.

Now with spring weather here (and the subsequent perma-humidity that that brings), seems no better a time to figure out this style for ourselves, and capitalize on the wispy-friziness that will inevitably ensue. We asked L'Oreal Paris stylist Johnny Lavoy to help break down this look that could easily take you to work to late-night. Check out his pointers below, then click through our roundup of other stars with wispy buns and the products we're employing to get the chic top-knot.

“This look can work for many different occasions depending on your personal style," says Lavoy. "What makes this look so versatile is that even though it’s a form of bun -- which is classic -- the texture adds an element of casualness and makes it more modern.” The mussed-up imperfectness is indeed what makes it so charming.
The style is not only flexible in where it can take you, but also with what shape your hair is in. “The great thing about this look is that you can achieve it with freshly shampooed hair OR hair that’s not so clean," notes Lavoy. "If your hair is clean, I would suggest using a texturizing product. If your hair is not freshly shampooed, you can simply use a flexible hairspray.”
How To Get The Look In Just A Few Minutes:

Step 1: Prep hair by working in hairspray or a texturizing cream, then using your hands, finger-comb your hair into a high ponytail.

Step 2: Pull out face-framing wisps. You can also pull down hair around the nape of the neck for extra softness.

Step 3: Coil the pony tail into a tight bun and secure with bobby pins. It’s important to make the bun higher than wider and allowing loose hairs to go astray.

To make it look more unique -- and less like your run-of-the-mill bun -- Lavoy says, "you can personalize it by adding twists or braids that lead into the bun.”

Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.