How to Use Wet Bunning For Length Retention

African woman sitting in the grassLast year my number one cause of breakage may have been the typical dry ends or relentless single strand knots.

With an active 8 month old in the house this year, my main cause of breakage and hair damage are his ten little fingers yanking and pulling at my nape or any sort of ponytail or braid.

As a result, my hair has not seen the light of day especially around him and my bun is my bestie for life, or just until my son decides my hair is no longer his personal jungle gym.

Wet bunning is not a new thing for me, I practiced the style really early in my hair journey simply because it was easy and honestly I was getting the best retention at that time.

I still do it from time to time, it is great for the hot weather and Jonross (my son) is less interested in it; winning!

Wet bunning is essentially washing your hair, drying it with your t-shirt or micro fiber cloth, adding product, detangling and wrapping you hair into a bun while still damp.

The process is really very simple but if you are not careful during the detangling and bun making process you could end up losing instead of gaining length.

How To Wet Bun Your Hair

The first step to a great wet bunning routine is a good shampoo, because if you add product daily at some point the buildup will need the strong arm of some shampoo to unclog those pores and cleanse your hair.

Once your hair is clean, deep condition or just quick condition it depending on what your regimen calls for at the time. Conditioning will help with detangling and sets a great foundation for your hair in its newly moisturized state.

Depending on your hair type or if you are relaxed, pick the best detangling method for you. For example if you are 4a with very coily hair, detangling in the shower under the shower stream is probably the best option for you. If you are 3a with a loose curl pattern you might be able to get away with detangling with just leave in conditioner, it all just depends on your head of hair.

Once your hair is detangled there are four types of wet buns that you can use for maximum retention.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


  1. 1
    Four Natural Girls says:

    Great Article! Helpful info!

  2. 3

    Emily, how long do you leave your bun in before restyling?

    • 4

      Neisha, it depends – early in my journey I would redo my bun everyday, so I would cowaah and bun daily. Now that my hair is longer if I do wet bun – I will redo it every 2-3 days. My thing is even though there are options for keeping my crown neat I like it to look fresh so with that said I do not usually go past 5 days.

      • 5

        To add to what Emily said. I think Reniece (the hairstylist) had really good length retention with wet bunning her natural hair. I think she used to do her’s weekly.

  3. 6

    So m about 6 months into my transition the most I can do is a wet bun since Im just not comfy with the natural styles yet, its ok though i guess….Boring but whatever. Anyway, I never realized how much my kitchen had broken off until I looked at it like an hour ago after washing my hair. Its grown so much and its so curly but I have about an inch of straight relaxed old hair. Wtf? It definitely was lonnger than that once upon a time… fault. Oh well its definitely grown and Im so happy but It doesn’t match the rest of my length which is farrrr longer and thats my problem with that. My edges in the back draw up and separate from the rest of my hair thats pulled together and just looks like a fuzzy garden. Im weird about brushing it and I def dont use heat. I haven’t used heat in like 7 or 8 months. Is there something I can do about that??

  4. 7

    My fine hair let me know it do not like buns and ponytails.

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