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The Sleep Bun…( Plus Why Alligator Clips Are Everything )

The Skinny Confidential talks home.effortless morning hair by the skinny confidential

The Skinny Confidential talks hair.
Well, well, well…look what we have here…

A full post dedicated to uh, clips?


That’s right, alligator clips.

Like, you know, for your hair.

But mostly…for your sleep bun.

Say what?

First and foremost before I share, can I ask a serious question? You know those types of girls who don’t want to share their realllll, realllll secrets. Like, they’ll tell you their rocking body is natural & that they totally chow down on In & Out everyday…when they actually eat meticulously portioned salads, run ten miles daily, & completely avoid sugar like it’s poison.

Or if questioned, they won’t tell you the name of the lipstick color they’re wearing? Or what about this one:

Me: “OMG!” I love your shirt it’s so cute!! Where’d you find it?

Liar Girl: “oh, uh, err, this old thing ( note: it’s visibility new, not an ‘old thing’ at all )? Uh, it was a gift from a friend a long time ago. I don’t know where she found it.”

AWKWARD SILENCE…because she knows exactly where the top is from.

Me: well, gee it’s super cute!

Because really? Stop being a bitch & be honest about your damn shirt. I mean, it’s a shirt. Get over it.

On that note, I’m going to be dead honest & tell you guys one of my personal best kept secrets: THE SLEEP BUN.

Maybe you know all about ‘TSB’ already…but if ya don’t, read on:

A sleep bun changes the hair game.

Seriously though, if I didn’t wear my nightly sleep bun, my hair sucks. The sleep bun’s a top knot bun that you wear on top of the head with a big-ass alligator clip. It has to be at the very, very top of the head, like so (click here for a video tutorial):

The Skinny Confidential talks hair.
The Skinny Confidential talks hair.

Let’s get real too: I have a guilty pleasure & it’s called The Dry Bar.

(( Side: Drybar is not affiliated with TSC in anyway, I genuinely/sincerely love Drybar )).

So basically my idea of heaven: Drybar with wifi, champagne, & my computer. Sometimes I joke it’s my other office. Honestly though, it makes total sense: I’m totally Multitasking Barbie at Drybar. My hair gets washed ( for the week— you guys know I’m not a big ‘hair-washer’— I honestly wash it once a week ), curled ( for my sleep bun ), and I finish up at least an hour & half of work.

So I mean………


Pre-sleep bun, I go to Drybar & get super curly, overly curled locks ( in my opinion, way too curly, bridal locks aren’t my fav ) or I’ll wash & over-curl my hair myself. This typically happens on a Thursday because I want my hair sex kitten-esque for Friday. Example of overly curled, Shirley Temple pre-sleep bun hair:

The Skinny Confidential talks hair.


When I get home, I leave my hair down attempting to avoid mirrors at all costs. Sorry I’m not sorry that I’m not a fan of overly curled hair. I’m just not. Then around 11 pm, I grab MY BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD AKA my cute little, yellow alligator clip & shake my head downward towards the ground ( remember that George Washington game you’d play in the pool back in the day? Where you took your hair over your head & rolled it like old George’s powered wig? Whelp, that’s the motion you want to make… ). Whip your hair downward and grab your cute alligator clip. Twist the sleep bun on the top of your head & add your clip while your hair is spilling towards the ground ( make sure every inch of hair is secured ). Result: you should have a super high top knot on the very top of your head.

AND thennnnn go to bed. ZZZZzzzzzz. Wake up & remove the clip ( honestly I could not live without these yellow alligator clips…they’re all over my house/car/purse– you’ll even find them clipped to my clothes throughout the day ). Then shake your hair out slightly & add a dime size amount of this oil to ONLY *I repeat only* the bottom of the hair. I also add a spray of hair spray ( only one or two, this isn’t 1950, you want your hair to actually have some movement ) & one spray of hair sunscreen ( yes, that’s right, hair sunscreen ). Then I brush only the top of my hair ( think to your ears ) with The Wet Brush ( if you don’t have The Wet Brush…you’re missing out!! ).

Ok so what does the sleep bun actually do? Well this of course:

The Skinny Confidential talks hair.


It softens.

Softens the feel.

Softens the hair.

Softens the look.

The sleep bun creates that hippie, effortless, not too overdone look.

I put in the sleep bun every night until the next hair wash because it keeps those soft curls for dayyyys & dayyyysss. To maintain the hair for 3 to 5 days, use dry shampoo on your luscious locks. Just don’t forget to use your cute alligator:

The Skinny Confidential talks hair.


Hope I didn’t bore you guys about buns & clips too much ; ). I just want to actually share my secrets, instead of hide them, LOL…k, now your turn: what’s your best kept beauty secret?

For every single TSC hair detail, check out The Skinny Confidential Book.

xo, The Sleep Bun Gangster

Click to shop.

  1. Hi! Could you please post a video tutorial of this? I’ve tried making my bun look like this before and never have any luck. Yours looks so nice and perfect! 🙂

  2. I totally trust you when it comes to hair. In may 2013 I read your post about not really washing your hair and decided to give it a try. Remarkable about this I guess is that it was 2 weeks before my wedding! When I told my hairdresser she almost fainted. Well, my hair looks better than ever, I am down to one or maximum two washes a week and I use only clay powder. Nothing else. My hairdresser rambled on about how it could not be done with colored hair and yadayada, but more than 15 month in I’d say it works! So I will try the bun too, thanks Lauryn!

    1. Hi Carla, when you say you only use clay powder, do you mean you use that instead of dry shampoo? 🙂

    2. Vanesa, sorry about not being clear on that: I use clay powder (with water, which creates some kind of mud really 🙂 once a week to wash my hair with. I don’t use anything in between, no dry shampoo.

  3. Love love LOVE this post! My hair is always a complete wreck when I wake up and most mornings there’s no saving it, so up in a pony it goes. Literally running out the door now and getting some clips. Can’t wait to try the sleep bun out! Thank you for your awesome tip! Xx

  4. Nobody believes me but ok I got very thick hair I wash itat night put oil hand comb it go to sleep with damp hair but for some reason the next morning my hair is gorgeous and people think I spent my morning styling it!!! When I tell them what I do they just don’t believe me.

  5. I’ve been doing a sleep bun for a long time too, although I don’t start always have the gorgeous curls. A bun at night and plenty of dry shampoo is basically my hair routine, because washing it everyday is just not happening. And the sleep bun just looks cute. Who doesn’t love to wear their hair straight on top of their head in the evenings?

  6. Sleep buns rule! I do this all.the.time but I just use a bobby pin, or any old clip at all & it works just fine! 🙂

  7. I’m a hairstylist and catch flack from my coworkers for this, but my ultimate go to hair product is a $3 can of Suave dry shampoo. I have tried DOZENS of professional and drug store brands and no one can top my Suave dry shampoo.

  8. Could you post step by step pics? Embarrassed to say I am a very unexperienced bun maker. This goes for a sleep bun or your regular just “on top of your head bun” for days you don’t want to do your hair. Which for me is a lot of days..

  9. The part about george washington hair has me cracking up over here… totally did that as a kid with my sister!!! *insert crying laughing smiley here* XD

  10. I love this! I usually just clip up the top half of my hair so the face framing parts don’t get flat and oily…but I wash my hair 2x a week and not to sound like a dirty girl but also I’m not great about brushing it so it gets knotty (I have thick long hair and washing/brushing is a PITA!). The sleep bun would likely solve this issue, haha. Thanks for the tip 🙂 I have to go find an alligator clip now.

  11. THANK YOU!! I have been looking for these alligator clips forever 🙂 I broke my last set and haven’t found any to replace them. Thank you thank you!! Love the blog!!

  12. hahaha!! so, so true!!! Or when someone buys at Forever 21 and they don’t want to tell you!? I hate them hahaha…

    anyways, I’m going to try and get into the habit of not washing my hair every day since it will easier to get ready for work every morning.

  13. Absolutely love your honesty! I hate when I ask someone where they got something and they feel the need to lie! It’s like just tell me that you got it at target ok!? And btw I literally laughed out loud when you brought up the “Washington” pool hair!

  14. Love this post, I have just had to go out and buy some alligator clips, so excited to go to bed tonight and try it out!! Xo

  15. I LOVE this idea – i’m sure ill love it just as much as my wet brush thanks to you! Living in New York I have been to dry bar and i’m obsessed as well. After a long day of work on a Friday its a great relief and I feel refreshed and ready to go out. My hair is shorter, angled and layered whats the best way to make sure all of my hair fits into the clip?

  16. I really want to try washing my hair less, but my drawback is that I excercise regularly and become a sweaty mess. How do you deal with that…?! THX<3

  17. This post made me laugh and smile so much! I used to do the George Washington hair flip all the time as a kid…nostalgia! Thanks for the tip xo.

  18. Love all your posts! Your hair always looks so effortlessly perfect. My hair illiterate self is currently growing out a long bob that I regrettably cut last summer, so the whole high bun thing isn’t working for me quite yet. Any suggestions for getting that beachy hippy look on shorter hair, post-sleep?

  19. Easy! The best thing I can advise (especially for broke girls like me) is to buy a reeeaaalllyyy good – sulfate free – shampoo (I get mine at Cosmo Prof. because my momma has a nail tech license, but I’m sure Sally’s or whatever would have some) and use it twice a week. On the other days, if your hair stays oily like mine, use baking soda instead of shampoo on your roots. It can be used as dry shampoo but I prefer to use it in the shower to rinse it out.

  20. This post is too perfect!! First I am glad I am not the only one who finds the entire Dry Bar process freakin AMAZING!!!… People think its weird I go about once a week. Little do they know how much more time I get back since I can keep working while someone else makes my hair look way better than I can. Just last week I was there and when I got home noticed a big clip in my bag that the stylist must have dropped in there by accident….it was an alligator clip!! haha Now I have to try the sleep bun!! Thanks for the tips!!! xo

  21. I have long hair like yours, and it feels so good to get it up out of my face in the evenings. I love the beachy vibe of your waves! My best hair tip is using Wen – it’s seriously transformed my hair. I can wash less often and it’s so much silky and shiny. Even my stylist was surprised how well my ends have held up after multiple lightening rounds! That and some super cheap Suave Keratin dry shampoo. Life changing.

  22. Love this – I’ll have to try it out! I actually have my hair up in the “sleep bun” pretty much every morning and night while I’m getting ready/un-ready, but never thought about sleeping in it before 😛

  23. Sooooo, I would be totally on board with this, but how do you manage the gym in there? I would love to be able to not wash my hair as often, even though it is fairly healthy, but a bit dry on ends… but after the gym, there is not enough powder in the world, and I really WOULD look like George Washington…. Also, I seem to still look oily after dry shampoo….. too much? Not enough? Wrong kind (its Alterna, I think, some fancy pants stuff I paid too much for)? …help!
    (Also, HUGE dry bar groupie!!!! wish I had one closer to me… it’s in town, and I am suburb)

  24. Omg… Being a wedding coordinator/living in San Diego, the hard work, running around and crazy moist weather, makes my hair CRAZED.

    This is happening STAT.

  25. I feel like I need to run out and hoard a bunch of those adorable alligator clips now haha 🙂
    Your hair looks amazing! I’m always struggling to get volume.

  26. Also the sleep bun rocks for those of us with fine/thin hair. I can’t get away with washing my hair once a week, but sleep bunning keeps my hair nice for 1 or 2 days after I wash.

  27. Okay this is probably a stupid question… but can you *not* wash your hair even if you work out & sweat every day?! What is you have shorter hair (chin or shoulder length) ?

  28. Amazing!! I’ve tried to use a bun, but failed miserably and now I know why! Need to do it high and use a proper clip, not an elastic band. Duh! || Teffy’s Perks X

  29. At frist I thought this is probably not going to work for shorter hair (mine is only a bit longer then shoulder-length) but 3 nights into the sleeping bun I must say today my hair looks FAB! With no effort at all! Sure as hell going to keep this one up!

  30. I practice hot yoga about 5x per week along. Any suggestions for how to *not* wash your hair when your lifestyle involves so much sweat?

  31. Ok so after you workout do you re-blow-dry your hair or air dry + dry shampoo? I definitely want to make this a new routine!

  32. Lauryn!!! Love this post // honesty but theres one lingering question for me – WTF do you do after a serious sweat session??? I have naturally curly hair but regularly get blowouts / do them with a Conair Spinbrush (google it asap!!!!) but Im a hot yoga addict – not like cute go with your man and look all dainty and yoga-cute – like 90 mins of dripping disgusting strength focused HOT power yoga where I need to shower down before seeing anyone after and my blowouts get wrecked – Tips?

  33. Hi Lauren, my sister and I are obsessed with your blog and read it religiously 🙂 You inspired me to start my own blog! I was wondering what type of curling iron you use, I am looking into getting extensions and want the perfect barrel curls for your length hair 🙂

  34. Thanks for this post! It’s awesome that you’re willing to share your amazing secrets, not like some b*tches out there! 🙂 Can you tell us where you got the darling flamingo print in the pictures? I love it!!!

  35. This is amazing! Though I do love your ‘bridal hair’ too. I might give this a try. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Aimée Belle xx

  36. I keep trying this and the bun part never seems to come out the way yours look would love a video or some step by step images of the bun process. Thanks & love everything about your blog!!!

  37. Hmm, my best kept beauty secret of the moment is thermal water. I LOVE spraying the stuff on my face. It’s so refreshing. I learned about it by reading about French skincare. They use it to cancel the effects of tap waters and make your skin soft. And I also put my hair in a topknot when I sleep, but I’ll have to try using the alligator clip 🙂

  38. This has been my alternative to wrapping my hair at night for years now. Tried and true. Although it’s never fared to well with curls and know I know why! Gotta bun it upside down instead!

  39. Just had to stop back at this post to say I’ve been doing the sleep bun since reading this post and it is a life changer! The first night my husband laughed at my up-do, but he’s finally used to it and this morning as I was spraying my dry shampoo he stared at me and said “Wow! Your hair looks really good”!!! The bonus is all the time I save in the mornings now!!!

  40. Hi i LOVE this but i am having trouble finding one of the clips like yours in Australia can anyone tell me where i can get one online? Thanks so much.

  41. I’ve been doing the sleep bun forever but have crazy thick hair and always end up using a hair tie (which makes unwanted creases in my waves)! Def trying out these alligator clips. My bf is gonna love it. Thanks for the tip 🙂

    – Theresa

  42. Thank you for this post and your honesty. As a fellow long haired gal, I have struggled with finding a way to sleep and keep my hair looking great in the morning. I tried this last night and I woke up to perfect hair that needed no touching up.

  43. Do you have DryBar hairspray your hair after they tightly curl it? Or do you leave with it unsprayed? Going to try it this week. Excited!!!!!

  44. I know this is an old post but I recently came across it and have a question! I absolutely love doing the sleep bun myself but as for the not washing part, what do you do about working out? I workout everyday and my hair is a sweaty mess. What do you do after a workout? Plus, I have to put my hair in a ponytail and always get a crease! What do you do?!?! : )

  45. Is it necessary to have my hair curled the whole day before I do the sleep bun or can I just do the sleep but and still have the same results the next morning?

  46. I have been trying this for the past 2 weeks and I am OBSESSED!! I love that it cuts down on heat styling. I do have a question/concern…sometimes my scalp is sore when I wake up from this, I definitely don’t want to cause damage or more shedding to my hair…any thoughts?

  47. I LOVE the George Washington reference (Oh, memories!). Love your blog – SO glad I discovered it!

  48. So many have no clue that fast hair growth scalp therapy shampoos (obviously with no sulfates, no parabens and no DEA) exist. People now may have longer hair and enjoy more possibilities. Definitely worth checking out.
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  49. This is exact how I’ve put a curl & body into my waist length hair for over 40 yrs..No heat or chemicals required ,I sometimes very lightly spray mine with water before twisting into one or two tight ‘ space buns’ ( they have a pretentious name for everything us oldies ( I’ m 54 😉 lol have been doing just naturally our entire lives! Same with that Curly Girl method..I gave up on silicones,sulphates & frying my hair decades ago even looking after out hair has got a daft name

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