25% off sitewide (sets excluded)Shop now Two free samples with every orderShop now Free standard shipping on all US ordersShop all Free international shipping on orders over $50Shop all


  • Education
    A primer on essential beauty topics, from talc contamination to biodegradability.
  • Profile
    Everybody has a story about beauty. Some of the world’s most intriguing people share theirs.
  • Tutorials
    Expert beauty advice to inform and inspire.
  • RHW Shortlist
    A glimpse inside Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's world.
The Consult: Josh Liu’s Essential Bun Protocol

The Consult: Josh Liu’s Essential Bun Protocol

Welcome to The Consult, your virtual appointment with the world’s most in-demand beauty experts.

If there’s one thing Josh Liu knows, it’s how to create the perfect ponytail. Currently working with the likes of Ariana Grande and Miranda Kerr, the American polymath—who’s of Mexican and Chinese descent—has amassed a loyal clientele over the past few years thanks to his ability to enliven classic styles, from buns to three-strand braids.

Born and raised in the Los Angeles suburb of La Cañada Flintridge, Liu broke into the hair world by training at the Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy before assisting stylists like Chris Appleton and Rob Talty—but his career actually began while working as a public relations assistant. Gaining daily practice styling his own long hair—which he originally grew out to hide his own body insecurities—he’s since come into his own, both personally and professionally. Now his long, shiny strands are his signature and he’s on the verge of launching his own accessory line called Utiles Beauty, which will offer brushes, hair pins, hair ties, and more.

To celebrate, Rose Inc. tapped Liu for a special, three-part Consult just in time for holiday Zoom calls. Below, he builds on his ponytail protocol to craft a smooth, polished bun.

Step 1: Smooth Ends

Liu’s go-to bun technique builds upon his last tutorial, so follow it closely then add a little oil or leave-in conditioner to your ends to prevent them from getting ragged in the bun. While it might seem like a small step, it helps to extend the life of your style one the bun is released.

Step 2: Prep Your Length

Now it’s time to pre-style the length of your hair. For more volume, Liu suggests blasting lengths with RedKen 25 Triple Dry Texture Spray or Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk to add grit—great for fine, straight, or wavy textures—or for hydration, reach for Vernon Françis Leave in Conditioner. For those with curls or coils, consider keeping the base sleek but leaning into your natural texture for the bun, he suggests. To do so, work a little OGX Nourishing Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist through hair to define air-dried strands before creating your bun.

Step 3: Wrap & Pin

The secret to a secure hold is pinning as you go, so avoid the urge to create your bun before securing. For a classic, minimal style, Liu suggests wrapping your length around the base of the pony, pinning as you go for an all-day hold. Or, if you’re wearing your hair wavy, curly, or coily, loosely wrap your length around the base of your pony, pinning without smoothing your texture.

Stay tuned for the final segment of Liu’s consult:
A modern half-up.

Your Bag 0

Your cart is empty Shop all
Rose Inc GiftBox

Add a Signature Gift Box for $4

Choose Samples

Select 2 free samples
Add Free

Sample: Blush Divine Radiant Lip & Cheek Shade Card

Add Free

Sample: Softlight Luminous Hydrating Concealer

Experience a does-it-all, creaseless concealer that brightens, blurs and...

Add Free

Sample: Radiant Reveal Brightening Serum Sachet


513 reviews

LX 200

Very Deep Skin Tone, Neutral Undertone


Softlight Luminous Hydrating Concealer

A does-it-all concealer that brightens, blurs and contours while nourishing...

301 reviews


Warm terracotta


Blush Divine Radiant Lip & Cheek Color

A hydrating cream that brightens and blurs with a radiant...

178 reviews


Very Deep Skin Tone/Red Undertone


Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum

A hydrating skin tint that delivers powerful skincare and sheer,...

405 reviews


Cool blush


Satin Lip Color Rich Refillable Lipstick

Creamy lipstick that plumps the lips while drenching delicate skin...

25 reviews


Number 1 Concealer Brush

A customized concealer brush with a unique curve engineered for...

201 reviews


Eye Revival Brightening Eye Cream

A pearlescent cream that diminishes the appearance of dark circles...

230 reviews


Radiant Reveal Brightening Serum

A powerful hydrating serum that instantly brightens the complexion with...


Number 6 Highlighter Brush

A petite dual-fiber brush that delivers seamless cream highlighter...