The chignon (pronounced SHIN-yawn or shin-YAWN) is a classic updo that may be worn for formal or informal occasions. A simple and elegant style, the chignon, comes from a French phrase meaning “nape of the neck.” A chignon is best understood, not as a single style, but as a family of hairstyles, all characterized by the up-sweep and pinning of hair that has been gathered on the nape of the neck.
“French roll,” “hair knot,” and “bun” are all different names for types of chignons. After you have learned the fundamentals, you’ll discover how different accessories, products, and techniques can take your chignon from the office to the gym to a night on the town. Learn to create this gorgeous style in seven simple steps.
Steps for How to Create a Chignon
1. Start with clean, dry hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the hair and thoroughly remove any knots. Apply styling gel or mousse for added control if desired.
2. At this point, you may part your hair, and pull out some strands to border your face in case you so choose. Use a paddle brush to smooth the remaining hair back, and brush it into a low ponytail. Pull tightly for a cleaner, more formal look. Keep it loose and supple for a more casual appearance. Secure the ponytail with an elastic band.
3. Split the ponytail into two equal halves. Twist the two halves together to form a rope (this is also referred to as a double-strand twist).
4. Lift the rope up and loop it around the elastic band to form the chignon.
5. Secure the chignon to the scalp using hair pins, bobby pins and/or chopsticks.
6. Use rollers or a flat iron to curl or bump the strands on the front of your face if desired. Alternately, comb bangs and other long pieces of hair back toward the chignon and secure with pins. Add jewels, barrettes, or flowers for a decorative touch.
7. Finish together with your favorite hairspray for added sheen and hold.
Random Tips and Advice
For added body, use a large curling iron or rollers to construct loose curls into the hair before forming your ponytail. Also, guantee that the ponytail shouldn’t be pulled too tightly to the scalp.
Soft, silky hair could be slippery and therefore difficult to secure with pins. Try backcombing or teasing the hair before styling to add texture and make the hair easier for the pins to grip.
Use two bobby pins to form a crisscross in places where an additional-firm hold is required.
Run some styling gel through your ponytail to tame fly-aways.
Be creative in terms of placement. Try forming a chignon off-center or higher up on your head.
There are hundreds of “twists” on the essential chignon. Try making one with a single-strand twist or several double-strand twists. Experiment with rolling and pinning part of your ponytail then looping the remaining or a free-form variation using pins only. Good luck and most of all, have fun!