The ballerina bun is more than just a hairstyle; it's an emblem of grace. Despite its roots, the chic style has transcended the stage and pirouetted its way into the mainstream—the hashtag #balletbun has 11.4 million views and counting on TikTok alone. Defined by its sleekness and sophistication, this hairstyle offers a touch of timeless charm to any occasion. For all these reasons, the ballet bun has become the defining symbol upon which the ballerina-core aesthetic is centered.
We understand that styling the iconic ‘do may seem intimidating at first, especially if updos are not your thing. But fret not, aspiring ballerinas of the everyday world—achieving this iconic bun hairstyle is easier than you think.
This five-step guide will have you channeling your inner prima ballerina and crafting an elegant hairstyle worthy of opening night at the ballet.
Can You Do a Ballerina Bun If You Have Textured Hair?
While ballerina buns are often seen worn sleek and straight, this is a hairstyle that anyone (and any texture) can embrace. The key to a ballerina bun lies in creating a smooth, polished base to work with—here’s how:
Here are some quick tips:
- Tame flyaways: Apply a smoothing serum or light hairspray to damp hair before blow-drying. To minimize damage, we suggest looking for one that offers heat protection, such as the Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Leave-In Spray.
- Embrace texture: For naturally curly or wavy hair, use a diffuser attachment while blow-drying to enhance definition and minimize frizz.
- Straighten if desired: If you prefer a sleeker base, dry your hair fully, then straighten it with a flat iron.
How to Do a Ballerina Bun in 5 Simple Steps
Proper prep can help ensure you’re able to create a flawless ballerina bun. Before diving into the bun-making process, gather your tools.
What you'll need:
- Hairbrush (a boar bristle brush is ideal for creating a smooth, shiny updo)
- Hair ties
- Bobby pins
- Light-hold hairspray
Once you’ve assembled the must-haves, you can get to work.
Step 1: Create a sleek ponytail
First, brush your hair to remove any tangles. If you have flat hair, you can apply a volumizing mousse or root lifter for added oomph prior to crafting your pony. Our go-tos for this are Redken Full Volume Mousse and Root Lifter.
Next, create a ponytail at the crown of your head or a few centimeters below (either placement is ballerina-approved), securing it tightly with an elastic band. If you need a refresher on crafting the perfect pony, check out our article 8 Secrets to Scoring the Best High Ponytail Ever.
Editor Tip: Add even more volume and a bit of drama to your ballerina bun using a bun donut hairpiece as a base before wrapping your hair around it.
Step 2: Twist and turn
Take your ponytail and twist it clockwise (or counter-clockwise, whichever feels natural) until it forms a tight rope. Wrap the twisted rope around the base of your ponytail, creating a donut shape.
Finally, secure the bun to your head with an elastic band or bobby pins—whichever feels sturdier.
Step 3: Tuck and smooth
Gently pin back any strands that may fallen loose and smooth down flyaways using hairspray or gel. Matrix Fixer Hairspray and Controller Gel are both great options to sculpt your bun and keep frizz under control.
For a more polished look, use the sides of a flat iron to gently smooth the outer surface of the bun.
Step 4: Add final touches
Finish with a light mist of your hairspray from earlier for hold and shine. For an extra glossy effect, we like Redken Shine Flash Spray: The lightweight formula provides instant shine without leaving hair looking greasy.
Step 5: Accessorize
Elevate your updo with a delicate hairband, ribbon, or barrette. Or, for a ballerina-inspired touch, consider a simple silk ribbon tied around the base of your bun. (Check out our coquette hair lookbook for more inspiration).
As with any hairstyle, practice makes perfect—so don't be discouraged if your ballerina bun doesn't look flawless on the first try. With a little patience and these handy steps, you'll be rocking a ballerina bun worthy of the stage (or the coffee shop) in no time.