If you’re looking for hairdos that never go out of fashion, look no further than chignon hairstyles (pronounced sheen·yaan). The French name may sound fancy, but it just refers to a bun that’s loosely knotted or wrapped. The beauty of chignon buns is their versatility—from sleek and glam to messy and undone, this hairstyle is right for whatever your day brings. So if you want to keep your hair out of your face, but want an upgrade from your basic ponytail, try a chignon.
This hairstyle has been around since ancient times, but chignon buns have been a staple in fashion for decades. From chic French twists that exude old Hollywood glamour to the spiky space buns trend of the ‘90s, there’s a chignon hairstyle for you.
Although many chignons are of the stiff matrimonial variety, we love that the style can work for all occasions—weddings, sure, but also grocery trips and late brunches. No matter your texture, we’ve got the chignon hairstyle ideas for you.
As an added perk, these chignons are heat-free. Give your hair a holiday—it’s on us.
What is the difference between a bun and a chignon?
We’ll let you in on a secret—even though it sounds fancier, a chignon is actually easier to create than a bun. The difference is that a bun is always twisted around itself, whereas a chignon can be a simple tuck-under style or wrapped around a hair accessory, like a clip. Traditionally you’d wear a chignon low at the nape of your neck, while a bun can sit anywhere.
How do you make a classy chignon?
It’s simple to create the most basic chignon bun. Start by gathering your hair into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Then twist the pony upwards until it starts to coil around itself. When you’ve twisted the hair as much as possible, wrap it around the base of the ponytail, creating a bun. Keep wrapping until you've tucked all your hair inside the bun, and secure it with hair elastics or bobby pins. (See our complete tutorial here, or watch the video above for the play-by-play.)
Chignon Hairstyles Ideas
Ready to elevate your hairstyle game? We’ve rounded up 34 chignon hairstyles that are perfect for any occasion. From classic and elegant to edgy and playful, there’s a look for everyone. Get ready to make heads turn!
Basic Wrapped Chignon
For a wedding, bridal shower, or upscale birthday party, give the wrapped chignon a shot. Divide your hair into three sections, creating the bun with the middle hair. Once that’s finished, wrap each of the side strands over and around the bun, successfully hiding the hairband from sight.
If you’re a long-maned lady who doesn’t always know how to deal with all that hair, the braided chignon is your new go-to for nights out and dinner dates. Check out the tutorial above for a deceptively easy single-braid style. Or, for an even simpler style, start with two loosely braided pigtails secured with clear elastics, wrapping the two around each other before pinning them into a bun. Just be sure to hide any loose ends from sight!
Here’s the easiest piece of hair advice we will ever give you: Use the above tutorial to create a basic wrapped chignon, but shift your middle ponytail to the side of your head before beginning. Use smaller side pieces to wrap around the base of the bun. What can we say, other than “instant wedding updo”?
The French twist has gotten a bad rap in recent years for being unflattering or outdated, but we’re still big fans of the style for formal events. The trick is to apply texturizing spray or product with grip before beginning to roll the hair into the head. We like to use Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo for its lightweight formula with no residue. Instead of losing strands as you go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple the style can be to complete.
We originally found this hack on Pinterest, the ultimate source for all things DIY. Instead of wasting your time pinning and spraying your head, fake a chignon by tucking hair into a bedazzled elastic headband. This is a more casual style meant for nights in or weekday events.
Pro tip: This hairstyle also creates gorgeous, heat-free waves.
Fishtail Braid Chignon
Here’s another look for ladies with too much hair to simply tuck up into a bun. Try the fishtail braid chignon, creating the braid at the nape of the neck before fastening it with a no-show hairband. Then, wrap the braid into a bun shape and pin it securely. Pancake the braid as much as you’d like, coating the final product with a layer of hairspray to prevent flyaways.
Topsy Tail Chignon
We love the look of a laid-back chignon for a daytime party or brunch. There are a few ways to use a topsy tail as the starting point for your bun, but the first few steps are the same no matter your finished product.
Create a ponytail, then use your finger to pull it over and down through the hair directly above the hairband. Once you have the requisite twist, repeat the process with your ponytail until no hair is left, or create a bun directly below the hairband. You can see the topsy-tail technique in action in the tutorial above.
Contrary to popular belief, a chignon doesn’t have to sit on the neck to qualify. Create your high chignon—a great fit for a formal wedding, by the way—by brushing your hair into a high ponytail. Backcomb the tail, leaving out a small piece at the bottom, smoothing and folding it up into a fan shape. Once you have the main portion pinned the way you’d like it, wrap and pin the second strand around the base of the ponytail. The tutorial above will show you how it's done.
Crown Braid Chignon
Once more, you’ll follow our basic chignon tutorial to make your bun. To begin, however, you’ll make a deep part and French braid away from it along the hairline. At the ear, transition into a traditional braid. Once you’ve finished the plait, braid your strand on the other side. Wrap these braids around the base of your bun.
If you’re looking for a way to keep your hair out of your face while shopping or out on the town, look no further than the messy chignon. Start with second-day or texture-sprayed locks, gathering them into a loose ponytail in one of your hands. Starting from your ends, roll up the hair as tightly as possible, pinning the hair to the base of your head. This is all the chic French girl vibes, none of the work.
We feel real empathy for those with curly, short,, and textured hair since they get left out of just about every updo tutorial. Use your natural texture to create a lovely chignon—you won’t regret it!
Instead of trying for a ponytail, start at the crown of the head. Twist and pin two-inch chunks of hair to the base of the neck. Aim for a loose bun shape, but don’t be afraid to keep your curls intact.
Although the name is anything but sexy, the banana bun is the newest cool-girl hairstyle to take the internet by storm. To create this look, use our basic chignon as a rough tutorial. Instead of using your middle section for a bun, however, you’ll create a ponytail that’s only half pulled through the hairband. Wrap your outer strands around the messy bun you’ve created.
Here’s another straightforward style for a night out, a casual wedding, or a dinner with friends, one that works particularly well on ladies with straight, sleek hair that doesn’t hold curls well. Instead of fighting your natural texture, smooth your hair into a low ponytail.
After securing your tail, divide it into two sections and use them to make a simple knot. Then, make a second knot—assuming you have enough length to do so. Tucking in the ends of your ponytail, create a bun shape, and pin your hair in place. Feel free to fluff your knots for an extra casual vibe.
Braided Twist Chignon
We’re huge fans of hairstyles that only look complicated—pulling dozens of bobby pins out of your hair after a major event is so 1982. For an outdoor wedding or casually glam event, try this updo trick: Create a middle or side part, then fishtail braid your hair from the nape of the neck to the ends. After wrapping an elastic around the braid, pancake it.
Next, you’ll want to pull the braid up toward your scalp (imagine it like a French twist), tucking the end of the ponytail out of sight before pinning the whole thing into place. You’ll keep the face-flattering look of a loose braid, but keep the fashionable chignon. It’s the best of both worlds.
Double buns, double the fun. For this ‘90s-inspired trend, use a long-tailed comb to create a straight part from your hairline to the nape of your neck. Then, divide your hair into two sections, tying each one into a high ponytail on the crown of your head. Next, twist and tuck the ends of each pony into a bun shape and smooth the edges of your part for a flawless finish.
Hidden Rolled Chignon
You can create this chic and effortless style in under ten minutes. Start adding volume by teasing the crown. Then gather your hair in a low ponytail using an elastic. Section your pony into two and tie it into a knot. Tuck in your ends and use bobby pins to secure the style. A final spritz of Redken Shine Flash Hairspray will add glass-like shine and keep everything in place.
Braided Faux Hawk Chignon
If your style leans more towards bold and edgy, try this eye-catching hairdo. Start with middle-parted hair and create a one-inch segment from your hairline to the nape of your neck. Dutch braid or cornrow this section and secure it with a clear hair elastic. Next, brush the rest of your hair straight back and gather it at the nape of your neck. Twist all of your (including the braid) to form a bun. Use several bobby pins to secure everything in place.
Who doesn’t love big buns? There are many different ways to get the big hair look. You can make your bun stand out from the back by pancaking a braided chignon for the supersized look. Or you can add height from the front by volumizing your roots. We love Redken Root Lifter Volumizing Spray Foam or Redken Root Tease Backcombing Spray to add grip and texture for that high-hair look.
Double Dutch Braided Chignon
This style only looks complicated, we promise. With practice you’ll be turning heads in no time. Part your hair down the center from the hairline to the nape of your neck. Divide your hair into two equal sections on each side of your head. Take one side and divide it into three equal segments—left, middle, and right—and create a Dutch braid. Cross the right strand under the middle section, then the left under the middle.
Repeat these steps, adding more hair each time until you reach the nape of your neck. Finish the braid with a hair elastic. Repeat the process on the opposite side. Create a low bun at the nape of your neck with the loose hair from both sections. Set the style in place with a spritz of Redken Max Hold Hairspray 32.
Elevate your basic wrapped chignon by adding your favorite hair accessories. Pins, decorative combs, barrettes, and even pearls and jewels will upgrade your ‘do from basic to brilliant. The possibilities are endless.
This style is perfect for when you want an extra pop of color. Start this style by using an elastic to pull your hair into a ponytail and then a half-bun. Thread a scarf through the elastic to keep it in place, and then braid it with two sections from the ponytail. Wrap the braid around the bun and secure it by tying the loose ends of the scarf. Use bobby pins to tuck in any remaining bits of hair and for extra stability.
Ballerina Bun Chignon
Need a polished but practical way to keep your hair out of your face? This super sleek and versatile style works whether you’re sweating at the gym or owning it in the corporate boardroom.
Pull out a few front-framing sections of hair, and gather the rest into a ponytail. Take the top pieces from the hair left out of the pony, and secure them into the pony with an elastic. Then twist the side pieces over the pony and secure them underneath with a small clear elastic. Now twist your pony into a bun and secure it with bobby pins. Finish with Redken Frizz Dismiss Anti-Static Oil Mist to control flyways and add a sleek shine. With these steps, your hair will look effortlessly chic and sophisticated.
Claw Clip Chignon
Another ‘90s trend we love to see! Claw clips can speed up your morning hair routine while giving polished results. Gather your hair at the nape of your neck, twist your ends up and around, and secure with a claw clip. You can pull out some face-framing pieces at the front for a stylish statement.
Voluminous Polished Chignon
As the saying goes, go big or go home! We choose to go big. Use a sock bun or hair donut to pump up the volume for this lofty look. Get maximum hold and humidity resistance from Redken Control Hairspray to keep every strand in place without flaking or visible residue.
Tuck and Roll Chignon
Got long, flowy locks? This style is for you. And we promise it only looks complicated. Watch the tutorial to see how you can get this quick updo that works for any occasion.
Pull out a few loose, wavy tendrils from your messy low bun to get this soft, romantic look. Use a curl-defining product like Redken Texture Paste to shape the perfect loose strands. Pop in a flower and you’re ready for romance.
Teased Swirl Chignon
While it may seem like a simple and casual low bun from the front, this swirled chignon is sure to stop the show when you turn your head. Save this style for significant events when you want to make a statement and let your hair do the talking.
Tired of the same old low ponytail? Check out this tutorial for a simple hair hack featuring everyone’s favorite ‘90s accessory: the scrunchie. Add a choker and wear your favorite mom jeans for full 1990s nostalgia.
Another style featuring a scrunchie—we told you the ‘90s were back! This one only looks intricate, but is actually easy to achieve. To get the look, flip your ponytail through the base and secure with a scrunchie. Watch the tutorial to see how easy it is to create this look.
Three Bun Chignon
For those who prefer a more voluminous and dramatic look, but also want to keep their hair out of their face, this one’s for you. When you have three low, chunky messy buns close together, they look like one big chignon. Ideal for making a statement while keeping your long locks contained.
Like the style above, the more buns, the better. This one uses four braids to create low buns that combine for a style perfect for a day at the beach, date night, or even just running errands. Watch the tutorial to see the look come to life.
This minimalistic yet elegant hairstyle is perfect for formal events. Hate frizz? Keep flyaways at bay with anti-frizz humidity protection from Redken Triple Max Hold 32 Neutral Fragrance Hairspray. You’ll look chic and put together no matter the weather.
Textured Rolled Chignon
Looking for a dramatic yet romantic style? Look no further. This chignon's carefully rolled and wrapped elements add texture and visual interest, making it perfect for weddings, formal events, or any occasion when you want to look polished and put together. You can add a dainty flower for a pop of color to complete the look.
Nothing beats a classic look, and this simple chignon look will never go out of style. Plus, you can get this elegant look without too much fuss. Simply pull your hair back into a low ponytail, tuck it under itself, and secure it with bobby pins. Pull out some loose pieces for a tousled look. This style looks even better when you crisscross twisted strands of hair above your pony. For extra flair, add a floral accent for a touch of femininity.
Discover more inspirational hair looks and expert-backed advice on Hair.com.