The chignon is a classic formal hairstyle where the hair is combed back, pinned into a knot or bun, and usually set around the nape of the neck. Depending on the style required, the chignon bun can be very simple or complex with braiding and other styling techniques. The chignon has become more modernized, and various bun designs have developed to increase the sophistication of this vintage hairstyle. Whether having a nice brunch at a posh establishment, gabbing over fizzy cocktails with girlfriends, filing paperwork at the office, or even walking down the aisle, you can never go wrong with a chic chignon. And one thing’s for sure: the chignon will always stay in style — it’s eternally au courant.
So, what is a chignon? Chignon is French and translates to “at the nape.” Chignon, the hairstyle, though, has transformed beyond your standard neck-grazing bun. As you can gather from the chignon tutorials below, this hairstyle can lean to the side, be placed high or low, and takes on many forms.
#1: Elegant Wedding Chignon
This elegant updo that is full yet sleek is great for any special occasion, especially a wedding. The chignon will accentuate your face and is beautiful with bold lipstick and dramatic eyeliner.
The best product to achieve and keep this look lasting all night would be Kerastase L’incroyable Blowdry on your wet hair before blow drying to protect it from heat. This product reactivates, so there is no need to reapply when going in with the flat iron. Control your hair with Baume Double Je as a finishing touch to add shine and keep your flyaways down. Finish your look with an extra strong hold hairspray like Laque Noire.
#2: Chignon with Pearls for Mother of the Groom
The mother of the groom can wear a chignon adorned with pearls. A low chignon is a classy and simple hairstyle for the groom’s mother. For more fullness, add a tease to the crown. Then, create a French twist from each side of the head towards the center. Secure these twists into a low bun. To add an elegant touch, embellish the hairstyle with pearl pins along the side.
#3: Soft French Knot for Mother of the Bride
The mother of the bride can style her hair in a soft French knot. This is a wonderful way to style hair that is shorter and naturally has less volume. Create a French twist at the back of your head with the lower half of your hair. The hair at the crown of your head can be draped over the twist and pinned. This step adds texture and an interesting focal point to the hairstyle. Leave out pieces around the face for face framing and elegance.
#4: Halo Braid
Try a twist braid boho chic updo. This textured bun is soft and flattering. The best thing about this updo is that it can be adjusted to be neat and sleek or big, textured, and messy to suit your personality and the occasion.
This braided chignon would be best achieved on long hair. If your hair is shorter, you might have to clip in hair extensions for volume and length. First, blow-dry your hair with volumizing mousse from Maroccanoil, then spray your roots with Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dry Spun. Finally, do two twist braids starting at your temples, crisscrossing with grips at the nape of your neck, and meeting again at the crown. Remember that braids have to be pulled out as much as possible for a soft, effortless effect, and always adjust the tendrils around your face to suit your face shape.
#5: Twisted Chignon
A low knot placed at the nape area effortlessly exudes refined style. Add a piece of jewelry and some fringe, and you’ll be a glam day to night.
#6: French Braid Chignon Bun
There are countless braiding styles to try when you have a lot of hair to play with – like this infusion of a waterfall-braided headband and a super pretty bun. It looks sophisticated when worn with a scarf for a fresh and accentuated hairstyle.
#7: Floral Chignon Bun
Go simple yet sophisticated with an accessorized twist. Leave some curly tendrils in front for a softer feminine look!
#8: Wavy Chignon Hairstyle
This one’s a jaw-dropping, sexy bun that will get you going all day! It works with balayaged hair and some slight waves for a flirty vibe.
#9: Simple Chignon
This chic and simple chignon that anyone can recreate is lovely for a holiday party! No need to spend hours looking fab!
#10: Bridesmaid Chignon
It is a very artistic updo but still wearable and elegant. The best about it is the huge roses. Consider coloring your hair blue if you’re in the winter season. It gives it that cold/winter feel.
This look can only be created with the help of extensions. You must already have 20-inch long hair and be very abundant. It takes a lot of hair to create these roses.
#11: Curly Chignon
Tame your gorgeous curls by tying them into a huge bun decorated with cute flowers for a feminine touch. Leaving some tendrils beside the face has a soft finish.
This chignon was created to reproduce a classic hairstyle, but in a soft and young fashion, and despite being a hairstyle intended for brides with some adaptations, it can be used even day by day. The best part of this look is that it is worked uniquely with the texture of the hair, respecting the shape of the curls and using naturalness to build the look. Curly hair placed in a bun can work well if done properly.
To enhance hair texturizing, it is ideal to use a leave-in curler or enhancers that enhance curls and a strong fixing mousse to give volume and definition. The ideal drying is with the diffuser, always using the hands to stimulate the texture of the hair. With completely dry hair, the wicks should be organized, and if there is too much frizz, a light serum can help give luster and keep the wires aligned.
A filler can structure the hairstyle if the hair is thin and with little volume. The spray fixative is an ally to help keep the hairstyle in place, giving body to the wires and making a perfect finish.
#12: Perfect Chignon for Short Hair
This look is a natural yet textured style that also can portray elegance for those date nights, weddings, or even just a way to keep hair out of your face. I love that you can do this with any length and make it your own!
It’s an easy and fast style that can be executed both in the salon and at home – you can keep it soft or textured by using simple products! (A little goes a long way) You can start a trend with anything, be confident, and strut your stuff! Texture and messy is a new style, but elegant is just as classy and beautiful!
#13: Messy Boho
This soft chignon features a cute little bohemian bun with a natural accent. It’s an easy style to recreate in just under a few minutes! This is a beautiful party or wedding look for those free spirits who want to have a great time without worrying about perfect hair. If you’re considering this look for an event, ask your stylist for dimensional color before having the style. Highlights or lowlights intensify reflection and depth in the hair. This is essential for showcasing the movement in all upstyles.
#14: Chignon Using a Fishtail Braid
This fishtail braid style is a must for a messy bun effect. I like this look because it can be glamorous but adapts to various occasions.
However, this type of braid is more challenging to realize than a classical braid. Just take your time to practice, and do not expect to have a perfect result the first time. To set the braid, use bobby pins and fixative spray to finalize the look. Here’s a tutorial Youtube to help you understand how to do a chignon hairstyle: https://youtu.be/be6jGqWmu4g
#15: Low Chignon
This chignon is a timeless and classic hairstyle that can be so versatile. I love that you can wear “Plain Jane” or use a fun hair accessory for a different look.
My favorite thing about this style is that you can rock this look whether you have super thin or very thick hair.
If you have extremely thin/fine hair, start by building up the base of the hair, teasing each section, then curling it to get as much volume and movement as possible. I use Kenra #25 and #30 hairspray because I love their shine and hold.
Think of it like putting a puzzle together, filling in all the gaps, and being conscious of how much hair you have to work with. I start in the back, leaving the top and sides out. This way, you can use that extra hair to cover any visible bobby pins and put those signature finishing touches on your creation.
This is beautiful for the bride that wants a stunning timeless look. I call this style the modern classic bride. You want the hair to compliment the whole look, not compete. She will look back at this style in 20 years and still love it.
#16: Modern Day Blonde Chignon
This is a textured, modern-day chignon. My favorite thing about it is that it looks elegant but is also very natural and simplistic. You could easily wear this style for a wedding or an evening out.
I recommend using Unite Texturiza spray (or another dry texturizing spray) on hair after putting in some beach waves before creating your chignon. This will give the hair that perfectly tousled and piecey texture that keeps the style “undone” looking.
This hairstyle can be done on anyone with fine to medium hair texture. The most important thing is to prep the hair to a beachy, lived-in texture before styling completely. Whether you are going for a more elegant occasion or just a night out, this style can easily be created for both.
#17: Large Bun
I love chignons because they are so timeless and elegant; my favorite thing about this chignon is that it has a modern feel to it by being a little bigger and tighter. I also love how gorgeous and shiny her hair looks!
This look needs a light-reflecting shine spray and a lightweight hairspray. Use the shine spray by Toni and Guy, and use it once I finish dressing the hair. Try the hairspray in L’Oréal Pro Range. Don’t overdo the hairspray, as this can make the chignon lose its smoothness. Little sprays often are needed to help keep the hair all in place.
This style can work with almost any hair type, with the help of hair padding in most cases! Almost anyone can wear this look with the right styling tools to keep the hair sleek. It’s a very sophisticated and simple style, bold and daring. It works well with statement jewelry, luscious lashes, and fierce lip color.
Look after your hair. The smoother your hair, the better your smooth chignon will look. Be sure to use hair oil to calm and soften any split ends, and get regular haircuts to keep your hair looking healthy.
#18: Simple Eleganct Chignon
Go for an elegant chignon style that looks simple and appropriate for formal events. Most upstyles are curled, so I love that this is a straighter alternative that’s still soft and romantic.
If your hair is silky smooth, dry shampoo (or a similar dry texturizing product) is essential! This style was all about simplicity, with absolutely no curling required. Start by creating a low-teased ponytail tied at both ends. Roll it into a bun and secure it so it didn’t wiggle when she shook her head. Only a few bobby pins were used to drape the rest, tucking in loose ends while letting longer pieces fall out organically.
This is a great style for shoulder-length hair! Many women think their hair is too short to put up, but there’s always a solution. This should be a quick and easy style to recreate on your own since it requires no heat, a couple of elastics, and a few bobby pins. The carefree style will allow you to look put together at the office or a wedding. It’s versatile!
#19: Easy Chignon Bun
The look of the Royals can now be easily achieved at home. This classic hairdo is neatly tucked at the nape and usually secured with a fancy headpiece.
#20: The Perfect Bridesmaid Chignon
Modern elegance meets winter knot glamour! You’ll feel like royalty on that all the swirls and pearls special day.
#21: Classic French Chignon
Messy yet sophisticated – tuck your strands into an elegant knot without effort. Leave some frontal pieces down and curly for a sexy finish.
#22: Messy Bun with Loose Curls
This hairstyle is a messy bun with loose curls. I love how the loose curls complement the bun and give it a much softer look. I recommend a good curling iron. We used a 1-inch barrel curling iron for this particular look. Investing in some clip-in hair extensions might be a good idea if your hair is shorter or not very thick. They make a world of difference to updos. My go-to products are always Schwarzkoft Osis hairspray and Dust It to secure the backcombing. This look works well for everyone! It is one of the most requested hairstyles. You can adjust the volume and loose curls depending on what suits the client’s face best, and of course, keeping in mind what she likes.
#23: Low Textured Chignon
A low textured chignon, or for a less fancy word, “bun,” is simple, not too fussy, yet still so elegant and romantic, standing the test of time. I recommend slightly curling the ends to create some bend in the hair. This will make it much easier to position the hair, as it will all go in one direction. Once you have done a quick curl, spray texturizing spray throughout the entire head (my absolute favorite is Spray Clay by Sexy Hair). Section the hair into three sections (two on the sides and one on the back). Then, a good tease will help create volume and give you a base to put your bobby pins in.
For extra texture, I like to use Kenra Medium Hold Hairspray. This gives the hair some grit without being sticky. Once you have placed all your pins, spray with Kenra Ultra Volume Hairspray (the best and strongest hairspray out there). To recreate this look, the perfect candidate would be someone with medium-length, highlighted hair. For round faces, add extra volume to the crown to elongate the face. For heart-shaped faces, pin the bun off to the side to create width along the chin area. Just keep in mind to keep this look soft, especially around the face, leaving a few pieces here and there out. Anything too stiff or tight will change the look.
#24: Simple and Soft Updo
This is a simple, soft, but not “too perfect” updo chignon. Use a texture spray from roots to ends to achieve texture and some grip for the pins. Additionally, use a working hairspray for hold and a shine spray to finish it off and keep it from looking too matte from the texture spray. Medium to mid-length works best for this hairstyle. Depending on the face shape, some pieces can be left around the face for softness.
#25: Aussie-Inspired Chignon
Blow dry the hair smooth using Biosilk Smoothing Balm before tonging all over to bend the hair to assist in the upstyle. I also love PPS flat iron spray for heat protection, and my favorite hairspray for all of my upstyling is Fudge Skyscraper. It smells divine! I never use hairspray. I can’t stand the smell of there being plenty out there! Teasing, smoothing, and positioning is always techniques for any upstyle.
It would be best if you had length and volume for this style. It is perfect for the bride who wants a more elegant look with smoothness and a clean design. I adored the Aussie natives that her florist had made into the hairpiece. I think it made the classic chignon!
#26: Classy Chignon Buns
This timeless updo with full bangs is a laid-back hairstyle that can be done in minutes! This voluminous style is a classic game-changer and is suitable for straight-to-wavy hair.