Next to ponytails and top knots, ballerina buns are one of the most practical hairstyles out there. Buns keep hair out of your face while also making you look polished and put together. This updo isn’t just for your little sister on her way to dance class—it’s a chic and on-trend look when done with the right styling techniques. This ultra-smooth, wet-look bun is a prime example of how a tried and true classic can be brought right up to date with a little care and attention—not to mention hair spray and a few other hair styling products. Want to try a super slick ballerina bun for yourself? Here’s how to get the look:
Step #1: Detangle your hair
Brush through your hair to make sure it’s tangle-free. At the top of your head, brush the hair back as if you were putting it into a ponytail. If you have thin, naturally straight hair that falls out of braids, buns, or other hairstyles easily, try using L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty after you brush your hair but before you start making your ponytail. Applying just a dime-sized amount will give your hair texture and hold that will come in handy once it’s time to put your hair in a bun.
Step #2: Create a ponytail
Pull your hair back into a ponytail, using a comb or brush to remove any bumps. The root of the ponytail should be right at the crown of your head so that if you were to look in a mirror you would be able to see the top of the ponytail. And remember to make sure that your ponytail is as tight as possible without hurting your head or causing breakage. This will help prevent you from having to re-do your bun later in the day. Once you have your hair pulled into the right spot, secure the ponytail with an elastic, which will hold the hair in place. Spray a little hairspray onto the ponytail for extra hold.
Step #3: Slick your hair back
Squeeze a dime-sized amount of the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Lock It Extreme Style Gel into your hands and apply it to your smoothed-back hair. This will help create the desired wet look and keep any frizzy pieces or flyaways out of your face. Ballerina buns are not a style meant to have a lot of movement, so there’s no need to be stingy with the styling product. If a piece of hair is sticking out, go ahead and slick it down.
Step #4: Twist your ponytail
Using your hands, twist your ponytail all the way to the ends. This will create a more secure bun once you start wrapping. Be sure to twist it tight enough that shorter pieces of hair aren’t falling out.
Step #5: Create the bun
In the same direction that you twisted your hair, wrap the ponytail around the elastic. If you twisted clockwise, wrap clockwise, if you twisted counterclockwise, wrap counterclockwise. Keep the hair close to the ponytail holder as you wrap. Once you get to the end of your ponytail, tuck the last piece of hair underneath the bun you’ve just created in order to hide it.
Step #6: Secure the bun
Finally, it’s time to secure your bun. Use bobby pins to start locking your hair in place. For the most natural look, use bobby pins that match your hair color. Start by placing pins at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock, imagining your bun is the face of a clock. You'll also want to use pins anywhere that's in need of further securing, especially if you have thick hair.
Step #7: Apply hairspray
Lock the look in by spraying your ‘do with the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold.
Bonus Step: Spice up your ballerina bun
The ballerina bun is a classic hairstyle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a little if you want to. This is optional but adding a bow or cute barrette to your ballerina bun is a chic way to customize it or match it to your outfit.
Think you might prefer a less perfect bun? In that case, try a messy bun! Here are 3 Messy Buns to Wear This Summer.