Next to ponytails and top knots, ballerina buns are one of the most practical hairstyles out there. Buns and top knots 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, assuming you know how to do a ballet bun the right way.
This ultra-smooth, wet-look bun is a prime example of how a tried and true classic can be brought to life with a little care and attention—not to mention hair spray and a few other hair styling products. Keep reading to follow along with our ballerina bun tutorial and get a clean-cut, upgraded updo.
STEP #1: DETANGLE YOUR HAIR
Brush through your hair to make sure it’s tangle-free. If you have thin, naturally straight hair that typically falls out of braids, buns, or other hairstyles easily, try applying L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty throughout your mane 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 your ballerina bun.
STEP #2: 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 hair, smoothing it back. This will help create the desired wet look and keep any frizzy pieces or flyaways at bay. This step sets how to do a ballet bun apart from the way you create other bun styles.
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 #3: CREATE A PONYTAIL
Pull your hair back into a ponytail, using a comb or brush to remove any bumps. Be sure that the root of the ponytail sits at the center of your head. Remember, you’ll want to create a tight ponytail without hurting your head or causing breakage. This will help prevent you from having to re-do your ballet bun later in the day. Once you have your hair in the right spot, secure the ponytail with an elastic. To keep your strands in place, you can spray a little hairspray for extra hold.
STEP #4: TWIST YOUR PONYTAIL
Next, twist the length of your ponytail 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 length of the ponytail around its base. If you twisted clockwise, wrap clockwise, if you twisted counterclockwise, wrap counterclockwise—you get the idea! Once you get to the end of your ponytail, tuck the last piece of hair underneath the bun you’ve just created to hide it.
STEP #6: SECURE THE BUN
Finally, it’s time to secure your ballet 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. Add additional pins to any section that needs 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. Voila!
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 ballet bun is a chic way to customize it or match it to your outfit.
Next up: Think you might prefer a less perfect bun? In that case, try a messy bun! Here’s How to Create a Messy Bun.