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What is a Chignon Hairstyle?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A chignon hairstyle is a twisted updo that rests at the back of the neck. The word comes from the French term "chignon du cou," which means "nape of the neck." A chignon hairstyle is a popular style for both fancy occasions or everyday wear, and is relatively simple to create on one's own.

It is necessary to have medium to long hair in order to create a chignon hairstyle; short hair will not work. To create this style, wash, condition, and dry the hair completely. If hair is curly or wavy, it may need to be straightened. Some people choose to part their hair to the side when creating a chignon, while others smooth hair straight back. Either style can look nice, though a side part is slightly more common; it is simply a matter of personal preference.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Part the hair, apply gel or styling cream throughout, and pin back any loose strands in the front. For a more formal style, the hair can be completely smooth, but for a more informal look, it may be a good idea to leave the hair looking a bit softer, with some looser strands. Next, place the hair into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck, exactly where the chignon hairstyle should be.

At this point, there are a few different ways to create a chignon hairstyle. The first is simply to wrap the hair in a knot around the ponytail holder; those with long hair may be able to pull the hair through itself and create a knot that way. Another way is to divide the ponytail into two sections and wrap each in a different direction around the ponytail holder.

There are other methods for creating a chignon hairstyle, and it may be helpful to experiment to see what works. When the knot has been created, secure it with hair pins. Some people choose to create a chignon directly at the back of the head, while others place it slightly off to the side.

For a messy look, pull out some tendrils after the chignon has been pinned; this will give a more casual look. A chignon hairstyle can be an excellent, classic choice for all occasions, including proms, weddings, or other important events. Hair decorations may be added to a chignon, such as decorative pins or flowers, which can be a great choice for a wedding party to look put-together.

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Discussion Comments


@kylee07drg - I bet your chignon is so beautiful. My favorite updo hair styles are the ones involving some type of braids, and long hair works the best for this.

I have a friend with long, straight hair who separates her ponytail into sections and makes three small braids out of it. When she’s done, she loops them one at a time in figure-eights in different directions and secures them with pins.

Having so much hair and several braids lets her make the most interesting chignon. While it looks like she has spent hours at a salon, she really only needed about twenty minutes to do it.


The chignon is my favorite bridal hairstyle. My best friend and my sister both wore their hair in chignons for their weddings, and I intend to wear mine in one when I take my vows someday.

The cool thing about chignons is that you can decorate them with just about anything you can stick into them. My sister stuck my grandmother’s dragonfly brooch through hers, and no one knew that it wasn’t actually a hair pin. The glittery jewels made her chignon so sparkly that it made a slight glare in the wedding photos.

My best friend wore a corsage in her chignon. She stuck a gardenia stem-first into her hair, and her friend secured it with a bobby pin hidden inside the coil. The flower smelled so wonderful that she didn’t even need perfume!


I have seen several chignon hairstyle pictures, and they all look so stylish. It’s hard to believe that something so easy to do can look so cool and glamorous.

My favorite ones involved the use of hair sticks. One girl had sticks with blue rhinestones and butterfly-shaped ends. It was shoved right through her chignon, and it made an ordinary bun look extraordinary.

Since she knew how much I loved the style, my cousin bought me a mother-of-pearl barrette that had holes in it on either side for a hair stick to go through and secure it over a chignon. When my hair finally grew out long enough, I used it, and it held the hairstyle in place all day.


I have extremely long hair that goes down to my waist, so I like to create a braided chignon. My hair would be too heavy to stay up in a regular chignon. Braiding secures the different lengths of my hair into a smooth shape.

I make a low ponytail and pull it through an elastic band about three times. Then, I dampen my hair slightly with water. Next, I braid the hair tightly and secure it with an elastic.

I loop the braid around the base of the ponytail until I reach the end. Then, I push a bobby pin through the end of the ponytail to keep it in place.

I finish off the look with several more bobby pins pushed through the underside of the braid and into the hair beneath. It takes plenty of pins to hold up this load.


@turkay1-- I think every female celebrity has been out in public with a chignon hairstyle at least once. If you browse through Red Carpet pictures, you will see tonnes of them!

I think the chignon hairstyle is really popular for special events when you need to dress up because it has a very graceful and royal look to it. It also brings the face out because the hair is pulled back and out of the way.

Some of my favorite celebrities wear this look all the time. I'm especially a fan of Jennifer Lopez and Lindsey Lohan in this look. I think it really suits them because they have a petite face and they also wear this hairstyle a little more loosely during the day. It still looks very graceful, but also more modern and hip on them.


My sister had a chignon hairstyle done for her wedding day. She had it tied low and had the hair put up in various directions and with a few small braids. It also had some loose strands around the face that the hair stylist made some loose waves with the hair curler. He then added the little gems that my sister picked to complete her look.

It was so beautiful, very romantic and sweet. She said she saw the look on several female celebrities like Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria and Scarlett Johansson. I'm so glad she noticed this hair style because it looked so good on her. She looked like a princess at the wedding.


This look was so popular when I was in High School. We used to pull our hair back in a pony tail really high on our head but not pull the hair entirely through the hair tie. Then, we would take another hair tie, make the bundle of hear really messy by losing the strands and tie with the second tie.

This was the popular look for girls. It looked really stylish and was really comfy too.

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