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How to Tie a Ballet Bun

A secure, durable ballet bun is necessary for all dancers, whether it’s regular ballet class, an audition or a performance. Hair must be secured back and off the face in order to execute ballet movements to the best of your ability. If hair is in just a loose ponytail, it can interfere with steps like pirouettes or jumps. Having hair constantly in your face and eyes can hinder your dancing. As a result, a ballet bun must be durable to survive all the extreme movements dancers do, practical, and neat.

Although it might seem complicated and daunting, a ballet bun is quite simple to do. With a little practice, you will get the perfect “cinnamon bun”.


What You Will Need:

Brush or comb

Hair elastics

Hairspray, gel or water

Hairpins (U-pins are best) and Bobby pins

Hair net

1. Brush your hair.

To start, get your hair free of tangles. This can be accomplished with a hair brush or comb based on your personal preference. A little water can help texture your hair and make it more manageable if needed.

2. Pull your hair back into a ponytail and secure with an elastic.

A secure bun starts with a secure ponytail. Brush or comb your hair back into a tight ponytail and secure with an elastic. Place your ponytail on your head where you want your bun to be.

Tip: A ponytail and bun placed higher towards the crown on your head will give the illusion of a longer neck.

3. Twist the bun into a rope and wrap the rope in a circle around the elastic.

A tightly twisted rope will lead to a more secure and compact bun. Then, wrap the rope around in a circle around the elastic. Follow the direction in which you twisted the rope (clockwise or counter-clockwise). It should look like a swirl. Use water or hair gel if your hair is very fine or thin for more grip and to prevent stray hair from breaking free.

Tip: If you have very long or thick hair, you can split your ponytail into two sections to make two ropes. Twist the two sections into ropes as usual and then wrap the ropes around the elastic one by one. This way, your bun will be less bulky and heavy on your head.

4. Use hairpins to secure the bun to your head.

Secure the bun to your head using hair pins. Try to use U-shaped pins and not bobby pins, which are designed to pin hair flat to the head. Use each U-pin to grab hair from the top of your bun, then direct the pin down under to the base of the bun and push it in to hold. Keep using pins around the bun to secure and tuck loose strands into place.

5. Wrap the hair net around the bun and secure with more pins to secure all the loose hairs.

Cover your bun with a hair net that matches your hair color to keep all wisps and stray hairs in place. Depending on the size of your hair net, wrap the hair net around your bun multiple times to the size your bun. Use a hair pin to secure it in place.

6. Use hairspray, gel, or bobby pins / clips to tame the loose hairs away from your face.

For an extra hold and overall neat look, use hairspray to slick all the loose wisps or fizz from your hairline flat on the head. If there are larger strands of hair that doesn’t reach the bun, use bobby pins or hair clips to secure them flat on the head.

Tip: If you have fringe or bangs, tie your ballet bun with your fringe. If you don’t want to have your fringe when wearing a ballet bun, you can slick it with hair gel or hair spray into your ponytail before tying your bun. Use bobby pins or hair clips to secure your fringe out of your face as well.

Lastly, you can also decorate your ballet bun after you have finished it with any scrunchies, hair clips, hair bands or other decorations. Make sure the decorations are securely fastened on your head and are non-distracting for other dancers. Happy bun-tying!


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