Chic, sophisticated, and pretty, the chignon is a versatile hairdo. Chignon styles are popular for formal events, but there are options for casual wear as well. While the style is stunning on its own, playing with braids, hair texture, and adding accessories can take it to the next level.
Many people use the words “bun” and “chignon” interchangeably, but a chignon does differ from a bun slightly. First of all, a chignon doesn’t need to be twisted around itself like a bun; it can be a knot, bundle, or tuck of hair. What really sets a chignon apart, though, is its placement. It’s always worn low on the back of the head, at the nape of the neck. Often associated with special events like red carpets and galas, chignons have a polished and refined air to them — but they have a place in your day-to-day life too.
There’s a chignon hairstyle to suit any occasion, including elegant updos for a wedding, adorned buns for a date night, and purposefully undone everyday styles. If you’re looking for some chignon hairstyle inspiration to show your stylist (or to attempt yourself — there are some simpler styles on this list, too!), then keep reading.
This stunning chignon hairstyle is positively wedding-ready. Everything about it is classy, from the sleek updo, tucked twists, and lightly curled face-framing piece. The pearl details are a sophisticated take on the Y2K hair gems, adding even more elegance and making this hairstyle the perfect accompaniment to pearl jewelry. Start with a classic chignon and use pearl pins to create this look. Tucking some into the hair helps achieve the effortless vibe — the peeking pearls make it feel less “perfect” in the best way.
A hairpiece is the easiest way to spice up a plain chignon hairstyle. While this chignon would be beautiful on its own, the hair accessory makes it all the more eye-catching. The stylist matched the width of the chignon style with the width of the hairpiece, which was a stunning choice. This makes it look more balanced overall. If you have a small hair clip, you can go with a bun of any size, but if you have a larger hairpiece, you’ll want to go with a more voluminous chignon, like in this example.
Chignon hairstyles are classic, but they don’t need to be traditional. This asymmetrical chignon is a modern update on this hair look. Along with the asymmetry, we love the sparkly adornments and spiky pieces sticking out of the bun — almost like an updated version of the early aughts spiky bun. All of these details make this hairstyle look edgier! Depending on how you style the rest of your look, you could really wear this chignon hairstyle to any event, including a wedding, a night on the town, or a holiday party.
A well-placed braid can elevate almost any hairstyle. For a boho update on a chignon, consider a fishtail braid. It’s a little more intricate looking than a regular braid but just as easy to do. To continue on the boho theme, ensure your chignon is loose and a little messy. The wispy curls really pull the entire style together and complete the laid-back vibe.
On the other end of the spectrum, this chignon is neat and sleek. The side-swept detail embodies elegance and class, and this look would be perfectly paired with a swanky evening gown. If you want to make the ‘do look even more structured, don’t pull out any face-framing pieces. This style looks particularly stunning on highlighted hair since it really shows all your hair’s tones.
Texture is the name of the game with this gorgeous chignon. Curling the entire head rather than a few wispy pieces gives the chignon volume and dimension throughout and makes this style look all the more effortless. This look wouldn’t be complete without its loose pieces, so pull a few strands of hair out to frame your face.
This chignon is one of the easiest on this list to recreate at home. Its simplicity makes it a great everyday hairstyle, and since it’s a sleek look, it also works in between wash days. It’s essentially just a slicked-back low bun. However, to achieve the textured look, braid your hair before twisting it into its bun. Use bobby pins (or, even better, bun pins) to create a uniform shape and keep the hair in place. A bit of hairspray can help you tuck away any flyaways.
Another style for daily wear is this casual low bun with face-framing pieces — and it’s another super easy look to recreate. Start with your hair in a middle part and create a bun at the nape of your neck. Leave some end strands sticking out of the bun if you want to copy this undone look. Then, pull out some face-framing pieces at the front. This style looks gorgeous on every hair type, but curls really give it such an enviable textured look.
Smooth tucked style
While wispy, slightly undone looks are trendy, smoother hairstyles are also in style. Whether you prefer a sleeker look or need a professional style for work, this smooth tucked chignon is the one to emulate. This tucked style looks more put-together than a regular low bun, so it’s perfect for when a simpler hairstyle just isn’t cutting it.
Covered in twists
One twist is pretty, but what about several? It depends on your taste, but when it comes to this hairstyle, you may give a resounding yes. Opt for multiple twisted pieces if you want a super romantic chignon style. We adore how the twists have varying levels of looseness to give the look more dimension. Pairing the twisted strands with a looser, voluminous chignon, and pulled-out strands just makes sense.
Another way to play with twists is within the bun section itself. This style still captures the romantic essence that twists and curls bring, with a more minimalist vibe. It’s a simple detail, but even having one eye-catching twist can elevate a chignon from an everyday look to a special event style. This style amps up the volume in the updo itself to compliment the voluminous bun.
Any type of bang adds more interest to a chignon. Whether full bangs or face-framing bottleneck bangs, they give some oomph to the front of your look to match the gorgeous back view. This side-swept bang works perfectly with the smooth chignon style. It makes the hairdo look extra stylish from the front and side.
Thin braids and edgy spikes
If a classic chignon feels too traditional to you, don’t fret: There are ways to liven up your look. This chignon hairstyle incorporates a few modern trends to take it from plain to edgy. The itty-bitty braids give it a fashionable vibe (plus they work as face-framing pieces), and the spiky bun brings it up-to-date. This contemporary take on a chignon shows that this hairstyle isn’t just for special events but can be part of a street-style look as well.
Dramatic and striking, this hairstyle is one we’d expect to see on a red carpet or at a professional dance show. The large swoops just scream glamor. This hair look certainly makes a statement, with its large waves and contrasting bobby pins. It’s meant to be the center of attention in any look, so you’ll want to plan your outfit around this hairstyle.
Have any ribbons or bows lying around? Turn it into an accessory or your next chignon hairstyle. Tying a ribbon in your chignon is one of those perfectly pretty ways to style your hair bow, instantly making the hairstyle feel more girly and sweet. Play with various bow textures to get different looks. A smooth satin bow is a classic choice (also lovely for a ballerina-inspired look), a patterned bow looks more unique, and a velvet bow, like in this photo, is great for fall or winter hair looks.
Add a scrunchie
Similar to a ribbon, a scrunchie adds a cutesy appeal to a chignon hairstyle. Associated with coziness, scrunchies make a chignon hairstyle look more casual. This is one of those quick everyday hairstyles that you can do on the go to keep your hair out of your face while looking put-together at the same time.
Add a chiffon scarf
A longer ribbon or hair scarf makes a chignon look more formal, especially when in white chiffon. This hairstyle is wedding-aisle-ready, stunning for brides who don’t prefer a traditional veil. You can use a white ribbon or silk hair scarf to achieve a similar flowy look that looks unique and pretty. Use a shorter ribbon or hair scarf to incorporate this look into your everyday wardrobe.
Adorned with gems
Shine bright like a diamond with this gem-adorned chignon hairdo. Seriously, we would love to see how this catches the light! It’s so fun but graceful at the same time, and it will look just as spectacular at a glamorous wedding or event as on a packed dance floor. This hairstyle starts with a basic chignon, but the hair gems take it up a notch. You can opt for using fewer gems for a subtler look.
Easy to style and suitable for almost any occasion, this loose curly chignon is versatile for any curly-haired folks. Take advantage of your natural hair texture by piling it into a messy bun at the nape of your neck. Then, pull out pieces above your ears and at your forehead to achieve the messier, informal style of this inspiration pic. Dress it up with the right clothes and makeup look, and it will look just as in place at a special event.
Sleek side part
Sure, middle parts are taking center stage right now, but you shouldn’t completely overlook the side part. A deep side part gives this chignon hairstyle its distinctive look. Slicking back your hair with gel or hair spray helps emphasize the part. If you want to play with your part even more, try a zig-zag part for your next chignon style.
Face-framing pieces are romantic and pretty, but what if that’s not your vibe for the day? Try some face-framing braids instead to add a bit of edginess. These bolder braids just bring that cool factor so you can rock a chignon with your more fashion-forward outfits. Plus, when paired with a slicked-back chignon, it’s an excellent style for hiding unwashed hair.
Lots of volume
Big and bold, this chignon bumps up the volume to make a statement. This hairstyle works best with longer hair, but you can also add volume by using extensions for shorter hair. Curls and texture help this updo achieve its bulk. If your hair has trouble holding volume, you can try a few techniques: Use a volumizing mousse and texturizing spray, tease your underlayers, and use hot hair tools to add curls and waves.
Big twist details are gorgeous, but opt for this subtler version if you’re more of a hair minimalist. The small twists add a bit more interest to this tucked bun without overwhelming the look. This hairdo errs on the sleeker side rather than romantic. It’s fairly minimal but is still dressed up enough for events, so it’s perfect for when you want your hair to take the passenger seat to the rest of your look.
A colorful silk hair scarf
Add some magic to your everyday chignon look with a colorful hair scarf or bandana. It injects a bit of pattern and personality into your hairstyle but takes so little effort — just tie it around a low bun to get this look. There’s something about a hair scarf that just exudes classiness, especially if you go for fabrics like silk or satin, making it one of those accessories that never go out of style.
Messy bun chignon
There’s nothing fussy about this simple chignon. It pretty much looks like a top knot messy bun but placed at the nape of the neck instead. It couldn’t be easier to recreate: Go with your usual bun but use bobby pins instead of a hair elastic to keep it in place. With no visible elastic, this updo looks put-together and informal at the same time.
If you couldn’t tell already, curls and chignons are really a match made in heaven. This chignon hairstyle follows the shape of the barrel curls to create this looser look. The finished effect is this cascading updo style. It’s another romantic-looking pick that’s a go-to for weddings, whether you’re the bride, bridesmaid, or guest.
Looking to nail that “clean girl” aesthetic? A slicked-back chignon is one part of the look. Use hair spray or gel to get every hair in its proper place — no flyaways for this smooth style. Practical and pretty, an ultra-sleek chignon is a versatile choice suitable for almost any environment, from the office to the nightclub.
This floral hairpiece really just brings the wow factor to an already pretty hairstyle. It’s like a mini bouquet in your hair! Perfect for weddings, it’s hard to find a style that’s more romantic than this one. It’s possible to use real flowers, but this look opts for artificial ones, which will stand up better to a long day of mingling and dancing.
This symmetrical chignon is so satisfying — it just exudes order and professionalism. It’s a stylish work hairdo but also a tasteful choice for a formal event as well. The glossy shine is just the cherry on top, making this hairstyle look so silky. The evenness of this bun might be hard to achieve on your own, so you’ll want some help to make sure each section stays in place.
Polar opposite to the neat chignon, this bun looks like it’s almost on the verge of unraveling, and that’s exactly how we like it! Textured, voluminous, and informal, this chignon is a refined take on a messy bun. Make sure to use enough hair pins and hair spray to keep the chignon in place. You want to achieve the barely-together look without your hard work actually unraveling!
Braids are having a major moment, and there are many ways to include them in a chignon hairstyle — this photo is one creative example. It feels oh-so-fancy with the braid running on a diagonal, and this extra detail is a lovely way to pretty up an otherwise plain chignon. After braiding, gently pull on each section of the braid to give it more texture and volume. It also doesn’t hurt to pull out a few strands to get this lightly tousled look.
This chignon truly looks like a work of art. It’s contemporary and unique yet still has a trendy feel due to the low placement and slicked-back styling. It’s hard to even tell where the twists start and end, which is exactly what makes this updo so mesmerizing. Recreating this chignon hairstyle is not for the faint of heart! You’ll probably want to visit your stylist for this one (and don’t forget the hairspray).
Tousled and lightly undone is a popular trending look for chignon hairstyles, especially for bridal looks. You’ll want the finished hairstyle to still look formal but have an effortless vibe to it. There are a few ways to nail this look and make it look like this stunning photo. First, pull out a few strategic strands and keep them nice and thin. You’ll want a few pieces framing the face and a couple of loose strands at the back of your head from each side of the chignon. Then, give these strands a bit of a curl to make them look more polished.
Another way to include romantic florals in a chignon style is with flower hairpins. Instead of a larger hairpiece, these individual flower pins give the style a more delicate look. Small pins also give you flexibility on where you place them. You can scatter them along the side and back (like in this example), use them to pin back your bangs in the front, or dot them throughout the low bun.
Incorporate real flowers
If you really love flowers, why not use the real thing? For a big event, you’ll want to work with your florist and hairstylist to find the right blooms that will stay perky and beautiful all day. There are lots of ways to get creative with florals. You can go for a single large bloom in your hair, a fetching floral crown, or tuck a few blossoms in your chignon as this look does with baby’s breath.
Trendy looped bun
The looped bun detail gives this chignon more dimension without needing extra accessories. While this style might look complex, it’s actually quite easy to recreate — even those with short hair can still rock the trendy looped bun. Tie a low bun as usual, but leave enough hair sticking out to wrap it around the chignon. Wrap the hair around the bun section and secure it with bobby pins. If you’re not comfortable using many pins, this hair wrap technique is a great way to hide a hair elastic.
Add a headband
There’s no questioning it — the right accessories can really transform a chignon hairstyle. For a bolder look, add a striking headband like this pearl number. You can use it to keep your bangs out of your face for a night of dancing, or follow this example and keep some face-framing pieces out for a more tousled look.
Flowers and pearls are pretty, but there’s something extra glamorous about these star pins. Their shape and sparkle make them perfect for an evening event. Best of all, with small pins like these, they’re so easy to pop in to a chignon style to take it from day to night.