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How to Do a Chignon for a Wedding

Learn how to do a chignon from stylist Joy La Rosa in this Howcast wedding hair tutorial.


I am going to teach you how to do a chignon, which is just basically a very low bun. The one we are going to do today is really easy. You will get a lot of great texture within the shape without actually having to do much to put the texture in. First thing that you want to decide when you are wearing a chignon, is how low you want it and what place you want it. We are going to do ours a little bit up off center. I think if you had a beautiful long neck, or if you had a very low back of a dress, you could do it really, really low like you could do it lower than the hairline.

If you had a dress that had maybe a halter neck or something like that you could do a higher one. You could do a low one. You could even couple of chignons together. We are going to do a low off side one. I have already gone through the hair and added a bit of texture. I really focused it in kind of on the top portions. I wanted to see lots of different movement, lots of different curls. So I am going to start today by draping the hair to the side. For her, we’re going to do low right behind the ear.

Now, as soon as I put my elastic band in, I want to be sure to go through the hair, soften it up a bit, make sure that it is loose and modern. If you needed a little height on the back, you could do a little back-combing. Smooth that out. Now, I am going to take my ponytail and I am going to brush it. I am going to smooth it out. Another thing that I am going to do is I am going to take the shape here, the ponytail, and I am going to actually push it through the hair, like a topsy-tail. You can see it gets a really polished look to the top portion. Now, what I am going to do is I am going to really simple fishtail braid throughout the whole rest of the hair.

A fishtail braid seems confusing, but it is really quite simple. All that it is two-strand braid. You are going to take a little tiny section from one side, from the back of one side, and you are going to cross it over and join it to the other side. So I am taking this piece on the left, tiny little piece, and I am crossing it over to the other side. You just continue this back and forth pattern all the way down the hair. You want to keep the fishtail really tight as you go because naturally it is going to loosen up. Now I am about four strands in and you can see the shape already taking place. Make it really tight and you just keep it tight by tugging up on both sides. The nice thing about the fishtail is that it actually braids both the front and the back of the hair and so when we go to roll this into a shape, it is going to create a really beautiful shape.

It will look like you did a lot of fancy pinwork when you really don’t have to. Now, that we are almost to the end, I am going to start doing a little bit bigger sections here. What we want to do from here is we want to make it fuller and wider. I am going to start at the top and I am going to pull on either side of the braid. That is the braid all flattened out and full. You can do a couple of things with it. You could simply pull it back half way through your topsy-tail and leave it like that. I am going to actually twist it around. So I am going to take my finger and then I am going to use that to kind of help me start my circle. I am going to start with the end and I am going to bobby pin it in. Try to make sure to hide the clear elastic band first.

Once you have that in, you kind of spread out your shape a bit. This will be a beautiful look if you wanted to put fresh flowers in your hair. The braid can look very, very natural and clean and it is a nice contrast with the flowers. So this is your fishtail chignon.

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