People get confused about chignons and buns. Are they the same thing or not? According to some sources, it depends on which language you’re speaking. Obviously the word “chignon” is French and, as a turns out, a shortened term that originated from the French phrase, “chignon du cou” (which means roughly “a low bun at the nape of the neck”). Confusing, right? But don’t worry. Even if you get the terms wrong, you can still get your hair just right to hit this seasons trends square on.
If you’re familiar with Venn diagrams and you like toying with logic, then this fact will settle easily with you: many chignons are buns, but only a few buns are chignons. Though a bun can be placed anywhere on the head and there can be one or more of them at one time, chignons are traditionally worn low at the nape of the neck. Buns can be wacky and creative (think Princess Leia or Phoebe on “Friends”). They can be neat or messy. But a chignon is formal. They exist as singular creations and they are usually quite large in comparison with buns because they incorporate the entire head of hair. Buns, in contrast, may take only sections of hair and leave the rest of the hair loose and flowing.
There are other differences as well between buns and chignons and the differences become important if you’re hoping to follow the trend and be innovative with your hair at the same time. Though buns tend to be less formal, they are always wrapped around themselves. You might end up with pieces of hair sticking out from the middle of a bun and the bun might be done messily (on purpose, of course), but the hair is always spun around a central pivot, like a pin or another hair accessory. In contrast, a chignon might be tucked under or built up around a pin or tiara, for example. There are a number of ways the hair can be arranged around the center.
If you’re going to create the perfect chignon for this season, the process is relatively simple, whether you know all the ins and outs of how chignons differ from buns or not. If this is your first chignon, you can simple start by making a basic pony tail at the nape of your neck. Leave a little bit of room between the root of your pony tail and your head so that you can tuck the end underneath once you get to that point. Twist the pony tale all the way from the top to the bottom. Tuck the end of the pony tail under the knot and then secure the hair with bobby pins. Use hair spray to finish it off and Voila! It’s a chignon!
As always, a professional stylist is the first choice for styling your chignon.