August 19, 2014
Some 'dos simply never go out of style. Case in point: the chignon.
According to First Chair, the word comes from the French phrase "chignon du cou," which translates to "nape of the neck" - precisely where the knot-like style is created. The look can be traced back to ancient Greece, specifically in Athens, where women often adorned their chignons with gold or ivory hairpins. By the Victorian era, the 'do began to surge in popularity, and it made a major comeback during the 1940s, when women wore headscarves with their chignons.
Despite a constant ebb and flow of trends, the chignon remains a chic option for bad hair days or last-minute formal events. Whether you're hitting cocktail hour with your girls, heading to a professional networking event, dining on date night or attending an elegant wedding, this hairstyle always hits the mark.
Here are some tutorials and tips for three different twists on the classic look.
Blake Lively's chignon for the Cannes Film Festival was as glamorous as it gets.
To recreate the look, start by applying a smoothing styling product and then blow-dying your hair straight using a paddle brush. Mist your strands with hairspray and using a hairbrush, sweep your tresses into a smooth ponytail at the nape of the neck, securing it with an elastic. Tie on another elastic several inches from the bottom of the pony, and then back-comb the hair to tease it into a ball. Spritz more hairspray and then carefully roll the ponytail upward to form a voluminous bun. Hold the style in place by inserting U-shaped or straight hairpins at the top and sides of the chignon. A generous mist of Steiner Stay Put Extra Firm Finishing Spray will keep your look locked in.
A no-frills, simplstic chignon is sometimes your best bet for a night out. Ashley Hanna-Pisciotta, hairstylist from Mizu NY, told Daily Makeover that all it takes are a few steps to achieve this effortless version of the traditional 'do.
First, part your hair down the center and pull it to one side of your head, creating two equal-sized ponytails, securing each with an elastic. Tie your hair into a loose know, and then wrap one side around to the right before holding it in place by inserting a hair pin. Repeat this step on the left side and use a pin to secure it.
Finish with a spritz of medium hold hairspray.
When you want to take things up a notch, take a cue from Nina Dobrev, who rocked a chignon that incorporated braids, twists and tendrils for an eye-catching and romantic effect.
Cosmopolitan magazine explained that you should begin by sectioning off the hair around your bang area with a clip, and then gathering the rest of your hair into a low, loose ponytail. Release the front section of hair and part it in the center and twist the strands on either side, pulling them into a pony that rests right on top of the first one. Create two or three braids using the hair from both ponytails. Next, twist the braids into one bun and pin it in place. Using your fingers, gently pull the braids apart to widen them, letting tendrils fall as they may. Finally, apply hairspray to hold the style in place.