Easy and Chic Ballerina Bun Tutorial

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A ballerina bun is not just for dancers. It’s such an easy, practical and classic hairstyle!

My mom taught me when I was really young how to style my own hair. I loved ballet as a girl and had to wear my hair in a classical ballet bun for class and recitals. As I look at my childhood pictures, I remember how my mom seemed to effortlessly pull my hair back and make me ready for class. For me it wasn’t so easy, because I had thick hair, but I’m glad I learned. Now a simple ballerina bun is still on trend.

My ballerina look when I was 4.
My ballerina look when I was 4.

It’s such an easy look to pull off when you’re out running errands or even for a polished look when you don’t have much time or patience to look professional.  I felt it was the perfect style for busy women –like you and me, to recreate.

When I was working on this dance bun tutorial, I realized how easy it is to look put-together, without being fussy or overdone. It also allows for different variations, such as a low ballerina bun. 

Why A Ballerina Bun Is A Great Hairstyle For Women

  • Effortless Elegance: One of the primary reasons why the ballerina bun is considered a chic hairstyle is its ability to effortlessly elevate any look. Whether you’re attending a formal event, a business meeting, or even a casual outing, a well-executed ballerina bun can instantly transform your appearance into one of refined grace. Its clean lines and sleek finish provide an air of elegance that complements various outfits and occasions.
  • Versatility: Despite its association with ballet, the ballerina bun is not limited to dancers alone. Its versatility makes it an ideal choice for women of all ages and lifestyles. Whether you have long or medium-length hair, the ballerina bun can be adapted to suit your needs. You can position it high or low on the head, opt for a neat and polished look or embrace a slightly messy bun for a more relaxed vibe. Moreover, the ballerina bun pairs well with different hair textures, from straight to wavy or even curly, making it a go-to style for any hair type.
  • Practicality and Longevity: In today’s fast-paced world, finding a hairstyle that is both stylish and practical can be a challenge. The ballerina bun offers a solution, as it effortlessly combines functionality and beauty. By keeping your hair neatly gathered and secured in a bun, you can bid farewell to any hair distractions throughout the day. It’s an excellent choice for active individuals, as it keeps the hair off the face and out of the way during workouts, busy days at the office, or even on casual weekends. Furthermore, the ballerina bun maintains its appeal throughout the day, requiring minimal touch-ups, allowing you to focus on your activities while exuding elegance effortlessly.
  • Classic Timelessness: Trends may come and go, but the ballerina bun has retained its allure through the years. Its timeless charm adds a touch of sophistication that never goes out of style. Whether you’re channeling Audrey Hepburn’s iconic bun from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or embracing the modern interpretations seen on fashion runways, the ballerina bun transcends time and remains a symbol of refined beauty.

Does a ballerina bun work if you have curly hair?

I do feel this is a great a hairstyle for straight or wavy hair. Curly hair also looks great in a bun but it’s a challenge to get a really smooth ballerina bun if your hair’s texture is coarse and kinky. To be quite honest, I took advantage of a blow out to recreate my childhood ballerina bun, because it is easier to get a sleek look when your hair is straightened. Just ask any ballerina or gymnast!

If you are looking for easy hairstyles for curly hair, don’t think I have forgotten about you. After all, I embraced my natural curls years ago! You can find curly hair tips here and a super simple side twist tutorial here. And yes, try a bun, just don’t expect it to look like the photos I am sharing in this tutorial. 

Hair Tip

A tight ponytail can damage your hair. Protect your hair from breakage by allowing some give. If doing your hair for a dance recital, that might not be an option, but whenever you can, I highly recommend avoiding any hairstyle that is too restrictive or tight.

Ballerina Bun Tutorial in 3 Steps

Here’s how I recreated my childhood bun and made it look modern in 3 easy steps:

1.     Apply a serum or styling cream to your hair for ultimate sleek locks and then pull it into a high ponytail. Use a brush to smooth it out before securing it with a hair tie or elastic band.

2.    Twist your hair, and wrap around the ponytail base to make a bun.

3.    Make sure to tuck in the ends under the base of the bun and secure with bobby pins. Apply a little hairspray to avoid any flyaways and set the bun in place. Tip: make sure the hair pins are hidden under the bun.

Tools to make the perfect ballerina bun

To create a ballet bun, you’ll need a few tools and hair accessories to help achieve the desired look. Here are the essential tools you’ll need (this list contains affiliate links):

  • Hair brush or comb: A fine-toothed comb or a brush with natural bristles will help you smooth and detangle your hair before creating the bun.
  • Hair Tie/Elastic Band: Choose a hair tie or elastic band that matches the color of your hair to secure the bun in place. Avoid using rubber bands as they can damage the hair.
  • Bobby Pins/Hairpins: These are essential for securing the bun and tucking away any loose strands of hair. Opt for bobby pins that match your hair color to make them less visible.
  • Hair gel or serum: hair products can really help you make a sleek and secure bun, especially if you have thicker hair.
  • Hairnet/Hair Donut (optional): If you want to add volume and create a neater appearance, you can use a hairnet or a hair donut. Hairnets are fine mesh coverings that can be wrapped around the bun to give it a polished look. Hair donuts, on the other hand, are foam or mesh doughnut-shaped accessories that can be placed around the bun to add fullness and structure.
  • Hair spray (optional): If you want extra hold and longevity for your ballet bun, you can use a light-hold hairspray to keep it in place. This can help prevent flyaways and maintain the sleekness of the hairstyle.

It’s worth noting that the specific tools you need may vary based on your hair type, length, and personal preferences. These are the basic tools required to create the perfect ballerina bun, but you can always experiment with additional accessories or styling products to achieve your desired look. I also have seen many friends use a hair net to prevent stray hairs from messing up their perfect bun.

Another option is to use one of those sponge-like doughnuts that you just slip over the ponytail and then pull your hair through the doughnut hole for a “sock bun” effect. However, this version with twisted hair strands looks more unique.

Do you also love ballerina-style buns? Let me know and share your pictures with me. 

More Hair Tips & Inspiration

Inspired by my childhood ballet classes, here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do a ballerina bun in 3 easy steps.

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