What Is the Difference Between a Bun and a Chignon?


If you wear your hair long, and you like wrapping it around itself to keep it out of your face from time to time, then you might be forgiven for thinking that the style you’re keeping it in is called a bun or a chignon, and that the two terms are interchangeable. But the devil is in the details, and while PopSugar says that a chignon can also double as a bun, not as many buns an also be called chignons. And why not?

The word “chignon” may be French for “bun,” which is also what most English (both American and British) speakers call the hairstyle, but the word is actually short for “chignon du cou,” which means “bun at the nape of the neck.” That’s about as specific as locations get. So what’s what? 

Hairstylist Harry Josh settles the debate of what a chignon actually is, telling InStyle, “…the chignon comes in various forms. The key here is to have the hair gathered at the nape of the neck. Whether it be a simple ballerina-style bun or a twisted and shapely styled bun, the chignon evokes elegance and a clean, chic style.” 

Buns aren’t located in a fixed spot like chignons are
Buns, on the other hand, don’t have a specific place of residence. They can be anywhere on top of your head, and PopSugar says you can do buns in different ways —  a classic Princess Leia style (looped around the ears), messy (like Meghan Markle), or even the trendy bun lift, where the hair is pulled so tightly on top of the head that The Sun referred to as an instant face lift. Celebrities spotted with a bun lift include Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez. 

PopSugar says one more thing to remember about buns is that it is created by wrapping hair around itself, either braided or twisted around a center. Chignons, on other hand, sees the hair tucked under, or used with an accessory like a tiara, which is mostly how Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge has her hair done for state dinners when tiaras are called for.

One thing’s for sure: Whether it’s a bun or a chignon, both updos are hair hacks you want in your repertoire for an effortlessly easy style.

Hair Hacks All Women Should Know
For most women, figuring out your hair — and how it plans not to cooperate with you that day — can take up a significant part of your morning routine, even if you keep it short. And if you have longer hair, forget it. By the time you’re doing shampooing, blow drying, and styling, you’re already late for work. Think of all the valuable time you could spend sleeping if you didn’t have to deal with your hair!

But unless you’re going to shave it all off, you probably need to figure out a way to deal with it. And fortunately, these tips can make your mornings a lot easier.

Use dry shampoo
Dry shampoo is the best invention, especially for those of us who love that snooze button a little more than we should, so if you haven’t figured it out, this is where you need to start. There are all kinds out there, so you may not find the type that works best for your hair right off the bat. All you need to do is spray the product through your hair, blend it in with your hands, and let it sit. Later, you should be able to brush it through your hair and the grease will be gone. Magic!

Bonus tip: if you don’t notice a difference using dry shampoo, try putting it in your hair the night before. The extra time to absorb will help perk your hair up even more.

Use bobby pins for volume
If you want a perky ponytail but notice that yours always lies flat, there’s a way around that. After securing your ponytail with a hair band, stick two bobby pins through your hair band underneath the ponytail, and then lay your hair on top. Boom! Instant volume!

Only style dirty hair
If you’ve washed your hair, curled it, and then noticed your beautiful curls are gone just a couple of hours later, it could be due to the fact that styling clean hair is almost impossible. Freshly washed and conditioned hair smells awesome, but it’s hard to work with. Second day hair holds curls and other styles much better, and it’s way easier to work with, too.

Two words: Static Guard
If you notice your hair is full of static, especially in the winter months, a can of Static Guard will do the trick — and before you ask, yes, it’s totally safe to use in your hair. When you’re done styling, spray your hairbrush with it and brush it all the way through. In a pinch? A dryer sheet will work, too.

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