How to Master the Twisted Chignon, an Iconic, Easy Updo That Looks Great on Everyone
One of the most popular—and iconic—updos is the twisted chignon. There's a reason why the hairstyle has been a staple for decades: "The twisted chignon is a quick and easy look that you can dress up or down," says professional stylist and K18 educator Andrea Yeager. "It's also a unique departure from a basic ponytail, especially during the summer months when we're wearing our hair up frequently." A twisted chignon is a variation of the classic chignon, which celebrity hairstylist and Dyson ambassador Jon Reyman notes is a knot or coil on the back of the head. When attempting this version of the classic style, Reyman says the hair is twisted into itself to create shape at the nape of the neck.
The best part about a twisted chignon? It's suitable for all hair types and textures, so long as your strands are long enough to fit into a ponytail. If you want to give the style a try, you're in luck—all you'll need are a few products, tools, and Reyman and Yeager's step-by-step advice, below.
Twisted Chignon Tools and Products
Before you begin styling your strands, gather all the necessary products you'll need to achieve the twisted chignon. Yeager recommends a leave-in conditioner, like the K18 Leave-In Molecular Mask ($78, sephora.com), which will prevent breakage and protect hair from hot tools. Plus, you want your hair to be in optimal condition when you attempt any sort of updo, the twisted chignon included. To get started, blow out your hair with an effective, safe dryer; Reyman recommends using the Dyson Supersonic ($429, sephora.com), which is fast, efficient, and gentle on strands.
To maintain the bounce of your blowout, apply a hair spray for hold and—for those with thicker strands—an oil for shine; you can't go wrong with the classic L'Oréal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Unscented Hairspray ($14.99, ulta.com) or OUAI Hair Oil ($28, sephora.com). If you have fine hair, you'll want something like a beach texture spray, which will give you some extra grit as you style. We love the Bumble and bumble Surf Spray ($29, bumbleandbumble.com). For coarser strands, a smoothing cream (we suggest Curls Dynasty's Icing On A Curl ($18.81, amazon.com)) is best.
A Step-by-Step Guide to the Twisted Chignon
To style your hair into a twisted chignon, Reyman and Yeager note to follow these exact steps.
Prep Hair and Blow Dry
Prep hair with a leave-in conditioner or heat protectant spray and blow it dry. If you have naturally curly strands, Reyman suggests using a straightener afterwards to make your base even sleeker.
Yeager notes to section hair into three parts: the front right side, the front left side, and the back. Clip the front pieces up and away; you will style the back section first.
Make and Roll a Ponytail
Taking the back section into your hands, create a low ponytail at the nape of the neck and secure it with an elastic. For more volume, Yeager says to tease the back section at the crown. Spray the ponytail you just created with texture spray; this will give hair some grip, so when you use bobby pins later, everything will stay in place. For added volume, backcomb the ponytail, as well. Then, take ponytail by the ends and loop it around two fingers, notes Yeager. Roll it up until you reach the back of your head. Secure it in place with bobby pins in an "X" formation for extra security.
Twist Back the Side Sections
Take the front right section and twist it back, away from the face. Pin that section on the top left side of the chignon you created. Repeat on the other side, twisting it back away from the face and pinning it on the top right side of the chignon.
Pin and Spray
If there are any loose ends peaking out, tuck and pin them into place. Lock in the look with hairspray, and viola—you have a twisted chignon fit for any occasion, from a work event or date night to a wedding.