You can start a chignon with clean, straight hair, but it may not have the staying power you're looking for. To help your updo stay up, start by curling your hair with hot rollers or a curling iron. Spritz it with a flexible hairspray, and give the spray a few minutes to dry before you move on to the next step.
Pull your hair back into a ponytail. The ponytail should be low, and can be centered or off to the side -- set it wherever you want the chignon to appear on your head. Make sure the ponytail is secure, and be sure to smooth down any flyaways. If you have shorter sections of hair that don't reach the ponytail, pin them back with decorative pins or barrettes.
Separate your ponytail into two sections, a top half and a bottom half. The sections don't need to be the same size. In fact, you can make one section larger than the other to create a little variety in your chignon.
Start with the top section. Hold the section of hair straight up and away from your head. Twist the section until it's tight and you can't twist anymore. Next, wrap that section around the ponytail holder, keeping the bottom section of hair free and hanging loose. Wrap until you reach the end of your hair, then tuck the ends under the ponytail holder and pin the twist down with one or two bobby pins. Repeat the process with the bottom section, wrapping that hair around the first section.
Once you've finished both twists, add extra pins to hold the chignon in place. For the best hold, use several pins, and follow up with hairspray.
For a sleek twist to the chignon, keep the front section of your hair out of the ponytail. Section off a one to two inch strip at the front of your hairline, and pin that hair out of your way when creating the chignon. Once you've finished, smooth out the front section of your hair and drape it back to the chignon. Tuck it under the hair in the back and pin it into place. You can also divide the section into two pieces and drape a piece back across each side of your head.
You don't have to pull it tight. For a modern, laid-back chignon, keep it loose and let the stray ends stick out a little
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