Oh the ballerina bun. A hairstyle synonymous with ballet.

So common, that all us dancers have such fond memories of putting our hair in ballet buns. In fact, a lot of us probably still do put our hair up in ballerina buns just on the regular.

  • But what is the ballet bun?
  • Why do ballerinas wear buns?
  • and how do you make the perfect ballet bun?

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a ballet bun?

ballet bun

A ballet bun is the traditional hairstyle worn by ballerinas. The main purposes being: to prevent hair from getting in the way of a ballerina, to provide a uniform (and elegant!) look for all of the ballerinas, and to maintain focus on the dancer (not the hair).

Why do ballerinas wear buns?

For one, they look cute.

But seriously.

There are actually several functional reasons for wearing a ballerina bun.

  1. It helps with turns. Put your hair in a ponytail. Now try turning really fast. Notice how your hair smacks you right in the face or gets close to it? Yeah. While ponytails may be cute, wearing them while dancing causes dancers to wince or close their eyes when they spot or whip their head around. You can’t turn without spotting your head, and trying to do it with your eyes closed is a legitimate safety hazard.
  2. It helps with balance. A ballet bun helping with balance? Really? Yes. Wearing your hear in a ballet bun gives your body an extra sense of center which helps with pirouettes, tour jetes and more. This is why you should be extra careful to try and place your bun as centered as possible.
  3. Uniformity. Part of what makes ballet so different from other dance forms is the discipline. Part of that comes from each dancer dressing in the same “uniform”, and that includes having your hair in a ballet bun.
  4. Prevents bad habits. If you have hair hanging or falling in your face, you may build a habit of brushing it out of the way during various steps and combinations. This can actually become muscle memory, and you may even continue that same motion even if your hair is pinned up while performing on stage!
  5. It helps the teacher. A teachers job is to make sure every dancer continues to improve her technique. If dancers have different hairstyles, it can actually get in the way and make it more difficult for teachers to catch problems with shoulders, elbows, or your head placement being incorrect. Having uniformity makes it easier to spot these corrections and prevent dancers from developing nasty habits, and even preventing injuries from incorrect form.

How do you make the perfect ballet bun?

In order to wear a ballet bun, you have to be able to make a proper ballet bun. Here’s a quick guide on making a perfect ballet bun, as well as a video tutorial, and a link to a ballet bun kit.

Make the Perfect Ballet Bun Step-by-Step Guide

1. Brush your hair free of tangles. Get your hair as straight and even as possible. Make sure to brush it straight back as if you were putting it into a ponytail. Tip: A little water can help smooth your hair out and make it more manageable.

2. Pull your hair back into a ponytail and secure with an elastic. Tip: Make your ponytail around the crown of your head. The perfect height will allow you to see the top of the ponytail poking up if you look in the mirror.

3. Twist the ponytail into a tight rope and wrap the twisted ponytail in the same direction. The tighter the better, even though it may hurt a bit to get it prepared.

4. Securely fasten your wrapped ponytail with hair pins. Think of your bun as a clock face and place pins at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. If the first half of your bun feels a little shaky, put more hair pins in to secure it.

5. For extra security, cover your bun with a hair net that matches your hair color. Typically a brown hair net will work with any hair color.

6. Lightly spray your ballet bun with hairspray if there are any wisps or frizzy hair. This also helps secure the bun, but is not always necessary.

Ballet Bun Video Tutorial

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