Bridal Buds WeddingWire Blog

How To, Hair Do: The “Classic” Chignon


There’s that word again.  Chignon.  Do they choose fancy french words just to embarrass us??

Relax.  No, its really not all about you… (hahaha…bet cha haven’t heard that one since you started planning your wedding!). The word chignon, pronounced “sheen-yon,” is actually derived  from the French phrase “chignon du cou,” which translates to “nape of the neck”.  People are often very confused as to what exactly a chignon is, and that is primarily because the modern term is not restricted to any one style in particular; rather, it is a generalized term referring to any bun positioned  low, on the nape of the neck.  The photo shown here depicts a Classic Chignon, the one most readily associated with the word.

Classic Chignon wedding hair

Classic Chignon
To create this look I suggest beginning on second day hair, or what I term Rehearsal Dinner Hair.
* Brush hairspray into the roots of your hair and tease the bases.

* Smooth out the top layer with a natural bristle brush and pull it all back into a low ponytail securing with an elastic hair band.
* Gently tease the underneath of the pony and them smooth out the top with a natural bristle brush.

* Keeping the pony’s new fullness intact, loosely twist the pony in you hands three times.
* Then begin wrapping the twisted pony around the hair band, pinning as you go, creating a circle around the hair band.  Secure with pins all over.
* Don’t forget to us Sebastian’s Shaper Plus to get good hold!

This look is amazing with jewels or flowers strategically placed as I have done here:
Chignon wedding hair

Beautiful low chignon with a gorgeous peony tucked in!
Or give it a free form for a beach wedding –

tossled chignon wedding hair

Jacki Norrie creates a tossled chignon for this bride

Chignon wedding hair with flower

Jacki Norrie adds Romanticism to this chignon with a fluffy peony
I had a great time with this bride!  Sky’s is the limit when it comes to designing your chignon – play around and find one that suits your personality and style,  Let me know how it turns out!

Jacki Norrie

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  1. Victoria


    I love this post!! I’m a big fan of the chignon!! You do beautiful work!

  2. Jacki



    Thank you, Victoria. I get the most enjoyment out of designing hair – and flowers are the icing on my cake! It makes me feel proud to receive such a compliment form you.
    Jacki Norrie

  3. […] for.  This can, and as your read above, create confusion and mis-communication.  The word “chignon” is the most overused and misunderstood word in formal hairstyling; due to that, when a bride […]

  4. Jacki



    Have any of you tried to do this?? I would love to see the photos!
    Jacki Norrie

  5. Brynn


    I like the last photo where the bride has a tendril hanging in her face. I also think having the hair wavy before it is wrapped into a chignon helps add a romantic feel. Otherwise a chignon can look to slick and severe.

    From Brynn’s own blog: Wedding Inspiration: Peacock Green, Peacock Feathers

  6. Jacki



    I really loved doing that hair style – the bride was as sweet as she appears in the photos. The photographer, Amy Riley of Painted Light Photography, thought this was one of the most perfect Cape Cod hair styles of that summer – the waves and softly draped bang made for a very beachy, romantic look. And it stayed put in the high humidity!

  7. Salma


    I love the look of the low chignon with the peony tucked in; it’s just stunning!

    What is the minimum length hair would need to be to achieve this look? Thanks!

  8. Sarah


    Did you use a real flower or do you find silk work better?

  9. Jacki



    HI Saima,

    If your hair is one length then the minimum length would be nape hair that is 4+ inches. If your hair is layered then your bottom layer should be resting on your scapula bones. The more overall length – the fuller the chignon.

    Sincere apologies for the delayed response to your question – as you read, I was ill for a bit (mucho better now!).

    All my best – Jacki Norrie

  10. Jacki



    Sarah, You can use either type of flower BUT – my preference is always to go with fresh flowers (if they are in season). There is a difference in the look. NO matter how great the silk flower, it just doesn’t have the same romanticism as fresh. What are your thoughts? Jacki Norrie

  11. Jacki



    The photos above are both brides I worked with personally (that is me in the photos – hard at work :) and both flowers are fresh. The florist typically delivers the bouquets while the bride’s hair is being done so they are fresh and ready to hold up to a day of hugs and dancing. Jacki Norrie