The quest for the perfect sock bun
March 29, 2017 11:25 AM   Subscribe

How do you create a perfect, tight sock bun?

My daughter is on a dance team and needs to wear a high, TIGHT sock bun for performances.

I use the rolling method (

But my main problem is getting the bun flush against my daughter's head. It always seems to be 1-2 cm away from her head at the end which makes it a bit floppy. There's too much hair and loose ends flopping around and I just can't seem to get it neat and tight. Once I've gotten it as close to her head as I can, I put a hair tie around it (doubled) and a few hair pins, and then of course hairspray, but I'd love for it to be tighter before doing all that.

Do I need a different sock? A different technique? I welcome any and all tips!
posted by yawper to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you use a specific hair insert? This is like what I used when I had long hair and I found it a lot easier than using a sock.
posted by leesh at 11:27 AM on March 29, 2017

Response by poster: leesh: we have both that and a regular sock, and the sock seems to grip the hair better. In any case, I have the same problem with both.
posted by yawper at 11:31 AM on March 29, 2017

I guess when I did it I wasn't rolling it at all--I put my hair in a ponytail, put the ponytail through the donut so it was flush against my head, then rolled the ponytail over the donut and wound the extra hair around the base (holding that in place with another ponytail holder).
posted by leesh at 11:35 AM on March 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think the key is that after you secure the bun with the elastic, you have to then go into the center and pull AGAIN which fluffs the bun a bit but also gets it back closer to the head.
Then use several bobby pins at diagonals that start in the head hair, weave through a bit of bun, and then go back to head hair (and then do the final bobby flip) to get it locked in.
posted by rmless at 11:47 AM on March 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

To have it lie flush to the head you need Bobby pins securing it all around the bun to the hair next to the scalp. Weirdly, having a looser bun makes this easier. When you have a thick rope of hair it tends to "pop" up. The other thing you can do is add in a hair net. This goes over the bun (I used to wrap it twice) and then gets pinned down to the scalp.

I've never done sock buns as I had too much hair for them but the principles should still apply.
posted by raccoon409 at 11:50 AM on March 29, 2017

Best answer: Yeah, I did what leesh did - just pull a ponytail through the donut, arrange the hair to cover it, and then twist the remaining hair around the base (while also pressing the donut down onto her head, to keep it from being floppy) and then securing with another ponytail holder. Twisting the leftover hair into a spiral at the same time as I wound it around the base made for fewer loose hairs.

If there is too much hair length left over after the wrapping though, I think you may just need a bigger donut!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:51 AM on March 29, 2017

Best answer: Yes, the rolling method creates the problem you're talking about with the bun being too far away from the head. Wrapping the hair around the sock or hair donut works way better.
posted by all about eevee at 12:32 PM on March 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I know you say the sock is working better than the donut, but have you tried different sizes of donut? They make them all the way from teeny to absolutely fucking gigantic.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:50 PM on March 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Put in the elastic. Slide the sock or donut over. Fan or spread the hair around the sock, then take a second elastic and pop that over it. This second elastic is what gives me the tight bun shape. The hair poking out the bottom I separate into two sections and either braid first or just wind the loose hair around the base of the bun and use hair pins (NOT bobby pins!) to hold it around the bun.
posted by AliceBlue at 1:41 PM on March 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I bought a bigger donut and stopped using the rolling method - it worked! Thanks everyone :)
posted by yawper at 4:43 PM on March 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

From being around a lot of dancers, direct from my sister and listening to cussing when the dressing rooms were separated by just a curtain, sorry to say, but good buns hurt.... pull harder :-)
posted by sammyo at 6:32 PM on March 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Dirty hair helps. If her hair is too clean it is slippery. Try not washing it that morning, or the day before. If it needs it brush it out with a natural bristle in order to even out the natural oils.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:25 PM on March 30, 2017

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