messy pretzel chignon-ish hair tutorial

by kacia on 20 Aug ’14 · 19 comments


Okay, so I feel a little silly posting this hair “tutorial” because, well, a few reasons.  

  1. I’m usually rocking bedhead and a low pony.
  2. It’s pretty simple. 
  3. I have no idea how to write a hair tutorial.

But I’ve had a lot of people asking how I do it and asking me to share, so here it goes!

First things are my hair prep.  I find that I’m able to throw my hair up in this chignon-ish-updo most successfully when I’ve either applied product to my hair and blow dried — using the products listed here — or 2nd-day hair with product.  My 2-day hair washing routine is typically comprised of the first day with product, blow dried and curlers followed by a simple up-do like this one the second day.  

I’ve tried putting my hair up in this style with no product, but I find that I’m not able to get any lift at my crown and it slips through the bobby pins pretty consistently.  meh.  

So.  Moving on to the actual “put your hair up” steps.  


1|| I begin by making sure my part is where I want it in the front.  I typically do a part deep to one side about halfway back, with the remaining hair going straight back.  Tease this hair going back at your crown if you need to hold it in place.  Brush the top layers lightly, just to smooth it. 


2|| Next, I gather my hair and twist it to the side that I want my chignon to be.  Push up a little bit as you do this step to give some volume at the crown of your head.  


3|| Pin this twist into place using bobby pins.  This step is my key to getting a nice lift at the roots — I make sure to really pin this twist securely with the volume at my crown like I want it.  It should be secure enough to stay there if you remove your hands (to a point), but especially holding enough to keep it looking like you want it to look from the front. 

….if that make sense? 


4|| At this point, I twist the remaining hair into a “pretzel.”  Well, I’ve never actually made a pretzel, but in my mind, it’s similar.  Or maybe one side of a pretzel?  I wrap my hair into a loop, crossing what is left across that loop to the other side. 

There really is no rhyme or reason….and every day it looks a little bit different!  


5|| Continue pinning in place, leave a few strays, but get most of them pinned in securely.  The most important step — in my opinion — is that initial twist and secure, because that sets the tone for how this updo will look from the front and how it will stay in place.  


A few additional tips:

Use a texture powder after you’ve pinned your chignon to “plump” it up a little bit.  Yeah, I just used the word plump in a hair tutorial.  This is why I am not a beauty blogger — clueless Kacia over here. 

Leave a small section out and braid it.  Then wrap it around the chignon to change up the look.  

Use dry shampoo to help get a bit more lift at the crown.  


earrings from heaven.  for. real.



and that will probably be the last hair tutorial you ever see from me. :)  I’m a hack. y’all.  I’ll stick to the sewing and quilting and knitting and things…leave the hair and makeup up to the professionals.  

happy Wednesday! 


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie August 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

This is a great tutorial and I love the style. I am going to try and recreate soon!


kacia August 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

let me know how it goes!! i want to see!


anastasia September 15, 2014 at 2:53 am

it’s really pretty on you but I can’t get past steps 3+4, it’s just not working out


kacia September 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I will try to shoot a video!!


Rachel November 7, 2015 at 10:21 am

What a beautiful hairstyle! Can you please post the video showing the “how to’s… “? I see other ladies were asking also. I will speak for myself only–me doing my hair is like dancing with 2 left feet! Guess you could say that I have 2 left hands (I’m right handed) when I try to style or “updo” my hair.
Thank you for sharing!


kacia November 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Hey Rachel! I promise I will try to! I”m going to grow out my hair a bit, just so I can :) i chopped it off, so I can’t really do this very well, but I will try to video it ASAP for you all!!


Valerie Henry June 17, 2015 at 11:00 pm

I would love to see a video tutorial of this!!! Have you made one and I’m just not finding it?! Thanks!


Jen September 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Love this look but I’m getting stuck at the “pretzel” part too. Would love to see a video!!! :)


Beth October 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!


Laurie May 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Looking forward to the video!


Deborah November 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for sharing, it’s really helpful for me! I have almost same length hair like you, and I love it. Going to try it and see if I can recreate this style.


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