How to Put Hair in a Perfect Ballet Bun - Illustrated!

So it's dance recital season (not to mention prom and other fun formal events), so that means it's time to break out all the tools and skills necessary to put your child's hair in the perfect bun. I've worked on this skill now for a couple of years and have gathered some tips from the pros - other mommies.  Now I offer you a tutorial in how to make a great bun!

Bonus: this tutorial is illustrated!!!

Hair Primers

1.  Start with dirty hair, not clean.  I know this sounds crazy, but the whole "do" will hold a lot better if the gel and hairspray have something to hold to. 

2.  Gather all your supplies and keep them close.  You don't want to be looking for a bobby pin while you're trying to hold a piece of hair in place with your hand.

3.  Practice before the big day.  By the fourth time I'd made a bun in one week, I was a pro!!

4.  If your child's hair is too thin to make a good bun or ponytail, consider using a hair accessory or a sock/pantyhose underneath the bun.  Ask me how!!


__ hairbrush

__ strong rubber band for ponytail

__ gel

__ hairspray

__ small, long tube (like masacara tube)

__ hair-colored bobby pins

__ hair-colored hairnet (optional)

Step 2 illustrated
Step 2 illustrated


1.  Run your hairbrush under water and comb your child's hair.  Get a small dollop of gel and run it through your child's hair, all the way around.  

2.  Using a comb, gather hair at the crown of the head into a ponytail.  Secure with one or two strong rubberbands.

Step 3 illustrated
Step 3 illustrated

3. Divide the hair into thirds. (top, left side, right side)

4.  Take the top third and spray hairspray to the front and back of the hair section.

Step 5 illustrated
Step 5 illustrated
Step 8 illustrated
Step 8 illustrated

5.  Roll the hair section around the tube of mascara until you get to the head.

6.  Secure the hair section with bobby pins.  (You really can't use too many when making the perfect bun!)

7.  Repeat steps 4-6 with the other two sections.

8.  Close the two gaps between each of the three sections using bobby pins.

Step 9 illustrated
Step 9 illustrated

9.  Spray with hairspray.

10.  Put on your hairnet if so desired, and secure with bobby pins.


Elapsed time: 10 minutes!  You can do it!!

Comments 18 comments

Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

Habby - I am bookmarking this! My girls are not yet involved in ballet due to finances, but they want to. Moreover, they love to have their hair done but I am awful at it! I used to be able to braid and french braid well, but I've lost it....can you do more hubs on braids and other styles for little girls' hair??

Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas Author

Lily Rose, thank you for your comment. I do hope your sweet girls get to take ballet. My little dancer has developed such poise, grace, and confidence as a result of her time learning how to leap, turn, and twirl. :)

And I have an idea for you: what if you practiced making hair buns and had a little "recital" around the house. So fun!

As for more hubs on hair styles, that is a GREAT idea! I would love to put that together and even include some more pics.

Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

Thanks, Habby! I'm definitely going to practice those buns. As for recitals - I get them all the time from my little one (3.5) even though she's never taken ballet - I think she gets it from her Barbie movies!

I can't wait for more kids hairstyle hubs - please do include pictures, they help a lot!

alensmith profile image

alensmith 6 years ago

that answer you can find on

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Habby, You made that look so easy. Good hub.

Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas Author

alensmith, thank you for your comment and website. I looked at it but didn't see any links to children's hairstyles. Did I miss them?

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Habby, I wish I knew you when I was doing my little girl's bun, every week. I used to struggle to put it up just right. Your illustrations are very good and I love your clear explanation. Now, my daughter does her own bun, she's quite a pro now. Well-done, and rating it up.

Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas Author

anglnwu, thanks so much for popping over! How old is your daughter? Is she a dancer as well? Thanks for the rating!!

matty 6 years ago

i love the bun it looks so cute

Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 6 years ago

Very nicely done, thanks for the illustration and instructions.

Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas Author

Matty and Research Analyst, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the hub. Hopefully, it will be helpful for you and your loved ones and friends.

kendra rolliston 6 years ago

hi my hair is really thick and everyone i try doesn't work for my thick hair can yew make another one please? meant for thick long hair?

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Great hub with good details on an important topic--even though it's a "girl-thing!" :) Keep writing and "momming" so well!

Habby profile image

Habby 6 years ago from College Station, Texas Author

Kendra, I'll get to work on that hub. But let me ask...just how thick is your hair? My daughter has relatively thick hair although it is straight. One key to get it to work is to avoid washing your hair before you make the bun. Interestingly, dirty hair is usually not as full and easier to work with. Who knew? Very counterintuitive!

RTalloni, again I want to say thank you for your comments on my hubs. Very much a blessing!!

instantlyfamily profile image

instantlyfamily 5 years ago

Thank you so much! I have struggled in the past to get it right.

Sally 5 years ago

Thank you Habby, you're an angel! I really struggle to style my daughters' hair - but my 7yo has just started dance classes so I have to overcome my lack of coordination!

Your instructions are really clear and the pics help too.

Habby profile image

Habby 5 years ago from College Station, Texas Author

instantlyfamily and Sally, you are both so kind in your comments. You are definitely welcome for this pictorial guide. I have to admit that the pictures was the main reason I put up this hub. I love when something can be illustrated. I definitely need that. I hope that you both have lots of fun styling your daughters' tresses!!

ElizaWyatt 4 years ago

Thanks for this! My daughter's first recital is this weekend and I've been struggling to get her hair right just for class! It's not a big deal if it falls down there but she would be upset if it happens this Saturday. Thanks again!

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