Sock Bun 101

29 March 2013

If you guys follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I am absolutely loving the sock bun right now. It's quick, easy, and creates a completely flawless bun with almost no effort. Trust me, once you try it you will just fall in love like I did.

The problem is, most of the information out there about sock buns is super complicated and confusing, so they can seem a bit intimidating at first. So I've decided to throw together a simple tutorial to cover all the basics of the sock bun. I'll be going over where to buy a sock bun, the easiest way I've found to put it in, and different ways to style it once you've gotten the hang of everything. Plus, a few other random tricks I've picked up along the way!

Where To Get the Sock Bun Donut
There are actually a couple different options for getting your hands on the base of a sock bun. The first one is pretty self-explanatory, you can buy a fresh pair of socks and make the bun from there. Basically, all you need to do is cut off the toe area of a sock and then roll the fabric down into a donut shape. Obviously, the longer the sock you use the bigger the bun you'll end up with. I'm actually not crazy about this method just because I find that the rolled up fabric doesn't stay put. I kept re-rolling the sock, which got pretty frustrating after awhile. Plus, I'm not sure why but it bothers me knowing that there is literally a sock in my hair.

That's why I prefer to use the pre-made sock bun donuts that you can grab at pretty much any beauty or accessory store. I got mine at Charming Charlie for just a few dollars, so if you have a store location by you I would definitely recommend checking it out. I also tracked them down online at Ulta for super cheap.

How To Use the Sock Bun
Before I go over the steps for putting in a sock bun, here is a photo tutorial from Beautylish to get you started:

Now here is how I like to put my sock bun in:

1. Tie your hair into a high ponytail with an elastic. Be sure to smooth out any bumps or flyaways.
2. Holding the ponytail straight up above your head, pull about an inch of your hair through the donut. 
3. Take the hair that is above the donut and tuck and roll it into the donut. Be sure that the hair is evenly distributed all around the circle. 
4. Begin working the donut down your ponytail, tucking and rolling as you make your way to the base. You might end up needing a few do-overs for this step to make sure the hair is tucked in neatly and evenly. I definitely did the first time around!
5. Fix any minor flaws and secure the bun with bobby pins and/or hairspray. 

How To Style the Sock Bun
Although I generally like to stick with the traditional ballerina bun look, I've also experimented with a few other cute styles you can create with the sock bun. Here are some of my favorites:

Upside Down French Braid (LoveIt)

With a Bow (Hair Tutorials)

Low Bun with a Braid (The Girl Next Dior)

That's all for Sock Bun 101! If you have any other tips for the perfect sock bun, feel free to share down below in the comments! 


  1. Hair donuts work great to make your sock bun! BunQueen.com has hair donuts in different sizes and colors to match you hair!

  2. Very cute. I love sock buns. Unfortunately, they don't really work on my hair. :/

    1. Oh no! Maybe try out a different size donut?

  3. Super cute! Love it styled with a french braid!

  4. My hair is very thick, therefor making it hard for me to role it into my sock bun. Any suggestions?


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