How to Do a Sock Bun (On Every Hair Type)

Alle Connell
perfect sock bun

Image via Renewed Style

Nothing looks quite as stylish as a chic, swept back bun—and for our money, there’s nothing better to boost it than a good sock. Not only does the trst sock bun help keep hair under control, it also provides a gorgeous volume boost AND takes under a minute to do. Hairstyles that only look complicated? Yeah, sign us up.

Though the basic steps that go into to creating a sock bun are the same, the technique varies a little depending on the length, cut and texture of your hair. So here’s how to do a sock bun on EVERY hair type.

First, no matter your hair type, you need to prepare your sock. It should be a similar color to your hair so that it blends in, and make sure the elastic at the top is very firm. Cut out the toe of the sock, turn it inside-out, and begin rolling it from toe to elastic. When you get to the end, you’ll have a lovely, firm doughnut! Here is a video by Whitley that shows you the entire process.

Now that your sock is ready, let’s learn how to do a sock bun!

The basic tutorial.

This is the “standard” way to do a sock bun and works best on medium length straight to wavy hair that doesn’t have too many layers in it.

1. Pull your hair up into a ponytail, making sure to smooth down any flyaways as you go with light-hold hairspray.
2. Put the sock doughnut onto your pony, sliding it up towards the ends.
3. Split the ends of your pony (that are sticking through the doughnut) into three or four sections. Tuck them under the bottom of the sock.
4. Pop your fingers inside the sock doughnut and turn it inside out, rolling it down the ponytail. Repeat this until you get to the base of your ponytail.
5. If your bun doesn’t feel secure, you can secure it at the base with bobby pins. Voila!

Here is a video that shows the entire process (because it’s always easier to see it in motion). The actual process begins at 0:55.

All other ways to do a sock bun will be variations of this.

If you have shorter hair, or hair with lots of layers…

For hair that is shorter or has a lot of sort layers, begin with a smaller sock or a premade hair doughnut. The process is almost exactly the same, except you need to begin with some serum or gel in your hair to keep any very short pieces up and secure. You’ll also need to secure some of the pieces that don’t tuck under the sock with bobby pins.

This video shows you the entire process; skip ahead to 4:30 to see exactly how Dara styles her very short, layered hair.

If you have very LONG hair…

You may not even need a sock for extra volume—but it will help to secure your ends underneath. Because long hair tends to “fall out” of the ponytail as you slide the sock up towards the ends, spritz your lengths with some medium-hold hairspray for additional hold. Here’s a video that shows you exactly how the pros handle long-haired sock buns.

If you have curly hair…

Sock buns look amazing with curls; just be sure you don’t pull your hair into too tight of a pony or you’ll end up with a headache. Melissa shows you exactly how to do it (and how fabulous is her red lipstick?).

If you have natural hair…

The key here is to use the sock to boost the thickness of the bun, rather than as a way to keep the loose ends secure. Comb your hair up into a high ponytail, slide the sock down to the base of the pony, then comb your hair over the doughnut and secure with pins or a hairtie at the base. This gorgeous video shows you exactly how to do it (the tutorial begins at 2:00).

If you have longer natural hair, make sure you stretch it out the night before so that you have a good amount of length to work with—but otherwise the process is exactly the same.

Voila! You now have a totally perfect, chic-looking sock bun. Who says that socks are out of style?

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