Chris Eckert/Studio D
"The key to this soft and elegant style is to keep it simple," says our hairstylist, Sokphalla Ban. "This low side chignon is the ultimate romantic updo hairstyle."
Start out with your hair back in a low side ponytail. Keep hair soft and straightened; polish the sides by using hair spray to hold down flyaways. "Prepping for a chignon is very important," Sokphalla says. "The cleaner the hair and the smoother the sides, the better."
Next, grab a section of hair from the ponytail, smooth it out, and wrap it as if you were wrapping it around a bottle all the way to the head. Spread it out slightly to help keep it in place, take a bobby pin, and tuck it into the roll. If you need more security, grab another pin and apply to the other side on the roll, crossing it over the first bobby pin. Now, take another section and do the exact same thing. If a section has a lot of flyaways, spray with hair spray before you roll it.
"You're creating something of a flower effect," Sokphalla says. "However, you don't want it to be too, too literal. It's more the idea, the essence of the flower that you're looking for."
Once you have the basic shape, place more bobby pins throughout the rolls. This will tighten up the chignon and give it more shape by creating some separation. "Have fun with shape," Sokphalla says. "There really shouldn't be any noticeable pattern to what you're doing. It should look organic. The greatest thing about this style is that anything goes, as long as you feel good about it. There aren't really any rules to what you do with it."
Make sure you stop pinning when it starts to look bulky. "It should still look elegant," says Sokphalla.
If you want to add some flowers to make it feel more special (we added orchids to Chernelle's hair), the best way to do this is to just secure them with pins on the side opposite the chignon. "This will add even more elegance and romance to the chignon," she says. "It's simple, yet gorgeous."
If you're trying this look yourself, remember these tips:
If you're going to use fresh flowers in your hair, Sokphalla recommends having at least three extra on hand that you can switch out throughout the day. "Depending on the temperature and the climate, and just as the day wears on in general," she says, "fresh flowers will turn brown and wilt. Having some extra to take the place of the older ones will revive your hairstyle and keep it looking fresh and gorgeous."