First of all, let me tell you one thing: I am not the world expert on how to make the perfect ballet bun. In fact, I only made my first ever one last Saturday, so if you are a seasoned ballet mum, look away as it might get ugly for your trained eyes.
I did not do ballet myself and until last Saturday, I had never felt the urge to pin my girls’ hair so tight onto their scalp it looked like they had a facelift, aged 4 and 6. Anyhow, moving on…
Although Beanie has been going to ballet classes since she was 4, she used to have a very short bob and I was never asked to tie her hair into a bun. Both girls go to a different ballet school now and they are part of a show in a couple of weeks.
The goalposts have changed. There will be tutus (oh so cute), there will be ballet buns (perfect ones at that), there will be lots of hairspray and there will be makeup (really? blue eye shadow and red lipstick… on a 4 year old?). Luckily Beanie has been growing her hair for about 6 months and it is now just about shoulder-length.
Last Saturday, we were told to get the girls’ hair into a bun with a net. Oh gosh, I knew I would be found out as an ‘outsider’ to this ballet world sooner or later. I had no idea where to start, or where to get a net. What did it even look like? Boots and Amazon came to the rescue and I got a whole lot of paraphernalia to create that perfect ballet bun. Oh the pressure!
Last Saturday morning, I spent an hour on YouTube watching tutorials, but I was left more confused afterwards: Ballet Bun for Short Hair, Classical Ballet Bun Tutorial, Ballet Bun for a Performance, How to make a correct Classical Hair Bun for Ballet, How to make a proper ballet bun thin hair… Aaargh! Why did they all have to contradict each other?
After feeling frustrated and a tad deflated (isn’t YouTube supposed to make it all nice and simple for us?), I took bits of advice from some of the videos and made the girls’ buns. Their ballet teachers did not wince or look at Beanie in disgust. Phew!
Now my next challenge is actually a challenge for my husband. On Saturday, Beanie needs her hair done for the last rehearsals in the studio, but I will not be home. How on earth is he going to make a perfect ballet bun when he barely manages a ponytail… Crevette suggested filming a video to show him, so we did just that last Sunday.
Here is our little video on how to make a ballet bun that will not come come apart mid-performance:
Just to recap, here are 5 tips to help you make the perfect ballet bun:
- Do not start with wet or squeaky clean hair. It is much better to work with hair that was washed a couple of days before.
- When making the ponytail, make it as tight as you can. It might hurt, but it will help prevent wisps of hair from escaping from the bun.
- Gel gets really sticky. Try to get as much as you can on the hair, and as little as possible on the skin.
- Bobby pins can make a hairdo really uncomfortable if they are positioned at an awkward angle. The trick is NOT to go straight with them. Go at an angle (‘U’ of the pin towards the centre of the bun, pins towards the outer part of the bun). Insert the pin down, and when midway, switch the angle so the ‘U’ is now facing down and the pins up. That way, the bobby pins are not stabbing the head, but they are still securing the bun. If this makes no sense, just watch the video.
- Before using hairspray, get your girl to close her eyes and put her hands over her face so she does not get her face or eyes covered in hair spray.
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Did I get this completely wrong? Have you got any other tips to make the perfect ballet bun for a show?
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