How To

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How to: Do a Donut Bun

Fri, 26 October 2012 4:08PM

You might have spotted celebrities wearing a hair style that can only be described as a donut bun. For example, check out Lauren Conrad’s ‘do here:

Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Bosworth are other fans of this fancy top-knot.

What’s more, Erin, the features & beauty editor of The Knot, our sister bridal site, has been owning the style in our office lately. So we just had to beg her to show us how it’s done.

What You’ll Need: A paddle brush, loads of bobby pins, an elastic band, hairspray, and a ‘hair donut’. This ring-shaped padding, found at hair supplies stores, usually comes in several shades -the idea is to match it as closely to your hair colour as possible.

What You Do:

  • Pull hair into a high ponytail, smoothing it with a paddle brush as you go. Secure with an elastic. Erin’s tip: spray bristles of brush with hairspray as this helps enhance smoothness as well as tame flyways. If you have fine hair, it’s best to work with second-day hair, as you’ll have more ‘grip’.

  • Place your donut around the base of your ponytail.

  • Lean forward a little so that your ponytail hair splays over the donut. Unless you have a friend on hand to help, you’ll need to feel your way around to make sure the donut is completely covered.

  • Now comes the tricky part. Find a place at the front of the donut and start to curve hair around, tucking it under and pinning it into the donut as you go. Keep working – and pinning – all around. Erin’s tip: Don’t stress too much with this part – unless you’re a bride, it actually looks better if it’s a little imperfect!

  •  And voilà!

  • PS – because Erin is the bridal beauty expert, we couldn’t resist asking her to dress up her donut bun a little … If you actually are a bride-to-be and are considering wearing your hair this way on the Big Day, try pairing it with a lace-trimmed antique-style veil, pinned in place just underneath.

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31 Comments

  • Posted by: Veruca Salt // Fri, 26 October 2012 04:17pm

    I love this look but have lots of layers and find they stick up and are not long enough to cover even a small donut ring. I have tried fake hair into the mix of my own hair but it just doesn’t look right. Any suggestions on buns when you have layers? Thanks :)

  • Posted by: Kat // Fri, 26 October 2012 06:37pm

    I find using one of those tiny clear elastics after u position hair around the donut works best for mine instead of all the pins, I have long hair and use that rest after the elastic to twist and pin or to plait it then pin, works with layers too it holds then in more.

  • Posted by: Sarah // Fri, 26 October 2012 08:34pm

    This look’s been around for a while.

  • Posted by: Hayley Bennett Enthusiast // Fri, 26 October 2012 08:40pm

    Hi Veruca, I have fine hair with layers and I find that because my hair doesn’t spray over the ponytail like Erin’s does in the picture, I tease my ponytail, and then wrap it around the donut like a coil, ensuring it’s all covered. Let me know how you go! x H

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Sat, 27 October 2012 11:14am

    I bought a hair donut but i just couldnt manage to get the donut fully covered with my hair. This is such a great guide, ill try again. I love the tip of learning foward so your hair is evenly placed around the donut.

  • Posted by: misschris Master Fan // Sat, 27 October 2012 04:17pm

    I used this same thing on my sister last year for her hen’s day at the races, it looks great!!

  • Posted by: Elizabeth // Mon, 29 October 2012 07:05am

    This is also known as a sock bun. Use a rolled up sock minus its toe as the dounut, then once you have spread the hair over the sock position another hairtie around the base of the ponytail – then plat or twist the remaining hair and pin with only one or two pins. This works a treat and has been used as a bun for the defence forces for years. Look at youtube if you need more help.

  • Posted by: viva // Mon, 29 October 2012 09:44am

    Thanks guys…love the fancy top-knot! Didn’t realize how easy it can be to achieve this look using a donut.

  • Posted by: nadia Master Fan // Mon, 29 October 2012 12:27pm

    I love this look but sadly can’t do it at the moment because my hair is too short. Yet another reason I’m growing it long again!

  • Posted by: Caitlin // Mon, 29 October 2012 05:14pm

    Fair enough if you have finer or shorter hair, however I find that with hair at the length of the model’s here, twisting it down from the ends of the ponytail looks a lot neater/tighter/more polished than doing it this way shown.

  • Posted by: Aeron Winters // Wed, 31 October 2012 01:39pm

    I love this look and wear it quite often. I have a lot of layers in my hair, but thankfully the shortest is just long enough to tuck under the donut if I position it in just the right spot. I love to tuck a bow or a flower into the side of mine too, just for fun.

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Wed, 31 October 2012 03:40pm

    Cute, but it wouldn’t work on my super long, layered hair :(

  • Posted by: Hayley // Wed, 31 October 2012 04:10pm

    I have one of these and I pull it to the end of my ponytail and tuck it in gradually over the donut until the donut reaches my head. It works really well and I don’t even need bobby pins!

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Sat, 3 November 2012 07:43pm

    Love this! Looks pretty simple to do too.

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Tue, 6 November 2012 11:13am

    omg, i love it! now i know how kate bosworth does that perfect and huge top knot! yay.where do you get a hair doughnut and how much are they?do priceline sell them???

  • Posted by: deborah bowen // Sat, 10 November 2012 09:41am

    your instruction were so easy to follow thanks Im loving my donut bun

  • Posted by: Mia // Sat, 10 November 2012 06:09pm

    Hey Veruca
    Maybe a hair net? I remember using them when I was doing ballet as a young girl.

  • Posted by: Mia // Sat, 10 November 2012 06:16pm

    PS You can make hair-nets pretty by super-gluing pearls or beads etc

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Wed, 14 November 2012 08:38pm

    I’m not sure how I feel about this look, the bun looks so darn BIG. Am tempted to try it though.

  • Posted by: Anna Le Merle // Wed, 14 November 2012 11:07pm

    I got my hair donut today (from Petra for those ladies who aren’t sure where to go) and am going to try this out tomorrow. Looking forward to my new look. :) Thanks Erin.

  • Posted by: Ezza // Thu, 22 November 2012 02:36pm

    Hi, you can get hair donuts at Kmart for $4, much cheaper than I’ve seen them in priceline etc. I often use this as second day hairstyle, and use an elastic and then bobby pins.

  • Posted by: daylight dancer Master Fan // Tue, 4 December 2012 03:03pm

    I tried again following the advice in this article and it works!! And its so easy! I love how my hair looks with a donut bun.
    Thanks so much primped!

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Fri, 14 December 2012 05:13pm

    love this look

  • Posted by: Melissa // Thu, 20 December 2012 05:31pm

    Ladies, if you have a mismatched sock lying around you can always use this as your donut, simply cut where the toes go and roll the sock up, and thats it, your own DIY sock at no charge!

  • Posted by: Karly // Sun, 27 January 2013 03:44pm

    I just bought a donut, tried the style & my hair is apparently WAY too thick and long. tried pinning it around, but alas, too much hair.its much too obvious lol

  • Posted by: canberra Master Fan // Tue, 29 January 2013 02:26pm

    Tipping your head forward is the trick for this for it to work – I use an elastic instead of bobby pins for the final part as my hair is not quite that long.

  • Posted by: canberra Master Fan // Tue, 29 January 2013 02:29pm

    tipping your head forward is the trick to getting it right – I use an elastic instead of bobby pins as my hair is not quite that long – but I do love it.

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Wed, 10 April 2013 09:40am

    Aahh, so that’s how you do it, thanks.

  • Posted by: aliasam47 Master Fan // Tue, 6 August 2013 02:01pm

    I like this version a lot better than trying to roll your hair into a sock from the ends – so hard when you have layers!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Tue, 6 August 2013 03:10pm

    Gosh you made that look easy, I have a donut bun and I am all hands trying to fiddle with bits of hair and twine, I end up with bulges and back to the drawing board. hehehe

  • Posted by: Sara // Wed, 8 January 2014 05:13pm

    thank you for showing me even though im still not the best at it, but you really helped me so once again thank you.