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  • Writer's pictureAdelle Tracey

Bridal Looks: Elegant Chignon Up do

The chignon is such a gorgeous elegant style for brides, especially if wearing a veil. The hair is simple styled into a low bun at the nape of the neck with volume at the crown to create lift. Hair can be twisted or plaited into the chignon bun and a veil can be added to slot seamlessly above the bun.

The photo's included are from friend and fellow athlete Melissa Courtney-Bryant's wedding day. Melissa is a Commonwealth games bronze medalist over 1500m and European Indoor Medalist over 3000m on the track. Melissa and I have known and raced each other since the age of 12, so I was honoured when she asked me to do her hair and makeup for her beautiful wedding in the New Forest.


I always recommend brides do not have freshly washed hair especially if their hair is straight and fine. This is because its difficult to create texture with clean hair and I find the style lasts longer when hair has had a day to produce some natural oils. If hair is particularly oily or is washed regularly I'd recommend washing hair the night before as opposed to the morning of the wedding. Melissa washed her hair the night before because she had to run, which was fine as her hair is naturally wavy and has a good amount of texture.


STEP 1 - Detangle and prime To protect the hair I used Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer - £22 as a heat defence. Then using the Tangle Teezer Compact Styler - £14 to brush the hair, starting at the ends and detangling up to the roots.

STEP 2 - Section the hair

To section the hair I always use my trusty pintail comb (HEAD JOG 203 Pintail comb - £0.84), sectioning the hair into two sections down the centre and from crown to ear to create three sections.

STEP 3 - Apply Heated rollers & curl remaining hair

As Melissa usually wears her hair styled in a centre parting I applied the heated rollers in a traditional set to the top section of hair using BaByliss BOUTIQUE SALON CERAMIC ROLLERS - £50 . For the bottom section I used the MARK HILL UNDONE CURLING TONG - £26.99 to add soft waves to the hair that would eventually become the bun. I normally move onto makeup while the heated rollers cool.


Once heater rollers are completely cool, I unravel the hair gently to ensure I don't create frizz.


STEP 1- Apply volumising product to the roots

I used a small amount Bumble & Bumble Prêt-à-powder - £23 to add volume to Melissa's roots and help create texture, making the style long lasting.

STEP 2 - Apply Hairspray To hold the curls while manipulating the hair, I applied a light spritz of L'Oréal Hairspray Elnett Strong Hold & Shine 400ml- £6.69. This helps to hold the shape created with heat but the good thing about Elnett is that it easily brushes out. Let the hair sit for a minute to dry, before continuing styling.

STEP 3 - Creating height

To create height to the middle section of the hair I used a DENMAN D91 - Dressing out brush -£5

to back brush the hair. To back brush the hair without damaging it, start at the roots and gently comb towards the roots. Once satisfied with the height, I take a small section of hair from the front to smooth over the back brushed area (so it cannot be seen).

STEP 4 - Shaping The Bun Melissa wanted a small neat 'Meghan Markle' esque bun. To achieve this I used Invisibobble bun shaper clicky bun - to be or nude to be - £6.95 to help shape in this style. You can also create a bigger bun by wrapping the hair round the circumference of a hairspray can and gripping into place (this works well with thin or fine hair textures).

STEP 5 - Assembling the style

To keep the front section of the hair tidy whilst assembling the rest of the style, I used two sectioning clips to hold the hair in pin curls. Using my Denman dressing out brush with Elnet applied to the bristles, I smoothed the remaining sections of Melissa's hair into the low bun. Crossing them over to create a bit of interest to the style.

STEP 6 - Reinforce Using matt blonde grips, I gripped underneath the bun to reinforce the sturdiness of the style. No grips should be visible but I always use matt ones incase the flash from the camera picks up on them.

STEP 7 - Set & Add accessories

After reinforcing, I removed the sectioning clips holding the pin curls and using L'Oréal Hairspray Elnett Strong Hold & Shine I used one hand to shelter Melissa's Face and sprayed a healthy amount of hairspray all over to set the style. I used the smallest amount of UNITE U LUXERY Argan Oil -£32 on the ends and middle of the hair for a touch of shine.

Melissa had a beautiful lace veil with a long train which meant it had a good amount of weight to it. So to ensure the veil was securely attached, I cross gripped under the Veil comb to slot in just above the bun. Melissa also had a jewelled accessory which matched the waistband on her dress, this easily slotted in just about the veil to complete the look.

As always it was a pleasure to be a part of such special morning and makeup gorgeous Melissa and her bridal party on her wedding day.

All photo's by Martin Bell Photography


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