How to Do a Military Bun? – Step-by-Step with Tutorial Video

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

how to do a military bun

Women in the military usually keep their hair in army buns secured by a strong hold hair gel or hairspray. While this may sound simple, to make a military bun stay tidy the whole day may require more skill and practice.

Women of the force follow rules of grooming that specify the correct way of hairstyling. Military bun regulations are put in place in order to ensure that female soldiers’ performance are not hindered while on duty and to reduce risks during training and other similar physical activities.

Read more to know how to do a military bun.

Military and Police Bun Tutorial

What to prepare to tie a military sock bun

  1. Strong hold gel, hairspray – Choosing a hair gel or hairspray that works best for your hair type, especially for short hair.
  2. Bobby pins – Bobby pins will be most needed for layered haircuts or those with shorter hair
  3. Black band or any black hair tie – For a clean look, avoid colorful or attention-catching hair ties; clear hair elastics work well with blonde hair.
  4. Detangling brush – Coarse and curly hair may need effortful detangling before tying the bun.
  5. Sock or hair donut – A sock may be rolled into a hair donut if a store bought one isn’t available. If you’re making the hair donut from a sock, consider the thickness of the sock as it will later determine the size of the hair donut. Thin hair will require a smaller hair donut.
  6. Leave-In Conditioner (Optional) – Those with curly hair find styling easier if they apply leave-in conditioner as a preparatory step in the process.
  7. Hair Mousse (Optional) – Those with frizzy hair need hair mousse to ensure that their hair is more manageable when tying the bun.

Remember that this method works best for military ball hairstyles for medium length hair or long hair.

Step 1: Condition your hair


Usually, you start with freshly washed hair. Make sure to dry it first before styling.

Apply leave-in conditioner if you think your hair would need extra treatment. Others prefer applying hair mousse instead.

Detangle your hair with a detangling brush or a loose-toothed comb. This will ensure your hair is free of knots. Knots and tangles may hinder achieving a clean and tight hair bun.

Step 2: Tie your hair in a ponytail


Once your hair is dry, conditioned and free from tangles, you may now part your hair according to preference. Some prefer a side part, while others prefer the traditional middle part.

  1. Proceed by tying your hair in a low ponytail. If you wish for the bun to settle a bit higher, tie your ponytail a little higher.
  2. Make sure to continuously smoothen your hair with your hands or a fine-toothed comb before finalizing with a hair tie. Make sure all the hair is flat against your head.
  3. If the hair tie cannot secure stubborn strands of short hair, go ahead and secure them with bobby pins instead. Make sure to choose the bobby pins that match your hair color.

Step 3: Do the sock bun


  1. If without a donut, you can cut the toe part of a sock and roll it inward until the whole sock forms into something resembling a donut. It would be better to choose a sock that is close to if not exactly the same color as your hair.
  2. Grab your hair donut and pull the tail end of your ponytail through, sliding the hair donut as close as possible to your head’s crown. Then, wrap the remaining hair around the donut (as seen in the picture above).
  3. Secure the hair donut in place by tying a hair tie around it. Don’t bother about the extra pieces of hair yet.

Step 4: Finalize the hairstyle


  1. Take the extra pieces of hair and secure them around the bun. For long hair, you may tie the remaining strands in a braid before wrapping it around the sock bun.
  2. For shorter hair, you may twist the remaining strands and wrap them around the sock bun. If the remaining strands are too short, go ahead and pin them as close to the bun as possible using bobby pins.
  3. Lock in the style with hairspray or hair gel.

Steps to Do a Military Bun Without a Sock


You can opt for other military bun hairstyles instead of with a donut or a sock if your hair is too short or too thin for the sock bun.

  1. Proceed with conditioning your hair, then tie it into a ponytail.
  2. Then, twist and wrap your hair in a bun and secure it with bobby pins and a hair tie.
  3. You can use a hair net to cover and secure the bun, if you have one.
  4. Afterward, finish up with hairspray.

Other military bun ideas include tying the ponytail into 2 braids and then twisting the braids into a bun. This creates a better hold than the simple twisted hair bun previously introduced.

The army has even expanded the allowed hairstyles for female soldiers to include styles beyond the typical hair buns. Now, female soldiers may wear them in a single or double braid and even in a ponytail, so long as it does not go beyond the lower end of the shoulder blades.

However, if you ask the women of the force, the best basic training hair for females would still be the traditional hair bun.


Learning how to do a military bun is a skill that even women who are not on the force may keep in handy. A neat hairstyle never hurt anyone anyway!

It is also an empowering fact that the army has now opened its rule book to welcome more grooming options for female soldiers especially because continuous styling and application of hair products may be damaging to the hair and scalp.

Hopefully this jam-packed read was helpful to you. Cheers!

5/5 - (2 votes)