The Bun Style and the Hair Fork That (Mostly) Eased Me Off Hair Elastics

published Apr 28, 2017
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Last year I came across a video of a young woman repeatedly wrapping her hair into a specific bun style — a nautilus bun — and securing it with a single hair stick. It was transfixing, and it seemed to promise an old-fashioned solution to the modern-day I-don’t-have-a-hair-elastic problem, as well as a potential solution to the hair-elastics-have-been-tearing-my-hair-out-for-decades problem. I’m not sure that the second problem is totally the hair elastics’ fault, but in any case I was curious about this bun and these hair sticks (and hair forks).

Here’s another video, from a different YouTuber, demonstrating one method of making the nautilus bun and securing it with a hair stick (although there’s a whole world of these videos, too, and for all different hair types and lengths):

I started practicing the bun technique with a (smooth) pencil, and then a pen. Eventually I got familiar enough with the shapes and twists of the bun that it took me only about 10 seconds to put together, and it became my default hairstyle. Although I think I do it my own way, not quite like I’ve seen demonstrated; it’s hard to pause the videos and rewind when both your hands are tied up in your own hair. (I tried to make my version into a GIF, but it was more difficult than anticipated, and I now have new respect for people who make videos like this.)

(Image credit: Edith Zimmerman)

Pens and pencils, always easy to find, are generally a good bun-supporting strength and length (depending on your hair — mine is medium-long and thin, although any longish hair length would work with this technique). But eventually I started looking into the world of handmade wooden hair sticks/forks, which is big on Etsy. I wanted a plain one made of nice wood, so I ordered two walnut hair forks from Canadian Woodcrafts, and I’ve been wearing one pretty much every day since. (Lots of metal hair sticks/forks are pretty, too.)

(Image credit: Edith Zimmerman)

Anyway, so that’s the story of my conversion to hair forks. Check them out, if you’re interested. I haven’t used a hair elastic more than a handful of times since, despite still always wearing one on my wrist.

(Oh and if you want to get really fancy, there’s a whole world of hair-stick arranging to fall into. Especially the Japanese kanzashi. Here’s one place to start. And another.)