Step-by-Step for a Bouffant

Updated April 17, 2017

The bouffant hairstyle has recently made a comeback from its popularity of the 1960s. Where Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn popularised the puffed-up hairstyle 50 years ago, Amy Winehouse---and indeed, Marge Simpson---have recently brought the updo back into style. It's a style that you can create yourself, without having to rush off to the hairstylist. The high bouffant---also known as a beehive---is a classic version of the hairstyle, but there are simpler, shorter and lower versions of the same do. Choose either a full updo bouffant or one where you use only your fringe for the bouffant.

Otherwise known as a beehive hairstyle, the high bouffant is best suited to long hair. Divide the hair into three sections---one at the back and two at the front. Comb hair back into a high ponytail and secure in a hair elastic. Brush the hair through and then tease, or backcomb, with a fine tooth comb. Backcombing requires holding the hair straight up in the air, thin strands at a time, and then, with short, quick movements and starting close to the head, comb hair downwards. This might look like a knotty mess but that is what creates the height and volume. Brush the top of the ponytail to smooth the hair before lifting it and rounding the ends of the ponytail under. Pin hair in place, creating a rounded, horseshoe-shaped bun with the hair.

Working with one of the front sections of hair and taking care to leave a thin strand of hair on either side, brush the hair and then backcomb as you did with the ponytail. Smooth the top of the panel of hair and pull it upwards at a 45 degree angle towards the bun. Pull it across the bun and pin it in place. Repeat with the other front section of hair. Take the two strands of hair on either side of the face and curl slightly, creating wavy tendrils.

If you would like to create a bouffant with just your fringe, divide your hair into a front and back section. Take the front section of hair and brush it through. Backcomb the hair as for the bouffant and then smooth the top of the hair. Flip this section back over the top of your head and pin in place.

If you have short hair and want to create more height on top of your head, backcomb the front sections of hair, smooth the top of the hair and either pin it in place or smooth it down into the style you wish to have.


Use a hair filler to create additional height to your bouffant. You can use cotton or fabric as a filler or buy a filler from a hairdressing supply store.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine tooth comb
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair pins
  • Hair elastic
  • Hair filler (optional)
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About the Author

Sunny Martin has worked in communications since the mid-1980s and began blogging in 2010. She writes for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM, focusing on sport, entertainment and mental health. Martin has a Bachelor of Arts in languages from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelor of Technology in public-relations management from Cape Technikon.