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Frances McInnis Headshot

Puny Bun? Put a Sock in It

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I've spent my life making envious sideways peeks in the locker room at the gym and the bathroom at the club. Doing anxious size comparisons, and split-second estimations of length and girth. I've put so much effort into trying to hide the source of my angst, but here, in the privacy of this publicly-available website, I guess I can admit it: I am under-endowed.

In the hair department, that is. My locks are wavy, so when I have my hair down, I can fake the appearance of thickness. But my secret shame is broadcast for the world to see when I put it up in a bun. Instead of a lovely big chignon, I've got a little pimple on the back of my head. It looks preposterous. I resentfully glare at brides with big low side buns decorated with flowers, at Japanese girls with a hearty bobble on the top of their heads, at ballerinas whose buns threaten to topple their slender frames.

I was always vaguely aware that some sort of hair donut would probably beef up my nubbin, but never seriously looked into it. They always seemed too infomercial-esque, reserved for the teen hair accessory section at the back of the drugstore with the scrunchies, hair gems and those weird spiky headbands that I wore every day in grade nine.

But then, last weekend, on one of those Saturday afternoons where I was sitting around typing random search terms into YouTube (also known as every Saturday afternoon), I idly entered the words "big bun." As if a message directly from God herself, there it was, fourth result down: "The sock bun secret." I was intrigued. In some esoteric decision-making part of my brain, wearing a sock on my head seemed more palatable than buying a ready-made hair enhancement. Yeah, I don't get it either.

I watched, entranced, as the girl let me in on the sock bun secret. Here it was: a marvelously easy fix accomplished by wrapping a ponytail around a sock donut. Scavenging a black dress sock from my boyfriend's closet, I made a donut of my own according to the instructions of this charismatic hair prophet. (She is very sweet -- disproportionally apologetic about being unprepared when she doesn't have a hair elastic available around the 2:30 mark. Also, I like her accent.) Within minutes, I was sporting a robust bun. It was laughably simple. I can only shake my head and rue the years of walking around with an undersized embarrassment atop my crown.

Lesson learned: If you're not naturally well-endowed, just pad that bulge with a sock!