You've probably already got a collection of hair claws and perhaps even a handful of banana clips. But TikTokers are pretty obsessed with the French pin (also known as a hair fork) to secure an easy yet elegant low bun. The two-pronged accessory does exactly what it says on the tin and keeps hair in place but it has achieved viral status (5.9 million views) thanks to how it makes even the messiest of buns look Instagram-worthy.
So whether your preference is tortoiseshell or chrome, here's how to do the ultra chic French pin chignon bun on all hair lengths and textures, courtesy of TikTok.
How to do the French pin bun on thick hair
Claw clips can feel flimsy in thick hair but French pins are a little sturdier. Make like TikToker @saharayar (who got theirs on Amazon) and gather your hair up into a low ponytail. You can fix it with a hair tie so that it doesn't budge. Collect your lengths and twist the hair around the base of the ponytail to achieve a bun shape, keeping one hand over the bun to stop it unravelling. Hold your French pin at an angle and enter the bun at the side before bringing it upright and passing the pin right down the centre of the bun. It's that easy.
How to do the French pin bun on fine hair
Don't be fooled by the thickness of @amberrosepeakehair's lengths. This plaited bun is a genius hack for those with fine hair, especially if you want the illusion of more volume. Amber picks out two side pieces to frame the face before gathering their hair into a high ponytail. Split your ponytail into two sections and create a knot, then fashion another knot with the remaining lengths before securing the ends with hair grips. Once done, slide your French pin into the bun at a side angle until it passes all the way through. If your hair is on the fine side, you'll also love this easy French twist by @laineymariebeauty using a similar pin.
How to do the French pin bun on curly hair
TikToker @amandaasad has a handful of French pin bun tutorials on her page, including a simple twist-around. We're most enamoured of this double bun style, for which you'll need two French pins. Split your hair into two sections and clip up the top half so that you can tackle the underside first. Amanda twirls their hair around their index finger to create a twist and wraps this section into a bun before poking in the French pin at a sideways angle, then twisting it upright to secure. Repeat each step on the top section of hair and you'll have a double bun with the chic pin peeking through each one.
If your hair is curly and super thick, make like TikToker Alejandra Hernandez and slick your hair back using gel and a paddle brush. Twist your lengths round and round but let the curly ends fall over the top of your head. Slide your French pin through the twisted lengths from the top to the bottom and spritz with hairspray to finish.
How to do the French pin bun on short hair
More of a twisted bun, this is probably the easiest French pin hairstyle to try if you have short hair, courtesy of @tonirose.co. Gather your hair up as if you were fashioning a low ponytail but twist the lengths around your middle and index finger, folding the remaining ends of your hair into the twist. Hold the top section with your hand and slide in one French pin at the top, then twist it back on itself to secure. Repeat with another pin lower down to ensure your hair stays in place. This one might take a little practice to get right.
How to do the French pin bun on long hair
TikToker @lucytan21 revealed the smartest hack for acing a French pin bun on long lengths. Start by plaiting your hair as far down as you can manage, then twist it around the base, including any loose ends which didn't make it into the plait. Hold your plaited bun with one hand and slip in the French pin sideways, then twist it to keep the bun in place. Lucy picks out a few face-framing tendrils to finish.
How to do the French pin bun on medium-length hair
TikToker Olivia aka @lvblackwell simply twists their hair into a messy bun and grips the pin at the U-shaped base. Olivia then slots in the pin upside down, from the middle of the bun to the top. Once it's pulled through, you can push it through the top half of the bun. "The best part about this is that you have a full main character moment and it doesn't kink your hair, either," said Olivia.
How to do the French pin bun on natural hair
The '00s hair doughnut is back but team it with a French pin and you have a much more modern, elegant hairstyle, like this one created by Deborah Pagani on Instagram. The right hair doughnut depends on the length of your hair; if it's on the short side, for example, you'll need something relatively small. Pull your hair into a ponytail and tie with a hairband. Place your hair through the middle of the doughnut and spread your lengths over it so that the accessory is covered. Tuck your hair underneath and twist your hair around the doughnut, pushing any loose ends underneath the doughnut. Lastly, slot in the French pin at an angle.
Influencer Synnovia Howard aka @what_thehair proves that the French pin works beautifully on locs, too, especially with a bun at the front. The best thing, according to Synnovia? French pins are inexpensive and once you get the hang of using them, they become a huge keep.
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