Chignons are generally achieved by pinning the hair into a knot at the nape of the neck or at the back of the head, but there are many different variations of the style. They are usually secured with accessories such as barrettes and/or hairpins. Chignons are frequently worn for special occasions, like weddings and formal dances, but the basic chignon is also worn for everyday casual wear.
The chignon can be traced back to ancient Greece, where Athenian women commonly wore the style with gold or ivory handcrafted hairpins. Athenian men wore the style as well, but they fastened their chignons with a clasp of "golden grasshoppers", according to The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides. The chignon was specific to Athens, as other city states, such as Sparta and Cyprus, had their own style of hairdressing. The chignon was also popular in ancient China, where married women wore the low, knotted hairstyle.
- Lisa Rein and Emily Wax, Aung San Suu Kyi finds common cause with Russian dissident punk rockers, Washington Post. September 20, 2012.
- Cox, Caroline and Leguen, Jean Marie. "Chignon". 8 September 2003. BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour. British Broadcasting Company. Accessed 29 April 2007.
- Martin, Kiley. "Early Hairstyling of the Hellenistic Period in Ancient Greece". Morbid Outlook. Accessed 29 April 2007.
- DeBrohun, Jeri. "Power Dressing in Ancient Greece and Rome". National Center for History Education-Commonwealth History Project. Accessed 29 April 2007.
- "History of Hair". 2004. UKHairdressers. Accessed 29 April 2007.
- Mayer, Tanna, et al. "How to Style a Classic Chignon". 28 March 2007. Wikihow. Accessed 29 April 2007.
- Bustle-era hairstyles
- He Knew He was Right, Ch. VIII