Female Military Hair Sock Bun Instructions

Updated on February 28, 2016

What is a Sock Bun?

There are actually many different ways to make a military bun. A sock bun is one method for females in the military to get their hair into a regulation style. Sometimes, a girl's hair is a big pain in the military. I've seen tons of females get yelled at beyond belief because their hair was a mess while they were ruck marching! Apparently, your hair still needs to be perfectly in regulation while busting your butt. A sock bun is the easiest way to do this. It looks sleek and professional and it stays in place.

What You Will Need

  • Sock
  • Scissors
  • Hairbrush or Comb
  • Bobby Pins
  • 2 Hair ties
  • Hairspray or Gel

Quick Video Tutorial

Step One - Create the Sock Donut

The longer your hair is, the longer you will want the sock to be. This is because the longer the sock is, the thicker the doughnut will be that you create out of it. This makes for more area your hair has to cover and less extra hair to tuck away at the end. The concept works the opposite way for short hair and shorter socks.

If you don't want to make your own, you can buy products that are specifically for this purpose. However, The military issue black dress socks work great for this. If you don't want to cut up your dress socks, you can buy a pre-made sock bun doughnut for really cheap on Amazon or eBay.

  • Put the clean sock on your foot
  • Roll the sock down until you get to your ankle
  • Take the sock off your foot, keeping it rolled up
  • Cut the toe part of the sock off
  • Continue to roll the sock until it is in a full doughnut shape

Step Two - Put in Ponytail

  • Create a part in your hair if you would like one
  • Pull hair back into a tight ponytail at the nape of your neck. Make sure it is low enough to leave plenty of room for your cover (hat) to be on properly
  • Pin bangs down with bobby pins
  • Spray all hair, except in ponytail, with hairspray and smooth down

Step Three - Secure Sock

  • Slide the hair of your ponytail through the sock doughnut that you created
  • Make sure the doughnut is all the way down, at the base of the ponytail
  • Flip your head over and spread your hair evenly over the sock doughnut in all directions. You don't want to be able to see the sock at all.
  • If you have very thin hair, try to use a sock that matches the closest to the color of your hair. This will keep it from being obvious if it shows.
  • Place another hair tie over the hair
  • Make sure it is tight
  • Readjust hair, if needed, to cover the sock
  • Make sure you keep your head down during all of step three until you have secured the second hair tie to keep your hair from moving out of place.

Step Four - Secure Hair

  • Twist small sections of hair and tuck under bun. This should be done all the way around the bun so all the ends are twisted in together. Start at one spot and move in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction around the whole bun.
  • Once you twist the sections, make sure to wrap them around the bun to secure them in place. You are basically tucking them away out of site.
  • Pin loose ends into bun with bobby pins
  • Spray entire head with hairspray
  • Spray and pin down and extra hairs that are not securely in place

Sock Bun Alternative

Sometimes, if your hair is really long or thick, step four doesn't work out so easily because there is suck a bulk amount of hair you are tucking in. If your not able to make the sock bun work for you, there is something else you can try that is sleek, professional and secure as well.

This is actually the method I used all through basic training. It never moved all day long and looked great. I always did it when my hair was wet to make sure it was as sleek as possible. While this did look good, I ended up with moldy smelling hair. I would not suggest this in a field or training environment.

  • Follow steps 1 & 2 in the Sock Bun instructions
  • Put a enough gel on the hair in the ponytail so that it is lightly covered
  • Grab the hair in the ponytail and twist it tightly all the way to the tip of the hair
  • Wrap the twisted hair around the base of the ponytail
  • Place a hair tie around the bun you created (you can use two to make it even more secure)
  • Use bobby pics to secure and loose ends
  • Spray final bun with hairspray

Other Military Hair Tips

  • Be careful putting hair in certain kinds of buns wet. You can easily breed mold in there when your hair is wrapped up tight all day and there are no showers.
  • Think very long and hard before cutting your hair. Layers and bangs both make military buns more difficult. And, if you cut your hair too short, it may not make it into any kind of bun. That's fine if you want to deal with your hair not up while you are doing rigorous training, but I wouldn't suggest it.
  • Don't cut your hair short to look cute, I promise there is nothing cute about crazy, nappy hair in the field. You look cuter with a bun, done right!

I actually cut my hair in AIT to my chin and regretted it. I had to get up every morning and straighten my hair so it wasn't crazy. Also, waiting for it to grow back out was the worst. Then, there is to point where your hair is too long to be in regulation worn down but too short to be in a nice bun. I always looked so sloppy when I was growing my hair out after cutting it.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Annie 23 months ago

        I don't know about everywhere, but you are not allowed to bring hairspray to Marine boot camp.

      • profile image

        Kimberly 3 years ago

        This was super helpful! And it doesn't look that difficult. Thank you for the video and tips :)

      • Learning in Life profile image

        Megan Sisko 5 years ago from SW Florida

        Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. : )

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

        Good for you for sharing your method with tips, and thanks for your service to our military as a medic!

      • rodney southern profile image

        rodney southern 5 years ago from Greensboro, NC

        I always thought this style looked cool. I had a good friend when I was stationed in Baumholder, Germany that wore it like that and was always shocked at how long it was down. Great hub and video!

      • Learning in Life profile image

        Megan Sisko 5 years ago from SW Florida

        Thanks, it does look good as just an everyday hairstyle but its best for military because it doesn't move! lol

      • innerspin profile image

        Kim Kennedy 5 years ago from uk

        We have an ex navy nurse at work, this is just how her hair looks. I was amazed how long it was off duty. Wonder how long it will take me to grow my hair and have a go....This looks very useful, good stuff.