Easy Summer Hair – How-To Style a Perfect Sock Bun

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Plus Nicholas Penna, Jr Shares Six Tips to Keep your Hair Healthy all Summer Long

How-To Style a Perfect Sock Bun

We’re thrilled to welcome back hair expert Nicholas Penna, Jr., owner and lead stylist of SalonCapri, and a coveted mainstay every year at New York Fashion Week.

Today, Nick is sharing the secrets behind healthy summer hair as well as the details on how to create one of the summer’s hottest looks – the Sock Bun. Nick loves this style because it’s elegant, simple and can be worn when you are dressed up or down. He tells us “It’s perfect for going to the beach or something more formal like work or a wedding.”

How To Create a Sock Bun

Start by blow-drying hair with a boar bristle brush.

Once hair is dry, apply a dime-sized drop of smoothing serum to the shafts and ends of hair. Nick recommends Shu Uemura’s Silk Mesh for added shine and softness.

Using a fine-tooth comb to smooth out bumps, slick hair back into a high ponytail at the crown of your head and secure it with an elastic.

Cut off the end of a clean, unwanted sock (where your toes would be), and roll it up into a donut shape.

Place the sock around the base of the ponytail so that it is tightly against your head.

Tilt your head slightly forward and spread your ponytail evenly around the sock so that half of your hair is toward the top of the sock, pointing toward your forehead, and half is at the bottom, pointing toward your back.

Use a second hair elastic to wrap and secure hair around the outside of the sock, creating a ballerina-bun at the crown of your head.

Twist remaining hair in one direction and use bobby-pins to tuck and clip the ends underneath your bun.

Finish with a light application of hairspray. Nick swears by Shu Uemura’s Sheer Lacquer.

Voilà – who would have thought there was a sock in there?

As a bonus, Nick offers our readers his favorite tips and tricks to keep your hair healthy inside and out during the dog days of summer.

Six Tips for Healthy, Shiny, Summer Hair

1. Shower Before a Swim
Chlorine, salt, and natural lake sediment wreak havoc on your hair, so before you take the plunge, Nick suggests a pre-wash and condition. It may sound weird to shower before getting in the water, but allowing your hair to soak up fresh, filtered water prevents it from absorbing the harmful properties of chlorine or salt.

After stepping out of the shower (or from under the hose) spray in or comb through a leave-in conditioner to further hydrate your locks. Nick recommends L’Oreal’s Professionnel Serie Solar Sublime After-Sun Balm.

2. Lighten up
Summer is the time to let your hair go a couple shades lighter – but Nick warns that remedies like lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide can increase dryness and breakage. To avoid this, Nick suggests applying a mixture of lemon juice and conditioner on your dampened hair. This allows the sun to lighten up those roots while keeping your hair moisturized!

3. Rehab Your Hair
When you officially retire from beach bummin’ for the day, make sure to hop in the shower and start rehabbing your hair. Nick suggests using a restorative shampoo, such as Shu Uemura’s Silk Bloom Restorative Shampoo, which removes chemicals and helps rebuild your hair’s fibers.

TIP: If you’re showering before bed, don’t rinse out the conditioner. Instead, leave it in and wrap your wet, conditioned hair in a hand towel and fasten with an elastic. Let your hair rehab overnight and absorb all the moisturizing agents of the conditioner. Then give yourself a fabulous blow dry with a round brush in the morning – Nick guarantees that your ‘do will be full of body, shine, and irresistible softness!

4. Keep Hair Strong
To prevent your hair from split ends, it’s always a good idea to get a trim and treatment done at your local salon once a month. For a wallet friendly alternative, Nick recommends L’Oreal’s Professionnel Nature Serie Richesse Sulfate-Free Masque as a once a week deep condition.

TIP: Nick advises eating proteins like fish and nuts to keep your hair healthy. This will enhance your hair’s strength and prevent breakage.

5. Fight Frizz
The summer humidity can make your straight hair go frizzy in a matter of minutes! Nick prevents this by using a good moisturizing cream-based product. Put a little dollop of the product in your hands and run your fingers through your hair, spreading the product evenly throughout your locks. This is a great way to tame the frizzes while adding moisture back in your hair.

TIP: For emergency fixes, Nick says to keep dryer sheets to smooth hair down. Not only will it take the frizz out, but it will add shine and leave your hair smelling fresh all day!

6. Condition, Condition, Condition
Summer heat can cause weak and dry hair fast. A salon conditioning treatment instantly adds life and moisture to your hair. Nick says it’s the best $25 you’ll ever spend! He recommends something as simple as L’Oreal’s Power Dose, which gives your hair a boost of condition and shine.

TIP: If you can’t splurge on a salon conditioning treatment, the tried and true at-home remedy of olive oil works too. Nick’s recipe is to take 1 tablespoon of household olive oil, rub it in the palms of your hands, and smooth it through damp hair. If you want a deep condition, leave the olive oil for an hour or two, if you want a light condition, rinse it out immediately. This is a great way to cure dry, damaged, split hair from the sun and chlorine.

Thanks to Nick and the folks at SalonCapri for the Sock Bun directions and healthy hair advice!

we heartsters – are you planning on trying the Sock Bun for a glam summer look? And how do you keep your locks in top shape during the months of high heat and humidity?

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  1. My hair is long enough now to try this! I’m so excited! Thanks for the step-by-step lesson Nick! I also do what he suggests before swimming.. It has really made a difference, my color lasts and the condition of it stays healthy. I also wear a bathing cap and showercap. Yup, really a sight for sore eyes!

  2. I don’t get frizzies, but then I have really oily hair, so I have to shampoo my hair (twice!) every day to get out enough oil to make my hair sane enough to work with. It’s not due to products or anything, it’s just my genetics. Oie.

    Something that I find really works for me is learning different braiding styles so you don’t break your hair. If you keep your hair in a ponytail all summer (and worse yet, keep your ponytail in the same spot), you’ll probably notice your hair starting to break where you place your ponytail. Braids put less stress on your hair, but I change my braids everyday. French braid down the middle one day, diagonal three-strand Dutch braid from left-to-right the next, do two Dutch braids-one on each side-the next, four strand the next, crown Dutch braid…it keeps my hair from being damaged. Braids are interesting, yet provide crucial cover for my scalp so it doesn’t burn.

    Don’t forget to use hair products with SPF! It provides crucial cover for your scalp and hair! I tend to wear a hat as I keep forgetting to pick up a hair product with SPF in it whenever I’m at Ulta.

    I also do a deep conditioning treatment once a week. For people who want to keep it cheap, Aussie’s 3 Minute Deeeep is a great product (but it smells like coconuts, and it’s a pretty strong smell so sensitive noses beware!) I tend to use Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Conditioning Balm which, while more expensive, has no scent which is better for my very sensitive nose.

    Also, I don’t tease my hair. If you wonder why your hair looks so lackluster and frayed after backcombing/teasing, it’s because your taking your brush/comb, and rubbing it against the grain of the outer layer of your hair cuticles! Don’t tease your hair, ladies. It’s just not good for that pretty hair!

    1. You’re so right @katezena – I totally see hair breakage when I resort to my ponytail for months on it. Luckily, I have super thin hair that I can twist into a sloppy bun and pin with a big barrette – it keeps my hair in place and is a bit ‘softer’ on my hair. I envy you for your braiding skills – I can barely braid hair on other peoples head – and my own? Forget it! I’m a total klutz with braids.

    2. @tyna I cannot, for the life of me, braid someone else’s hair. Doesn’t work. It works about as well as me on a balance beam if it were high up–I’d fall the minute I got up there. I learned to braid actually when I was little by practicing on my Barbies and it was part of my therapy (yep, everything comes back to working on those fine and gross motor skills that I lacked as a child!) I then graduated to the side of my head and then to full parts. I still do it when I learn a new one (well, axe the Barbie part. I work on the side of my head.) I actually have a video of myself demonstrating this whole kooky idea which I’ll leave believe for you. (OMG, I have a video!!! NO WAY!!! Yes, I do. One of two. I don’t like showing my face. It was a request though.) You’ll notice my hair is pretty fine too. I learned four-strand braiding from YT, and I STILL struggle with it. It’s so hard! How to people do five, six even nine strand braiding. It blows my mind!


      (By the way, this video is, like, dated. Those three front teeth on the right are hasta la vista. They’ve been officially replaced with crowns. Well, temporary 4 year ones. Yea, dental work is amazing. Ha ha ha ha!)

    3. Your video is cute @katezena – and I’m impressed you can braid with four strands, I can barely do three!

    4. I love your tutorial @katezena! And thank you for the fabulous idea of practicing braiding on dolls – that’s exactly how I’m going to have my husband practice this summer, since unfortunately he’s going to have to be the one who gets our daughter ready for preschool in the mornings come this fall. And by the way, your makeup is gorgeous too!
      On a side note, I wish there was a video with the sock bun instructions – I also am a visual learner and was pretty much lost by the fourth bullet point!

    5. @stef Oh, do I struggle with that four strand, especially FRENCH four strand. OMG. Trying to keep track of four strands is hard, especially when you have fingers like mine! It’s like, “Okay, where did they all go? Am I okay? One, two, three….where did number four go? UGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH. I have to start all over again!!!” How do those people keep track of six or eight (much less hold them all), I have no idea. Four is hard enough.

      @melinda Just make sure you watch him. I tend to notice if someone yanks hard on a doll…they yank hard on your hair. Personal experience tends to ring true on this one. I used to go to school feeling like my scalp was going to rip off from my forehead whenever my mom did my hair and she about ripped off Barbie’s head when styling (um, poor Barbie?) (For my makeup, I think I was wearing a discontinued Tarte eyeshadow duo in Kalalau Trail which I got in my Pet of the Month box from wht. I think. That was a loooooong time ago. Looks like it though.)

  3. Love the lock of the Sock Bun – and that it’s a new look for wearing my hair up and away from my face and neck when it’s hot outside. Super cute!

    And I’m intrigued with the idea of conditioning my hair before swimming – I’m pretty good about washing the chlorine, etc out of my hair when I’m done swimming – and giving it a good conditioning treatment – but I like the idea of treating it before I dive in. I’m going to have to give it try.

  4. I love the idea of this bun! It is a great way to make your hair look neat and away from your face.

  5. My sister is planning to sport this hairstyle for a date. I hope that we will be able to do it right.

  6. I’m really curious about this sock bun! I’ve been seeing it all over pinterest. Unfortunately, my hair is much too short to try it at the moment.

  7. I love the sock bun, but my hair is just a tad to short for it…doesn’t work as well as I’d hope. But it a great look, especially during this hot summer we are having.

  8. Cute idea! My buns fall flat sometimes or don’t have that oomph I always envy girls on the Internet having haha. I must try this. Good thing i have black socks that match my hair ;)

  9. One quick tip I picked up in Brazil is to use a small (pea-sized) amount of any Keratin based conditioner or anti-frizz treatment and work it through your hair with a brush before leaving the house every morning.
    Really doesn’t have to be anything special – although I’ve actually even used a full on Keratin straightening product for this with great results.

    Fab post by the way. Lots of useful tips.

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