BMT: Sock Bun How-To

This has been a long time coming!  For a while, I didn’t rush to make a sock bun video because I knew YouTube was saturated with them already.  In the effort to make this website as comprehensive as possible and to include more video content, here we are

Air Force BMT Sock Bun

Recap and Products Used – None of these are affiliate links.
  • Buy all necessary hair accessories before you leave for BMT.
  • Hair accessories must match your hair color.  No black hair ties on blonde hair!  This is why it’s essential to buy your items before you leave, especially if you’re a blonde!
  • Remember that you can’t take liquids over 100 ml on the plane – as many as you can put into a quart-sized Ziploc bag.  Don’t buy huge products and expect to bring them with you.  Buy what you can in the mini-mall and if you need something specific, have your family/friends/spouse send it to you.
  • I use the Conair Bun Maker, but you can buy them in black and blond at Sally’s Beauty Supply.  The Conair one only comes in brown.  Buy at least two, as they fall apart.
  • A popular hair gel for straight hair is Got2B Glued.  If you don’t use that, grab one of the large, generic hair gels.  At home, I prefer Herbal Essences Set Me Up hair gel.
  • Spray gel is a fantastic product to finish off your bun.  It is not available at the mini-mall.  Have a friend/family member/spouse send you some.  While at BMT, my BFF sent me Ion Anti-Frizz Gel Styling Mist, from Sally’s.  It worked really well, smelled good, and lasted a long time.  At home, I like Herbal Essences Set Me Up Spray Gel, which you can find at Walmart and some drugstores.  When I found it graduation weekend at CVS, I bought two bottles to take to tech school.

photo Air Force BMT Sock Bun

  • Hairspray is fine for finishing off your style, but spray gel is easier to work with.  Many of the girls (regardless of race) used Pump It Up! hair spray which smells great and has really great hold.
  • The mini-mall sells specialty hair products for women of color, including gels and hair sprays.
  • Bring hairpins and bobby pins to use with your mesh donut.  If you have short hair or lots of flyaways, the mini bobby pins are great!
Good luck!  It takes some practice, but you’ll learn how to do it really quickly, and without the use of a mirror!  I liked to prop my Tupperware up on the urinal since most of the rest of the trainees were crowded around the sinks.


  • Nataliasaid

    I forwarded this on to my friend who's headed to Police Academy next month, she loves it! Thank you! You're so good in your videos, I couldn't do it 🙂

  • Franshesca Apontesaid

    Lol I have 4 years before I graduate :3 but I'm planning early 4 AF I guess. Been taking in all your advice and I'm pretty sure by the time I enlist I will do good. Love your advice. Easy to understand an follow 🙂 thanks a bunch!!!

  • Erinsaid

    @Franshesca – Good for you for planning ahead early! Plenty of time for you to cultivate good physical fitness and beef up your ASVAB score! Glad to help, stick with it! 🙂

  • Dsaid

    Thanks for the video and the blog, it's so helpful! I have a lot thicker,curly,frizzy, nappier type hair. I am a little concerned with the fact that hair has to be done with so little time, dry. Whenever I bun my hair for work or to workout, I always have to do it wet ( with tons of product of course). Do you know what girls with my type of hair did when they went through basics? Any information would be helpful! Thank you!

  • Erinsaid

    @D – You've very welcome! We were able to wet our hair before putting it in a bun, and it actually holds better (with the gel) for everyone that way. You'll do your hair in the latrine and have access to water from the sink.

  • Kendall593said

    I'm probably finding out my basic training date this weekend during UTA, but I was wondering if I bring the spray Herbel Essenses hair gel with me to basic will they throw it out during shakedown? I also bought a thing of Got 2B Glued as well. I already have 3 mesh buns and all the hair pins, bobby pins, and hair ties. Thank you for your time put into this blog!

  • Erinsaid

    @Kendall593 – The issue you'll run into is that you won't be able to take it on the plane in your carry-on, since they're over 3 oz. 🙁 If I were you, I'd have a parent/friend/significant other ship you the spray gel for sure. As for the Got 2B Glued, you can either have them ship that, or you can buy some down there. Glad I could help you! Have fun at your UTA!

  • Kendall593said

    Thank you so much for this blog! I have been researching for ages trying to find a specific blog about AF BMT from a female's point of view and this is the absolute best! I really appreciate your time.

  • Nicollesaid

    Do you have to do a sock bun? I twist mine tight & it holds all day. Or I braid it then twist it into a low bun just behind my left ear. Stays much better without all the product this way and I only require a few bobby pins. Would this be acceptable?

  • Erinsaid

    @Nicolle – Nope, you don't. It just has to be up off your collar and with no flyaways or stray pieces. Even if you think you don't need any product, put some in anyway.

  • Ashlee Hsaid

    I love this blog so much! It makes me feel so much better about BMT. Im extremely worried about my hair though because it is extremely damaged, has many layers to it, I have bangs I cant pull into a ponytail and my hair is about shoulder length? Any advice?

  • Erinsaid

    @Ashlee H – Thank you! My only advice to you is product, and lots of it. Your hair won't get any healthier at BMT, I'll tell you that. You'll be ready for a hot oil treatment afterwards – I know I was. Bring lots of hair and bobby pins too.