One of the things I miss most about long hair is being able to easily throw it all up in a big messy bun on top of my head. It was my go-to for dirty hair, lazy days or next day hair. And also really an instant updo that looked like I put in some sort of effort if done well. With short hair, I’ve had to embrace the half top knot since I no longer can do a fun high ponytail. And to be honest, I don’t wear this easy to do style enough!
A half topknot is super easy and a really cute hairstyle. It’s also a really fun update to my everyday waves. Some people have a hard time creating a perfect messy bun so I’m hoping these step by step instructions and images will help.
All you need is your trusty hair elastic. If you like, you can also add in some texturizing spray and/or dry shampoo for additional grit. This is a great hair style for straight hair or curly hair, and everything in-between! So here’s how to do a half top knot for short or even long hair. It works for every length!
How To Do A Half Topknot
Step One – Start With Beachy Waves
First, start with beachy waves. I sometimes use a curling iron which you can see in THIS loose wave hair tutorial or a wand which you can see in THIS tutorial. You don’t HAVE to do loose waves, but I think it adds to the texture and overall look of this style.
This look totally works with also a perfectly straight sleek blowout. For additional grit and texture to help the hair hold, you can also add in some dry shampoo (I love these) and some texturizing spray. This is extra helpful if you have fine hair. And if you’ve got curly hair, embrace them!
Pull the front section of your hair back pulling from the sides of your forehead (do not go too far over!) and back before you hit the crown of your head. You don’t want to pull it so far back as the knot needs to truly be on top of your head. You’re essentially grabbing a big square top section. I personally leave the sides down but that’s just a preference. Feel free to do a true half up by grabbing hair straight from where your ears are.
You can also part your hair down the middle instead of not having a part show. I think this is just a preference and is totally up to you. If you rock a middle part all the time, you may find that your hair naturally will part here when you pull it back and I say, embrace it!
Step Three – Grab Your Hairtie!
Grab your hair tie and tie it around the section once pulling the hair all the way through.
Next, take the section and pull it through the hair tie again but only 2/3 of the way. You want to leave a little behind so that you can make a loop/knot with it. That little bit that sticks out is how you get that perfectly undone look!
Twist the hair tie (leaving that 1/3 section still out) and tie it around the 2/3 section to create the messy knot. Twist around once more if you have slack in the hair tie and continue to create lumps/messiness. The messier the better. I personally love a messy top knot!
If you need to, you can pull the bun apart a bit and tweak it as you need to. If you have some crazy pieces that aren’t cooperating, you can always use a few bobby pins to keep things in a place.
See how to style your top knot with these looks!
A half top knot is such a fun style to wear from day to day errands, out on the weekend with friends, but even for an event. You can dress it up or down. You can make it as messy or tame as you like. I’ve styled it a few ways on the blog before. Below are a couple of my personal favorite looks.
One more casual weekend look in an easy breezy dress and booties. And the other, a more put together look with denim trousers and a feminine blouse. And the third is a great example of a half top knot that pulls more hair from the sides and isn’t necessarily on top of your head. I actually find myself doing that style the most and pulling the top section farther back on my head.
This is also just a great way to keep your hair out of your face that isn’t in a ponytail. I recently went even shorter with my bob and a ponytail is hard to stay put. So a half top knot is a great alternative for super short hair. But again, this works on long hair too! I’ve even done a braided top knot before which you can check out here. A fun twist on this simple look!
How To Do The Top Knot Step By Step
A step by step tutorial on how I do my half top knot. This method works for any length hair and also if you choose to do a full top knot and not just a half. It’s all about the undone vibe that makes it feel effortless.
Check out more hair tutorials here!
Other Top Knot Hairstyle Ideas
You don’t have to just do a half top knot on straight or wavy hair. And you don’t have to just pull it straight back. You can totally get creative and try fishtail braiding or french braiding into a half top knot. Check out my french braid half top knot tutorial here. Just swap out the french braid for your favorite braid to create something new and different.
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