Category Archives: hairstyling

A Tip for Your Topknot

Elizabeth Mayville Topknot Illustration
{image source}

I like big buns and I cannot lie.

But for a style that looks so effortless, it can be awfully tricky to master the just-messy-enough topknot. Or maybe it’s just me. Anyone else get a cockatoo crest on the majority of attempts?

{Yeah, it’s probably just me.}

In last month’s issue of Allure, there was a feature on How to Get Surfer-Girl Hair. It shared a tip that totally changed my topknot game: Start by working two big handfuls of mousse into your dry hair from roots to ends. The mousse gives your hair some volume and grip, making it much easier to twist into a bun without any weird pieces jutting out.

When you’re sufficiently moussed — don’t be shy; handfuls, ladies —  flip your head and roughly dry your hair with a blowdryer and your fingers. While you’re still upside down, gather all your hair into a super-high pony and secure it to the top of your head with an elastic. Give that pony a good backcombing with a teasing brush, then twist it around the base and secure with bobby pins.

Spritz it with a salt spray or hairspray for extra hold, and you’re done!

And now a confession (judge me if you will):

I used this trick to put my hair into a topknot on Monday evening, when I realized I wouldn’t have time to wash and dry before heading to a friend’s house for her birthday dinner. I slept on it for two nights, only adding a bobby pin here and there each morning to fix any loose pieces.

2.5 days of wear from five minutes of styling? I’ll take it all day and twice on Sunday.

freshly cropped

clavicut with highlights

Chopping your hair is such a thing right now, isn’t it? I jumped on the bandwagon late last week, after I realized all those topknots and tortured ponytails weren’t a fashion statement; they were a rut. I needed a makeover.

So I waltzed in to my hair appointment Thursday afternoon and declared to my stylist that it was time to freshen things up with a good old fashioned chop, “up to here.” [Insert dramatic hand-gestures to communicate desired length, somewhere between chin and shoulders.] 

We agreed to compromise with a healthy three-inch snip. “We can always take more off later,” she reasoned. But when she finished, I asked her to lop off one more inch, which removed the last of my layers and left me with a long, one-length bob that falls to my collarbone. Hash tag: clavicut.