When it comes to, no-muss, no-fuss hairstyles, you can’t beat the half-up topknot. It’s perfect for hot summer days and whenever you don’t feel like spending too much time on your hair. The casual-chic coif is so effortless that it can take just seconds to style. Yet, it still adds a certain polish -- even if you haven’t shampooed in days. Whether your style is spontaneous or structured, this go-to do offers the best of both worlds: an easy, relaxed vibe and the cool, off-your-face advantage of an updo.
This versatile up-and-down style is an equal-opportunity option. It works on every kind of hair: long, short, curly, straight, layered and blunt cut. Some people are so taken with the half-bun that they affectionately call it the “hun.” And it’s foolproof. Even if you’re not particularly handy with your hair, there’s pretty much no way you can get it wrong. The more lived-in your hair looks, the better.
Although New York City celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend claims he started the trend when he gave Ashley Olsen a half-up topknot for the Met Ball in 2015, Jared Leto showed up at the Golden Globes in half-up-man-bun mode in 2014. And Jake Gyllenhaal was wearing what can only be described as a half-up-man-nub a year before that.
It’s a staple for stars and civilians alike: Celebs spotted sporting the look include Zendaya, Gigi Hadid, Zoe Saldana and Kates Hudson and Middleton. Ariana Grande was seen wearing two half-up topknots at once. We’re not sure what she had in mind: They looked like Mickey Mouse ears.
Ready to try it for yourself? It doesn’t take much to make a half-up topknot, but here are a few styling supplies to have on hand:
Prep hair with a few spritzes of talc-free, NuMe Dirty to Flirty Dry Shampoo Aerosol to give it grip, texture and volume.
1. Take a section of hair from the top of your head and put it in a ponytail using an elastic. (You can gather hair from all the way down to your ears and pull up the sides, or just grab two or three inches in the center.)
2. Twist the ponytail around itself to create a knot.
3. Then secure with another elastic and a few bobby pins and spritz again.
This style is not meant to be perfect, so loosen and mess with the bun a bit -- you don’t want to look too “done.” Lightly teasing the underside of the loose hair will add a more natural-looking texture and volume. To set your hair, mist on NuMe Hair-Fie Ready Finishing Spray for flexible hold, conditioning and to smooth away the appearance of split ends. Spray a bit more on the topknot just in case and the loose hair should still be soft and touchable.
To watch the full tutorial by Tess Christine, click here.
Tweak Your Topknot
Now that you have mastered the basics, you can tweak your half-up topknot to create different looks. Boost natural texture on longer hair with a few twirls of the 3-in-1 NuMe Titan 3 Curling Wand. This triple threat is made of pure titanium, the strongest of all heat styling surfaces, and features three barrel sizes -- a 32mm curling wand for loose waves, a 25mm curling wand for standard curls, and a 19mm curling wand for tight ringlets. Ideal for coarse, thick hair, this styling tool offers NuMe sophisticated design technology, which includes negative ion conditioning to seal in hair’s essential moisture and produce smooth, silky results. (Due to direct contact between super hot metal and hair, this tool is not recommended for thin or damaged hair.)
For this look, use the NuMe 25mm Classic Curling Wand to create fun, relaxed waves. Place the barrel half-way down a few random sections of hair, wrapping it around the wand but leaving a bit at the end free. Hold for five to 10 seconds -- longer for tighter curls -- and release. When your hair is completely cool, create the topknot.
Variations on a Theme
Try this selection of related looks:
- Pouf hair into a pompadour. Tease front of the hair and your ponytail for extra volume, then create the topknot.
- Braid the ponytail before twisting it into a topknot.
- Change bun placement to the back of your head or nape of your neck.
- Use bobby pins in different colors and make sure they show.
- Accent topknot with a hair accessory.
- Pull out tendrils and/or bangs around your face.
- Even those with pixie-length hair can wear a half-bun. But be warned: You’ll end up with such a teensy topknot -- maybe the size of a cherry tomato -- that you may look a little too precious. (We don’t recommend it for anyone older than Elle Fanning -- and even that’s a stretch.)
Dress It Up
Instead of a plain ol’ topknot, add a touch of glam by creating a half-up “hair bow” -- literally. It’s easier than you think:
- After wrapping your ponytail in elastic, pull it halfway through to create a loop, with the ends pointing toward your face like bangs.
- Fan out the loop and part it in the middle with your hands. Gather the ends of the “bangs,” smooth them, and pull them up and over the center of the parted loop and pin to complete the “bow.”
- Use more pins to secure the hair bow to your head.
Most unicorn hair trends involve pastel colors. But here’s a style that really grabs the fantasy hair look by the horns, color optional. It’s not for every day, or, say, meeting your boyfriend’s parents. In fact, it may best be reserved for Halloween or a My Little Pony convention. But if you want to make an unconventional style statement, this over-the-top topknot -- actually, a unicorn horn made of hair -- is just the thing.
- Cut out a 5x5”-ish square of stiff paper.
- Starting at one corner, roll it into a funnel shape with one end at an angle.
- Gather the top section of your hair into a front-and-center ponytail, then section off front pieces on each side.
- Pull remaining hair in the back into a high, tight ponytail right below the first one.
- Pull both side sections back and into a third, small, ponytail below the last one.
- Wrap the third ponytail around the middle one to cover the elastic. Pin firmly in place.
- Remove elastic from the first ponytail, wrap paper funnel around it, tape it, and situate it on the top or front of your head -- wherever you want your horn. Wrap ponytail around funnel, completely covering it, and pin securely at the base.
- Prepare to be the center of attention!