Half Top Knot Tutorial for Short Hair

If you haven't noticed, a half top knot has been my hair style of choice for the last few months. I've been growing my hair out this year and putting it half up has been the easiest way to hide the uneven growth. The front of my hair has been shorter than the back for some time (I hope to change that at my appointment this week!) so getting my top/bangs out of the picture makes a big difference. I've had a few questions about how I do my top knot so I've put together a quick tutorial. 


This style works with clean hair, dirty hair, straight hair, or curled hair. Either way, start with your hair dry and down. 

You'll need to section off the part of your hair that you want to pull up. I usually stick to way less than half of of my hair and instead focus on the front/top 25%. Think faux hawk region.

Apply dry shampoo to the hair you are pulling up and what's left down. I love this one because it adds volume and texture, plus it removes excess oil if my hair is dirty. I use it daily, whether my hair is clean or dirty and I spray it roots to ends. 

Next you'll need to tease or backcomb the section you intend to pull up. This is makes it so that the roots have a little volume and you don't end up with a slicked down topknot. Teasing adds texture and volume. And it will work well with the dry shampoo you just applied. 

I typically section it across from front to back to tease it in smaller sections. 

Your only other tool you'll need will be small clear rubber elastic. You can buy them in big packs at Target. I've found these work best with all hair colors and types and they do the job of something small scale like a tiny topknot or a braid. 

This part is the hardest part to describe. Pull your top knot section and hold it in a ponytail somewhere in front of the crown of your head. You don't want your topknot too close to your face, but you don't want it too far back either or you won't see it. The position of your top knot can actually vary depending on the look you are going for. More on top of your head means it will be more noticeable and a little trendier. Farther back still works but it will look more conservative. 

 Start to pull your chosen top section through the elastic as if you were going to put it in a ponytail, but don't pull it all of the way through before you twist the elastic and wrap it around again. Pull it halfway through or less depending on how long your hair is. If it's really short you'll have to pull it almost all  the way through, if its longer pull it less so. The top knot should start to form because you didn't pull the hair all of the way through on the first pass. Then wrap the elastic around the knot again to secure it. 

Pull on the bun lightly on each side with two hands to create a more volume in the bun. I'm using the term bun loosely here- it's not going to look like a traditional ballet bun- think more like Mulan. 

Once you have your bun in place an secured you'll want to add a little volume to the hair you are leaving down. Tease the roots all of the way around. 

I usually then apply some volumizing hairspray to hold that teasing in place. 

And that's it. No two top knots will ever turn out the same, but it's really not hard to get a good one. What you don't want it a bunch of short spiky hairs sticking out of your bun or too have your bun way too far forward. Sometimes the spikes can't be helped because you're hair is still so short, but keep trying! 

Let me know if you have any questions on this mini top knot tutorial. I've done this style a 1000 times so far so don't get discouraged if your top knot takes a few tries. Good luck!

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