The Style Spy

Sign up for our Newsletter

Beauty Counter: Top Knots & Braids

I adore this spring’s hair trends with hair being piled on top of the head in a chic knot or pulled to the side in a loose braid; it’s all very feminine yet effortless. While it looks easy to do, some things are easier said than done. I’m certainly no exception with my stick straight, stubborn Asian hair that sits funny and refuses to be worn any other way. Another alternative to the high bun that sits atop of your head is the low side bun. The great thing about the side bun is that it doesn’t have to be neat and tidy and requires little to no hair products. Just pull all of your hair to the side and twist until your hair curls into a bun on its own and use a hair tie to fasten it in place. You can use a few hairpins and some hairspray if desired. Otherwise, I think the low side bun looks great when it’s messy and has a few strands out of place; very effortless chic.

The hair…

For a top notch knot…
After you shampoo and conditioner your hair, towel dry the excess water but leave your hair damp. Apply mousse starting at the roots to create more volume and work it throughout your hair in a “scrunching” motion while moving away from the scalp. Dry hair completely (if you have wavy/curly hair or are prone to frizz, use a diffuser). Collect hair into a high ponytail and twist until your hair curls itself into a bun and fasten with a hair tie and bobbi pins (if necessary). Spray all over with hairspray to set the knot.

For a sweet side braid…
Follow the above instructions but leave hair slightly damp before you start to braid. Pull all of your hair to the side and braid your hair as far as it can go. Fasten with a hair tie and lightly spray your hair with hairspray to keep baby hairs in place.

The products…

Got2b 2 Sexy Voluptuous Volumizing Mousse $6.49 CAD
Available at Shoppers Drug Mart

Got2b 2 Sexy Voluptuous Volumizing Hairspray $6.49 CAD
Available at Shoppers Drug Mart

Nicole Soon, The Style Spy

Reader's Comments

  1. must… master… top notch knot. MUST!!! :( i still can’t get it perfect after all this time!

  2. I think you’re pretty close that last time you tried it. I like the low side bun on you too =)

  3. My hair is so slippery it refuses to stay in side ponytails and braids, but it looks so pretty! I’m going to have to experiment with this look again.

  4. I don’t know if it’s just me-but I’ve attempted the top knot/very high ponytail and my roots always hurt afterward!

  5. I know what you mean about the aching roots. Unfortunately that’s bound to happen over time; the longer you have your hair up, the more time your hair is being pulled taut from the roots thus resulting in the painful roots.

    However, some helpful tips that I’ve found useful to minimize the pain:

    1) Instead of tying your hair in a high ponytail and then twisting it into a bun, collect your hair up as high as you would like (say the top of your head for example) and just twist your hair until it twists itself into a bun, wrap the ends around the twisted part and then use a very good hair tie (I can’t stress this enough, poor quality hair ties snap too easily depending on the thickness of your hair) and tie over the bun to secure in place. The focus should be on securing the bun itself instead of trying to secure the bun in place, to the top of your head (I hope that makes sense). Use hairpins if necessary to further secure the bun, otherwise, it should sit there without yanking out your roots. I think with buns that we wear on the back of our heads, the concern is to secure the bun to the back of our heads so it doesn’t slide down the backs of our neck.

    Yes, I realize how technical I got to describe how to go about doing this but I hope it helps! This works for me every time and actually looks better than I expect it to because I’m not aiming for that “prima ballerina” look. Sometimes I find that hair is best done up when you don’t think about the technical aspects so much and just do it.

    Speaking of which, I’m going to sport a top knot tomorrow for work =)

  6. Yes, damn slippery Asian hair, I know where you’re coming from. Try using a little bit of texturing product (like a cream or even a bit of pomade) to give your hair a little extra grip to help when tying it up. Good luck with the experimenting (always fun times!) and let me know how it goes =)

  7. Love this look! It’s been pretty big in Japan for awhile already (how typical) and I’ve always marvelled at the skill that’s required to put it all together. I would love to try both these looks, but I just hacked all my hair off at the salon *tear*