Messy top knot feature

There’s just something about a top knot that means serious business. Heading to an all-important meeting with the big boss? A sleek bun will polish your preppy portfolio to perfection. Booked a killer festival line-up this summer? A little Spice Girl’s inspo can go a long way. You get the gist.

And to prove the versatility of this striking style, we’ve put the spotlight on 5 super-easy-to-achieve looks that’ll work for whatever occasion you have coming up. All that’s left to do is decide which top knot is for you:  

The Sophisticated Top Knot

The ultimate finishing touch for a formal look, this put-together style will showcase your distinct eye for detail. It will also put the focus on your face too, so take extra care with your makeup and keep that smile on full beam!

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Step 1 – Brush through knots & tangles

Sophisticated top knot step 1
Using a detangler, brush through hair until it is knot-free. This will give you a great base to work with.    

Step 2 – Use heat protecting spray

Sophisticated top knot step 2
Use a heat protector all over the hair, brush through to ensure even application.

Step 3 – Section off hair & straighten

Sophisticated top knot step 3
Section hair into a top layer and bottom layer. Proceed to straighten - this will give your hair more shine and help to achieve a super sleek finish.

Step 4 – Create a ponytail

Sophisticated top knot step 4

Using a bristle brush, gather hair into a high ponytail. Fasten using two clear bands for extra strength and support.

Step 5 – Apply serum to sides & flyaways

Sophisticated top knot step 5

Apply a smidge of serum to the hair by patting it through – focusing on the sides and flyaways.

Step 6 – Add a donut to the ponytail

Sophisticated top knot step 6

Select a donut that matches the shade of your hair and add to the ponytail by weaving hair through the middle.   

Step 7 – Backcomb hair & cover donut

Sophisticated top knot step 7
Take a backcombing brush and section the ponytail. Backcomb the front section, not the back, layer the section onto the donut and secure with a pin or grip. Continue this process section by section until you are happy with the shape. Keep the donut concealed by wrapping hair around the front to cover every inch of the mesh.

Step 8 – Wrap final section

Sophisticated top knot step 8
With the final section of hair, wrap it around the donut in the opposite direction to the other sections for a sleek finish.

The Half-Up Half-Down Top Knot

The mid-point between a casual cool and super sleek, this top knot is for those that love the best of both worlds. It’s the perfect style for keeping hair out of your way throughout the day without having to go for a tight – and often headache-inducing – all-up look.

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Step 1 - Brush through knots & tangles

Half-up Half-down top knot 1

Using a detangler, brush through hair until it is knot-free. This will make the hair more manageable when styling.

Step 2 – Section off hair

Half-up Half-down top knot 2

Section off the front bit of hair, to the back of the crown – this will form the top knot. Use a bristle brush through this section before fastening with two clear bands.

Step 3 – Twist hair to create bun

Half-up Half-down top knot 3

Twist the hair in the ponytail until it wraps around itself. Once you’re happy with the shape pin into place. Tug at the top knot to give it more volume, the messier the better.

Step 4 – Use hairspray to hold in place

Half-up Half-down top knot 4
Apply hairspray for extra hold and there you have it – your look is ready to take on the day!  

The Braided Boho Top Knot

If you’re more haute hippie than haute couture, then you’ll love this boho-inspired look. This top knot will show those flower crown queens who’s boss.

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Step 1 - Brush through knots & tangles

Boho Braid top knot step 1
Using a detangler, brush through hair until it is knot-free. This will make the hair more manageable when braiding and styling into a bun.

Step 2 – Create a centre parting

Boho Braid top knot step 2
Using a tail comb, create a centre parting. Top tip: Place comb on the centre of the bridge to identify a symmetrical straight line.

Step 3 – Section hair for braids & bun

Boho Braid top knot step 3
On one side of the head, section off the front part of the hair - starting from the crown and moving to the tips of the eyebrows. Clip this section. Do the same on the other side and section off with a clip. Pull the rest of the hair back into a low ponytail to keep out of the way for now.

Step 4 – Braid hair

Boho Braid top knot step 4
Unclip a front section and separate into the three strands and follow through with a French braid. Continue picking up strands from the section as you go along. Once the braid along the scalp is complete, pull the hair taut and continue braiding to the end. Fasten with a clear band.   Unclip the front section on the other side and repeat this step until you have another matching braid.

Step 5 – Sweep hair into ponytail

Boho Braid top knot step 5
Unclip the back section and gather into a high ponytail, sweeping all the loose strands into the style using your fingers. The trick here is for a messy, carefree finish so refrain from using a brush at this point. Secure ponytail with a clear band once it’s in your desired positioning.

Step 6 – Twist hair into bun

Boho Braid top knot step 6
With the ponytail in place, twist hair and wrap around itself until it forms a bun. Secure with a clear band. For a more voluminous finish, pull at the sides of the bun.

Step 7 – Wrap braids around bun

Boho Braid top knot step 7
Taking one braid at a time, wrap around the side of the bun and bobby pin to secure. Any leftover hair from the end of the braid can be concealed by wrapping underneath the bun and securing with a pin. Use as many bobby pins needs to keep stray hairs at bay.

Step 8 – Secure bun with hairspray

Boho Braid top knot step 8
With the bun secure, pull the bun forward and use grips through the loop of the bun to fasten. Tuck flyaways behind ears and secure with hairspray for extra hold.   

The Double Top Knot

If you’re suffering from a serious case of festival fever, then this style will get you in the mood before the first tent has been pitched. Want to channel mermaid vibes? A little scattering of glitter along the parting will go a long way.

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Step 1 – Brush through hair

Double top knot step 1

Using a detangler, brush through hair until it is knot-free. This will make the hair more manageable when styling.

Step 2 – Create a zig zag parting

Double top knot step 2
Take a tail comb and create a zig zag parting. Do this by combing hair back, and zig zagging all the way down to the crown. 

Step 3 – Section hair

Double top knot step 3
Take two sections, either side of the head, from the tips of your ears all the way to the crown. When you’re happy with the thickness, separate both sections with a clip. Also, clip the remaining hair too so it is out of the way.

Step 4 – Gather hair into high ponytails

Double top knot step 4
Unclip one front section and run through with a detangler brush to smooth out. Gather the hair into a high ponytail and secure with a clear band. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5 – Twist hair into bun

Double top knot step 5
Starting with one ponytail, begin twisting in a motion away from the face. Once all the hair is twisted, start wrapping it around itself to create a bun. Secure with a hair pin underneath the clear band and pin all the way through as needed. Repeat steps on the other ponytail and release hair that was clipped.

Step 6 – Use hairspray to secure

Double top knot step 6

Finish look with a generous application of hairspray for extra hold.

The Messy Top Knot

Perfect for keeping hair off your face while you’re running the weekend errands, this non-chalant look is so easy to replicate and we wouldn’t be surprised if it became your new favourite go-to. This is ideal for those that want to wave bye bye to a skyscraper of a ponytail and hello to a trend-setting, textured look.

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Step 1 – Run fingers through hair

Messy top knot step 1
Run fingers through the hair, they’ll be no using a brush in this look. In fact, second day hair is the best base for this style.

Step 2 – Use sea salt spray

Messy top knot step 2
To create added texture, apply sea salt spray all over the hair. 

Step 3 – Sweep hair into high ponytail

Messy top knot 3
Using your fingers only, work the product through the hair and proceed to gather into a high ponytail. Secure with a clear band.

Step 4 – Twist hair into bun

Messy top knot step 4
Twist the hair in the ponytail until it goes around itself and forms a bun. Use a clear band to secure.

Step 5 – Tug hair for a messy finish

Messy top knot step 5

That's a wrap!

Messy top knot step 6

Messy is the new must-have - now that's something to smile about!

Pull bits of hair out of the bun to create that messy, voluminous look. Tug the hair at the front of the ponytail too for an ‘undone’ finish. To tame any unsightly bits of hair, use a bobby pin to secure. Finish and set with hairspray.