Friday, June 29, 2012

Tutorial :: The Art of the Quick Top Knot

Everybody loves a good top knot. This tutorial is about the art of making a messy top knot (or making a perfect one look chic) in a short amount of time. The photos below are from one of the free workshops I’m teaching at Wanderlust in Paris this summer and the illustrations are by Samantha Hahn.

Here's what you need :
- root lift
- hair spray
- blow dryer
- hair bungee (explained below)
- boar bristle brush
- a handful of hair pins

Prep your hair with Rusk Blofoam in order to give it that "perfectly dirty" texture that is ideal for styling hair. Blofoam is a root lift that is meant to be sprayed on your roots for volume, but for this look I would only spray it on your hairline. With this style, as with the "mad men chignon," product is your best friend. It will be easier to put your hair in a ponytail and make your bun as big as you want it if it has the right foundation.

Once you've sprayed this around your hairline, blow dry it in using just your fingers to comb all of your hair up and back toward wherever you want to have your ponytail and bun. You want to get your roots going in the direction where your bun will be to prevent bumps and droopiness. Once it's all dried and going in the right direction, you're ready to style.

1. Gather all of your hair at the top of your head (it might help to tilt your head down). You can brush it into place with your fingers or a boar bristle brush and hairspray it with a lightweight hairspray to keep it in place. Then wrap an elastic bungee* around your ponytail and hairspray your ponytail to give it some texture.

Make sure your posture is right when you wrap your elastic bungee around your ponytail, otherwise the back will be droopy. And NOBODY likes a slouchy back of a ponytail. It's a hairstylist’s pet peeve!

*How to use an elastic bungee: hook one end onto your hair then tightly wrap the elastic around your ponytail until it feels secure. Hook the other end onto the elastic (NOT your hair). If you can, hook the original hook onto the elastic as well.

2. Allow the hair from your ponytail to "waterfall" down. I may have made that term up, "waterfall," but it's basically when the hair evenly fans all the way around your ponytail so there's a little pit in the middle. Then, lightly backcomb all the hair in the underneath of the "waterfall", leaving the very top relatively smooth. (See photo above)

3. Gently and carefully wrap all of your hair around your ponytail. Tucking the ends into itself. It's important to do this gently because you don't want to ruin all your backcombing and you want to keep the exterior layer that isn't backcombed on the outside. This will make a big top knot on even the finest hair. No donut required!

4. Pin your top knot in its 4 imaginary "corners." If you put hairspray in it before backcombing and backcombed it well enough then it should feel secure after this. Now you can add more hair pins to tuck any stragglers in or just for kicks and giggles if you'd like. Make sure to hide your pins (another pet peeve), and you're done!

*see more Wanderlust photos on She Lets Her Hair Down facebook page

Photos by David McDonald
Illustrations by Samantha Hahn
Thank you to Rusk and Babyliss Pro for providing products and tools

1 comment:

Robyn said...

This is good stuff. It will help a lot. I'm curious about your heidi braids. Gorgeous! Are they as simple as they look?


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