While balayage and highlights of all hues can still be called the most popular hair color trends of the summer, the “it” hairstyle of the season is actually still pretty new in terms of adopters. We’ve seen it on the likes of Hilary Duff, Khloe Kardashian, and about 16 billion other Instagram users, so it’s safe to say it’s catching on.
Let’s be clear, though. You most definitely have tried the “half knot” out when washing your face, or when those peskily short angles won’t get out of your eyes. But like any hairstyle that looks messy and nonchalant, when you’re purposefully attempting to do it for a specific occasion, it becomes instantly impossible. Or at the very least, it falls out of that “5 minute hairstyle” category. With the tips below, you can have your half up top knot and wear it out of the comforts of your own home, too.
Watch HOW Dirty Your Hair Actually Is
The first thing anyone says when you’re braiding or completing an updo is that “dirty hair is better.” That’s very true, we agree, but with a half knot, those oily and greasy strands won’t be well concealed. You’ll be lifting the hair at a spot, near the scalp, where oil will be collecting. It can be a day or two dirty, but if you’re going on days where not even dry shampoo is helping the absorption process, it’s time for a wash. If you do find that you should have scrubbed your scalp when you’re trying this out, just spritz on some dry shampoo near the area of the scalp (or the hair near that area) that will be exposed and rub it in.
Create Texture for Fullness
Because you’ll be tying off a quarter to a half of the hair on your head, the hair below is going to automatically look a little thinner. Because this style is better worn as a mess (you know, the good kind), texture and waves are encouraged. Those two qualities will also make your hair look fuller and thicker. Curl with a wand and use texturizing spray on your entire head before separating the sections apart. After you tie off the top section, you can go back to add more texture with heat tools to the bottom layer.
Create the Knot, From the Top of the Head, to the Crown.
Avoid creating your half knot much further down than the crown of the head. If you want to fasten it on the middle of the back of the head, try adding in an accessory or really making your bun standout so it doesn’t just look like a random half-up hairstyle. A coif on the top of the head is going to look more like a knot, while anything much below that is going to look more like a twisted ballerina bun. Anything on the crown of the head gives you a chance to leave some stray and “undone” sections of your hair out of the bun, like the above.
Use a Clear or Rubber Elastic
This is one hairstyle you don’t want to see the elastic. This is a casual ‘do, but you don’t want it to get in that “washing my face” category. We all have one of those hairstyles, let’s be honest. Tie it in a knot with a clear or a black tiny rubber elastic.
Or, Hide the Hair Tie
You can always hide the hair tie, simultaneously dressing up the whole half knot, by wrapping a section of hair around the base of the knot. This will obviously work better when the little knot is fastened on the top of the head. Tuck the hair into the hair tie when you’re done wrapping or discreetly pin it in place with a bobby pin that is the same color of your hair.
No one says it has to be just a loop or knot of wavy hair. Braids—fishtail or 3-strand—will take longer, but they are also a way to really personalize your look. Be mindful that you’ll have to use more hair (you’ll probably separate your hair into complete halves) to do any kind of braid. We’re loving Jessica Szhor’s half knot faux hawk created by celebrity hairstylist, Sarah Potempa.