half up top knot
Image: Art Symphony

We love the half up knot because we only have to worry about styling half as much hair as usual. The half up knot is beachy, laid-back, and fun. So fun, in fact, that it can be intimidating to try because it’s a bold style move. This simple ‘do can go horribly wrong if done incorrectly—no tiny bun nubs please. 

Gather the top third of your hair and section it off with a clip. If you have thicker hair, then you can gather more hair than just a third, but you want to make sure the loose hair has enough volume. We’ll work with the bottom half first. Use a one-inch curling iron to create loose waves. The key to pulling off a half up knot is to keep it as beachy as possible. Tight curls will make it look like you simply forgot to finish your hair. To create beachy waves, start wrapping the hair around the iron halfway down the strand. Hold for just a second then curl the ends slightly longer. Once you have curled the entire bottom half of your hair, rub an anti-frizz serum into your hands and comb through the curls to make them piecey. You don’t want the iron to touch any hair near your roots because you need to keep that slight frizz and volume to balance out the knot.

Brush through the top section of hair and gather it together in your hands. Make sure you have enough hair to create a medium-sized bun. Going too big or too small can both be tragic. The best way to tell if your bun size is good is to look at pictures online, or zoom out from the mirror and make sure it looks balanced with everything else. You want the bun to be slightly on top of your head, but no further. You don’t want it too low that you can’t see it from the front, but you also don’t want it so far on top of your head that it doesn’t look relaxed and casual. Think of it as forty-five degrees back and upward from the corner of your eye. Secure your knot. This may take a few tries since we all know buns can be tricky to perfect. Use your fingers to gently pull on the front section of your hair to create a bit of volume. Add hairspray and voila! You just pulled off the half up knot.