3 Easy Steps To Mastering The Perfect Topknot


topknotSource: E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Those who’ve mastered the topknot make it look like it’s the easiest hair trick in the book. You just whisk your hair up, plop it on top of your head, and secure it with an elastic, right? All those countless failed attempts and grumpy huffs while you stare yourself down in the mirror clearly prove otherwise. There’s a trick to creating the perfect topknot, and celebrity stylist Ricardo Rojas – who’s worked his magic on Hailey Bieber, Mariah Carey, Cher, and Naomi Campbell – is here to help.

Products You’ll Need:

  • Shine Serum
  • Texturizing Spray
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair Tie Bobble or Bungee
  • Hairspray

Step One: Prep 

Rojas says he likes to start with a clean blow dry for the best results, but if you’re living in day two or three hair you can still pull this off. Either way, you want to prepare your hair with some product. Apply a shine-enhancing serum from the midshaft to the ends and apply a texturizing product all over. Try L’Oréal Paris Elvive Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum, $6, and Eva NYC Surf’s Up! Texture Spray, $6. For a product that does both, try R+Co Trophy Shine + Texture Spray, $32. The combination of these two products will create body, shine, and – most importantly – hold.

Step Two: Gather

“Next, gather your hair into a high ponytail while working the product in,” says Rojas. Use a brush to help create a polished look and ensure you’ve got as much hair in the ponytail as possible. You’ll be inclined to focus on the front since it’s all you can see, so give some extra TLC to your sides and the back of your head. Also, Rojas says to make sure the ponytail sits no lower than the crown. “If the ponytail is not high enough it won’t work,” he says.

Secure with a hair tie bobble – like the Invisibobble Power The Strong Grip Hair Ring, $9 – which will help create more hold and body. Rojas says you can also use a hair bungee if you prefer, but if you’re in pinch then a regular hair tie is fine.

topknot tools

Step Three: Wrap

Wrap your hair around the base of your ponytail, securing with bobby pins or a second bobble. “Really experiment with the types of top knot,” says Rojas. “Try it straight and sleek like Ariana Grande or maybe go for something loose and carefree.”

If you want sleek, brush out the ponytail and carefully wrap it. If you want loose and voluminous, use a laidback approach, secure, and then puff up the topknot by gently pulling hair out (but not completely out!). You can also pull some tendrils out around the front of your face for a softer finish.

As the finishing touch, use some hairspray to create even more hold, and to slick down hair on the sides. “If there are too many fly-aways it can read a bit messy,” says Rojas. “An effortless look does require some effort!” Try Kristin Ess Refine Signature Finishing Spray, $14.

We love this look for Zoom calls when we haven’t washed our hair in days and we want to feel a little put together. Make sure to @ us with your finished result!