Messy Top Knot

Cool and carefree, a textured top knot will be your new go-to hairstyle—from pool party to patio. This step-by-step guide has everything you need to get the look.

If ever there was an updo equivalent to the loose beachy waves loved by surfer girls, bikini models and street-style stars alike, the messy top knot hairstyle would be it. It’s timelessly cool—no matter the season or time of day—and has a touch of bohemian flair that’s often just what an outfit needs. Dying to know more? We figured. Here are all the reasons why the messy top knot hairstyle is the bomb, how to get the look for yourself (check out the DIY video featuring style influencer Reese Nguyen if you want a visual) and the key product you need for effortless texture.

Why we love the messy bun hairstyle?

Messy top knots are the best because they’re literally one of the easiest hairstyles for long hair. They require zero hairstyling skill. Plus, all you need is a hair elastic, a few bobby pins and a texturizing spray and you’re good to go. The hairstyle also works for any hair texture.

When to wear the messy bun?

Whenever you want! The messy top knot is great for any scenario where you want to keep your hair off your face and neck but still look chic. The hairstyle also offsets formal attire, like a gown or suit, adding a roughed-up element that keeps dressy looks from feeling over-planned or stuffy. You’ll look like “Oh, I just threw this thing on” even if you’re in a floor-length sequined gown—and that’s just what you want.

Must-have hair styling products 

Pick up a bottle of L’Oréal Paris Stylista #Beachwaves Texturizing Mist, which creates beachy sea-kissed waves. Spritz the saltwater concoction on damp hair and scrunch your strands with your hands. For added texture, spray it on dry hair as well and scrunch. You’ll have tousled, windswept texture for 24 hours. It’s the perfect base for creating a loose, sexy top knot hairstyle with lots of body.

How to do a messy bun: A step by step tutorial

  1. Start with hair that has been blow dried with a round brush or has been straightened or waved.
  2. Pull your hair into a loose high ponytail at your desired height (the crown of the head is flattering for most people) and secure with an elastic. Expert tip: Use your fingers to gather your hair together (instead of a comb or brush) to create a bit of a messy texture.
  3. Spritz L’Oréal Paris Stylista #Beachwaves Texturizing Mist along your hair from the base of your ponytail (at the crown of your head) to your ends. Make sure your hair is well saturated.
  4. Use a comb to tease your mane from mid-shaft to crown to create volume.
  5. Wrap your ponytail around the elastic as many times as necessary to create your bun; then secure with bobby pins.
  6. Gently pull on your top knot bun to widen it and create body. You can even pull a few face-framing pieces free for more texture.
  7. If you need extra hold, mist with hairspray to set your style.

How to change up the the messy bun

The top knot is easy to create and looks good with everything, so it’s sure to become one of the most worn hairstyles in your arsenal. Here’s how to change it up without too much additional work for those days when you feel like your knot needs a twist:

  1. Use hair accessories: Keep a stack of headbands, scrunchies, barrettes and pins at the ready to add interest to your messy bun. For extra bling, jewellery such as bracelets and earrings can be pinned around the base of the knot.
  2. Try the half-up top knot bun: Use a tail comb to divide your hair into two sections: top and bottom. Leave the bottom half flowing free (with rough texture or loose waves) and wrap the top half into a small bun at the crown of your head.
  3. Add a braid: There are endless hairstyle options when it comes to braided accents. To keep it simple, start with a high ponytail and leave a small section of hair free when you twist your hair into the bun and pin it. Braid the loose section, wrap it around the base of the bun and secure in place.


Feeling inspired? Whether you wear it casual and messy or add your own unique touch, the top knot is one of those hairstyles for long hair that will never go out of fashion.

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