The Editors
Updated on September 24, 2021

There are certain hairstyles that are so easy-going and flattering that they not only stand the test of time, but also turn out to be appropriate for various occasions. One of such hairstyles happens to be the top knot, which is more popular these days than it has ever been. The simplest, quickest and the most creative knots are here.

Top Knot Hairstyles

Being very versatile and immensely pretty, this updo lets you personalize it in a variety of ways to express your individual style. If you’ve been searching for some hair inspiration, check out the following styles to get an idea of how to get creative with this popular chic updo.

1. Elegant Chignon Bun

Long-haired girls, this is the top-knotted style of your dreams. It is beautifully messy with a teased, high crown and a sexy side bang that adds mystery. The bun appears totally smooth and carelessly messy at the same time. So, this look is ideal both for casual and formal occasions.

2. High Bun with Tease

This top knot bun is great for those who crave big hair. The front and nape sections are heavily teased, and the sides are featuring escaping wisps for added softness of the look. This styling trick is a good way to create thickness if you have thin hair.

3. Top Knot for Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks and box braids can also be styled into a top knot bun. These rich, burgundy-colored faux locs are formed into a very neat knot with a bang-like section that falls off to one side. The golden accent accessories look wonderful with this color.

dreadlocks in a top knot updo

Instagram/ @kersti.pitre

4. Turquoise Blue Top Knot

Colorful top knot styles just keep coming, and this version in a bright and funky turquoise blue shade is an illustrious representative of the class. It’s rather loose and with a slightly messy feel that gives a stylish effortless appearance.

5. Colorful Back-Braided Top Knot

When you want to make a statement, turn heads and also express your personal style, choosing a colorful, top-knotted style like this is the perfect way to go. The focal point is the back section, which is beautifully braided from the nape of the neck and all the way up to the crown. Once the upside down braid is finished, a messy bun is formed on the top of the head. The pastel colors of pink, blue and green are all the rage now.

turquoise and pastel pink top knot updo

Instagram/ @chitabeseau

6. Top Knot Bun for Shorter Hair

Can you believe that this top knot is made from medium hair? Her locks are shoulder-length, and she is not afraid of experimenting with hairstyles. We, girls with shorter hair, should all follow her example… and her blog, of course.

7. Red Top Knot with Nape Undercut

It honestly doesn’t get any edgier or in-your-face than this. Deciding on a daring, bright red hair color and funky designs etched into the nape of the neck, opting for a top-knotted style such as this is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you like only the style of the knot without any extremes, it’s a good idea for short-to-medium length hair.

8. Full High Bun

In terms of classic style, this particular version of the top-knotted updo is at the top of the list. It is so full of volume and cute (but not perfect) in shape, that you simply can’t leave it unnoticed if you have long hair. When styling, leave some soft, subtle wisps on the sides and at the nape of the neck.

big high bun for long hair

Instagram/ @jenniekaybeauty

9. Braided-Front Top Knot

Finding unique ways to incorporate braids into your top-knotted style is a part of the updo-styling fun. Here, you have three simple plaits braided as cornrows running towards the crown and a whimsical knot that crowns the style.

10. Fancy Blonde Knotted Bun

For those with long or thick hair, you need an updo that embraces the length and thickness of your strands, like this one. The bun is tucked and pinned in such a way that it looks voluminous yet not heavy. To keep the look interesting, you could also tease the crown for a little bit of height.

11. Messy Top Knot Bun

A great updo should be two things: easy to do and stylish. The messy knot checks both. A mixture of loose braids and wispy strands wrapped into a high knot makes for a cute updo with a personal touch.

Messy Bun With Braids

Instagram / @salonleah

12. Elegant Swept-Up Bun

Want to try a sexy top knot hairstyle for a night out? A loosely swept high bun offers the elegance on an up-do, but with some playfulness. Curl your hair all over, tease, and pin up in sections.

Loose Messy Bun For Prom

Instagram / @tonyastylist

13. Upside Down Braid with a Bun

This cute updo takes a simple braid and bun, and amps up the style tenfold. Start by flipping your head over and braiding the lower half of your hair up to the crown. Then take the top portion of your hair and create a bun that connects to the end of the braid.

Braid To Bun Updo

Instagram / @nicoledrege

14. Casual High Knot Bun

Buns are truly diverse in their finishes. To keep things on the casual side, let there be some flaws in the style. It’s ok to have bumps and flyaways here and there. Pull a few pieces out and don’t worry if others tag along throughout the day.

Disheveled Bun Updo

Instagram / @emmachenartistry

15. Loopy Pigtails

Pigtail buns are making a comeback from their late 90s debut. This take on the duo top knot style features a softer approach with two disheveled loopy knots that almost look like a singular bun.

Two Buns Updo

Instagram / @missysueblog

16. Half-Up Half-Down Knot

An unexpected spin on the traditional top knot is the half-up style with bangs. A half-up half-down is a great option if you have extra long or thick hair that you love to wear loose but with a fun detail. Try your half up bun with bangs and a shiny cuff.

Top Knot Half Updo With Bangs

Instagram / @femmeakoi

17. Messy Top Bun

The creation of the messy bun was a blessing for women who needed a quick and chic hairstyle to run out of the house. Great for curly or straight hair of any length and thickness, the look became instantly popular and now appears in many forms. Use this style as your go-to to enjoy that extra day of not washing without the guilt.

Messy Bun For Thin Hair

Instagram / @erinelizabethh

18. Sleek Braided Bun

Not your typical top knot bun, this gorgeous braided up-do looks like it belongs to a medieval princess. Start by using a smoothing serum and gather your hair into a high pony. Secure with an elastic and braid your pony tightly. Simply wrap the braid around itself, or use a bun builder for fullness.

Braided Bun For Long Hair

Instagram / @hair_by_pelerossi

19. Large High Formal Bun

Buns create a pretty backdrop to showcase hair accessories of all kinds. If you have a cute barrette you want to wear for a pop of bling, use this style to its full advantage and adorn away. It’s the perfect way to go from office casual to downtown chic in a matter of minutes.

Bridal Bun Updo

Instagram / @braids_in_action

20. Classy Bun for Shorter Hair

A bun is easy to achieve once you’ve had a little practice. The most popular method is with the help of a bun foundation that can be purchased for very little at beauty supply stores. For shorter hair, you can pull hair up into a pony, curl its ends and pin them to mimic a bun. It will be softer and more relaxed than a classic wrapped bun knot, but it’s undoubtedly charming.

High Blonde Loose Bun

Instagram / @hairbyjaxx

21. Everyday High Bun with Headband

Nothing says cute and casual better than a top knot bun with a headband or headscarf. It’s a cute look whether you’re headed to the gym or for a day out with friends. Prep this as you would a ballerina bun, but pin loosely with some stray sprigs of hair sticking out.

Messy Bun For Gym

Instagram / @kayleymelissa

22. Loose Top Bun

For an effortless yet elegant style, a loose high bun is perfect. Unfortunately, an “effortless” look can sometimes be more difficult to execute than a more structured do. YouTube is a great resource when trying to master a new style. Look for tutorial videos and then just practice, practice, practice.

Soft Blonde Bun Updo

Instagram / @art4studio

23. Half Top Knot with Braids

Top knots options are plentiful for those with longer or voluminous hair. However, finding a unique top knot bun for thin medium length hair is not impossible. Embrace your natural hair texture and see how creative you can get. Add angled braids to your half top knot to create an eye-catching look.

Braided Half Up Top Knot

Instagram / @game_of_braids

24. Headband Braid and Messy Bun

Braids instantly add a new level of interest to an otherwise standard top knot. This particular style would work as a bridesmaid’s look. Search online for “Dutch braided top knot bun tutorial” and spend some time to get this one down pat. You’ll be happy you did!

Dutch Braided Top Knot Bun

Instagram / @braidsbyjordan

25. Textured High Bun

Where a ballerina bun features a sleek and smooth finish, a textured bun allows for some imperfection. It’s also a great option if you have curly hair. Pull your hair into a high ponytail, backcomb and then twist four small sections into mini messy buns. Secure each section with bobby pins and spray with a strong hold hairspray.

Messy Bun For Balayage Hair

Instagram / @kellgrace

26. Voluminous Top Knot for Black Hair

Top knots are very versatile and work with all hair types. For African American women who are looking to embrace their natural hair, buns are very user-friendly, but you can certainly go with extensions if you need more length or thickness.

Black Curly Bun

Instagram / @kersti.pitre

27. Undercut Top Knot

Undercut with a shaved design is a visual treat for the eyes, and it allows you to express your inner artist. High up-dos are the best way to showcase the style. Undercuts are often associated with shorter hairstyles. If you have longer hair up top, you can still utilize a simple top knot bun with short hair at the nape of your neck.

Top Knot With Nape Undercut

Instagram / @whatmiasaid

28. Two Space Buns for Short Hair

Celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian and Ariana Grande have brought the double top knot back onto the scene. This is a style that’s an easy go-to for short hair or thinner strands. Part down the middle and then pull back into two slick sections. Make looped ponytails that’ll work as cute tiny buns.

Double Top Knot For Short Hair

Instagram / @prephair

29. Loose Top Knot Bun with Cornrows

Nothing holds your hair in place better than tight braids. If you’re looking for a style that will stay out of your way and last for a few days, give a bun with cornrows a try. This is a fancy version of the look with a sculpted bun, but a messy top knot will also look cool with those dimensional vertical braids.

Braided Updo With High Bun

Instagram / @sachikoreece

30. Voluminous Messy Bun

When you’re first learning how to do a top knot bun, you may find a simple pulled back style to be the easiest. However, once you’ve mastered that, there is a world of options to explore. Voluminous styles require more prep work, but create a gorgeous end result.

Tousled Bun Updo

Instagram / @tonyastylist

31. Sleek Top Knot

In professional settings you need an updo that is classy, chic and able to withstand a full day at the office. With its ultra-sleek look and simplistic styling, this top-knotted updo is almost picture perfect. To recreate this, the most important thing you need is a sturdy pomade to achieve a sleek appearance and tame flyaways.

32. Quick and Messy Bun

The main quality of a top knot is the look of effort-free styling. This version doesn’t feature any frills or intricate touches, but it still seems very lovely and perfect for casual wear.

33. Braided Half Up Bun Hairstyle

This half up half down hairstyle with a top knot looks so cute thanks to the braided front. And those effortless waves only improve the look. Easy, pretty and confy, what more do you need?

34. Braided Top Knot

Introducing a texture into your top-knotted look is a way to add some thickness while also spicing it up a bit. These loosely interwoven sections remind a braided bun, but this style is obviously different and unique.

35. Top Knot with Peekaboo Bangs

A diagonal part and shaped peekaboo bangs are the attributes for creating a mystery within any hairstyle, including a top knot bun. Ultra-sleek with not a hair out of place, this version is sexy, retro and modern all at once.

Whether you have long, medium or medium to short hair, top knots are a quick and cute way to pull your hair up. Sure, the messy versions of the knots are the most popular today, but perhaps a neat and sleek look is more your speed. So, make sure that you choose a style that flatters and represents your personal style.

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