Braided topknot: How to

braided top knot

Born on Sass & Bide's spring 2011 catwalk, it's a style that has all the hallmarks of a hair trend in the making: it's detailed, it has a messy factor that is imbued with a too-cool-to-care attitude, you can style it yourself and, simply put, it turns heads.

messy top knot
Ensure that you have textured hair and, more obviously, that it's long enough to braid.
The top knot, and the braided / plaited form of it, is all about texture in 2011 - something that's in stark contrast to the soft refinement the top knot has been more likely to be worn with.
To style the braided top knot on Taylah we began by working a spray-in mousse through her hair and working it through to allow her natural waves to dominate.
Note: If your hair is dead straight or very fine, don't be afraid to use ample amounts of mousse; work it through the hair and then blast it with a blow-dryer while scrunching the hair in your hands to create texture. If the hair is still too straight for your liking, use a hair straightener or styler (for example, ghd's salon styler) to create some messy waves throughout the hair. Glide the styler along from the roots to the ends while rotating it about 180 degrees to create waves.

top knot braid
Tilt your head forwards.
As of step three you're going to begin braiding, and you're going to find it easier to achieve if your head is upside down - your arms won't get as tired from the process, and you'll find it easier to hold your hair.

side braid knot
Starting at the nape of your neck start braiding, with the braid travelling in the direction of the top of your head.
Notice that the braid here is raised. A regular (or 'French') braid sits flat to the head, but the raised (called an 'inverted French braid' or a 'Dutch braid') is much more effective for the braided topknot style. To create a Dutch braid each added strand of hair needs to be woven under instead of over the other strands.

top knot fringe
Continue braiding until you get to your forehead's hair line.

back of plait top knot
You should now have a braid that runs up the back of your head with an end that sits atop your head. If you need to you can tie the end with a hair elastic. Once you're more experienced you'll be able to hold it with your hands.
plait top knot
Add in extra texture and more of a casual feeling, as desired, by gently pulling at the plait section of the braids.

messy top knot
Grab the end of the braid that sits atop your head and twist it into a small bun / knot. Mould it into a shape as neat or messy as you like, remembering that this style works well with plenty of texture and doesn't need to be too polished.

top knot pin
Secure the bun / top knot in place with bobby pins selectively placed at its base.

top knot picture
Finally, finish with some hairspray to hold the style in place.

2011 top knot

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