I’m one of those really sweaty people and during the summer I just can’t have any hair touching my neck. (Seriously, I’ll turn into Hulk and start ripping off my clothes in public.) (It’s all very embarrassing.) Trust me, if I could just wear kimonos and top knots all the time, like Jessa from Girls, I totally would, but then I’d have to become a lot more promiscuous, which in the end would make me more sweaty. So…to avoid having to always wear tiny purple Hulk shorts under my clothes or having to lead on the deadbeat dad I babysit for, I’m sticking with the messy top knot for the summer.

I think this look is best when my hair hasn’t been washed in a day (or two or three, I’m not judging!). It’s easier to make the bun big and messy when my hair has some texture to it, plus the less amount of time I need to prep my hair, the better. Here are a few easy steps to get your summer top knot. All you’ll need is a couple of bobby pins and a hair tie. Let’s do this!

STEP 1: Make A High Ponytail

Pull a tight ponytail as high up on your head as you can. This might hurt (obviously my eyes have crossed from the pain!) but just think: people are getting their faces gnawed off out there, so really, a little hair pull ain’t so bad. Let’s move on…

STEP 2: Twist The Ponytail

Start to twist the hair at the end of the ponytail. It’s up to you how much you twist: the tighter you go the less messy and smaller the bun will look. I usually just twist at the end to keep as much natural straggly hair volume as possible.

STEP 3: Wrap It

Take the twisted hair and wrap it loosely around the base of the ponytail. Tuck the end of the ponytail under the bun and hold it…

STEP 4: Pin it

Use a bobby pin to hold the bun to your head. Pin the front and back of the bun to the top of your head at the base of the bun. Use a few pins in the back to secure loose, falling strands. Hold on; you’re almost done!

STEP 5: Pull and Mess

Once you have the top knot all pinned, mess it up a bit. Pull gently at the sides and top to make it bigger and use a little hairspray if you’re worried about hold. Depending on where your going you can make your top knot more chic and tight, like Gwen Stefani, or big and floppy like Lauren Conrad’s signature updo.


Either way, this is an easy way to keep you looking cool and geisha-y this summer, without all the sweat.

To reach this post’s author, Kate Messinger, follow her on Twitter.