hair tutorial: easy topknot / high bun that actually stays put

cable knit sweater distressed jeans petite fashion

Today’s video tutorial is for a simple but secure hair bun, which can easily be dressed up or down based on your outfit. It was too dark in my house, so I hopped up to our roofdeck where it happened to be a rare beautiful day in Boston. Instead of using a velcro bump-it or teasing to add volume, my current favorite tool is just a claw hair-clip. This lets me pull out a little hair at the crown to create a poof, plus anchors the bun center and adds bun volume as well.

Press play below! Or direct link to my YouTube

I also included a few different looks below of this hairstyle worn for various occasions!

topknot tutorial tools

Tools: Non-slip claw clip, hair elastics, spin pins, hairspray and toothbrush (optional). These items can all be found at a drugstore or places like Target. My spin pins are a MUST for every updo…say goodbye to dozens of bobby pins that just end up falling out! I still use a few bobby pins just to clean up side and back wispies.

topknot hair bun how to video tutorial

I stumbled upon the claw trick while my hair was wet from the beach, so this is also a great way to keep damp hair out of your face. With damp hair, I skip the first elastic and instead give the hair a good twist at the base of the ponytail, before wrapping it into a bun circle.

cable cream sweater casual boyfriend jeans petite fashion

Past outfit posts with this same hairstyle:

boston new england snow winter coat outfit

Casual winter – outfit from this post

classic date night valentines day outfit black flare skirt

Date night – outfit from this post

loft lace tee denim shorts

Lilac lace – outfit from this post

white marble kitchen cooking sunday night dinner

Comfy at home – outfit from this post

topshop scallop hem miniskirt1

Cape Cod casual – outfit from this post


53 thoughts on “hair tutorial: easy topknot / high bun that actually stays put

  • Summer February 23, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    I am quite unskilled when come to hair , you made the hair bun so easy. Will try this weekend! Thanks;)

  • Amy Marie Reece February 23, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    I'm challenged in the hair styling department, but I think I can actually manage that! Thanks!

  • Yi's Home February 23, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I am also quite challenged in terms of any hair styling. I would really give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

  • Stephanie February 23, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Now I wish I had my long hair back!

  • Thuy | Dress Up, Chow Down February 23, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I love the audio quality in your tutorial. Makes the experience of washing so much better. Great topknot. It does look easy.

  • Linda Tran February 24, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Love this tutorial! Easy and simple!

  • Deasy Noel February 24, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Oh, I love the tutorial, and it looks so easy to do! And I didn't realize toothbrushes could be a hair tool. By the way, I love your kitchen!!!

  • Raspberry Jam February 24, 2016 at 3:08 am

    I really like your black dress! It looks beautiful on you!

    Raspberry Jam

  • Trang Do February 24, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Love this hair tutorial!! Thanks for sharing!!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Hayat Kaydetmeye Değer February 24, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Really so easy , i love 🙂

  • frogandfashion February 24, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for sharing! I was actaully wondering how you made your bun! Amazing

  • Carly Rowena February 24, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Thank you so much for this, my ball always slides down my neck as soon as i pop it up and i always feel like I'm having to pop in endless pins just to hold it down, 100% going to give this a go, thank you or such a beautiful post.

  • kday February 24, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Yay, LOVE your hair tutorials!!! So simple and elegant! Is there anything you can't do?? #jean2016!!!!!

  • Sasa Zoe February 24, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Cute hair! Love it<3

    Shall We Sasa

  • Shelley February 24, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I never knew about "spin pins". I usually use "velvet u pins." Thanks for the tips!

  • ayme nicole February 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I LOVE your hair like this and OMG I can't wait until my hair gets long enough to do the same. It's funny, it wasn't until I saw all the photos in a row of the high topknot that I realized it really works well for all types of outfits. Like, I normally wouldn't wear my hair up on a night out but you looked amazing with it in the LBD!



  • Julie Hiller February 24, 2016 at 10:55 am

    That topknot is so chic, and I think this method might actually be doable for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Lifestyle by Joules

  • Elizabeth February 24, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I'm definitely going to try this! My hair is super fine and layered so I'm concerned about the clip showing. Can you see it within the bun at all?

  • Nicole Giaquinto February 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Love this! I was able to replicate your top knot on the first try…I can't believe it. It came out so good…lol. Wicked easy too.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Jean February 24, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Elizabeth! If you have fine hair, I'd try teasing your ponytail a bit with a teasing brush right before wrapping it into a bun shape. It should fluff up your hair strands a bit and hopefully make it easier to smooth a few loose pieces over the claw to hide it.

  • Dice February 24, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Jean,

    For the second elastic, do you twist it at all or did you only put it over the bun? I couldn't tell.

  • Green With Trendy February 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    LOVE this bun trick! I always have that problem! Super helpful 🙂 xo

  • Valeri February 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    omg thank you for sharing that top-knot bun Jean. gong to Target now for spin pins and a claw clip. you're the sweetest

  • Fernanda Pereira February 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    OMG! You long hair is gorgeous, Jean! Love the tutorial! Easy and simple! Will try it tomorrow! Now… I notice that in some other tutorials you used this same hair spray… usually I go for the cheaper ones (unscented) and always wanted to get this one but it's expensive (around $15) compared to the other ones… do you use this one depending on the style you doing or it's worth using it all the time? Thank you again, Jean! (Fernanda, Newport RI)

  • Jean February 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    It will depend on the size of your hair tie and how thick your hair is…I just put it over once because it was already snug, but with larger hair elastics I sometimes double it up.

  • Jean February 24, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Aw thanks! you will LOVE the spin pins! Might take a few tries to get the hang of it but a world of a difference from bobbies…

  • Marina Summers February 24, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Love your hair tutorials. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jean February 24, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you! I do like this one but i don't notice significantly better results for either updos or hair down …I also like TRESemme's latest hair sprays, so I usually rotate between them for all of my hairstyles.

  • Miriam Henderson February 24, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I love your updo. Thank you for sharing!
    Big hugs,

  • Charitie Martino February 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    The poof created by the claw is genius. Without it, I'd have to rely on my hair having a good "full" day.

    Vis à Vis

  • Anonymous February 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Wow! I didn't know about spin pins! Bobby pins never worked for my thick hair so I gave up trying to do high buns! You are so helpful to all of us online! Thanks Jean!

  • Yvonne Chau February 24, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    so cute and simple! My hair is too thin to ever make a bun unfortunately. I wish I could do this!

  • February 24, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    This hair tutorial makes me miss my long hair! The claw clip trick is really interesting! Will definitely give it a go when I grow my hair long again. 🙂


  • Sylvia February 25, 2016 at 2:30 am

    Hi Jean! Looks so cute! Just wondering: how do you get the spin pins out? Do you end up taking a bunch of hair with each one you remove?

  • Mlle Coconath February 25, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing!
    Your outfits are so fab by the way!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

  • Nissi Mendes February 25, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Lovely hair style!!
    ♥ Nissi
    Instagram // Bloglovin

  • Nabila Hossain February 25, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Love this tutorial!

  • lisacng @ February 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Spin pins, my first hearing about them! What a great tool.

  • Maggie Zemanek February 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I never thought about using a clip before! Genius!

  • Anonymous February 25, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial! To get rid of the part between the clipped hair on the pony tailed hair (on the side of your head) do you use the toothbrush and just brush it over to make the part less noticeable?

  • Jean February 25, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Oh no! You just rotate them out the same way you rotate them in – totally painless and you shouldn't tear out any hair at all!

  • Jean February 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    At the step when you're sweeping your hair up into a ponytail, you can look in the mirror and cover that part with hair while forming your ponytail. I didn't have a mirror while filming this video so I didn't see that part until later…it can easily be covered if you see it while doing your pony : )

  • Julia Mazzucato February 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I love that white sweater! This is a great topknot tutorial. I'll be wearing one tomorrow!
    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

  • Abbie E. February 25, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I love your scarf!
    Abbie E.

  • Revanche February 26, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Oooh, thanks for the tutorial. I see "easy" hairstyles constantly but they never are as simple as hoped. This is!

    I assume that if you start with unstyled hair, the results are approximately the same? It looks like your hair was already nicely curled to start but obviously I'd like to skip that step 🙂

  • Emily Amy February 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

    You have the most BEAUTIFUL hair! Seriously, it's incredible. I'm Korean, and I always get complimented on my healthy hair, but yours puts mine to shame. I'd love to hear how you care for it. Yours looks much thicker than mine. My problem with Asian hair is that it's silky and straight (super healthy), but pretty resistant to holding a curl and relatively fine. It also means it gets pretty oily and greasy; especially when it's humid or I work-out and living in the South.

    This hair tutorial was amazing. I've tried the donuts and didn't really like the "fake" look of them. I've never used one of those spiral things before, but I'm going to buy some at CVS today. Excited to try out this elegant, pulled together top knot today. Thank you for a wonderful tutorial.

  • Cee February 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Love the hair tutorial! I'm boring when it comes to hair, but this look seems easy enough to do. Looks effortless but also done.

    Also, the WHBM chunky heels look great! I've never gotten shoes from them before, do you feel like they're ok for short commutes?

  • Stephanie February 26, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks so much for the tutorial Jean! You look amazing as usual!

  • Yvonne February 26, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Jean, Thank you sooooo much for sharing your hair tutorial! I can't wait to test it out!!! I love your blog.

  • Charmaine Chow February 27, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Great tutorial, thank you!

Comments are closed.