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

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Great tutorial, thank you!

    Posted 2.27.16 Reply
  2. Yvonne wrote:

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

    Posted 2.26.16 Reply
  3. Stephanie wrote:

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

    Posted 2.26.16 Reply
  4. Cee wrote:

    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?

    Posted 2.26.16 Reply
  5. Emily Amy wrote:

    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.

    Posted 2.26.16 Reply
  6. Revanche wrote:

    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 🙂

    Posted 2.26.16 Reply
  7. Abbie E. wrote:

    I love your scarf!
    Abbie E.

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  8. I love that white sweater! This is a great topknot tutorial. I'll be wearing one tomorrow!
    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

    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 : )

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    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!

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    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?

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  12. I never thought about using a clip before! Genius!

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  13. Spin pins, my first hearing about them! What a great tool.

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  14. Love this tutorial!

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  15. Lovely hair style!!
    ♥ Nissi
    Instagram // Bloglovin

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  16. Great tip! Thanks for sharing!
    Your outfits are so fab by the way!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  17. Sylvia wrote:

    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?

    Posted 2.25.16 Reply
  18. 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. 🙂


    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  19. so cute and simple! My hair is too thin to ever make a bun unfortunately. I wish I could do this!

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    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!

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  21. 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

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  22. I love your updo. Thank you for sharing!
    Big hugs,

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  23. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  24. Love your hair tutorials. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  25. Jean wrote:

    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…

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  26. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  27. 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)

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  28. Valeri wrote:

    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

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  29. LOVE this bun trick! I always have that problem! Super helpful 🙂 xo

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  30. Dice wrote:

    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.

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  31. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  32. 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 🙂

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  33. Elizabeth wrote:

    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?

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  34. That topknot is so chic, and I think this method might actually be doable for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Lifestyle by Joules

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  35. 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!



    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  36. Shelley wrote:

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

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  37. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    Cute hair! Love it<3

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  38. kday wrote:

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

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  39. 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.

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  40. Thanks for sharing! I was actaully wondering how you made your bun! Amazing

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  41. Really so easy , i love 🙂

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  42. Trang Do wrote:

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

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  43. I really like your black dress! It looks beautiful on you!

    Raspberry Jam

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  44. Deasy Noel wrote:

    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!!!

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  45. Linda Tran wrote:

    Love this tutorial! Easy and simple!

    Posted 2.24.16 Reply
  46. I love the audio quality in your tutorial. Makes the experience of washing so much better. Great topknot. It does look easy.

    Posted 2.23.16 Reply
  47. Stephanie wrote:

    Now I wish I had my long hair back!

    Posted 2.23.16 Reply
  48. Yi's Home wrote:

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

    Posted 2.23.16 Reply
  49. I'm challenged in the hair styling department, but I think I can actually manage that! Thanks!

    Posted 2.23.16 Reply
  50. Summer wrote:

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

    Posted 2.23.16 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?