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View Full Version : NYTimes on the trend of top-knots and sock buns



gossamer
May 16th, 2013, 09:19 PM
Had myself a little bit of giggling over this article in the New York Times yesterday (click title to go to article)

Taming Your Mane With a Topknot (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/fashion/mane-taming-topknots-take-to-the-streets-skin-deep.html)The subtitle on the style page says: "Women are mastering the somewhat complicated style with help from YouTube and the Web."

Yes, we are! Although I never realized that a topknot was "somewhat complicated." The article goes on to describe the amount of teasing and salt water spray involved. Guess I've been doing a high bun wrong all this time? :p

jasper
May 16th, 2013, 09:47 PM
"Pebbles Flintstone running late for ballet practice" doesn't sound very flattering. . .

gossamer
May 16th, 2013, 09:53 PM
"Pebbles Flintstone running late for ballet practice" doesn't sound very flattering. . .

Hence the giggling. :D

lunalocks
May 16th, 2013, 09:58 PM
Teasing with a fine tooth comb? salty sticky spray? Tying it in a literal knot and Hairspray? Where do these journalists get their information?

kittengirl
May 16th, 2013, 10:11 PM
Wow, they make it sound so highly complicated! My faith in my hair-doing abilities just went way up! LOL

sisi33
May 17th, 2013, 07:55 AM
:confused: If I didn't already (somewhat) know what I was doing, I would not even contemplate trying to bun after that article. They make it sound like you're trying to climb Mt. Everest!

PrincessIdril
May 17th, 2013, 08:07 AM
Huh, apparently I'm a lot better at doing my hair than I thought!
I would hate to think what state my hair would be in if I made a bun following their information though

jacqueline101
May 17th, 2013, 08:25 AM
Id like to know why they seem like long hair can't be put up nicely.

torrilin
May 17th, 2013, 08:31 AM
Yeah, the NYT style section is sometimes pretty laughably out of touch. It often helps to look more closely at the illustrations than the copy. Their instructions suggest the bun should be "an inch or two behind the hairline". The pictures largely show plain old high buns, with only one woman wearing her hair within shouting distance of the suggested location. Probably not a coincidence, almost all of the buns shown are sock buns. There's also very little teasing shown... mostly the look is achievable with gel, grown out layers and a fondness for messy versions of fully rolled sock buns.

As far as the tie it in a knot thing... knot buns are actually really ancient, and a much less silly style than it sounds like at first. It's pretty much the one and only bit of good advice in the article. Depending on your hair type, a knot bun can be doable around BSL or waist, and it's often a curly haired person's first pinless bun. Even for a straightie like me, they can be really great for learning to loosen up and do gentler buns. I usually keep a small metal fork in my pockets since that's one of the easy ways to fasten 'em. There's a great thread on them in the hairstyle of the month forum.

Amorice
May 17th, 2013, 08:46 AM
So the 'I stayed up all night writing a paper and didn't have time to shower so I'll just pile my nasty hair on top of my head for class' look is trendy now? Okay.....

patienceneeded
May 17th, 2013, 11:31 AM
At least 10-20 of my female students (2-3 per class) wear a top knot pretty consistently. It's pretty common in the 13-17 year old crowd. I wore a fully rolled sock bun a few weeks ago and my female students were thrilled. Of course, a fully rolled sock bun with my hair is almost larger than my head. They were impressed.

I'm one of those clueless types who never figured out how to do a top knot. Does anyone here have a tutorial on it? I watched a few youtube videos, but they were definitely not "long-hair-friendly." I'm interested in the sock version and also in a no-sock version. Also, can it be done without starting with a ponytail? It seems like such a simple thing, but I'm completely baffled by it.

torrilin
May 17th, 2013, 04:10 PM
I'm one of those clueless types who never figured out how to do a top knot. Does anyone here have a tutorial on it? I watched a few youtube videos, but they were definitely not "long-hair-friendly." I'm interested in the sock version and also in a no-sock version. Also, can it be done without starting with a ponytail? It seems like such a simple thing, but I'm completely baffled by it.

There aren't many buns I can think of that don't start with "make a ponytail". That doesn't mean "put your hair in a ponytail with an elastic" tho... it just means you want your hair gathered up in a more or less tidy fashion. Since my hair is fairly straight and tends to take very visible part lines, I tend to start with a very sleeked together ponytail. My layering is all pretty much due to natural regrowth, so the shorter bits aren't inclined to fall out the same way cut in layers can. And since my hair is really fine, attempts to get an attractively piecey look just are doomed. Someone with wavier or curlier hair or a coarser texture will have an easier time getting a nicely messy look.

Making a bun like in the NYT illustrations is covered in zillions of YouTube tutorials. I'm not a huge sock bun fan, so I'd try various fully rolled sock bun tutorials unless your hair is still fairly short. The teasing and salt spray nonsense is to make shorter hair have more volume so it makes a nice big bun. And since a fully rolled sock bun is going to be fairly head eating even at BSL... most of us can skip that.

The positioning is largely a matter of taste/practice. If you feel around your skull some with your hair slicked back, you'll notice there's parts of your skull that are really fairly rounded, and other parts that are more flat. I usually think of the "top" of my head as the flattish bit where a deportment or dance teacher would have you play the "balance a book on your head" game. Or for those of us unfortunate enough to remember 1980s hair, the spot for the really stupid sticking straight up ponytails. For most of us, this positioning dances a fine line between looking idiotic and looking like we forgot our tiaras. In the NYT pictures tho, most of the women were wearing their buns further back on their head... still plenty high enough to look nice for ballet class, but not actually piled on top of their heads. It tends to be a flattering position on a *lot* of face shapes, skull shapes and body shapes, and it shows up over and over and over in art. Those of us with slithery and slippery hair will find that it tends to "sag" over the day and (if we're lucky) look adorably messy. If we're not lucky, it just looks sloppy. I usually position my high buns at a particular spot where my hair is extremely anti-sag... I can't swear we all have one, but it's worth experimenting to see if you do. I usually class my anti-sag spot as the lowest possible point where a bun still looks "high".

patienceneeded
May 17th, 2013, 04:25 PM
By "make a ponytail" I meant not needing to use an elastic to secure the base first. I should have clarified.

I can do a sock bun, no problem. I also know where to place it for a top-knot type position.

I guess I'm really just unsure what to do for a plain top knot. No sock bun involved. How does one "pile the hair" on top of the head? It is a cinnabun gone wrong? A random mash of hair held by pins? It's weird to be confused by something every 13 year old girl in my classroom seems to be more than capable of creating.

jasper
May 17th, 2013, 05:11 PM
There are supposed to be 100,000 video tutorials out there, according to the article. Here is a quick one. no pins or elastic. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=ZeU0PAFV_Cs&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DZeU0PAFV_Cs

To me, it is some tight twisting like the start of a cinnamon bun, with an overhand knot, followed by some more twisting, winding and tucking.

Yozhik
May 17th, 2013, 06:55 PM
Funny article :p, thanks for sharing.

I used to do topknots with elastics back before I knew about haircare, but now I just wear cinnabuns fairly high up. :shrug:

I did raise my eyebrow in askance at the "your crown of your head - 1-2 inches past your hairline" -- in my experience, the topknot is usually done further back, unless it's haute couture. :hmm:

torrilin
May 17th, 2013, 08:44 PM
I guess I'm really just unsure what to do for a plain top knot. No sock bun involved. How does one "pile the hair" on top of the head? It is a cinnabun gone wrong? A random mash of hair held by pins? It's weird to be confused by something every 13 year old girl in my classroom seems to be more than capable of creating.

Well, I'd try a plain knot bun, see what you think. With a blunt hem they tend to wind up pretty sleek, with layers they can get messier pretty easily. If you tie a tight knot in your hair, chances are you'll be able to feel it easily when your hair's scales start rubbing and trying to create trouble and damage. The solution is... don't tie your hair up that tight :D. The bonus is a loose knot bun tends to look pretty gigantic. If I wanted extra specially giant, I'd do the full on curly girl routine with loads of leave in conditioner, scrunched dry hair, and gel. While my hair isn't really remotely curly, I do get more volume that way, and it actually stays longer than 5 minutes.

For shorter/curlier hair, I'd try an Aphrodite knot, known to normal humans as a square knot. Part your hair down the middle. Tie it in a knot. Tie it in a knot again. Pin knot in place, let the ends flop around. (tho really you'd wind up doing at least some curl by curl pinning to get it cute floppy rather than plain floppy)

My usual go to knot is a Celtic knot or slipknot tho... it's less giant poufy bun, but it holds *much* better in my slithery straight hair.

The possibly non-obvious part... It's relatively easy to get most buns to look messy with BSL or shorter hair. With cut in layers, even easier. If the mess is most of what you're finding hard to figure out... it may be that you actually want tutorials on messy buns for longer hair. It seems like around waist, unless you do a mess on purpose, you'll always wind up with a relatively tidy bun.