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As we enter the month of November, the mid-semester hairstyle rut is currently in full swing with the upcoming arrival of winter (…and yes, the impending finals season). This means top knots are everywhere you turn on campus, as we say goodbye to beachy summer waves—and the time we had to spend making them.

The good news: the cold weather blues and long hours in the library don’t mean you have to opt for a messy sock bun! Top knots are a collegiette go-to because they’re so easy to do, and giving them a little extra oomph is just as simple. Here are our top five ways to spruce up that top knot this season:

Create braids on braids

Fishtail, French and Dutch, oh my! Braids are trendy and cute, and they’ll serve as the perfect addition to your top knot. Whether you wrap a small fishtail braid around your top knot, or braid the back of your hair before putting your hair up in a bun, your style will be on point. To give your hair some grip while you braid, use a texturizing cream such as the Texturizing Sculpting Wax from Pantene ($5). Apply it to the middle of your strands to the ends, starting with only a small amount of product and adding more as necessary.

Add a hair scarf or bandana

Rosie the Riveter isn’t the only gal who can pull off a bold red bandana in her hair to go along with her bun! If a bandana isn’t your style, a flirty hair scarf works just as well, and Etsy has a lot of affordable options around $20 or less. Simply style your hair as desired, and then tie your scarf or bandana around your top knot. Not only will it add flair and color to your ‘do, but it’ll provide support around the top knot to keep it upright.

Rock a hair bow

Just like the scarf or bandana, a feminine bow adds a little pop of color and personality to your hairstyle. Clip the bow into your bun for extra support, on the top, to the side or directly below the bun. Claire’s has a wide selection of oversized lace bow hair clips for only $6.50, so you can buy more than one to go with a variety of outfits.

Get creative with bobby pins

Whether you use bobby pins to prevent your top knot from falling completely or just enjoy using a couple to pin back a few loose strands of hair, every collegiette needs some in her hair arsenal. To change the height and shape of your top knot, use more or less bobby pins as desired. You can also create unique designs with the bobby pins when pinning back extra pieces of hair around the top knot. Mix it up with a variety of “X” shapes and zigzag lines to add a little flair to your style.

Don’t be afraid of hairspray

A little extra hold will take your hair from messy bun to totally polished top knot. After creating the knot, spray it with hair spray to give it extra staying power, while preventing frizzy fly-aways and other minor hair mishaps. We recommend the Two Extra Hold hairspray from TRESemme ($5) if you’re looking for a budget-friendly product that will give you salon-quality results.


What are your favorite ways to spice up your top knot? Let us know in the comments!

Jen is a 2016 graduate of Messiah College, where she majored in journalism and minored in gender studies. She's a proud Bostonian who is obsessed with tattoos, puppies, magazines and Sephora. She's been reading Her Campus since high school and was thrilled to join the HC team as a National Contributing Writer in September 2013. She became an HC Beauty Blogger in February 2014 and continued to write on-trend beauty posts until July 2016. A few highlights from her time writing for HC included attending and writing about two BeautyCon events and Cosmopolitan's Fun Fearless Life in 2015. You can follow her on Twitter @JenFlanagan14 and on Instagram @jenlea14.