High buns are a hair trend which never really goes out of fashion. Like most hairstyles it cycles in and out of popularity depending on current fashion trends and hairstyles showcased on Catwalks and Red Carpets.
Jennifer Lopez has rocked some major high hair buns as has Whitney Port.
High buns or topknots can be very flattering on some people. It naturally elongates a face shape, highlights gorgeous eyes and showcases skin and lips. It also looks very chic.
Of course all hairstyles don't work for everyone, but if you love style, then wear it and enjoy it.
For those with short or medium length hair a high bun is difficult to achieve. To effective create a high bun you need enough hair to pull into a ponytail which can be based halfway between the crown (back of the head) and the hairline.
If you don't have enough hair to pull it up and wrap it so that it tucks nicely into a twist or round bun your only options are do go with either clip-in or some type of fusion hair extensions.
Of course you can buy a pre-formed chignon or bun and pin it on top if you like but most people prefer to wear high hair buns created for their own hair.
Challenges Of High Hair Buns
Hair which is too short to pull up into a bun can be a show stopper. Even more challenging is hair which is extremely thick, heavily textured (curly, wavy, kinky) or very long.
Depending on which hair expert you talk to, very long hair might be defined as mid-back, waist-length or even longer.
When hair is waist length or longer, like my own tresses, pulling hair up into a top knot or similar style high bun can be challenging and sometimes painful. What are some of the most common challenges of high hair buns?
Listed below are some of the most common challenges:
1. The weight of the hair once it's pulled into a central bun might actually pull on strands from the underside of hair which grows along the neck line.
Depending on how heavy the hair is, the pain can be slight to intense. Some people with long or heavy hair may note that when pulling hair up into a high bun it may feel like the strands are being literally pulled out from the roots. While this may not be actually true, it can be an uncomfortable feeling.
2. Some high hair bun wearers with long, thick or textured stresses may not have problems wearing buns, but may have more issues after removing them.
This is because when hair is directed up high on the head and then the weight is removed, the roots may feel sore or feel like they are burning. This burning or achy sensation may occur instantly upon removing a heavy bun or within a few minutes to an hour of releasing the hair.
3. High buns might also be more challenging for those born with natural hair swirls or twirls where the roots don't all grow in the same direction. When attempting to direct all of the hair into one direction, there may be pulling on the hair which grows in different directions causing irritation or pain.
4. Pulling hair up into a high bun may cause some wearers to experience tension headaches. This may be due to how tightly they capture the base of the bun, how long they keep the bun in place and whether or not they are used to piling all of their hair up on their head.
In some cases just getting use to a topknot might take a little time.
Possible High Hair Bun Styling Solutions
If you love top knots and want to try to own them for your own hair then consider the possible options for making high buns easier to wear on your own head:
1. Instead of placing the high hair bun halfway between the hairline and the crown, experiment with different positioning. You might find your enjoy a high bun placed must closer to the back of the head or even closer to the hairline.
2. Experiment with making a loose bun rather than a tighter one. Also, experiment with strands that are not first twisted when styling a top knot. The looser the bun the more distributed the hair and the less risk of tension headaches.
3. If you can wear the top knots but find that you can only tolerate them for a limited time, save the hairstyle for special events only.
4. Some hair experts believe you can train your tresses to easily accommodate a top knot.
This may be true since hair can be trained in ways to eliminate cowlicks, whirls or natural parts. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you wish to invest the time in training your strands for high buns.
If you do, then experiment with a high up/half down style where the top part of the hair is wrapped into a top knot but the bottom part is worn down. If you can handle a smaller or lighter top knot, you can eventually add more hair until you feel fine with a full high bun.
5. Top knots may be easier to wear if you gently direct the base of your pony up, forwards and slightly away from your head before wrapping the bun. By pulling hair up and forward you will be creating some extra volume and fullness at the roots and removing some pressure
6. Try double buns instead of one big single bun. After pulling all of the hair up into a pony, separate hair into two equal sections and wrap two separate buns placed between the hairline and the nape of the neck.
You can experiment with wearing one bun on the top of your head and one centered between the crown and the nape of the neck. You can also experiment with more than two buns if you like.
7. Experiment with different types of tools to secure the initial ponytail and finished bun. Some high bun wearers find that soft scunchie type of elastics work better than tighter elastics.
Others find a Blax or Bungee works best to minimize the tightness at the base. Of course you can also wrap a top knot from a pony that is held in place by your fingers until you have formed, shaped and secured the bun. This may also make a difference.
8. Some find that the best tools to secure top knot are hair sticks. Others find that hair forks or combs work best. I find that for me a well placed series of bobby pins placed in X formations are the most secure and comfortable.
A variety of hair clips, jaws, claws, barrettes, sharks and similar may offer a great solution for holding the high bun in place without pulling or caused added stress. Others will wrap the outside of the topknot with a soft scunchie to help contain the knot and relieve some of the pressure.
9. If you have problems with buns falling out, you may wish to twist the pony tail before wrapping into a bun. The combination of twisting the tail, coiling it and then pinning it well will help prevent strands from escaping from the edges or bottom. If they do tend to escape use a bit of hair gel and your fingers to coax wild strands back into place.
10. When roots hurts after a top knot is removed you may benefit from sliding a headband on in front of the past of the bun. The headband can reinforce the roots and explains while some ballerinas will wear soft bandeaus in front of their tight top knot buns. The bands can relieve some of the root stress.
11. Another option is to bend over at the waist before creating the high bun since this allows you to create a top knot with less pulling on the strands.
You may also wish to start your bun on the very top of your head with your head upside down. Slowly stand right side and slide the bun slightly down and back until you have a protective layer of loose hair at the back. This will eliminate that painful pulling from the neck hairs.
12. Opt for wearing a flipped style bun where the base of the bun is lower on the head but you flip the base of the bun up and over so that it rests higher on the head. With a lower base there is less stress on the top of the head.
13. Play with creating a base top knot bun with 50% of your hair and then using the remaining hair to wrap around the base bun. This means that only 50% of your hair is captured in a tight bun.
14. After you have created your top knot always use your fingers or a long tail of a comb to gently poke through any tight sections and loosen just slightly. If there are any sections which are pulling tightly make sure you carefully loosen to make the bun more comfortable.
Even if you feel your hair from the back never gets as sleek as you would like, its still alright to wear a high bun because messy, tousled and just-out-bed styles are popular. If you have problems with pouffy hair you may wish to experiment with using a straightening balm or leave-in conditioner and drying strands straighter.
Personally I used to have problems with super high buns. The roots would hurt while the bun was in and my scalp burned afterwards. Once I started doing a base bun with a wraparound, it worked so much better.
I create a top knot with about 50% of my hair and leave the rest out. Almost like a half up/half down. Then I wrap the remaining hair around the knot.
The pressure on the roots is distributed better and it just seems not to hurt as much, although I might just be imagining things. I love when the bun is just a few inches from my hairline. It seems to balance so much better.
Remember if hair is newly washed and slick to add styling products or creams to help give hair some grip or the high buns won't stay in place easily.
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- Revised Publication Date: 10/04/11
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