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Top Knot Hairstyle Tips for Short Hair Men

Got short hair? Then get your bun in a topknot hairstyle

The top knot hairstyle has gained popularity due to the shorter hair length (compared to the man bun hairstyle) that it needs. Also termed a “semi bun” in our man bun guide, the top knot (aka topknot) is a hairstyle that only requires about 6 inches of hair length, compared to the 10 inches (and more) of the regular full man bun. Ergo, you don’t need shoulder length hair to get yourself a top knot hairstyle, and you can easily go from a messy hairstyle or slicked back undercut to a topknot style.

A before and after picture of a male with a man bun undercut hairstyle aka topknotBecause of the short length of the top knot hairstyle, the top knot is usually paired with an undercut haircut in what we call a man bun undercut or top knot undercut. This bun-styled look is very simple: you let the hair on the top of your head grow to 6 inches of length and then you get an undercut haircut on the sides and back of the head. Presto!

A picture of the top knot undercut hairstyleTips for the top knot hairstyle

Indeed, the top knot hairstyle is a shorter hairstyle compared to the man bun, but that doesn’t mean that you can just go and tie your hair into a knot on the top of the head. Thus, I’ll now be going through the essential hairstyle tips for the top knot.

Do not try getting a top knot with less than 6 inches of hair length. You may succeed, but you will be exposing your hair follicles to an immense amount of tension. While women can get away with this, you (as a dude) should avoid such high tension on the follicles as that can speed up male pattern baldness.

A male with the man bun undercut hairstyle and a pink shirt

The sides and back of the head must be clipped with a good hair clipper. Do not go for a shears haircut (i.e. done with scissors) on the sides and back of the head.

You can choose to get an undercut for your top knot, or you can go with any other short mens haircuts like the fade haircut, whitewalls (completely shaved sides and back) or hair clipper taper. Heck, you can even style your topknot through a long pompadour hairstyle. Just get creative and knot that bun!

A picture of a male with a topknot hairsyle styled in a pompadourYou will still need to take good care of the hair on the top of your head, just like with the man bun hairstyle. See our hair products guide for the man bun to get a good shampoo and conditioner (as well as a good hair clipper if you want to buzz your top knot). I also recommend that you buy The Men’s Hair Book, a book that has all the details on men’s hair and was written by a dude with long hair who has been wearing manbuns since the day he was born.

Use a metal-free hair band to tie your top knot. Never use a hair band that has a metal parts! Metal-free hair bands are usually cheap but not that easy to find; simply have a look at our hair products guide in the link above for a good set of hair bands for the top knot.

If you’re going to grow a beard with your top knot, then make sure that you take into account the clipped length of the sides of your head as well as sideburns if you’re after hairstyle aesthetics (as most hipsters are). You can disregard this bit of advice if you “just don’t care”.

A side view picture of the topknot undercut in a man with a beardIf you enjoy the look of your top knot, then grow the sides and back of your head and try the full man bun. The top knot hairstyle is more of a passing trend that may make you look like a hip dude or a douchebag, depending on the situation and setting (and where you are). On the other hand, the man bun is a hairstyle that may have picked up recently in popularity but it has always been there for centuries and has certainly passed the test of time.

Pick your bun, gentlemen!

Tell us about your hairstyle or ask questions!

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