You’ve seen it everywhere, from new school rappers to teenage guys, hipsters, and even casual office work. It’s one of the most popular hairstyles for men of the year too. If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re talking about the top knot.
We’ve put together a list of the coolest variations and we’re confident that we have a top knot men with any hair type can pull off effortlessly.
30 Top Knot Hairstyles + Man Bun Vs Top Knot, All Below!
1. Taper Top Knot Men
A subtle version of a top knot men can rock features a tapered undercut. It won’t be too flashy, but it won’t go by unnoticed either.
Primarily, we recommend the style if you have some kind of contextual restrictions, such as work or school.
For the undercut section, you can ask your barber for either a #2 or # 3-grade cut, depending on how thick you want your hair to remain. While #2 provides 1/4-inch length, #3 trims the hair to 3/8 inch.
2. Shaved Undercut Men’s Top Knot Hairstyle
On the other hand, you might want to go all out with a fully-shaven undercut hairstyle.
In this case, you can skip the clipper guard altogether and go for a 0. Alternatively, you can get a #1 haircut if you want to retain about 1/8 of an inch of hair.
To add contrast to your appearance, you can pair the shaved undercut with a notably long top. Even more, you have the option of growing a long and thick beard to further accentuate the difference.
3. Half Tapered, Half Shaved Top Knot Men
Some men are all about creativity when it comes to their hairstyle. We whole-heartedly support out-of-the-box hairstyles, as they can always set you apart from your peers.
Therefore, we encourage you to experiment with your undercut as much as you can.
For instance, you can get yours half tapered and half shaved. In other words, combine the first two ideas we described and separate them with a hard line.
An abrupt cutting angle will always be captivating, but feel free to tweak the transition area as you please.
4. Cornrows Top Knot Men
In addition, they look awesome as part of a top knot hairstyle. Thankfully, there are also tons of specific cornrows styles you can choose from.
If you’re more of an old school kind of guy, you can go for classic cornrows from your hairline straight down to your nape. On the flip side, modern cornrows allow you to create all sorts of designs in your hairstyle.
It’s best to consult your barber to find out which style would be the most flattering for you.
5. Top Knot Dreads
In this day and age, dreadlocks are more popular than ever before. When mixed with a top knot, a dreads style becomes easier to maintain, not to mention that it looks way cooler.
With dreadlocks, it’s best to get a top knot style with a taper fade undercut. In doing so, you’ll create a smoother gradient from the textured locks to your undercut.
If you ever get bored, you can always untie your dreads and let them fall over the undercut naturally.
6. Taper Fade Top Knot Men
Speaking of the taper fade haircut, here’s another example that shows just how well it pairs off with a top knot. Essentially, no matter what type of hair you have, a taper fade undercut will complement your longer top nicely.
The discreteness or intensity of the taper fade is up to you. Based on what you pick, you’ll have either a higher or lower overall contrast in your hairstyle. Either way, it’s going to look impressive.
7. Top Knot with Short Sides and Back
We support short sides long top hairstyles for a multitude of reasons.
- Firstly, they’re an excellent way to create an alluring silhouette for your haircut.
- Secondly, they serve as convenient transitional hairstyles when growing out an undercut.
- Thirdly, they’re still very much edgy and fresh.
- The list could go on forever.
For the approach described above, you have to make sure that your sides aren’t too long. If they are, they might stick out awkwardly and you’ll need to lay them down all the time. As with any top knot hairstyle, the upper section can be as long as you please.
8. Burst Fade Top Knot Men
There are plenty of fade hairstyles for men out there that will pique your interest. Nevertheless, one particular style is sure to blow you away – the burst fade haircut.
Also known as the South of France haircut, it has been adopted by celebrities like Usher for ages.
As the name suggests, the haircut features a fade that “bursts” from the ear region. You will need to use a combination of clipper guards to get it (#1, #2, #3, and #4), so we strongly encourage you to work with a professional barber.
9. Curved Mens Top Knot
Generally, the top knot men tend to get has a straight, disconnected undercut. All the same, there is a curved version that you can also look into. Those who choose the latter enjoy a thicker, wider, and longer top.
All in all, the approach is practical for men who don’t want the knot to be perched too high on their head. It brings the bun closer towards the back and center for a more casual and mature effect.
Therefore, instead of having a uniform undercut line, keep in mind that you can always curve it down.
10. Faux Hawk Top Knot Men
In terms of popularity, faux hawk haircuts for men deserve their current top-trending status. They make any guy look effortlessly stylish with just the right dose of attitude.
Still, not everyone prefers a classic faux hawk that aims to resemble a mohawk. So you can merge a faux hawk with a top knot to get an original hairstyle!
To do so, use a tapered burst fade technique. On the back, leave the hair slightly longer than the sides and at the same width as the top knot. As a side note, we recommend applying the curved method for the undercut.
11. Mohawk Top Knot Men
As an alternative, you can directly go for a mohawk hairstyle for men as your main source of top knot inspiration.
In this situation, extend the longer top section to the back of your neck. From there, shave the sides down to your desired length. We do want to mention that you’ll need notably long hair for the style to work.
When arranging your locks in the top knot, you need to gather strands from both the front and back. If you have a long hairstyle and you want to revamp it, the mohawk top knot is ideal for you.
12. Skin Fade Top Knot
We’ve mentioned that there are numerous types of fades you can try out, depending on how showy you want your haircut to be. A bold variation is the skin fade, which starts from a tight taper and reaches your scalp.
When coupled with a top knot, a skin fade simultaneously adds both contrast and balance to your appearance.
Notwithstanding, the hairstyle is obviously better suited for warmer months. If you get a skin fade when it’s colder outside, it’s likely you’ll be bound to a beanie for some time.
13. Box Braids Top Knot Men
Whether natural or via extensions, box braids are an attractive way for men to sport longer hair. Additionally, they look amazing when styled as a top knot.
A box braids top knot hairstyle usually comes with a smaller undercut, based on how much hair you want to be braided.
Also, the undercut area is typically tapered, rather than shaven down completely. Leaving a couple of braids loose in the front will emphasize your facial features.
14. French Crop Top Knot
If you’re up to date with hair trends, you’ll know that the French crop has been making headlines throughout the whole year.
It’s handsome and clean-cut but still edgy at the same time. Nonetheless, it reaches an entirely new level when combined with a top knot.
In a nutshell, the hairstyle requires you to section off and trim down about an inch-wide amount of hair at the top of your forehead. The rest is pulled back into a top knot, as usual.
Do note that leaving your hair down or otherwise styling it without a top knot might come off as unappealing for some.
15. Top Knot Haircut with Bangs
Do you have textured hair, braids, or dreadlocks? You’re lucky enough to be able to pull off a top knot with bangs.
You can adopt the look in one of two ways. First, you can cut your hair in layers, with longer ones in the back and shorter ones in the front that serve as bangs.
Alternatively, ensure that your overall top isn’t too long and pull out a few dreads, curls, or braids to frame your face.
16. High and Tight Top Knot Men
As opposed to the traditional army version, the high and tight top knot has a prominently longer main section.
To get yours right, guide your barber into cutting your hair all the way to the upper sides of your head. You can even take more hair off the top sides, if preferred.
For a harmonious transition, we encourage you to consider a thicker layer of hair towards the top.
17. Double Top Knot Haircut
A top knot doesn’t always have to look the same, i.e. the man bun’s shorter cousin with an undercut.
In fact, if you’re a daring dude who is confident in his sense of style, you can modify your top knot in any manner and get away with it.
For example, you can switch to two or even three top knots from time to time. Technique-wise, it’s almost identical to styling a regular top knot.
The only difference is that you have to split your hair into two sections and tie them separately.
18. Temporary Braid Top Knot Men
African braid styles look wonderful, but not everyone may be able to nail them. You might not have the necessary texture, or perhaps you don’t want to commit to a specific braid style for weeks at a time.
For that, we recommend trying a temporary braid that you can take out even minutes later.
To start off simple, you can try a basic French braid, like the one displayed below. Once you get the hang of it, you can dive into more complex braiding styles, such as the Dutch, fishtail, or the four-strand braid.
19. Overlapping Top Knot Men
If a pigtail-like double top knot isn’t up your alley, you can style your hair in more than one knot in another way.
Specifically, you can get two knots by overlapping them. Yet again, it helps if your hair is textured or styled in dreadlocks or braids.
Divide your hair into two sections horizontally. From there, tie the back portion into a flat top knot. Do the same for the top section, laying it over the back knot when you’re done.
The approach is nice to consider, especially if you want to test out different types of top knot styles.
20. Top Knot Ponytail
Most of the time, the top knot men go for ends in a bun-like shape. However, you can change things around occasionally and style the knot in different ways.
A great example is the ponytail, which works regardless if you have a shorter or longer top.
Rather than stopping halfway through pulling your locks through the hair tie to get a bun, thread them all the way through.
Make sure you tied the accessory tightly enough so your ponytail top knot won’t unravel during the day.
21. Crown Braid Top Knot Men
A true king deserves to wear his crown at all times. Metaphors aside, the crown braid actually looks incredible on guys with a courageous attitude.
For context, the name of the hairstyle comes from the manner in which the braid encircles the crown of the head.
Before you get to work, think about what design you want to have in the center of the crown braid. You can create all kinds of cornrows in various directions if you want a more abstract look.
Conversely, you can create a more specific design, such as stars, triangles, or diamonds.
22. Half Up Top Knot Haircut
Today, most people would describe the top knot style shown above as a modern samurai look.
As a fun fact and quick history lesson, the traditional samurai hairstyle bears almost no resemblance to what we associate it with today.
Historically, the chonmage featured a fully shaven top and a long bottom that was tied and folded at the base of the head. Nowadays, sumo wrestlers are pretty much the last individuals who wear the chonmage.
Regarding the hairstyle in the photo below, we would more accurately label it as a half up, half down top knot.
If you have a curved undercut, you can remove a section from the back and leave it hanging while wrapping the rest in a top knot.
23. Temp Fade Top Knot Haircut
If you want your top knot to be sleek, there’s no better way to do it than with a temp fade haircut. In essence, a temp (temple) or box fade reshapes the hairline into a rectangular silhouette with a fade technique.
The look is particularly alluring for men who enjoy smooth barbershop haircuts. Even though you’ll need to put in some extra maintenance time for keeping the contour clean, we say it’s worth every minute invested.
24. Long Hair Top Knot Men
At a glance, the top knot may come across as quite a restrictive hairstyle. While the foundation may be fairly limited, the options are endless for the top.
Even if your locks reach the middle of your back, you can tie them into an easygoing top knot for any occasion.
Still, you should be aware that the longer your hair is, the longer the loose section at the end of the knot will be. If it ever becomes a hassle, wrap the tips all the way around your knot like a donut bun.
25. Two Tone Mens Top Knot
Do you truly want your top knot to shine? Then look into color options. Yes, it means that you’ll be dyeing your hair, but you can always dye it back to your natural color if you don’t like how it turned out.
In any case, you’ll be stepping out of your comfort zone by adjusting your appearance.
For a two tone top knot, we recommend a color combo that will make your hairstyle stand out. For instance, if you have naturally dark hair, consider picking a bright tone like orange or blonde for the top.
26. V-Shaped Top Knot Men
An abundance of undercut designs is just a request away if you want to spice up your top knot. You can be as discrete or dramatic as you wish, from a low-key shaved line to a full geometric shape as the base.
Let your imagination guide you in the process!
For starters, you can try a mohawk-like V shape. Begin with a clean tapered canvas for the entire undercut. Then shave the sides down at a V-shaped angle, starting from the upper sides of your head.
The two lines should meet in a point at the middle of your nape.
27. Multiple Knots Hairstyle
We’ve talked about the concept of double or overlapping top knots, but what if that doesn’t cut it for you? Feel free to create as many knots as you want to get your hairstyle to where you want it to be.
For an eccentric look, you can use the image above for inspo. As a similar alternative, you can apply the traditional African Bantu knots technique if you want to express your cultural identity.
28. Men’s Top Knot Hairstyle with No Undercut
By definition, the top knot typically comes complete with an undercut. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t adapt the look if you don’t want a massive difference from one section of your hair to the other.
In this regard, you can simply tie the top portion of your hair into a knot, provided it’s long enough. To make the look more memorable, consider having the hair on top at least slightly longer than the back and sides.
29. Shape Up Top Knot Men
Is the temp fade a bit too much for you? You can always opt for an easier shape up or line up haircut. It’s quite close to the box fade, but it doesn’t necessarily require the fade part of the hairstyle.
As with all meticulous haircuts, we can’t stress enough how important it is to work with a pro barber. A few dollars can genuinely make a difference if you want your haircut to be on point at all times.
30. Undercut Design Top Knot Men
Lastly, we have a brilliant example of just how creative your top knot can be. It’s all in how you choose to customize the undercut.
You can incorporate various fade styles or shaved lines into it, in literally any design you can imagine.
If you’re an outgoing guy who enjoys pushing the limits of his appearance, there’s no other approach we could recommend more.
Man Bun vs Top Knot
We’ll put the man bun vs top knot debate to rest once and for all. To do so, we want to clarify the main difference between the two hairstyles.
On the other hand, the top knot typically features a steep undercut or shorter sides and back in some way, shape, or form. The hair on top is left significantly longer and tied into a “knot” (small bun or ponytail), hence the name.
To sum up, there’s a top knot men with any hair type or personal style can test out. Although the hairstyle is far from being a classic, it’s definitely popping right now. Therefore, if you want to be on top of the latest trends, it might be the best makeover look for you.
We want to hear your thoughts on the top knot too. Love it? Hate it? Curious to try it out? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!
Martin is a hairstylist and makeup artist, with a passion for art, interior design, and traveling. He has been in the industry for over 10 years and loves meeting new people. Martin enjoys assisting his clients with their various needs and is looking forward to running his own business. When he is not busy building on his career, Martin finds pleasure in spending time with family, going out for a run, and inviting friends over for dinner, boardgames, and a movie.