Thursday, June 4, 2015


I don't remember the first instance, but my friend Alli is the one who first introduced me to the concept of the kiki (no, not this one, but the spirit is similar). The kiki bun is like the topknot's cooler, wilder little sister—a Madewell to the topknot's J. Crew, if you will. Alli always referred to the perfectly messy bun atop her head as a kiki bun, and the term stuck. 

Now that I've chopped off all my long, topknot-able hair, the half-up bun, or #halfkiki, has become my go-to 'do for humid summer workdays, fancy nights out, and bike riding along the Jersey Shore. Conveniently enough, the half-up bun has become a trendy hairstyle of late, probably due in part to how many women have taken the lob leap. The beautiful thing is though, this style looks just as great with long hair, and works with any texture, too! 

Chances are you remember the steps for a half-up hair-do from your middle school days, but just in case, I included some of my tips below for getting the look now, with a bit more cool girl polish. Long live the #halfkiki!

1. PREP YOUR HAIR: After I've towel-dried my hair (and if I know I won't use a hairdryer), I spray it all over with Kerastase Spray-A-Porter to give it some messy texture as it air-dries. If I'm going to blow-dry, I'll use a mousse (I am obsessed with Oribe Hair-Plumping Mousse, even though it's totally expensive) for volume and to enhance the heat-styled effects. For added texture, I spray Dove Dry Shampoo all over (especially underneath) and work it into my hair by tousling it with my fingers and lightly sort-of scratching my scalp as I go.

2. EXECUTE YOUR #HALFKIKI: I'll be honest, it usually takes me a few tries to get my kiki just the way I want it. Some days my hair just behaves better than others—which also dictates if I go for the "swirl" knot or more of a fold. Either way, I start by using my fingers to gather up what actually ends up being only about 1/3 of my hair or so, pulling it back towards the crown of my head and smoothing the bumps a little. Then I secure it with a hair tie and either leave the ends out in the last wrap (folded bun) or pull them all the way though and then sort of wrap my hair around the base of the ponytail to create a mini topknot and secure it with bobby pins

*STYLING TIP: Once I have my ponytail secured, I like to pull on the sides of it ( kind of up and out a bit) to mess up the look. Unlike middle school, now we want some bumps!

3. ADD POLISH OR UNDONE WAVES: Once I have my kiki looking right, I fix up the part of my hair I left down. Using a straightener (I got this GHD tool years ago as a gift and still swear by it) I'll either smooth and straighten (if I blow dried, usually) or add some more defined waves and texture (if I let it air dry) by twisting the straightener away from my face as I pull it down across 1 or 1.5 inch sections. 


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