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35 Trendy Top Knot and Ninja Bun Hairstyles on Black Women

(Last Updated On: August 23, 2022)

Gone are the days when you’d only be spotted with a top knot in your home or when going for your yoga sessions. It is now a trendy hairstyle worn on the red carpet.

The list of celebrities who have been seen rocking the top knot is long, from Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez to Paz Vega. Kendall Jenner has been spotted quite a number of times in a top knot bun during runway shows.

But what’s not to love about the top knot bun?

It’s easy to wear and takes the least time and energy to put together. It’s especially great for getting your hair off your face.

Stick around as I let you in on everything that you need to know about the top knot hairstyle.

What is a top knot hairstyle?

The top knot is a more relaxed and effortless version of the tight-fitting ballerina bun. Only in this case, the bun is tied as a knot and sits right at the center of the head. You can hold up your entire head of hair or pull out some individual hairs to create sort of a messy look.

The top knot style dates back to the 13th century and is originally from the East, although it stems from different cultures in the East. While in some cultures, it was worn just to keep hair from falling on the face, in some, it played an important religious role like in the Buddhism and Sikhism religions. In other cultures, it was worn for status. In South China, for instance, married women wore their hair in a top knot bun to signify their marital status.

How do you do a top knot hairstyle?

This hairstyle is best done on the second-day hair and not on freshly washed. But if you still want to put your freshly washed hair up in a top knot, you will need first to spray the hair with a volumizing spray to thicken it so that it looks voluminous. You will also need a scrunchie and a few bobby pins.

To put your hair up in a top knot, grab all your hair and put them in a high ponytail using the scrunchie. Take the ponytail, wrap it loosely around the scrunchie to create a knotted bun, and secure it with bobby pins. Watch how XoChioma creates a top knot bun on her 4C hair.

Is a top knot good for your hair? Can you lose hair around your edges?

Top knot is undoubtedly a good hairstyle, but when worn too tightly, just as with any other hairstyle, it can cause hair loss and alopecia in extreme cases. If you are constantly in a top knot and you notice a lot of frizz and flyaways, that’s a sign that your hair is breaking off. 

Avoid tying your knots too tightly and use scrunchies instead of elastic bands. They are much gentler. Also, avoid wearing the top knot frequently. It tends to cause hair to fall because of the friction and tugging caused by the hair tie.

What hair products do I need for a perfect top knot hairstyle?

You don’t need any particular product for the top knot hairstyle, but you need an edge control to lay down the edges, and an eco styler or any gel of choice to sleek down the rest of the hair. You may also need a finishing hair spray for a glossy look.

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Can one do a top knot with just hair without hair extensions?

Yes, you don’t need hair extensions if your hair is long. Ideally, the top knot hairstyle should be done without hair extensions unless you have very short hair or just want a thicker or longer bun.

How do you do a messy top knot bun?

Tiana Shanell has a great tutorial on creating a messy knotted bun on natural hair. But basically, you just make your top knot bun as usual, then pull out some hair from the front, behind the ear, and on the nape. The top knot must also be loosely held so that it doesn’t look like a sleek bun.

What type of hair do I need for a top knot? (ponytail or weft hair bundles)

You can use both, really. I find that the ponytail hair extension is much simpler to work with, but that’s just because I have not gotten the hang of using weft hair bundles. I’ve seen so many vloggers use the weft bundles, and the top knot comes out almost perfect.

Another clever way is to use braiding hair extensions then wrap the braid around your top knot as you elongate the knot.

What’s the hair length I need for the perfect top knot? 

You’d need at least six to eight inches of hair to achieve a top knot. The longer the hair, the more perfect your top knot will come out. You should be able to tie the hair on the front and the back to a knot. If your hair is too short, perhaps you could use a ponytail extension.

Can you create a top knot with short hair?

Well, no, unless you have extensions on to give you the needed length to hold your hair in a ponytail. 

You could, however, wear the half down, half up top knot. See how Amanda Cypert Beauty creates a top knot with her short hair. A top knot in short hair would look very awkward, with some hair dangling and others puffing out.

Can I wash my hair in a top knot?

No, you will mess up your top knot. You first have to take down your top knot to be able to wash your hair with ease and adequately. With your hair in a top knot, you’d not be able to reach the scalp or even wash all your hair.

Best nighttime routine for top knot hairstyle

A great nighttime routine is key to getting the most out of your top knot. Sleep on a silk pillowcase, wrap your hair using a satin/silk scarf, or simply wear a big satin bonnet. The smoothness of the silk/satin wrap or pillowcase will help keep your top knot intact while minimizing shedding and tangling.

How Long Do Top Knot And Ninja Bun Hairstyles Last

A top knot or ninja bun will typically last for about 1-2 weeks, depending on how well you managed the style. 

Do I Need To Flat Iron My Hair For A Top Knot And Ninja Bun Style? Especially if I have 4c hair?

You do not have to flat iron your hair to get a sleek top knot bun and ninja bun. All you need to make the style look neat is to ensure all your hair is properly tucked into the bun and to make sure you use a hair band with a stronghold to avoid losing the style and causing flyaways. However, you can flat iron the hair if you plan to add straight hair extensions to your style; this will make the added hair seamlessly blend in with your natural hair and make the entire style look natural

How Do I Make Curly Natural Hair Slick Down For A Top Knot Style 

To make your curly natural hair sleek down when making a top know the style, you’ll need to apply generous amounts of hair gel to the hair and sleek down the hair with a brush before putting it into the bun. Some of the best gels to use to achieve this include the  Style Factor strong hold styling gel and  Eco Style styling gel. These gels have a stronghold that will ensure your natural hair stays slicked down for a long time and ensure your ninja bun or top knot look lasts longer. 
You’ll also need an edge control gel to get your edges neatly slicked down. Check out my post on the best edge control gels for natural hair if you’re looking for great edge controls that will last all day and keep your baby hairs slicked down.

Best Top Knot Hairstyles on Black Women

1. Threaded Top Knot on Type 4 Hair

With its gold threading, this style is a cute look to rock if you want to add some drama and detail to your top knot.

What you’ll need: Hair threading cords

2. Top Knot Bun on 4B/C Hair

If you have type 4 hair, this is a great low manipulation style you can make for a natural look.

What you’ll need: Hair bands

3. High Top Knot on Teenagers Natural Hair


This is a simple style teenagers can wear to school and also pair with fun outfits.

What you’ll need: hair bands

 4. Curly Top Knot with Curly Hair Extensions


If you want your top knot to have more volume adding curly extensions is a cute way to give the look more definition.

What you’ll need: Curly weave extensions

5. Long Sleek Top Knot with Swirled Edges

Black woman in a long top knot bun

Want your edges to be the star of the show? opt  for this long sleek top knot

What you’ll need: Edge brush

6. Half Up Half Down Top Knot with Bangs

Try a Half-up half-down style if you want the slickness of a top knot but still want to show off the full length of your hair.

What you’ll need: hair gel

7. Stacked Top Knot

A Stacked knot is a great style for those who want something with a more defined structure.

What you’ll need: hair bands

8. Messy Top Bun

If you want a style that looks effortless but is much easier to maintain, this messy top bun is a great option.

What you’ll need: edge control

9. Ombre Top Knot With Side Bangs

want to add a bit of color to your ninja bun? Opt for an ombre look to add some drama.

What you’ll need: hair bands

10. Pigtail Buns

Pigtail buns are a cute style to try if you want if you’re looking for something youthful in the summer.

What you’ll need: hair gel

11. Sleek Top Knot

Try a sleek top knot like this one if you want to really give the face a lift.

What you’ll need: styling gel

12. Extra Long Top Knot on 4B Hair

Black woman in a long top knot bun

Want your top knot to have a bit more volume? opt for an extra-long style.

What you’ll need: hair band

13. Top Knot With Heart Cornrow

This heart cornrow is a great way to incorporate a unique pattern into your top knot.

What you’ll need: hair band

14. Golden Top Knot Style with Chopsticks


 If you want a look that is both cute and dramatic, try a golden top knot with chopsticks.

What you’ll need: chop sticks

15. Top Knot Style with Light Baby Hair


 If you don’t want your baby hairs to be overly defined, you should definitely ppt for this look.

What you’ll need: edge control

16. Accessorized Ninja Bun

Add some cool sequence accessories to your ninja bun if you want a unique style you can wear to special occasions.

What you’ll need: sequence

17. Top Knot With Extra Knotted Detailing


Want your top knot to have a bougie look? Try adding long sleek bangs and a defined twisted top knot for some glamour. 

What you’ll need: styling gel

18. Extra Sleek Top Knot


This look is perfect for those who want their hair to look neat and perfectly slicked down.

What you’ll need: edge control

19. Top Knot With a Side Swoop Bangs


Side bangs are great for adding a dramatic flair to your look and bringing attention to the eyes.

What you’ll need: hair gel

20. Top Knot with a Swoop to the Back


This look is a great style for special occasions as it pulls focus to the face.

What you’ll need: 360 wig

21. Samurai Ninja Bun

If you’re looking for a fun and cool way to add personality to your look, this samurai ninja bun is perfect.

What you’ll need: hair gel colored chopsticks

22. Ombre Red Top Knot

 Try an ombre red look if you are a fan of combining colors

What you’ll need: styling gel

23. Loose Top Bun

 If you don’t want your top bun to be too tight, a loose bun like this one is perfect

What you’ll need: Elastic bands

24. Top Bun With Parted Bangs

If you’ve been looking for a cute side bangs hairstyle, this style is great to pair with many outfits

What you’ll need: hair bands

25. Top Bun With Curled Tendrils

This is another side bangs style, but with a curly definition that’s perfect for fancy dinners or dates.

What you’ll need: hair gel

26. Top Knot With Define Edges On Mom And Daughter

 This is the perfect mummy and me style for those want an easy style their kids will love.

What you’ll need: hair gel

27. High Top Knot with Fluffy Curls

Want to show off your natural curls in a top knot? This style is the perfect option to try

What you’ll need: hair gel

28. Top Knot With Rubber Band Braids

This style is a great way to include lovely details into your top knot, and it’s great to wear on any


What you’ll need: hair cuffs

29. Round Stacked Bun

If you want a top knot look with more volume and a unique shape, try a round stacked bun.

What you’ll need: high stretch bands

30. Top Knot With Tapered Bangs

 If you want a look that stands out from the crowd and covers your thin edges, this style is perfect for that.

What you’ll need: clip in bangs

31. Side Swoop Top Knot Bun With Red Highlights

Want something with a dramatic flair you can wear to a party? this side swoop look with red highlights is perfect for you.

What you’ll need: frontal wig with highlights

32. Top Knot Bun With Stitch Braids

 If you love stitch braids and want a top knot that doesn’t pull tightly on your edges, this style is the perfect option.

What you’ll need: hair bands

33. Double Bun With Side Swoop

For a fun, unique style you can wear to festivals or rock on vacation, a fluffy double bone like this is perfect.

What you’ll need: hair gel

34. Top Knot With Twists

This Style is perfect if you are a fan of flat twists and looking to style it differently.

What you’ll need: hair gel

35. Red Low Ninja Bun

Try this low bun ninja look if you don’t want a knot that’s too high. Don’t hesitate to try it in a fiery shade of red as it will surely attract only the best attention.

What you’ll need: Red frontal wig


The bottom line is that top knot and ninja bun hairstyles are simple, low-maintenance styles that have become increasingly popular among black women. Of all the trendy women’s hairstyles, I find them to be the simplest and easiest to work with. They are extremely versatile, allowing you to express your personality in different ways. And with numerous cuts, colors, and swoop variations, the styling possibilities are endless. So, whenever you need an easy and trendy look for your hair, be sure to try some of the cute styles in this post.

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