“I always love your little buns”.
I remember my friend Bonnie saying that to me one afternoon about my hair. I’d done what I do so often these days: twirled it up into a little knot and wrapped an elastic around it. I am always wearing my hair in a topknot. And no, not a perfectly Pinterest-ed “sock bun” that looks so sixties-chic with volume and hairspray. It’s a tiny little knot, just sitting there at the top of my head, flattering my face in no way whatsoever. But I love it.
However, I wasn’t always comfortable giving in to this style. In the autumn of 2010 I was extraordinarily busy with a social science teaching internship at a high school. Prior to starting the school year I’d had visions of beautifully crafted outfits and blown-out hair every day, impressing my students with my abilities to grade their papers, develop stimulating and challenging lesson plans, and look amazing without missing a step (and how foolish I was to not foresee that you can pretty much afford to choose one of those options- the others go down the drain).
By November, the hair was being ignored. But by “ignored” I mean it was being carelessly and quickly twisted up into one of these little “samurai buns”, as another friend once called it. At first I felt ridiculous. I mean, sometimes it was still wet and my hair was just sitting there as this pathetic little ball at the top of my head. I even named it my ‘I-give-up bun’.
Over time though, my feelings began to change toward my little buns. I’d seen this picture of Jessica Hart in an issue of Harper’s Bazaar, and this model was wearing her hair just like mine! And it didn’t look half bad. I remember thinking, ‘If a model with a serious career like Jessica’s can wear her hair like this and just not care how people feel about it (even though it looked great regardless), then so can I.’
I instantly felt at peace with my little buns, or after learning their proper name, my topknots.
I’m a top-knotter for life, now. There’s something so French about just tossing up your hair like that, because you don’t really care about how it turns out and yet just that mentality manages to add this sense of chic to it that’s so hard to articulate. I guess that’s what they mean when they refer to je ne sais quois.