There is a universally held belief that ballerinas are preternaturally elegant creatures. Sure, it helps that they have long, lithe limbs and move with the grace of a bird just skimming the surface of water. But if you ask me, it’s the topknot that seals the deal.
It certainly does for me, because I always feel elegant when my hair is swept up and piled on top of my head. Regardless of what the trends call for or what the cool kids rally against, I will forever rock my topknot.
I first got the idea of wearing my hair in a topknot in 2009 when I saw a red carpet picture of Cameron Diaz at the premiere of her movie "The Box." She looked so fresh and youthful, and the style seemed so effortless that I was tempted to try it out myself.
One particularly humidity-heavy day, when my naturally curly hair was flying in multiple directions, I decided to give the topknot a shot. I pulled my hair up into a high ponytail, twisted the pony and coiled it on top of my head, and finally secured it with two bobby pins. The whole thing took less than three minutes, and the end result was cute and polished (and between you and me, pulling my hair in that upward direction took about five years off my face). Suffice to say, I haven’t looked back.
It’s true that the topknot has been adopted by the hipster set, who tend to wear it with thick-rimmed glasses and bright lipstick -- and I’ll refrain from being all “I did it first” (even if I did) -- because all of that is irrelevant to me. The topknot is my Holy Grail of hairstyles. It’s the quintessential style for the woman who is perpetually late and who constantly forgets when she last washed her hair. (i.e., me.) I’ve worn it to the opera and to the gym; sleek and shiny, and messy and wispy; freshly washed and, uh, a little smelly, frankly.
When I travel, it’s the go-to look that frees up my time and my suitcase, since it means I don’t need to drag multiple styling products with me. It has become just as much my signature as my natural curls. And unlike a blowout, it doesn’t render me virtually unrecognizable. I still look like me, only more elegant and ballerina-like. (I hope.)
The thing is I’m considering cutting my hair short, which is as exciting as it is daunting. But unlike most women who balk at the thought of going short simply because they can’t imagine living without their sweeping curtain of keratin, my sentimentality is aimed solely at the topknot.
How will I convey the insouciance of a delicate, sylph-like creature if I’m rocking a shaggy bob? What will be my go-to solution on those wretchedly humid days? If I abandon the topknot, will it languish on the cutting room floor of beauty trendsetters eager to disseminate a new, less attainable look?
OK, so maybe the fate of the topknot doesn’t rest solely on my shoulders -- or my head. But its appeal will live forever in my heart. I may decide to cut it out of my life for a while, but just as my hair is sure to grow back, I’m sure to go back to my trusty topknot.
What hairstyle do you wear over and over again (and again...and again...)?