Scandinavian Street Style: 2 Hairstyles For Guys And Girls

What does it mean to "look Scandi"?

Scandinavians are next-level cool. It’s science: The progression goes Prince, Scandinavians, everyone else.

So when I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, seven years ago (I thought I was staying for four months. Ha!), I was way out of my depth because (spoilers ahead) I am not Prince. Jesus, though, wouldn’t this be a great article if I was?

In terms of looking Scandi or Scandi-like, my score is abysmal. Very dark, large features. Thick, short hair in the French schoolgirl style. If being typically Scandinavian was a dartboard in a bar, I’d be hitting the guy playing pool and getting into a drunken fistfight.

But what does it mean to look Scandi? While the global image is relatively static--straight blonde hair, blue eyes, porcelain skin, delicate features--visiting Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or Iceland will provide a much more diverse picture.

In addition to the changing demographics of these countries, fashion and styling trends tend to lean toward the androgynous. This means lots of sports luxe, “health goth,” and gender-neutral shoes, jewelry, and hairstyles. Because I am, at my core, a person who wants to be draped in comfortable black fabric at all times, Denmark is kind of perfect for me.

Though you can still find plenty of hairstyles around Scandinavia that are conventional displays of gender--think flower and/or braid crowns--I love trying out the ones that aren’t. For your viewing pleasure (and because those rumors about all Scandinavians being good looking are true), we’re showing you some images of our two favorite gender-neutral Scandi hairstyles: The top knot and the half top knot.

The Top Knot

Making a top knot is pretty straightforward. Flip your head upside down, gather all your hair into a ponytail, and secure with an elastic, leaving the last twist only pulled halfway through. Wrap the rest of your hair around the little bump, secure with another elastic or bobby pins, then tame any loose bits of hair with gel, spray, or pins. The key here is pulling the hair tightly and having the knot perched as high on your head as possible.

The Half Top Knot

Exactly the same as the top knot, just…in half. Leave the lower half of your hair down. This is definitely the more fashion forward of the two styles because it’s a little less “done” and more unexpected. Because the lines are somewhat unconventional, this style can be complimentary if you’re going for an overall trendy look. It can also elevate a really simple look to give it a bit of oomph. It’s a great choice for people with hair too short to do a proper full top knot.

As you can see, these styles work for men and women. Dreads, fine hair, thick hair, curly hair, kinky hair, straight hair. We can all be a little Scandi! Extra points for both if you wear a silk scarf or scrunchie tied around the knot.

  • What do you envision when you think of Scandi hair?
  • Do you have a favorite Scandi hairstyle? Tell us about it!