Coiffeur Fabrice Gili puts a twist on summer’s most popular style
Rising temperatures make topknots a summer hair essential. But just because the style is practical—and effortlessly chic!—doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up every once in awhile. Here, Fekkai creative director Fabrice Gili shows how a little braiding and teasing can take your topknot from ordinary to extraordinary.
To begin, mist hair with an aerosol hairspray. “Aerosol hairspray is dry and will give texture and hold without adding frizz,” says Gili, who used Fekkai Coiff Sheer Hold Hairspray.
When gathering tresses into a ponytail, Gili recommends tilting your head forward. “This way, you get body where you want it,” he says. “If you stand upright, the volume is going to fall down and you’ll have unwanted puffiness below the base.”
For sleekness on the sides and back of the head, Gili used a flat, compact brush with densely dispersed bristles. He says this type of brush is also easier on the hair. One to try: Spornette Big Wonder Brush.
“You want to extend the base and have it sit really well in the elastic,” says Gili, who did this by gently pulling on the ponytail’s sides. He then flattened the pony against the head and divided it into four sections.
To hide the ponytail’s elastic, Gili wrapped one section of hair around the base and secured with bobby pins.
With three sections remaining, Gili took the back portion into his hands and fashioned a classic braid.
Next, Gili combined the leftover locks of hair and teased, using the same bristled brush he employed earlier.
Clockwise, from top left: holding the teased tresses between his fingers, Gili twisted them toward the base at a side angle. After fanning out the twist, opening it up and over the base, he looped its ends under the braid.
After pinning the end of the twist in place, Gili was left with what he calls a “seashell” shape.
Gili wrapped and pinned the braid and loose ends.
Once excess locks were accounted for, Gili gave his seashell shape one final tug at the sides.
For a topknot that doesn’t fall flat, Gili suggests coating the back and sides with a thin layer of leave-in conditioner instead of gel. “It gives similar slickness and hold but it’s more organic,” he says, adding, “It will nourish the hair all day instead of drying it out.” His leave-in product of choice: Fekkai Essential Shea Ultra Rich Mask.
Voila! Gili’s take on the topknot is finished.