Ask CurlyNikki: How Can I Create a Natural Hair Topknot?

Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums! Submit your questions by emailing them to BeautyEditors @essence.com.

READER QUESTION: You’ve been wearing a lot of buns lately. I love the look. How do you style them and how do you get your edges smooth?

CURLYNIKKI's RESPONSE: I’m on a much needed hair vacay, hence the rampant bunning! My best and largest buns are created on stretched, not shrunken, hair. And while buns created after a freshly done bantu knot out or twist-out are dope, I much prefer to lightly blow-dry my hair. In this stretched state, my hair is easy to work with, lacks frizz, and provides enough volume to give me the BIG look that I so crave. To give my blow out texture, I chunky two-strand twist my hair using a hair butter like Natural Me Shea Cherry.

I don't use tools to detangle, smooth or style. I just use my fingers to gather the hair in a high bun or low side bun. I secure with a satin scrunchy or goody ouchless band and secure loose pieces with bobby pins. As long as I tie my hair up at night, I can rock this style for a week or more! This is also a magnificently chic way to grow out your hair… as long as you keep your ends moisturized and lubricated and mind your edges (don’t pull them tight!).

In order to get my edges laid, I smooth on shea butter or whipped shea butter with my fingers only and wear a scarf to bed. In the morning, my edges are neat, but unlike gel, they’re not stiff or flaky. I have the control I need with a softer, more natural look. This method is low stress on your edges-- you're not using tools, and you don't have to pull them tight to get that sleek/smooth effect. For more deets on my recent bunning experiences, check out CurlyNikki.com!

Nikki Walton, founder of CurlyNikki.com, is a successful psychotherapist and creator of the most credible online source about natural hair care, maintenance and decoding the psychological ties between black women and their hair. She's the author of the book Better Than Good Hair.