As fantastic as the app can be, TikTok beauty trends often run the gamut from brilliant to absolutely bonkers. For every savvy user sharing their go-to hack for flawless foundation, there are three more encouraging you to ingest or apply... questionable ingredients for the same result. Every now and then, though, TikTok latches on to something truly great and — even better — totally universal. Bow hairstyles are already trending for fall and the subsequent holiday season, but the latest, TikTok-approved take on the look is straight out of an OG Gossip Girl episode.
One bow hairstyle hack in particular has the FYP all aflutter, and it’s surprisingly beginner-friendly. Racking up millions of collective views, the videos depict users creating a half-ponytail looped through itself for extra volume before securing a loose, longer hair ribbon just below the crown. It’s proper and polished, sure, but not without palpably retro flair. Actually, it’s vaguely reminiscent of classic ‘50s housewives hair, not unlike Florence Pugh’s bow-topped half-ponies in the (first part) of Don’t Worry Darling. This return to more buttoned-up hairstyles is a fun dovetail to more freewheeling looks, like the growing indie-sleaze resurgence. And that’s the best part of TikTok, too — one flick and you’re on a bun that would make your grandmother proud; the next, an up-all-night makeup look fit for pop-punk royalty.
The key to this look is in bow type, bow placement, and hair volume. By feeding the tied-off half-ponytail through itself, the pony’s base is higher, perkier, and fuller-looking. The easiest way to secure the bow is to make or purchase one with a hair tie or barrette clip already attached, especially if you’re working with silk or satin — the smooth nature of the fabric will slide right off of hair. Stiffer, textured materials like organza and lace are easier to tie and hand-shape.
Most important, though, is the size and placement of the bow. For the preppy, Gossip Girl hair look, a larger bow is crucial. Place it lower on your head, a few inches below the crown. If you position it right at the crown, the look can veer more toward all-star cheerleader than Upper East Sider.
The preppy aesthetic also calls for a thicker bow, at least an inch across. If it’s a more cottagecore vibe you’re after, go for a thinner ribbon tied looser. Luxe touches like crystals, shimmer, and velvet finishes drive home even more opulence — you’d definitely rank a seat on the Met steps with any one of them.
To get the coquettish, old money look at home, you’ll need just a few essentials. Shop the must-haves down below.
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