Few styles can beat the sass or personality of the high ponytail. Whether you’re headed into a lecture or sitting at your desk at work, the ponytail makes you feel pulled together without feeling like you left your personality at the door. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, it even hides second day hair well.
Of course, all of this depends on one thing: your ability to shape an even, sharp high ponytail. Mystified as to how to get the perfect ponytail? Let us guide you. Grab an elastic or hair bungee, several bobby pins, and a brush or comb. You’re ready to do this thing.
Start with second day hair (or fake it).
All hair professionals will tell you that hair with a little oil in it is always best for styling. Instead of slippery strands and pieces that won’t stay put, you’ll have a lived-in vibe that makes it much easier to create a high ponytail.
If you’ve just gotten out of the shower and are standing in a towel as you read this, don’t despair. That’s what hair product is for—particularly texturizing sprays like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tecni.Art Wild Stylers Next Day Hair Dry Texturizing Spray. Give your hair a dose of it for added grit.
Upside down is easier.
When professionals style ponytails, they seem to effortlessly sweep all the hair up to the crown without any issues. If you’ve ever attempted a snatched ponytail, you know it’s not as easy as they make it look.
For starters, we always recommend flipping your head over. This enables you to get a smooth base and make sure the tail is positioned properly—without having to fight gravity at the same time.
Brush, brush, brush away.
As a rushed teen, you may have gotten in the habit of using your fingers to scrape down any bumps or unflattering sections of your ponytail. Adult women use brushes, instead! Putting a real hair tool to work ensures the flattest, shiniest surface possible. Start at the back of you head while it’s flipped over, and adjust the top section before securing your ponytail in place.
Trade your elastic for a bungee.
Remember taking out your ponytail as a child and seeing a dozen hairs wrapped around the edge, snagged in the metal portion of the band? We’re cringing just thinking about it. What’s more, tight elastics can pull on your delicate hair and cause breakage or result in traction alopecia over time.
Our advice? Skip the band and use a hair bungee instead. This piece of elastic with a hook on either end will hold you hair tightly but not tug on it, and you won’t have to battle to get it out.
Never forget the hairspray.
Ever wonder why your favorite celebrity’s ponytail stays flawless when yours has baby hairs poking out all over? She likely has an assistant following her around with a comb and a bottle of hairspray. Mimic this trick at home, using a comb or clean toothbrush to tuck back any stray pieces.
A quick way to make your ponytail look more intentional and adult is adding a cuff to it. These days, we’re seeing quite a few matte metal barrettes that look appropriate in a wide range of settings.
If hair jewelry isn’t for you, add a few small braids to your ponytail for added visual interest. Who says being an adult doesn’t mean being fun?
Add loose waves before you leave.
If you have your hair in a bun all day and then let it down into a ponytail, the resulting waves make for a fantastic style. Mimic the look on any day with a few loose barrel curls. Let them cool before adding a medium hold hairspray and tousling them.
For a professionally styled ponytail, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.