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Your Favorite Everyday Hairstyle Just Became A Trendy Highlighting Technique


If there was an award dedicated to the most versatile hairstyle, ponytails would take home the trophy. With so many ponytail looks to choose from (high, low, sleek, you name it,) it’s no wonder we haven’t grown tired of the ‘do over the years. Aside from a simple and ultra-stylish way to make up your mane, however, some of the top colorists in the industry are using ponytails to give their clients soft, dimensional color. That’s right, ladies: the ponylights hair color technique is happening—and they give the term “power pony” a whole new meaning.

Inspired to try ponylights? We got in touch with Lindsey Olson, Redken artist, to get the scoop on how to make ponylights yours whether you have dark brown hair or ash blonde strands.

What is the ponylights hair color technique?

Between hair ribboning, strandlighting, and the money piece technique, there are so many ways to stray from a traditional full head of highlights. The ponylights hair color technique, however, takes achieving soft blonde highlights to a new level.

“True to the name, the first step is putting the hair into one or multiple ponytails,” Olson explains. “Next, use lightener to highlight pieces of the pony. This creates ultra-soft highlights, because when you cut or color the hair in elevation, it softens the lines.”

Any kind of highlights will require your colorist to use bleach—which, if you’re new to bottle blonde, can cause some damage. Depending on how light you want your ponylights to be, the process of lifting your color can even take a few appointments. Though bleach will always cause damage, your colorist will work to help you maintain the look and feel of your strands.

Who do ponylights work best for?

Considering giving ponylights a shot? If you’re beginning with lighter hair, Olson suggests ponylights for adding a subtle touch of brightness to your mane.

“I love the soft results you can create with this technique...The ponytails can be anywhere on the head, but when you place them within the top of the head or crown and it gives the softest look,” Olson says.

Brunettes, don’t fear! You don’t need to bleach your entire mane to try ponylights. If you’re working with a dark hair color, ask for this technique to add tons of depth and dimension to your strands.

How do you maintain ponylights?

Whether you opt for platinum pony lights or honey blonde, your color-treated mane deserves the best at-home care routine. That means switching up your routine with products formulated for color-treated hair. Olson recommends the Redken Color Extend Blondage Color-Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner, a toning and strengthening system that will help keep your blonde brighter and healthier.

To keep your hair looking (and feeling) its best, treat your freshly highlighted mane to a weekly hair mask. You can’t go wrong with a mask formulated for color-treated strands like the Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Hair Mask, which provides deep, intense conditioning and acts as a care extender to provide ultimate vibrancy that lasts up to three washes.

In the hair world, hot tools and salon color don’t get along too well. Excessive heat styling can lead to faded, dull color. When you do reach for your blow dryer, don’t forget to use a heat protectant like the Redken Iron Shape 11 Thermal Holding Spray. This lightweight thermal heat protection hairspray is perfect for use with flat irons and curling irons up to 450 degrees to protect your hair, add shine, and reduce frizz.

Ready to try ponylights for yourself? Use the hashtag #HairDotCom to share your final look with us!

Interested in trying ponylights? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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