Whether you prefer short hairstyles or the Rapunzel look, everyone relies on a ponytail at one time or another. These five looks have all of the ease and comfort of the classic ponytail in a polished, stylish package.
With this length, it’s difficult to fit every last hair into an elastic—but this slightly punk look turns that into a virtue. “Little pieces sticking out give it a playful edge,” says Moiz Alladina, a hairstylist in New York City who created all the ponytails in this story.
To do: Blow-dry hair straight, mist with setting spray to give the style hold, slide in an elastic, then work a dab of gel (such as Nexxus Exxtra Gel, $11, drugstore.com) through the ends of the ponytail for texture. For a bit more polish, blow out the loose bits in front and sweep them to the side. Spray in place.
To do: To get this look (which suits wavy or straight hair), first loosely pull back the top of your hair, from forehead to crown. Hold it up with one hand as you tease the underside for height. Secure the section in an elastic and wrap a strand of hair from the ponytail around the band (keep it in place with a bobby pin). Then gather the ends into another elastic at your nape. Camouflage the bottom ponytail holder with a strand of hair, as with the top one.
Prep dry hair with setting spray to ensure that the final look lasts (try John Frieda Root Awakening Strength Restoring Hair Spray, $6.50, drugstore.com).
To do: Part your hair down the middle in back, then twist the hair on each side of the part tightly toward your nape. Hold each twist in place with an elastic at the base of your neck. Hide both elastics with a strand of hair from each ponytail, securing the wrapped strands with a bobby pin (this will also help keep the twists from unfurling).
If your hair is straight, give it some wave with hot rollers; if it’s curly, blow-dry it with a big, round brush to loosen the curl some.
To do: Tease the roots at the crown. Loosely gather hair in an elastic just below one earlobe (it’s OK if a few pieces escape), tying it close to the scalp to give added volume on top. Camouflage the elastic with a strand of hair from the ponytail and secure it with a bobby pin.
The secret to this look is, again, a two-pronged strategy.
To do: First part your hair horizontally with a comb from the top of one ear to the other (stick the upper portion in a clip for the moment). Tie back the bottom half tightly in an elastic just below the crown. Then unclip the upper section and gather it into another elastic, right above the first one. Finish by wrapping a strand of hair from one of the tails around both elastics and securing with a bobby pin.