The Ponytail Grows Up

It’s a hairstyle that was once considered lazy, frumpy and casual. But lately the ponytail is making a serious style statement on the red carpet!

Studio 5 Beauty and Style Contributor Holly Stone says it’s a way moms can look pulled together and on-trend, with very little effort. She shares four ways to “pick up” your pony style.

The ponytail, often referred to as the “lazy do”, is the simplest of hair styles appropriately named for its minimal requirement of a clump of hair and a couple of twists of an elastic band. It is convenient, fast and can extend one more day without a hair wash, hide kinky curls, cowl licks, and over-due color treatments. The “I-didn’t-have-time” or the “I-just-don’t-know-what-else-to-do” look of ponytails gratifies many as a sign that at least some effort was made to get ready. But is it fashionable? Put a little EXTRA effort into it and you will join what I am calling the “ponystyle” explosion.

Today the ponytail has grown up to be sleek, stylish, and even worthy of the red carpet. Just like any hairstyle, the evolved ponystyle will take a little more effort and creativity to make it looked intentionally coifed with a little bit of teasing, strategic placement, and some helpful accessories. However, never fear if you are hair challenged. Thick hair, thin hair, straight hair or curly hair, as long as it can be pulled back hair, the evolved ponystyle still remains the easiest of all quick up do’s.

Quick Tips

· Hair that has been straightened with a flat iron is the easiest to ponystyle. Curling the tail after is much easier and looks more polished

· Using anti-frizz serum will help for a sleek look

· Thinner elastic bands make for a tighter pony

· Mousse yields to a messy design but comb through before pulling it back so hair doesn’t look crunchy

· No “ratting” combs. Opt for a teasing brush so hair doesn’t look “ratted” but height and texture is achieved.

Neatly Messy

There is a fine line between a lazy, messy ponytail and a ponytail neatly designed to look messy. Design takes into account the front and the back. Lazy just doesn’t care. To design a messy pony tail, make sure that you have some layered bangs in the front that can softly frame your face. Or “bump” the front softly by teasing the “mohawk strip” to give dimension. Also pull the hair back loosely for a little texture. Even this mess takes some effort to look so.

High and Low

Ponytail placement is critical to differentiate between a cheerleader and celebrity. If your pony looks like a fountain spewing from the top of your head, you have missed the mark. Instead, go for this sleek pony worn very low at the nape of the neck with fullness or” height at the crown. For the hair challenged, Bump Its work brilliantly. Otherwise, get a great teasing brush and follow these steps:

1. Starting at center of crown, take small section of hair and back comb starting 1/3 way up section and combing down to crown. Let teased hair fall forward towards your face. Following the same steps above and take small section on both sides of center at right and then left and back comb.

2. Fold all sections back and lightly brush over the “bump” at the crown.

3. Gather hair loosely low at the nape of the neck in one hand. At the base of the hand that is holding the tail is where you want to wrap with thin elastic. For less structure, the elastic isn’t tight against your head but has some give so the tail starts even lower. For more crown height support, secure the tail tightly with thin elastic. Then choke up to pull even tighter.

4. Smooth anti-frizz serum over the “tail” to keep pony looking sleek

Swept Aside

Again, if it looks like you are growing a tail out of your temple, your side pony is riding too high. Soft, sweeping motion is what it takes to groom the evolved side ponystyle. 2 guidelines-part on side with no straight line, and it’s ok to let the shorter layers fall out.

1. Zig zag part to break harsh line. If you don’t have bangs, part side lower than normal for illusion of a sweeping bang.

2. Loosely curl random sections for that swept appearance.

3. Sweep hair around to opposite side just below the back of the ear and secure.

4. Curl tail with loose curls.

5. Flowers make gorgeous compliment to these elegant side styles.

S-Pin It by Section

Spin pins are fantastic to secure graduated criss crosses of hair that create the cleverest of ponies. In less than 60 seconds, I will show how to design the fastest ponystyle EVER.

You will work with 3 sections of hair-top section, middle section, bottom section, on right side and left side.

1. Wrap or sweep top section to back of head.
2. Take middle section and sweep back to wrap on top of the first section.
3. Grab the bottom section and sweep it to the back going over the top of the previous 2 sections.
4. Spin pin it.
5. Do the same with the opposite side.

1. Sweep top section to the back.
2. Sweep the middle section to back OVER the top section you are holding in place.
3. Take the bottom section and sweeping it back, tuck over the other two sections.
4. Spin pin it.
5. OPTIONAL Bling it for fun with spin pin bling.

Voila! A messy design, sectioned, pinned and pony-esque with a tail. The perfect example your ponytail can grow up but still only take you a minute.

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