The Grownup Approach To Ponytails

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A very real question I find myself face-to-face with often: How to wear a ponytail while still looking like a grown-ass adult? Turns out, with a little ingenuity, you can take the preschool staple and make it polished. The trick is textured hair, which you can achieve by “dirtying' it with product or just leave it alone and not wash it for three days—et voila! You've got perfect hair for a pony.

Let's start from the beginning though, in case you've just washed your hair. Hair should be dry and styled how you normally style it, but to give it a little grit, run a gel-based pomade for a little flexible stiffness. Then, powder your crown with a dry shampoo powder like Bumble and bumble's Prêt-à-Powder and soften the ends of your hair with a shine cream.

Your hair is sufficiently “dirty' now, so time to add a little texture: Hold your hair by the ends tautly and spray up and down from roots to ends with a product like Oribe's Thick Dry Finishing Spray and grab your hair by the fist-full and scrunch!

Now you get to choose where your pony takes you. The possibilities are endless, but for practice's sake, here's three:

*Pigtails

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Side part your hair severely to the side of your choosing, then divide the back of your head into two sections. Make a ponytail on each side with the base resting right below your ear closer to your jaw line. On the side, where the side part dips across your face, do the same, but zhoosh up your hair and give it a bit more volume by rubbing your fingers through the side part, as if you were scratching your head.

Side Pony

Same steps as above except swoop it all to one side. Make sure you fastened your ponytail with a discreet little rubber band right below your earlobe. Add a bow! I'm using whatever I have around, which happens to be a piece of twine taken from the leftovers of wrapping a bridal shower gift. Make sure you have a little bump in the back of your crown so you wont look like a pin head. Do this by half-pulling out hair from the back of the crown and settling it with the palm of your hand.

*Middle-part Pony

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Make a clean center part in your textured hair, brush just the front part down to create a polished frame for your face. Then take your hair and tie it with a band at the nape of your neck so that it covers your ears.

Playful, chic, elegant—make your pony what you want it to be. Suggestions (and pictures!) welcome below.

—Stacey Nishimoto

Photos courtesy of the author. Stacey does flowers in her hair, check it out.

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