How to Up Your Ponytail Game

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Ponytails are the default ‘dos of hairstyling. If you’re running late, if you haven’t washed your hair, if the style you tried went terribly wrong—ponytail. It’s a staple at the gym and it’s perfect when you pair it with your comfy jeans on weekends. Here are some tips for turning this casual hairstyle into a star player in your life. Read on for our favorite 10 ponytail looks.

1. Find the ponytail that fits your face.

Lifting your hair up and away is like an instant facelift. You can make it even more flattering with a few tweaks that take your features into consideration. For example, if you have a small chin, wear your ponytail at the nape of your neck to balance your profile. If time has caused your features to soften a bit, wear your hair high for an immediate lift. Add or remove volume where you need to. Take lots of selfies to find the perfect placement    .


2. Add a chic touch with a crisp part.

A low side part or a cool center part makes an ordinary ponytail tailored and graphic. Take your time creating the part and use the pointy end of a rattail comb to create a flawless line. This immediately dresses up your look. Then use a flat iron to smooth and straighten your strands before gathering your parted hair into a sleek ponytail..   


3. Work with your natural texture.

Gather your curls or waves into a high ponytail. The contrast between the sleekly gathered hair on top and the textured tail makes an ordinary ponytail much more interesting and completely bespoke..   


4. Add texture if you don’t have enough.

Curling or waving your hair before gathering it into a ponytail instantly dresses up your whole look.  Right now, soft, romantic texture is totally on trend. To get the look, mist hair with a texturizing hair spray and create waves from root to tip using a large curling iron on dry hair. Then gather your hair loosely on top of your head or just above your nape and secure with an elastic. Let the top remain relaxed, and allow a few wispy pieces to frame your face.  


5. Camouflage the rubber band.

Subtlety is essential when you’re dressing up a ponytail, so choose an elastic that matches your hair as closely as possible. Even better, grab a slender slice of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around the elastic, covering it completely. Secure the hair by inserting bobby pins vertically into the elastic..   


6. Make it last.

If you’re planning to run, dance or if you simply have a very long day ahead of you and your ponytail, here’s a trick to help your hair go the distance. Grab a cushioned styling brush and spray the brush with a firm-hold hairspray. Use the brush to lift and gather your hair into the ponytail. The brush will work the spray deep into your strands to help keep your hair in place all day and all night..   


7. Foil flyaways.

If you’re going for a sleek look, and you’re bothered by little bits and pieces of hair around your face, try this trick. Take a small toothbrush, spray it with hair spray and gently brush back all the little hairs around your hairline. They’ll be tamed instantly..   


8. Pump it up.

Add volume to your ponytail with this backcombing technique. Create a part across the top of your head from ear to ear. Clip away the front section. Gather the back into a ponytail at your nape or in the center of your head. Divide the ponytail into small sections, mist each section with hair spray and tease the sections on the underside so the top remains smooth. Release the front, divide it into small sections and once again tease each section at the roots on the underside to keep the top smooth. Once the top is backcombed, gently draw it back and add it to the teased ponytail. 


9. Add a braid.

Braids still rank as one of the top hair trends, and they can be used to embellish ponytails in dozens of ways. Create a few small braids within your ponytail. Cornrow the sides for a funky, Mohawk effect. Punk out your ponytail with a pile of braids on top. Or add a clever twist with a tight braid along a center part. To add heft and texture to your braids and your ponytail, try misting your hair with a sea salt spray before styling. 


10. Messy on Purpose.

Undone ponytails communicate a sexy, carefree vibe. To get the look, first mist hair with a texturizing hair spray. Then gather hair loosely without making the top too tight. Let a few tendrils float around your face. For a lived in texture on the tail, grasp the tip of the ponytail with your fingers. With the other hand, slide your fingers upward along the tail in a ruching motion.