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8 Aug 2011

9 New Ways to Wear a Ponytail

TousledBy InStyle.com

Tousled                        

WHY IT WORKS There's a reason why Blake Lively revisits this pony again and again. "It feels like you're not trying too hard," says the star's hairstylist Jennifer Johnson. It's also red-carpet-ready: "When she's wearing a fancy dress, the hair softens it." Movement is key, so if your strands are poker-straight, Johnson says, wrap a few sections around a curling iron before pulling them back.

EXPERT TIP Use dry shampoo to add texture at the roots, then tease lightly with a brush. Gather hair into a medium-height ponytail and secure with an elastic. Slide the elastic down slightly, then split the pony into two sections and pull apart to retighten, which tousles the crown. Wrap a section of hair around the base of the tail, covering the elastic. Secure with bobby pins. Use pomade on the tail to give it a piecey look.
Photo by: Michael Loccisane/Wireimage


Bumped Up

WHY IT WORKS "Sometimes a slicked-back ponytail can appear a little harsh," says Kim Kardashian'shairstylist Rob Scheppy. "Kim likes this style because it's looser—the volume gives it a softer look." If your mane isn't nearly as thick as hers, don't stress. Scheppy says fine-haired girls can add a clip-in extension at the crown to create maximum fullness.
EXPERT TIP Start with unwashed hair, or apply finishing cream to washed hair before blow-drying it smooth. Take the top section of hair, from temple to temple, and clip; gather the rest into a medium-high ponytail and secure with an elastic. Unclip the top section, spritz it with volumizing spray, and tease with a brush. Pull that section back and fasten it atop the ponytail with another elastic.

Braided

WHY IT WORKS Jamie-Lynn Sigler creates unexpected texture in her ponytail with a peekaboo braid. "Adding a braid is an easy way to dress up a ponytail," says celebrity hairstylist Marcus Francis, who has worked with Scarlett Johansson and Michelle Williams. "Plus, it's a very young, fresh look."
EXPERT TIP It's all about direction. To make sure your braid doesn't fall flat, Francis recommends intertwining the strands loosely, pulling down and forward as you do..

Retro

WHY IT WORKS Channel your inner pin-up girl like Penelope Cruz, and give the everyday ponytail a vintage twist—literally! "Cruz created fullness by twisting the length of her ponytail around to make it shorter," Francis says. "The clip-on bangs were a fun, retro-inspired addition to her signature style."
EXPERT TIP Recreating this style works best with longer hair. "Spiral hair upward as if you are pulling it into a French Twist," says Francis. The ponytail is formed from the loose, upswept ends of the twist. "Large hair pins have more holding power, so they'll work best to secure the style."

High

WHY IT WORKS Instead of a cheerleader-esque high pony, Nicole Kidman's look is more relaxed. "Undone and natural can be the perfect touch for a style like this," says Francis. "Her soft bangs and face-framing layers give the look a more laid-back, summery vibe."
EXPERT TIP "Follow the natural line of your cheekbone when pulling your hair back," Francis says. "If you're worried the high ponytail will look too severe, pull out a few pieces to frame your face."

On the Side

WHY IT WORKS This isn't your '80s side ponytail. Instead, this off-center style gets a modern makeover with loose waves and a sideswept fringe. "Carrie Underwood's side ponytail compliments the shape of her face without being in the way," Francis says. "Her soft waves make it more glamorous."
EXPERT TIP A few face-framing strands go a long way. "Be sure to leave out a few layers before securing the style," advises Francis. "It adds balance."

Teased

WHY IT WORKS Sienna Miller's ponytail has a high fashion edge, thanks to the teased texture and high placement. "The style is chic enough for a night on the town, but maintains a cool, unfussy feeling," Francis says.
EXPERT TIP Afraid to back-comb your strands? Francis advises using thickening spray at the roots for extra body before pulling your hair into a pony. "Pinch out a few of the teased, bumpy pieces until you get your desired undone effect."

Sleek

WHY IT WORKS Amy Adams proves that sleek hair doesn't always fall flat. "This ponytail is sophisticated while also being sexy," Francis says. "Sometimes a simple, sleek ponytail is the best hairstyle for complementing a look, and Amy is doing it flawlessly."
EXPERT TIP No flyaway strands here—before styling hair into a ponytail, brush through using a round brush and a blow-dryer to smooth things over. "Bringing your hair back at eye level while tilting your head helps to get a cleaner, tighter style," Francis says. But be careful not to pull too tight. Super-taut styles add stress to hair follicles, which can lead to more breakage.

Low

WHY IT WORKS "If Brigitte Bardot were to wear a ponytail, I'd imagine it would look a lot like Jessica Alba's," Francis says. "The strong center part and understated volume make the simple style more chic." We love the cozy way it covers the ears, too.
EXPERT TIP Low ponytails sometimes fall limp, so add body by separating into three small sections and teasing hair at the crown. "A little volume at the crown keeps this ponytail from looking too plain," says Francis.
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