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Of every possible hairstyle there is, the ponytail is the most straightforward method of securing the hair back and off the face, out of the way and off the neck. A ponytail can instantly provide a refreshing feeling of coolness in hot or humid environments, and when no bangs are involved, is the most full-on method of cutting to the chase that belongs with having both sleeves rolled up, pencils aligned and perfectly sharpened and a full commitment to whatever task lies ahead. Take the rather utilitarian ponytail and from there, move further with style shaping possibilities in mind, and the sky’s the limit. The fundamental ponytail can be envisioned as a blank canvas, after which every successive tweak serves to transition what’s plain into chic.
A ponytail’s effect begins with the exact spot where it’s gathered. One formed high at the center top of the head has been the start of many a bun in past fashion decades. One formed three to four inches backward at the official crown of the head has been the most frequently located spot for a bun, and during the fifties, the crown was the standard spot for all lengths of fifties girls’ ponytails, and most of these were finished off with neatly tied bows, of different sizes. It wasn’t until some time later that ponytails moved further down to the nape of the neck. This was a trend especially prevalent among hippie styles, although others wore them too. The side ponytail has been around for a long while, with high up placement during the 50s, and lower placement later on. The more recent trend has become to now secure the low ponytail at various points along the shaft, from around midway to the last section. For a lot of women, this is uncomfortable and awkward to wear and they prefer to either wear a more secured ponytail or just go without a ponytail altogether. Apparently this style works for some, who you’ll occasionally see wearing it.
There are a number of different ways to add dimensional flair to a ponytail, regardless of its location. Bows can be fashioned from small rectangular scarves or ribbons, and longer rectangular sheer and slinky scarves can be tied without a bow, with both ends left to beautifully hang down and sway with the breezes. Old antique brooches are becoming a glamorous way to accent where a ponytail is gathered, when repurposed by switching out the pin clasp or necklace loop with a more suitable hair accessory. Beaded necklaces, feathers, strips of glittery fabric all make nice wraps around ponytails for all hair types. More often than not, some random-looking strands of hair left out of the ponytail can be gently waved for a more exotic and sexy appeal. And the messy ponytail is gaining in popularity, with its “don’t care” and “done on the fly” attitude.
To Tease, or Not to Tease
One of the most effective ways to add sophistication to a ponytail is to tease the hair on top of the head. Also known as back-brushing, teasing has a way of adding classy glamor and transforming a ponytail into a true hairstyle to add to any look. Actually, the hair on both sides of the elastic band can be teased, which means the ponytail, too. Keep the teasing confined to near the ponytail’s base, and not near the ends. If you plan on teasing the hair from the roots to the elastic ponytail tie, you’ll need to do it prior to cinching up your gathered ponytail, and while gathered in your hands—before slipping the elastic band on, work with the top teased area to get it looking the way you want before you carefully inch the ponytail base with the elastic. Leave this band a bit loose while you work with the top section. When it’s right, tighten the elastic.
There are numerous ways to create more style with a ponytail. Here are a few that are easy and chic:
- Dirty Ponytails: Try working a ponytail on 2nd, 3rd and 4th day hair. You’ll get more volume and more control overall.
- More Ponytail Presence: Other ways to get more ponytail power are to spray your hair first with some dry shampoo. Other products that work are ones formulated as texturizers and volumizers. Salt sprays marketed for those beachy waves are good, as well. You’ll find one that you like more than the others.
- Curl Your Hair in a Ponytail: Quite a few women have discovered that they can place their hair in a high crown or top of the head ponytail to curl it. They curl sections, one at a time that are about ½ to 1” in diameter around the size barrels that will give them the curls they prefer. Once done, they remove the elastic ponytail tie and enjoy a nice curl hack effect.
- Curl Your Ponytail: You can curl your ponytail in large, messy beachy waves, cascading ringlets or many other sizes and styles. Just make sure it’s secure before starting. With your curled ponytail, you can then pin sections of the curls onto your head, obscuring the base of the ponytail and giving it an entirely different and glamorous appearance.