Pony Up

By request – a post about ponytails! Specifically, how do to do a ponytail right, with some semblance of class. This is a perfect challenge for me because when I’m not at work, I’m almost always sporting a ponytail. A basic, boring, trashy ponytail. Here are a few ideas on how to very simply spiff your pony up while keeping it real. (Read: easy)

First, let’s talk about placement. Just like with your updos, there are two locations that seem to be universally flattering. Put a book on your head. Where it rests is your apex. Now feel the back of your head for the bony prominence called your occipital bone. One-half way between the two is location numero uno. The other is one-half way between your occipital and the nape (hairline at your neck.) Of course, these locations are just suggestions. Feel free to play around with where your ponytail looks best to you.

In my humble opinion, ponytails looks best when they are either A) super messy or B) super smooth. Anything in between screams, “I just don’t care.”

If you want to go for super messy, start with my hot momma wavy/textured hair technique. Or just wake up and scrunch in some texturizing product. Pull back your hair, leaving some of your layers in the front to fall around your face. Don’t brush – just use your fingers.
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For the super smooth look, put some wax or pomade in your hands, rub your hands together to emulsify and slick hair back into your ponytail. Use a boar brush to further smooth your hair. Tie off tightly with a hair band.
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Either look can be dressed up by:

1. Adding a headband (or two). This is the fastest, easiest way to fancy up your ponytail. Use big elasticized bands for casual days and a pretty band with flowers, feathers, or a bow for a night out.
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2. Bump it up! Just kidding… kind of. Take a small moon shaped section at the top of your forehead. Divide in half, cross the two sections and push forward. Pin with two bobby pins, crossed. Then proceed with putting the rest back in to a ponytail.
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3. Wrap a small strand of hair around the band to hide it and pin.

4. Accessorize. Flower pins, decorative hair bands, or a pretty scarf can all do the trick.
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5. Try a side pony. Just keep it low and messy – like you threw your hair over your shoulder to tie it.
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6. Big earrings and lipstick. For whatever reason, they both make a ponytail feel a little more legit.

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13 Responses to Pony Up

  1. Macki Cayloma West says:

    Thank you so much for this helpful post. I have been feeling lackluster as of late and yesterday I felt great with stylish pony!

  2. vmj says:

    love this post! i’m don’t have enough hair for a messy pony, but i’m def a fan of the super slick pony. even on a no-shower day you can look super glam. big sunglasses.

  3. Jenny says:

    Awesome ideas! What do you do if you have high bitemporal hairline that you want to hide? I usually drape front part low to hide, but hate a low pony and do a French twist up. Thoughts? Would love to figure out a new do that doesn’t make me look like I’m balding. Ive had this weird hairline my whole life and wispy flat blond hair so I need help! Sonya you rock!!

  4. Sonya says:

    Jenny – It sounds like you need bangs! I also have this issue and just cover it all up. Sometimes I do sweepy long bangs, sometimes I do full straight bangs. If you don’t want cut bangs, use a heavy headband or a scarf to hide your hairline.

  5. Jeanne says:

    Thanks for this, Sonya. I have the same problem as Jenny. I was thinking the bump approach might be best for me (although when you say moon, do you mean half moon, or crescent moon?) but now that I think about it, perhaps the headband idea is a better way to handle it. Do you have to comb back your hair a bit with the headband?

  6. Tricia says:

    What about us really curly haired mamas? I’m curious how the ” bump it up” style would work on us. I am rocking the side, low, loose ponytail right now actually!

  7. Jeanne says:

    Great post! When you say moon shaped, do you mean half moon or crescent moon?

  8. Hey Sonya, great post. Unfortunately for me I have super fine hair that has broken off a ton in the last year so I have lots of wispy pieces so I end up falling into the “don’t care” looking camp more often than I’d like. What kind of wax or pomade do you recommend for fine hair? I just dyed it about your shade, actually.

  9. Sonya says:

    For fine hair, I recommend Loreal Professionel Texture Expert Architecture Matte Defining Paste. It’s created for fine hair so it will hold without looking to heavy or greasy. The entire line is fantastic for fine hair.

  10. Sonya says:

    Jeanne! Just realized I never answered you. Sorry. I meant half moon.

  11. Pingback: What Has Motherhood Done to Your Hair? | Family Style

  12. Lisa Brown says:

    I love the headband with the side bow…so cute! Great ideas, thank you!

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