We’ve all had them: hair problems. Because of those split ends, a color job gone bad or — eeeek! — a nightmarish DIY bang trim (been there, and nothing’s worse), our hair can feel like a blessing and a curse. That’s where this series comes into play. In every installation of Hair Problems, we ask our network of hair experts about the most annoying issues real girls are dealing with, and they sound off with the solutions.
The Problem: As the weather warms up, it’s natural to want to throw your hair up too. Leaving it down, grazing your shoulders and back when the sun is shining and — let’s be real — you’re sweating, just isn’t a good feeling. That’s when the super versatile hairstyle that is the *ponytail* comes into play. Instead of resorting to your go-to pony routine, consider using these seven expert tips that’ll take your pony from plain to poppin’ in no time.
HOW TO ADD OOMPH TO A PONYTAIL
Chaz Dean, Founder, WENHair & Body Care by Chaz Dean: “Add eyeshadow that matches your hair color to the ponytail part of this style to make the hair appear thicker.”
Sarah Potempa, Celebrity Hairstylist + Inventor, The Beachwaver ($199): “Curl your ponytail! This will instantly step it up from a gym ponytail to red carpet hair. Just throw your hair up in a ponytail, swing it to the side over your shoulder and curl four or five pieces of hair. Spray with a flexible hair spray to add texture.”
Paul Norton, Celebrity Stylist, Joico: “First, create a slightly messier ponytail by spraying a texturizing spray from roots to ends and finger-combing the hair into the ponytail. Once you determine the position of your pony, take a two-inch piece of hair and separate it from the rest, clipping it away. Next, braid that section of hair and instead of using an elastic, back-comb the end until it is secure. The idea is to add another element to the ponytail to make it more than an average ponytail. If the braid is on top it will be more visible, but even somewhere in the center is cool for just a peekaboo effect.”
Kacey Welch, Senior Master Colorist + Extension Expert, Jonathan and George Salon: “A really fun look that takes us back to our childhood is the topsy-tail pony. From a medium-height tail, wrap a small section of hair around the elastic and secure underneath with a bobby pin. Use thin, clear elastics and go about three inches down from the top part of the tail, then separate and create a gap/hole between the hair. Flip the extra section into the gap and move down another three inches and repeat.”
Tim Wandrey, National Style Education Director, Red Door Spa: “Before you get into ways to create a more interesting ponytail, the base of it must be done correctly, and one of my favorite hacks for this — whether you’re going for a loose or sleek look — is to always keep your chin up while brushing the hair into place. With your chin up, the back nape area of the head is loose, so when the head is put back into a normal position, it will tighten up underneath the ponytail. No one wants a saggy pony!”
Ron Williams, National Educator, PHYTO: “For an architectural ponytail look, make a part from ear to ear, at the center of the back of head. You now have two sections: one high and one low. Secure the lower section as high as your hair will allow and secure it with a band. Gently bring the remaining section of hair over the lower section and secure it with just a hint of part showing. You now have a full and secure ponytail that looks like the salon did it.”
JB Shelton, Educator, Bosley Professional Strength Scalp & Hair Care: “To achieve a sexy, messy ponytail, spray dry shampoo throughout your hair, focusing on the scalp. Backcomb your hair and then smooth it down with the palms of your hands. Secure it into a ponytail at the crown of your head. Then, add more backcombing above the elastic and split the ponytail into two sections, twisting the hair to the ends. Using your index finger and thumb, begin to loosen the hair by pulling small sections away from the twisted area from the top to the bottom. You’re left with a messy, loose texture.”
Have a hair problem you want us to solve? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with what you’d like our experts to weigh in on — and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for all the hair inspo you’ll ever need.
Beth is the beauty editor at Brit + Co. You can typically find this Texan writing, trying on a new lipstick, gabbing with her identical twin sister or volunteering at the local animal shelter. She finds inspiration from rosé, beauty products, Tex-Mex and cats.