Easy But Elegant Long Hair Styles
Easy But Elegant Long Hair Styles
Karen Marie Shelton
Date: 8/1999, 1/2/2006, 3/31/2006

Introduction

Long hair is hotter and more popular than ever.  People that are lucky enough to have long hair are always looking for new and interesting ways to wear their hair. People who can't grow their own long tresses are opting for add-on hair and extensions.

(Photo at left from the Mike Hinz Gallery of Long Styles).

The best styles for long hair, in my opinion, are those that take limited preparation time.  As we move further into the millennium, time becomes shorter and more valuable for everyone.  If you have long hair, you can still do wonders in just minutes.

I am always on the look out for long hair styles that I can try on my own  long hair. Once I find some interesting styles, I try to recreate them myself. If I can figure out how to do them, it means the styles are easy. When it comes to styling my hair, I want cut-to-the-chase styles.

Multiple Ponytails

Multiple ponytails and braids are always very popular. The style that I have shown below was first displayed in Sugar Magazine back in the late 1990s..

It consists of three base ponytails. Once you have mastered this first style, which takes 10 minutes or less, you can improvise a variety of different looks. 

Note: This style looks especially good with hair that is highlighted or has chunks of color or streaking.

Before you create the multi-pony style, you will need to have  the following supplies:

  • Hair-friendly brush (preferably boar's head).
  • A package of hair-friendly elastic bands or hair bungees. 
  • Hair wax or grease for smoothing stray hairs
  • Optional hair spray or shine products.
  • Hair accessories, headbands or other optional decorations.

Instructions

You can easily create the multi-ponytail look on either newly washed or "seasoned" hair.  Depending on how you want to improvise the look, it may actually be more advantageous to try the style on "day old or older" hair.

Newly washed hair can be slippery and harder to work with.  When creating just the basic three ponytails, newly washed hair is great.  If you would like to add knots, crimps or braids, you may prefer hair that is not as soft.

  1. Brush hair until all knots and tangles are removed.  Be sure to brush carefully to avoid tearing or ripping hair.  The goal is to brush long enough so all hair is carefully smoothed and detangled.
  2. Pick up all of the hair at the top of your crown, from the tops of your ears to the forehead.  Separate the hair into three even sections. It should be noted that not all of your hair will be added to the three ponytails.  Part of you hair from the ears below will be left loose to flow around your neck.
  3. Smooth each of the ponytails back into a separate "mini-ponytail" and secure with either a hair bungee or elastic hair band.  Be sure to pull the hair carefully into the ponytail making sure the elastic is tight enough to hold the hair in place.

Creative Options

If you have relatively thick hair you can modify the multi-pony by adding more than 3 separate sections. Experiment with as many ponytails as you like. (I tried 5 different ponytails).  While the look certainly was more contemporary than professional, I loved the new style.

If your hair is in good shape, you can take small sections of each of the separate ponytails and crimp them to get a different textured look.

The photo above demonstrates hair that is gathered into multi-ponytails with some hair left loose to flow around the neck.  The hair has been crimped randomly.  The top of the multiple ponytails have been decorated by tying ribbon around the elastic bands that hold the hair in place.

Add Braids or Hair Knots

Once you have created the basic multi-pony look you can also play with different braided or knotted styles.

You can put each of the separate ponytails into one braid or into multiple braids.  The braids can be simple three strand or more complicated, depending on your mood and the amount of time you have. 

Once you have braided the multiple ponytails you have the option of wearing them down or pinned up on your head as shown in the photo to the right.

(Hair by Richard Middlewood, Mark Hill Salon, Hull, Make-up by Suzie Kennet, Styling by Angela Barnard and Photography by Malcolm Willison).

You also can create multiple ponytails where no hair is left to flow down your back.  Multiple braids can be done to all the different ponytails and then coiled up and pinned on top of the crown to to make a beautiful updo of braids.

The photo above demonstrates that each braid has a few inches of unbraided hair at the ends. This allows some hair to "splay out" and add even a more dramatic look.

If you have long hair but it is on the thin side, use less ponytails and smaller braids. You can also braid all the way to the end of the strand or leave some hair to fly free.

The photo to the left (created by James Kimber Hair in Birmingham, UK - 0121 643 6111) displays smaller braids that are looped against the back of the crown and then pinned.  This creates a very elegant updo for any special occasion or event.  

While the braided updo created out of the multi ponytails is not difficult to do, you may want to ask someone to help braid your hair for special events to guarantee that the braids are uniform. I was able to create the braided look on my own hair in about 20 minutes.

You can also braid the center of the multi-ponytails and leave the side ponytails unbraided.

For a more unusual twist, you can tie each of the separate ponytails into one big fat knot and anchor it to the top of your crown. Or you can tie smaller softer knots at the bottom of each ponytail.

The variations are endless and only limited to your time and imagination and the amount of time that you wish to invest in experimenting. Some of the updo styles that are created from multiple ponytails can be worn by people with short or medium hair by attaching clip on hair or braids.

Helpful Hints

When creating the multi-pony look, it helps to have the right tools. If you are creating a style for a formal event you may want to use elastic bands or hair bungees that match the color of your hair.  If you are creating a look that is casual or just for fun, you may want to select colors that contrast with your own hair color as decoration.

Although you can always use the elastic types of ponytail ties or holders, the always popular bungee is designed to use tiny hooks to anchor hair in place.

This helps hold the hair in position without doing any damage by ripping or pulling.

The bungee simply wraps around the hair as many times as you need and then it is closed with a tiny hook.

The hair bungee is a great hair friendly invention for long hair, no matter how long.

Summary

butterflyclipt.jpg (6677 bytes)This style is perfect for adding all kinds of different hair jewelry like jeweled hairpins that can be pinned at the top of each ponytail.

You can also experiment with different color scrunchies to cover the elastic bands.

The crown section of your hair can be decorated with floating hair jewels like sparkly ladybugs or butterflies.

The multi-ponytail style can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your needs.

The style is easy to create and will stay in place without muss or fuss. It is a perfect basic style for adding sizzle to long hair. 

An additional advantage is that the style does not require that you even wash your hair first.  It can be created on hair that is "day old" or older.

In fact, in some ways, seasoned hair will work better for the different braided and knotted styles.

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