Ponytails aren't just for playing sports or surviving bad hair days.
This easy hairstyle can be worn 24/7 and dressed down or up. Everyone from babies to big name celebrities love ponytails, known also as hair tails, ponies and simply tails.
A truly universal style, the ponytail is worn by men and women or all ages, races and hair types.
Ponytail How-to Steps
Whether you start with wet or dry, freshly washed or aged strands, complete the following steps for creation of your basic ponytail:
1. Make sure that hair is completely detangled and knot free.
Do not create a ponytail out of hair that is tangled or has knots. This may make the knots more difficult to remove down the line.
Make sure that you take extra time to detangle any knots at the base or where the base of the ponytail will be located.
2. Use a good quality (boar's bristle is always a good bet) and your fingers to direct the hair into the ponytail. Brush the hair into the direction you wish the hair to lay and use your fingers and hands to help direct the hair.
Once you have gathered the hair into the desired base location, use one hand to hold the base hair while you use the other hand to attach the elastic band to the base.
3. Always use a "hair friendly" elastic or other pony base attachment to prevent pulling or ripping fragile hair.
Hollywood hairdresser Robert Hallowell prefers using Bungee cords for his celebrity clients. He loves the Bungees, because "they are adjustable to any hair length and thickness" and can be "wrapped very tightly before closing off".
He also likes the fact that bungees can be easily unhooked to release the hair without ripping or tearing.
Jessica Simpson's hairdresser Ken Paves prefers the Blax ponytail holders. He notes that "they hold the hair a lot more snuggly" and to avoid pulling or tearing hair, he simply "cuts them off with a scissors" when he wants to remove them.
4. Take your time when creating your ponytail. The key to a great ponytail is making sure that all of the hair that is pulled into the ponytail base is smooth and bump free.
Ponytails are incredible versatile. Consider the following pony rules:
1. For a fluffy hair style, shampoo and blow dry hair and then wrap into your favorite pony style. 2. Stretch time in-between shampoo sessions by wearing a ponytail.
3. Wear multiple ponytails for a funky look.
4. Play with a wide range of hair accessories from simple "hair friendly" elastics like Blax or Bungee cords in different colors, to using multi-colored elastic bands, metal pony barrettes or ribbons. The only thing that limits how you decorate your ponytail is your imagination.
6. Wear one or multiple side ponies.
7. Wear pigtails.
8. Create a wide assortment of different braided ponytail styles.
Ponytails can be created on freshly washed and dried hair or can be woven out of day old or aged hair. Ponies can also be created on the fly to get hair out of the eyes or
Types of Ponytails
The classic ponytail, which has been around since the beginning of time involves pulling all the hair on the head back into one central spot on the head and gathering all the hair and tying it onto a "tail".
A ponytail basically consists of a base section that hold the hair and then the pony section which is the bulk of the tied off hair.
The base of the ponytail can be located in a number of locations on the head ranging from the front near the hairline all the way down to the very nape of the neck.
The following is a list of ponytail locations:
Besides creating ponytails that rest in different locations on the head, there are many options for creating interesting styles out of the basic pony.
1. Hide The Band
Take a small section of hair from your ponytail, wrap it up and around the base of the ponytail so that it covers all the elastic band or clasp holding the pony in place.
Secure the band with a bobby pin to hold the looped hair piece in place.
2. Pull It Out
For a fun look, after you have your ponytail completely secured, use the tail of a tail comb and carefully pull a few pieces of hair from the base of the pony to create a light 'fringe" around the perimeter of your face.
3. Clip It
Many celebrities love ponytails for all events. Gwen Stefani is a pony fan. Sometimes Gwen will clip on a ponytail extension to add fullness, height, length or just create a new retro style.
To use an add-on pony, pull your hair back to the crown and create a high pony with a base that rests at the back of the crown. Leave the base of the pony loose so there is room to add-in the clip-on pony hair.
Stick two fingers down through the hair behind the base of the band (your fingers should peek through the other side). Next use your fingers to pull the ends of your ponytail up and through the space so it's flipped up and over itself.
4. Make Waves
Rub a quarter sized blob of gel through slightly wet hair. Put it up in a ponytail. Divide pony hair into one inch sections and braid each section. Let braids dry completely then unwind.
Viola. Lush waves.
5. Banana Curl
Curl the tail of the ponytail into one sleek banana curl that nestles into your back. Use a medium barrel curling iron and curl the entire tail section into one large curl. Let the curl cool by pinning the entire curl at the back of your head. Right before you go out of the house undo the curl, form with fingers and spray well with firm holding hairspray.
6. Add Lots Of Flirty Curls
Curl the tail of the ponytail into multiple curls using either a curling iron or hot rollers. Separate the pony hair into individual sections and use a hot iron or hot rollers on each section to create random curls. Remover the iron or roller and then pin the new curl to the back of your head. Allow the curl to completely cool. Spritz with hairspray and then "finger pick" the new curls into the desired shape.
7. Loop Pony Into A Hat
Make a sleek ponytail with the base centered near the middle of the back of the head. Loop the tail of the pony through the opening of a baseball cap or similar style hat. Let the pony hang out the back of the cap for a flirty and fun look.
8. Trick Pony
Go wild by pinning random strands of colored hair into the pony. Or do what Michelle did in the movie Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion. Wrap a same or contrasting colored braid around the base of the pony. Add glitter or even pin tiny blinking lights into the pony to wear to your favorite nightclub.
Go crazy with hair accessories to trick out your pony. Let your imagination go wild. Ponytails are meant to be a fun experience.
When in doubt, play the ponytail game. While thoughts of ponytails might seem initially boring, test yourself to see how many different ways you can whip up a pony and weave a brand new look.