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Prom Pony Hairstyles: Dos & Don'ts


Mischa Barton 03-28-06

Ponytails have graduated from casual flirty every day hair wear to celebrity style Red Carpet fashion. A dizzying array of celebrities from Mischa Parton to Beyonce Knowles have recently adopted a wide range of ponytails to partner with their latest couture gowns.

Although ponytails have become an accepted party hair trend, don't be fooled into thinking that the current ponytail has anything to do with traditional ponies that are worn to the gym class.

The dressy pony hairstyles that are Prom and Party Hair worthy are carefully designed, constructed and feature super shiny tresses that are often combined with stellar side-swept bangs or a carefully coiffed pompadour or pumped up crown.

Ponytails aren't just for playing sports or getting through a bad hair day. This easy and quick hairstyle can be worn for any event from just hanging out at the local club to a glittering evening affair.

Prom Pony Hairstyle Dos & Don'ts


1. Do embrace the hot new look for your Prom or special Party. 2. Do select a pony hairstyle that compliments your gown. 3. Do consider going to a professional to create a super "finished" style that combines sizzling shine with sleek bangs or a luscious full crown. 4. Do use the right tools to create a Prom or Party Hair Pony that is perfection.


1. Don't select a Prom pony hairstyle as a "last minute" style. A finished and elegant pony takes some time and planning to create. 2. Don't gather the base of your pony in an everyday claw or jaw clip. While fine for busy soccer moms, it is uncool when matched with a gorgeous gown. 3. Don't skip on the proper hair care products such as conditioners, detanglers, hairspray or shine products. It is important to have shiny gleaming strands. 4. Don't select a ponytail hairstyle if your hair is too short, or the style doesn't flatter your face shape or hair type.

Steal Mischa Barton's Sleek Pony

Mischa Barton 03-28-06

Although the famous OC beauty is wearing a nape ponytail, it definitely does not look like an after thought.

Mischa always looks gorgeous on the Red Carpets and related Hollywood Runways. Her ponytail look is simple but sophisticated and very polished. There is nothing messy or rumpled about this look.

Mischa loves ponytails. Its obvious that she adores them because she has been spotted wearing them regularly on Red Carpets over the past several years. She also seems to prefer the high ponytail that is set high on the head near the back of the crown at a perfect 45 degree angle paired with spectacular earrings.

High ponytails offer many advantages from providing a sleek finish, a lot of swish (if desired) and it helps to focus attention on the cheekbones. Hollywood hairdressers have always used high ponytails to create an "instant" face lift.

If you wish to copy Mischa's pony hairstyle start with hair that is shoulder length or longer and is either naturally straight or has been pre-straightened.

If your hair is too short for a ponytail but you adore the look take your mouse and visit the HairUWear site for beautiful and incredibly affordable PutOnPieces that come in an array of add-on pony lengths and hues to match your own hair.

Mischa Barton 03-28-06

Note: My own personal favorite is The Swing Style which can be popped on your head in a matching color. For more info check out the article about Anna Kournikova.

Either you or your hairdresser can help you successfully add a PutOnPieces pony so that you can have a similar high pony style.

Depending on your face shape, hair texture and type, work with your stylist to select whether you should go with a slicked back front and sides like Beyonce did.

You may wish to modify this ponytail by adding a front fringe or some loose ringlets along the cheekbones.

Step By Step Instructions

Follow the steps listed below to steal Mischa's winning high ponytail hairstyle:

1. To duplicate Mischa's sleek ponytail, shampoo hair with a product designed to address your hair's special needs.

Note: If you color, highlight or chemically treat your hair, select a shampoo that supports those treatments. If you prefer, use a dilution formula or a conditioning only (CO) treatment. For extra volume the crown area, try PhytoVolume Shampoo or PhytoVolume Mousse Shampoo.

Mischa Barton 03-28-06

Ponytails are often easier to style when hair is slightly aged from the last shampoo. Newly washed, soft, or slippery hair, can often be trickier to work with then “day old” hair.

If your hair is naturally slippery, you may wish to let your hair "age" a few hours after shampooing before attempting this style.

2. Apply the appropriate rinse-out conditioners. (Avoid if hair is super thin or fine).

3. Finish with a cool/cold water rinse to close cuticles and encourage natural shine.

4. Towel blot and apply very light cocktail of desired leave-in detangler, conditioner or styling products (firm holding mousse or gel).

5. For extra sleekness along the crown and sides, apply a firm holding or sculpting gel.

6. Blow dry hair straight using a blow dryer with a concentrator attachment. If hair is naturally curly or wavy, apply a straightening balm like Phytodefrisant or similar to damp strands. Use a boar's head style paddle brush and separate hair into individual sections.

Mischa Barton 03-28-06

Note: For detailed tips on how to blow dry hair perfectly straight read Celebrity Hairdresser's Tips: Blow Drying Your Hair

7. When hair is completely dry, spray entire head with a firm holding spray like PhytoPro Strong Finishing Spray or similar.

8. Use a Mason Pearson, Kent or similar boar's bristle brush or your fingers to direct all of the hair away from the face towards the back of the head.

9. Gather hair into a ponytail with a base that rests right at the very top of the head near the back of the crown. Before attaching a hair-friendly Bungee Band or Blax in the same color as your hair, make sure that the crown and sides are completely smooth.

10. Separate a 1 inch section of hair from the side of the newly formed pony and wrap it around the elastic band. Anchor it in place with a bobby pin the same color as your hair.

Note: If you prefer, attach one of the faux hair pony elastics in the same color as your hair. Or attach a jeweled pony clip.

11. Once the ponytail is finished you have many options. You can wear it stick straight, with curls or waves. Depending on the type of texture you desire for your tail, use a curling iron or straightening iron.

12. When the entire pony tail is curled or straightened, brush pony to integrate the new texture. Spray well with firm holding styling spray like PhytoPro Strong Finishing Spray.

13. Apply a light touch of shine product to add shimmer. Remember not to apply too much shine product.

14. Add appropriate accessories such as earrings, necklaces and where desired, hair accessories. Scale them to work with the length and size of the finished spiked hairstyle.


Mischa is a hair and fashion icon. Steal her gorgeous high pony and wear it for any Prom or related party hair event. It's a perfect style for Proms, Weddings or other dressy events where you wish to create your own Red Carpet magic.

Follow Mischa's lead and jazz up the style with gorgeous earrings and other accessories.

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- Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10

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