Model, DJ and fashion"It Girl" Harley Viera-Newton was quoted in May of 2008 onRefinery29 regarding her own personal mystery of a slicked back pony.
Known for her spread in magazines like Vogue and Elle, the regular headliner at some of the coolest clubs in NYC reflected on her high school prom hair for her "after-thing."
Viera-Newton reported "I had my hair in a slick-back pony or something really embarrassing" finishing off her "really slutty, houndstooth, vintage Alaia dress with six-inch Alexander McQueen heels."
Her first reaction to her slicked back pony and fashions? She said "I was like, 'I look good tonight,' and looking back, I'm like, 'you look like a whore!"
Oddly, even a supercool fashionista like Viera-Newton can struggle with whether a slicked back pony is whorishly embarrassing or sizzling hot.
Of course the fashion choices can play a part, but a slicked back pony is definitely a hairstyle which can scale from slutty to sophisticated depending upon a wide range of factors.
The mystery of a slicked back pony? Is it fabulous or a fashion disaster?
The Mystery Of The Male Slicked Back Pony
Even more mysterious is when men adopt their own versions of a slicked back ponytail for untold reason.
Case in point? One Direction hottie Zayn Malik famous for his spectacular sexy quiff he showcased at the 2014 BBC Music Awards. Fans were in a frenzy with the pop hunk's bouffant hairdo.
One Direction Zayn Malik's Mysterious Slicked Back Pony
Shortly after his big hair win at the BBC Music Awards he shocked fans with a slicked back pony at the X Factor live finals on Sunday night, December 14th.
Appearing on the stage alongside his One Direction mates he showcased a bump free, heavily gelled hairstyle pulled tightly back into a retro ponytail.
Zane's slicked back pony was a complete mystery to fans who responded with very mixed reactions. Some fans thought he looked hot, others were disappointed the rocker had swapped his sexy quiff for a gel laden pony.
Zane's fans took to Twitter to lament the demise of his quiff, with the most frequent comment about his slicked back pony being a variety of 'wtf has zayn done to his hair (sic)'.
Of course some were enthralled by the new ponytailed look, with one user gushing: 'Zayn is the only male that can get away with his hair in a ponytail'.
Urban Dictionary Definition of Slicked Back Pony - Slut Strands
Another mystery surrounding the slicked back pony is the fact it's defined by the Urban Dictionary as slut strands. Say what?
The Urban Dictionary's definition's is "a type of hairstyle comprising all the hair slicked back from the face (usually in a ponytail) except for two strands, often the same length as the rest of the hair, taken from the two top corners of the forehead and left to dangle "fashionably".
Very often this hair has not seen shampoo in weeks and when squeezed would probably be able to dress a garden salad.
This hairstyle is generally sported by the kind of girl who you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, mainly because there is every danger the ten-foot pole would disappear SOMEWHERE and the girl wouldn't even break a sweat."
The Slicked Back Pony Isn't For Everyone
Whether your male or female, young or old, not everyone can pull off a slicked back pony.
The success or failure of a slicked back pony is often tied to where it's positioned on the head, how much hair is captured by the pony and whether or not it's paired with the appropriate fashions.
Tall, impossibly thin super models ala Giselle look picture perfect in the slicked back pony while some celebrities who adopt a similar hairstyle on the Red Carpet get failing marks from the fashion police.
Summary - Mystery Of A Slicked Back Pony
The slicked back pony can scale from uber cool when worn by fashion models to slutty or desperate when coiffed inappropriately.
One size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to the slicked back pony. Some men, especially celebrities like Johnny Depp and Jared Leto look amazing with slicked back ponytails. Others like Steven Seagal, not so much.
The best approach with a slicked back pony? Do what works best for you. Don't buy into conventional slicked back pony wisdom or follow what others are doing or thinking.Follow your own slicked back pony intuition. Let the mystery of this hairstyle be damned.