8 Ways to Up Your Ponytail Game
Your go-to hairstyle is about to get a whole lot chicer! Ponytails were all over the red carpet this season—and it’s easy to see why. They’re versatile, reliable, and flattering on everyone. The question is: Which one will you try?
Jennifer Lopez, for one, can help you decide. Her voluminous, high pony was one of our favorite beauty moments at this year’s Oscars. The polished style kept the focus on her signature glow and gorgeous gown while offering a no-fail way to beat the rainy weather. But if playfully tousled or sleek and low-slung better fit your personality, you're in luck—we found those kinds and more, along with all the pro tips you'll need to achieve them. Click through our gallery now to see each one!
Jennifer Lopez’s sleek, high ponytail was one of our favorite beauty moments at this year’s Oscars. It kept the focus on her signature glow and gorgeous Elie Saab gown while offering a chic solution to the rainy weather. To get the look, hairstylist Lorenzo Martin applied L’Oréal Paris's Straight Perfecting Balm ($7; lorealparisusa.com) onto the star’s freshly washed strands to fight off humidity. Once blow drying with a round brush, he set her hair with large hot rollers to create loose, voluminous curls. After brushing through the length, Martin swept her hair into a high ponytail, using an elastic with metal hooks on each end to secure in place. Finally, a spritz of the brand's Lock It Weather Control Hairspray ($5; lorealparisusa.com) prevented frizz throughout the night.
To give your pony some vintage flair, try sideswept waves like Diane Kruger. The man behind the look, hairstylist Adir Abergel, first created a deep side part, working Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse ($28; moroccanoil.com) from roots to tips. After rough drying, he grabbed a ½ curling iron and curled the star’s strands in small sections all over. “Once cooled, I brushed the hair smooth with Moroccanoil Boar Bristle Classic Brush ($72; moroccanoil.com) and created height at the crown by back combing that area,” Abergel tells us. Then, he pulled the hair into a tight, low-slung ponytail on one side. “I let the other side of the hair cascade down into a 1920’s wave,” he adds. A blast hair spray provided night-long results.
Low & Sleek
Lorde swapped her trademark coils in favor of a super sleek ponytail at the Golden Globes. “Taking the idea of a bound horse’s tail, I wanted to make the most of all the hair Lorde has while keeping it cool and modern,” says hairstylist Gavin Harwin. Once creating a deep side part, he blow dried the singer’s hair with a round brush. Next, Harwin worked in a dime size amount of Wella Professionals Luxe Oil Elixir ($48; ulta.com) from mid-lengths to ends, and flat ironed section by section to achieve sleekness and shine throughout. “Tightly tie hair at the nape of neck, wrapping the first three inches securely in a 3/4 inch elastic band,” the pro suggests. He misted Wella's Luxe Oil Light Oil Keratin Spray ($28; ulta.com) to finish.
Leave it to Chrissy Teigen to achieve perfect imperfection at the Golden Globes. “It was a modern, elegant take on the playful pony,” says hairstylist Giannandrea. After amping up volume with a large round brush to blow dry, he wrapped sections around a 1-inch curling iron. When the entire head was complete, he applied Macadamia Professional Whipped Detailing Cream ($26; ulta.com) through the supermodel's long waves for loads of tousled texture. Next, he gathered her strands into a high pony, slightly above the crown. His suggestion? “Keep the pony playful by using your fingers to open it up and make it wide, textured and volumized,” he adds. “Make sure it’s not too tight around the face by creating volume at the front with separation.” Resist taming flyaways to score the same effortless feel.
In the Middle
Can't decide between high or low? Try one that sits right smack in the middle like Jennifer Aniston. A mid-height ponytail is the star’s go-to updo and offers the perfect mix of classic and casual cool. To steal her style, sweep strands from both sides onto the back center of your head, letting face-framing fringes slip out. Don't forget to wrap a piece of hair around the base of the pony for an instant touch of polish.
If a voluminous take is what you’re after, Reese Witherspoon and her pro Adir Abergel have you covered. “I wanted to create a modern style that had beautiful clean lines with a 60’s twist,” he tells us. To recreate the look, first work a frizz-minimizer into damp hair, from roots to ends, followed by mouse on the roots. Make a side part and dry with a round brush. After you blow-dry each two-inch section of hair, wrap it around a Velcro roller. “After hair is brushed out, backcomb the crown of the head to give it that great ‘60s vibe with a touch of height,” Abergel adds. Next, pull the hair into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck (just be sure to keep the volume at the crown). Slick the ends with serum for just enough gloss to give it a formal feeling.
For Short Hair
At this year’s SAG Awards, Emma Stone demonstrated the perfect updo for shorter styles. “Emma's striking Dior couture dress had a strong, yet glamorous structure, which inspired her modern, twisted ponytail,” says hair pro Mara Rosdzak. Starting with clean, damp hair, she blew her strands out with a round brush. Then, she passed over sections with a flat iron for super smooth ends before misting L'Oreal Paris's Boost It High Lift Creation Spray ($5; lorealparisusa.com) all over to ensure hold and subtle lift. “To create the twisted ponytail, I first sectioned off the hair in front of the ears on both sides,” says Rosdzak, who later swept the hair into a low ponytail and secured with an elastic. “Next I pulled the hair on one side towards the back and pinned over the top of the pony, then did the same on the opposite side bobby pinning the ends into the base of the pony.” A final round of hairspray provided soft, touchable hold.
Carmen Ejogo’s twisted update is chic, elegant and surprisingly easy to recreate. To prep for the look, hairstylist Lacy Redway applied volumizer and blew out the star’s naturally curly tresses. Once it was completely dry, she grabbed a flat iron to smooth out her strands section by section before brushing into a ponytail. "I took a piece from the ponytail to hide the hair band,” Redway says. “I then split the ponytail into two sections and wrapped the right section around the left section to create a knot.” She pinned the loose section close to the nape of the neck, using Oribe’s Anti-Humidity Hairspray ($39; oribe.com) as her final step.