Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pony Up With These PonyTail Pointers

In the morning what does your hair reveal about you? No, not when you first wake up but after you’ve put yourself together best you can so you are ready to face the world.

Are your dreary looking locks confessing you overslept and so didn’t have time to properly style them? With your hair catching second glances - just not for the right reason?

Or as you drag into work or class on a Friday, amidst judgmental stares, does your mane tell the world you stayed out well beyond Happy Hour. So that after hitting snooze four or five times you lacked the energy to spruce things up on top?

Or does the hat covering that rat’s nest Monday morning say it all after a weekend of fun in the sun? And we all know what is really meant by the “cute hat” comment casually cast your way.

Doesn’t have to be that way you know.

Naturally sites like can show you how you can keep your hair from letting others all up in your business. You know, prevent it from leaking your personal life’s secrets to the world at large for whom it’s none of their business. So can any of the fashion magazines. I’ll even share an few good ideas here.

So yeah, you CAN look effortlessly chic instead of like you put no effort into your hair.

You CAN pull things together and salvage the day mane-wise even if you only have a few minutes to work your magic. If you know how.

The style of choice? Why a ponytail of course.

Isn’t it always?

With good reason though.

It’s the perfect quick fix that is really more versatile than even you may believe.

But first a word of warning. There are certain things we do to our hair that simply aren’t strand smart that can downright terrorize your scalp.
  • Excessive use of styling tools that involve heat ie curling or straightening irons, hot rollers come to mind. Even with heat protectant the damage can build over time.
  • Chemicals found in some perms, relaxers, and such can structurally change the hair shaft and not for the better. While formaldehyde found in some straighteners isn’t doing you or your stylist any favors.
  • Then tight braids or ponytails fall also into that category.
Which is why I feel it’s better to think loose and messy rather than slicked back and buttoned down here.

Perfectly Messy

Now if you are stuck for how to do that try this. All you’ll need is a few bobby pins, a hair tie, a small barrel curling iron and if you insist a teasing comb.

Those with fine hair may find that an easy way to get a ponied up style with volume is to prep their mane first with a volumizing spray or root lifter followed by a rough blow dry.

The next step would be to grab your curling iron and use it to quickly curl random pieces of hair. The idea is to create some loose texture. So you wrap and unwrap each section without any prolonged stay on the iron. Just a lingering second or two against the heat should do it.

After that some may advise lightly back combing your hair too. I would not. There are texturing sprays that could be said to be the equivalent of teasing in a bottle. They contain starches to amp up the volume in an instant. Products like these will help you avoid any risk of damage even gentle back combing can sometime do to the cuticle.

But if you insist on reaching for your teasing comb focus on the hair around the crown. Taking one inch sections and working towards the front to build in some volume.

Remember too this is a messy ponytail, so perfection is not what you are looking for.

Okay so having created some volume and texture pull your strands back into a low pony tail and secure with your hair tie. You want this to be rather loose not tight. Otherwise you will kill the volume you just worked into your hair. To further ensure it’s not too tight, pull some of the strand out from under the tie just to loosen things up a bit more.

As the final move shake your head to get even more looseness. Should pieces of shorter hair fall out, that’s fine. Messy remember?

To finish off the look don’t forget to take a bit of hair out of the pony, and wrap it around the tie to hide it so no one can see it. Secure with the bobby pin. You want this move to become a habit and do it everytime you pull your hair back. Just a nice touch for a more polished look.

Anyway this is one way to approach if you are stuck for ideas.

Fatal Error: Well for your hair at least. One of most common mistakes made is wrapping the elastic too tightly. The results can be damaging. With unwanted hair breakage where things end up. A better approach may be to use the bungee wrap. The two hooks on the ends of the elastics firmly contain your sleek pony no matter what.

Glam It Up

There will be times where you’ll want to put your personal mark on the look. You know, throw in a bit of personal style or flair? Here’s five ways to do that.
  • One way is to dress up a ponytail with some swag to give all your admirers something special to admire. Bows work well. As do fancy schmancy clips of some sort or a even cute scrunchie.
  • Second you could always add some loose laid back curls. Yeah what about curling your elegant tail using a straightening iron? Or use your curling iron to turn this into one giant curl.
  • Curls not your thing? Try this instead. A glassy, poker straight style starts with a really low pony that’s all the way down there at the nape of your neck. Flat iron one inch sections of hair from the tie on down. This will smooth the strands while adding sleekness giving you a more polished look. Finish things off by running glossing cream on the hair pulled back but in front of the tie for just a dazzling overall sheen. Talk about sleekified hair. Prepare to be complimented. A lot.
  • Another tip would involve a headband somehow. It’s a cute way to spruce up any ponytail.
  • You could apply some temporary hair color to a few section. Pastels worked into the picture can also liven things up.
And don’t forget to sometimes leave some strands of hair hanging out for a cute and somewhat more casual approach. They frame your face and can soften the overall impression. Best of all it’s another way to dress things up a bit. While poofing it out from under the tie some around the edges also softens thing nicely.

Here's How To Glam It Up Even More

This super simple crochet stitch style looks way harder that it is to pull off.  Making it a great way to spruce up any pony tail in a way sure to leave a memorable impression. 

First you’ll want to brush your medium length hair or longer hair to one side to smooth it out.

To get the braid started put in a horizontal part at the top of your head. 

Pay attention to the video here.  To get the knot started you want to wrap the hair around your thumb and index finger until you have made a complete circle as demonstrated.  Pull the strand through that circle taking care not to pull it through completely leaving a loop.  The idea is to give yourself space for your index finger and thumb to fit back into the loop or new circle you are creating.

Then just like you would with a French braid, take another piece of hair, add it to the first strand and loop that through the circle.  As before don’t loop it through completely, just enough to get your thumb and index finger inside the loop.   

You’ll want to continue to grab new hair, pull that along with the previous strand through the loop, creating the next loop in the process.  Easy right?  Keep this up until your braid extends below your ear. 

With your last grab of hair you’ll want to pull it into the circle as before only this time pull it all the way through.  Use that and the rest of your hair to form a side pony.

To finish the look any ends that aren’t cooperating, simple stick them into their proper knot and use a bobby pin to keep them where they should be. 

Top things off with the accessory of your choice.  In this case a flower clip was used.

Don’t you just love this one?  I know I do.  Is there any more classy way to jazz up a mundane pony tail than this?  I think not.  It just oozes elegance.

Anyway, you should be set for those rushed mornings when your hair could give you away but you don't want it too.  Now you don't have to let it.