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The New Way to Wear a Ponytail: Like You Just Don't Care

By Wendy Rodewald-Sulz / January 21, 2014
Blame it on Jared Leto. The disheveled ponytail/bun hybrid that we typically reserve for washing our faces or doing yoga in the living room has become A Thing on the red carpet. Wearing the style with a fancy dress is like the beauty equivalent of pairing a Céline suit with Nikes, a visual contrast that we fully support.
 
But to elevate the looped ponytail beyond its around-the-house origins, you’ll need to put in a little extra effort. You don’t want your locks tumbling down mid-acceptance speech — or during a meeting or dinner, if collecting gold statues isn’t on the agenda this season. See, this hybrid hairstyle is as cool and nonchalant on a random Tuesday as it is at the Globes. So we headed to Isabel Guillen, stylist at John Barrett Salon in NYC, to learn how to create the perfect imperfect pony-bun. 
 

Photos by: Klaudia Tirico
 
Step 1: 
Rub a couple drops of hair oil between your palms; we used Shu Uemura Essence Absolue ($69).
 
Step 2: 
Work the oil through your hair from the ends up to the mid-lengths to add shine and make hair easier to work with.
 
Step 3: 
Give grip to your roots by working in some volumizer, such as Shu Uemura Volume Maker ($48). Dry shampoo also works.
 
Step 4:
Tease your hair at the roots to create a bit of volume in a flattering shape. If you have a longer face, add body at the sides to create a rounded shape. If your face is round, backcomb hair at the front of the head for an elongated look. Teasing the hair will also create a foundation that helps the finished style stay in place.
 
Step 5: 
Mist hair with a flexible hairspray to add texture and hold.
 
Step 6: 
(Optional) Use a curling iron to create loose, non-uniform waves, which will give the final look more texture (and help hold your knot in place). You can skip this step if your hair is already wavy.
 
Step 7:
Make a ponytail at the nape of your neck and secure with an elastic, pulling the hair halfway through. Pin random sections with large hairpins to fake a cool, twisty shape. Now go see how this style makes everything in your wardrobe look instantly cooler.