No matter your level of hairstyle mastery, there is one look you've already got down pat: the ponytail. And it's a good thing. It's a classic. But this staple is now getting a twist, whether by texture, multiple hair bands or a little mesh. Take your pick. Since you’ve already got the foundation down—pull back your hair and secure it with an elastic—you’re well on your way to acing the five hottest ponytails to try now.
THE TRIPLE-SECTION PONYTAIL
Why You Want It: The relatively simple-to-do style appears extremely complex and looks super-cool.
How to Get It: Sometimes three is better than one, as is the case with the triple-section ponytail created by Bumble and Bumble hair lead Neil Moodie for Hervé Léger's spring 2012 ready-to-wear show. After blow-drying your hair, create three individual ponytails: one at the crown, one at the midsection and one at the nape. Then attach the top ponytail to the middle one by tying them together with an elastic hair tie. (Tip: Take a traditional hair elastic and cut it. Then you can tie it easily around the ponytails you want to join.) Using the same technique, fasten the middle ponytail to the bottom one. “You get a panel of hair running down the back of the head; it’s visually interesting,” Moodie says.
Key Product: Bumble and Bumble Does It All Styling Spray nixes flyaways and gives your triple-section ponytail plenty of staying power.
THE HIGH-AND-MIGHTY PONYTAIL
Why You Want It: This luxe hairdo is sure to keep your hair off of your face, while appearing beyond chic.
How to Get It: If you’re seeking a little severity in your ponytail, the pulled-tight style at Donna Karan's spring 2012 ready-to-wear show delivers. Wella Professionals' global creative director Eugene Souleiman carefully brushed the hair back, all the while misting on hairspray to keep the crown looking pristine. He then secured the ponytail using an elastic tie, and wrapped a piece of mesh around its base.
Key Product: Wella Professionals Stay Styled Finishing Spray ensures no hair is out of place in this sleek look.
Why You Want It: It’s the epitome of effortless beauty.
How to Get It: Sometimes you just want to gather your hair back with one simple step. Lucky you, hairstylist Paul Hanlon created just that type of relaxed ponytail at Versus's spring 2012 ready-to-wear show. The idea is to keep your hair's natural texture, which you can achieve by running a texturizing paste through damp strands and roughly drying your hair using your hands. Fashion a center part, and then loosely gather the hair at the nape of the neck, gently raking it back on both sides and securing with an elastic. Once in place, Hanlon purposely loosens up the sides and pulls out a few pieces around the face for an undone feel.
Key Product: Pureology Texture Twist gives your ponytail touchable texture for a lived-in feel that doesn’t fall flat.
THE BUMPED-UP PONYTAIL
Why You Want It: Both youthful and a tad punk, it’s a fun spin on the tried-and-true ponytail.
How to Get It: Redken creative consultant Guido Palau says it himself: “You can’t keep a ponytail simple!” And why should you? “We reinvented the ponytail here, creating a more complicated and spiky version,” he says of the look he created at Marc by Marc Jacobs spring 2012 ready-to-wear show. First, pull hair straight back from the face with no part, and secure it into a ponytail using an elastic. Then flip the ponytail toward the front of the head. About two inches above the elastic, secure the hair with a silver barrette. Next flip the ponytail back down toward the nape and secure a second silver hair clip about two inches below the elastic to create a bump effect.
Key Product: Goody Alice Barrettes are Palau's favorite. Their simple design makes them an easy addition to this bumped-up ponytail.
THE TUCK-AND-ROLL PONYTAIL
Why You Want It: Polished yet not too done, this tucked ponytail feels grown-up without aging you.
How to Get It: We’d be remiss if we didn’t give you an elegant ponytail perfect for when you need to look pulled-together. At Carolina Herrera's spring 2012 ready-to-wear presentation, hairstylist Orlando Pita pulled a fattened ponytail into an elastic band at the nape of the neck. He then looped the ends through the ponytail’s base. To disguise the ends, he wrapped a large section of hair around the elastic and secured it on the underside with a bobby pin. He finished the look by pulling out a few haphazard flyaways around the face, which is key to keeping its youthful appearance.
Key Product: Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray amps up the shine without overglossing.