Ponytails 101: How-Tos for Those Who Don’t Do Updos

Ponytails: Fashionable, functional, and all-but-inescapable. You have long hair, so you understand the basics, but you’re not quite a pony pro. Replicating the perfect Pinterest-worthy ponytail is hard to accomplish, and if you finally do, you find another issue – your ears stick out, your neck looks long, or you find it crazy-uncomfortable (horsetail headaches are all too real). So, more often than not, you leave it long. Sound like you? We’ve got you covered.


Big-ear fears

Most women who opt for longer styles tend to feel strangely self-conscious when they pull their hair back. You may feel as if your ears stick out; however, you’re likely the only one who thinks so. Like anything new, the sight of your exposed ears may feel strange. As prominent as they appear to you, the size is an illusion, and will fade as you get more comfortable. Give it time. If you’re still uneasy about the look, try a loose, low pony that can conceal your lobes with a bit of volume, or use your wisps (long sideburns) to flatten your ears down in a slicked-up pony—just pull side strands over the outer ears and secure with a bobby pin or two.

Woman with a brunette ponytail
It's about the simplest way to wear and manage longer hair, but there are a few things you may not know about ponytails.
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"What’s with my neck?"

How to tie a pony? Common knowledge. How to position said pony depending on what you're wearing? Not so much. If you find your neck awkwardly gaining or losing inches when your hair is in a 'tail, trust us, you’re not crazy—your ratios are just out of whack. Higher necklines require higher ponytails, and vice versa. Turtlenecks and low ponies make necks disappear; plunging necklines create a giraffe-like appearance with higher ponies—plan your outfits and ponytails accordingly.


Sweat and bake, or risk the headache?

The hairdo headache: a stranger to no one, unwelcome by all. Unfortunately, when hair is pulled too tight it tends to irritate the connective tissues at the scalp, triggering sensory pain. Translation? Headaches. But hey, it’s summer. No one should have to choose between a sweaty neck and a throbbing head, so here’s a trick to help curtail your ponytail pain:


Step One: Split your hair into equal sections, top and bottom. Clip the top section out of the way (for now).


Step Two: Keeping your top section out of the way, gather the rest of your hair at the bottom into a tight ponytail to form your bottom section. Tightly secure your bottom section just higher than the middle of your head.


Step Three: Re-gather and secure your top section into a looser pony just above the lower pony… and voilà! A high, voluminous high-tail—and hopefully headache-free.


Want more personalized hairstyle secrets? Head into SmartStyle for a one-on-one assessment and more custom tips, just for you.

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