Menu Join now Search

Pony Express: How to Get a Polished Ponytail

Don't just pull your hair into a ponytail—give it some polish in a few easy steps.

The Look: Sexy and Sideswept

1 / 13

VIEW ALL

The side ponytail is back—but with a modern twist.

Make Waves
If your hair is straight: Mist volumizing spray over damp hair and set with hot rollers. Or use a texturizing spray to coax out curls.
If your hair is curly: Prep with a cream or serum and blow-dry straight. Add waves with a curling iron.

Go Sideways
Gather your hair to one side just below the nape of your neck. "You want the hair around your face to have a full, rounded shape," says stylist Oscar Blandi.

Loosen Up
Add romantic wisps around your face by freeing a few strands with a pick-style comb.

Photo: Shutterstock 

Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

2 / 13

VIEW ALL

Goody Versa Comb, $3

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

3 / 13

VIEW ALL

Hot Tools Professional Hairsetter with 20 flocked rollers, $50

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

4 / 13

VIEW ALL

Garnier Fructis Style Wonder Waves Wave Enhancing Spray, $4

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

5 / 13

VIEW ALL

Tresemme 24 Hour Body Root Boosting Spray, $4

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

The Look: Smooth and Chic

6 / 13

VIEW ALL

Get Sleek and Shiny
If your hair is straight: Prep dry hair with a thermal-protecting spray and smooth with a flatiron. Finish with a light mist of shine spray.
If your hair is curly: Layer a shine serum over a heat-styling spray to shield your curls from heat damage. Then blow-dry your hair straight and use a flatiron to add extra polish.

Part Smart
You don't want your hair to look plastered to your head, so make a deep part on the opposite side of your natural part. "This will give your hair built-in lift," says stylist Mark Garrison.

Fight Frizzies
A natural-bristle brush keeps your hair smooth as you pull it into a low ponytail. Touch up flyaways along the hairline with a fine-tooth comb coated with hairspray.

Photo: Shutterstock

Smooth and Chic: The Tool Kit

7 / 13

VIEW ALL

Infiniti by Conair 1-inch Solid Ceramic Straightener, $38.99

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

Smooth and Chic: The Tool Kit

8 / 13

VIEW ALL

Oscar Blandi Mini Jasmine Oil Hair Serum, $35

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

Smooth and Chic: The Tool Kit

9 / 13

VIEW ALL

Brush Strokes Wooden Boar-Bristle Brush, $6.49

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

So Long, Scrunchie

10 / 13

VIEW ALL

Use these decorative elastics to dress up your ponytail.

Here: France Luxe Cone Ponytail Holder in Ivory Tokyo, $16

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

So Long, Scrunchie

11 / 13

VIEW ALL

Scunci Crystal Ponytailer, $6

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

So Long, Scrunchie

12 / 13

VIEW ALL

Bellissima Ponytail Holder, $6

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

So Long, Scrunchie

13 / 13

VIEW ALL

Jane Tran Animal Print Ponytail, $7.50 for three

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, July 2009.

Buy it now

Photo: TED MORRISON

More You'll Love

Close