How to Get the Perfect Ponytail?

June 3, 2000

By Gabrielle McCarthy, Editor of Australia’s haircare site, VirtualHairCare.comUnfortunately for some, ponytails are not the best look even though they are easy to manage. You must first ask yourself if you wear your hair tied back more often than not? If you do then why do you have all that hair? Maybe a shorter look that you can manage would suit your lifestyle better and be more flattering. Just a thought. Saying that they are easy does not mean that they don’t come without the odd problem, so a few points need to be made when wearing a ponytail:

With all ponytails, excessive tension can cause breakage. Always go gently when making a ponytail, as using too much force can result in a very nasty condition called tension alopecia. This is permanent hair loss and leaves you looking like you are receding. This is often caused during childhood.

The use of coated rubber bands or soft scrunchies is another important point as they will not break or damage the hair. A sign that you are getting hair breakage from bands is when you see a line of shorter hairs 10cm to 15cm from the scalp. Headaches from ponytails can also be caused by excessive tension combined with the weight of the hair. Try Alice type bands to keep your hair off your face or cut it a little to relieve some of the weight.


Here are our tips:

The best way to achieve a good clean looking ponytail is to brush the dry hair back, gather it in one hand then slip a band from around the fingers of the other hand over it. Finally use a little hairspray over the head and smooth your hands immediately over the surface following the line of your head to remove any frizzy bits. For a variation try a ponytail with side twists:

  1. Part your hair down the centre .
  2. Working one side at a time, take a rough section of hair that encompasses all of the hair from the parting to the temple.
  3. Pull it back away from the face and twist it at the same time.
  4. When the first section feels tight against the scalp, take similar sized section immediately behind it and twist that in with the first.
  5. Repeat this adding in more hair until all the hair on one side is used up and secure it in the nape with a band whilst you repeat the process on the other side.
  6. To finish, either leave both side separate or join them together. Leave the loose hair hanging down your back.

This is a great ponytail if your hair is layered around the face and would normally fall out, as the twisting holds in the shorter bits.

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