Michael Brennans high pony tail wrapped with a braid of hair
Tracey Devine UK wraps hair to cover the band at the base of the pony tail


Ponytails: The Facts and How to's

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Ponytails are often seen as a quick and easy hairstyle to keep hair off the face for sport or work, they can even be used to re-style dirty or messy hair quickly in a neat way. Have a look through our ponytail gallery of styles and you will see that they can be a striking high fashion hair style too. A less known use is as the foundation of more elaborate hair up styles, where multiple bunches of hair are used as support and s secure anchor for bobby pins.

They are however not the most flattering for many face shapes. If you would not cut your hair very short then they may not suit you. If you wear your hair tied back more often than not, 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 to note:

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 so please moms, be especially careful.

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 10 to 15cm (4 to 6 inches) 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.

 Some Tips:

  • The best way to achieve a good clean looking pony tail 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.
  • If your hair tangles as you pull it through the band try wrapping ribbon around the hair and securing with a couple of fine hair pins.
  • If your hair is exceptionally thick it can often be very difficult to get a clean smooth finish to the hair on the scalp, as sections of it tend to lump and clump forming bumps. Try making the pony tail in two sections the first from just below the crown down to the nape and secure. The second section being the rest of your hair from hairline to crown can then be smoothed with a pad brush and secured over the first section with a second band.
  • Finally use a little hair spray over the head and smooth your hands immediately over the surface following the line of your head to remove any frizzy bits. don't be tempted to use gel or an oil/gloss for this as your hair will look greasy.

For a variation try a ponytail with side twists:

  • Part your hair down the center.
  • Working one side at a time, take a rough section of hair that encompasses all of the hair from the parting to the temple.
  • Pull it back away from the face and twist it at the same time.
  • When the first section feels tight against the scalp, take a similar sized section immediately behind it and twist that in with the first.
  • 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.
  • To finish, either leave both sides 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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