10 New Ways to Wear Ponytails, Straight From the Fall Runways

Ponytails are the new braids. From New York all the way through Paris—the ponytail reigned supreme during the fall 2012 season. Obviously the pony is a perennial favorite, but it had a particularly strong showing this season. But the style can be more challenging to reproduce than it seems. On the catwalk, it’s a high-fashion look that reads casual and low-maintenance. But on the sidewalk, it has the potential to come across quite lackluster, horribly humdrum, and soccer mom-ish. That’s where we come in—a few of our favorite designers (in collaboration with their amazing runway hair stylists) have found easy and interesting ways to retell the age-old pony tale. Here, ten quick tips for the prettiest, fashion-forward, DIY ponies ever, straight from the fall 2012 runways.
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Ponytails are the new braids. From New York all the way through Paris—the ponytail reigned supreme during the fall 2012 season. Obviously the pony is a perennial favorite, but it had a particularly strong showing this season. But the style can be more challenging to reproduce than it seems. On the catwalk, it’s a high-fashion look that reads casual and low-maintenance. But on the sidewalk, it has the potential to come across quite lackluster, horribly humdrum, and soccer mom-ish. That’s where we come in—a few of our favorite designers (in collaboration with their amazing runway hair stylists) have found easy and interesting ways to retell the age-old pony tale. Here, ten quick tips for the prettiest, fashion-forward, DIY ponies ever, straight from the fall 2012 runways.
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Ponytails are the new braids. From New York all the way through Paris—the ponytail reigned supreme during the fall 2012 season. Obviously the pony is a perennial favorite, but it had a particularly strong showing this season. But the style can be more challenging to reproduce than it seems. On the catwalk, it’s a high-fashion look that reads casual and low-maintenance. But on the sidewalk, it has the potential to come across quite lackluster, horribly humdrum, and soccer mom-ish.

That’s where we come in—a few of our favorite designers (in collaboration with their amazing runway hair stylists) have found easy and interesting ways to retell the age-old pony tale. Here, ten quick tips for the prettiest, fashion-forward, DIY ponies ever, straight from the fall 2012 runways.

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Pull The Sides Of Your Hair Over Your Ears: The antithesis of sporty, the ‘elegant, womanly, and very Hitchcock-like’ ponytail Guido Palau (Redken Creative Consultant and lead hairstylist) created at Jil Sander was made a bit more mature by brushing the hair down and back in a way that left only the earlobes visible—perfect for showing off your earrings.

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Tuck It Into Your Collar: Instead of showing off your low-slung pony, why not use the neckline of your coat to completely shield it from sight, like Guido’s ‘cool and nonchalant’ look at Ports 1961? Or you can play peek-a-boo ponytail by wrapping an oversize scarf around your neck and hair a few times.

Photos: Imaxtree

Photos: Imaxtree

Sex It Up With Bondage Tape: Classic, but with a rather raunchy twist, let’s call this Jason Wu look ‘diva dominatrix’. In lieu of a regular elastic band, key hairstylist Odile Gilbert liberally wrapped the base of the pony with black bondage tape that she picked up at a sex shop in Paris. Talk about kinky...

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Photos: Courtesy Redken

… Or Wrap Your Own Hair Around The Base: Again, the idea is to play hide-and-seek with elastic band. After you pull your hair into the desired position, section off a sliver of hair from underneath the ponytail to wrap around the base. Secure it with a tress-tone U-pin and your look becomes instantly sophisticated, like the look at Ralph Lauren.

Photos: Courtesy/Redken

Photos: Courtesy/Redken

Lacquer It, Shellac It: Hopefully this little tidbit will help banish your bad hair days forever—when in doubt, you can never go wrong with sleek, shiny, and wet (looking). For an immaculate, fresh-out-of-the-shower look, liberally palm a high-shine gel from your hairline to the nape of your neck and brush it taut, like Guido did at Calvin Klein.

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Photos: Courtesy Redken

Add a Little Extra Height At The Crown: Time to take your look and your locks just a little bit higher. The tress-trick is this: After you pull your hair into a low pony, lightly loosen a few strands on top of your crown and tease them with a fine-toothed comb. Mist with hairspray to set the slightly 60s style, a la the models at the Diesel Black Gold show.

Photos: Courtesy Toni & Guy

Photos: Courtesy Toni & Guy

Leave Front Loose and Tuck The Wisps: Next time you find yourself unsure of which hairstyle to wear, go for disheveled and elegant, like the lovely look seen at Giles Deacon. Simply center-part your strands and loosely brush them back. Once secured, distress the look by pulling a few tendrils on both sides loose and slipping them behind your ears.

Photos: Imaxtree

Photos: Imaxtree

Wear It Messy On Purpose: Perfect for those whose hair is naturally full of texture--or for anyone looking to glam up three-day old curls--try a bedhead pony. One-part grunge, two-parts girly, Jeanie Syfu (TRESemme Celebrity Stylist and the mastermind behind this Tracy Reese look) managed to make scruffy look easy, breezy, and most importantly, sexy.

Photos: Imaxtree

Photos: Imaxtree

Extend It With Extensions: Ever felt like your ponytail is lacking? It’s super easy to pick up the slack—simply add a few extra tracks! Lengthy clip-in extensions are great for filling out and elongating an otherwise skimpy, short, and stubby pony. Make it look incredibly natural by wearing a hairpiece that closely matches your own hair color and texture. (As seen at Herve Leger and Jonathan Saunders.)

Photos: Imaxtree

Photos: Imaxtree

Rock a Bold Barrette: For future reference, barrettes are no longer just for little girls. The quickest way to glam up a plain ponytail—be it picture-perfect or laissez faire—is to accessorize it. Wear something small and sparkly after-hours, but by day try a piece that’s a bit larger in size, but more subdued in hue. At Rochas Eugene Souleiman made them out of glazed cinnamon sticks.