Perk up that ponytail

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A bad hair day can happen to the best of us. No matter what you do, you just can't get your hair to look right or don't have the time to try. On those days, a ponytail is often the solution.

But just because it's easy, doesn't mean it has to be boring. With just a few extra steps you can add some style to an otherwise simple look.

The quickest fix is to consider placement of your ponytail. If you need inspiration, just look to celebrities on the red carpet, who sport ponytails to even the most formal events. Try a high, low or side pony to change up your look.

Beyond that, local stylists offer some tips to create a chic ponytail:

Cheryl Noel of Joseph West Design Studio

Noel suggests making a pouf in the front to avoid a slick-backed look. To achieve the look -- and we're not talking Snooki, here -- apply a stiffening product and back comb the front section of your hair. A teasing comb helps, Noel says, but isn't necessary.

She also recommends using products that give hair more texture or volume.

Danetta Mason of Belladona Salon & Spa

For a "really pretty pony," Mason suggests the following style:

Take a circle section of hair from the crown to the occipital bone (the bone at back of head.) Tease it down to the scalp and then, using a boar-hair or flat-paddle brush, smooth the hair. Part your hair slightly to the center of an eye, slide back on both sides and secure with ponytail holder.

For a finishing touch, Mason suggests leaving a bit of hair out to wrap around the ponytail holder. Secure with bobby pin underneath the ponytail.

Amanda Abner of Concepts Styling Salon

"This year what's been huge is braiding bangs over and adding a headband," Abner says. And if you don't have bangs, not to worry. She says you can part your hair to one side and braid it back.

Another big trend is the fishtail braid, Abner says. It looks complicated, but all you do is separate your hair into two sections and bring tiny pieces to the middle, keeping them secured with the thumb. Or, she says, you could do simple French braid pulled over to the side. She recommends starting it low, rather than high up on your head.

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