The ponytail is a foundation technique for stylists, just like cooking eggs is for chefs - they are timeless and a principal in editorial/runway trends. Ponytails, however, do require discipline and time to master. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that require the most skill, yet, once mastered, make your foundation as solid as a rock and stable enough to build on. Think about how many times the ponytail comes into play in session work, stage demos, up-dos and education, not to mention behind the chair. Share this knowledge with your guests and they will repay you with loyalty. After all, your value as hairdressers is your knowledge.
Every season features the “it” ponytail on the catwalks that outshines the others. Being aware of the trends keeps you fashion-forward and your clients looking hip with minimal styling time. Set them up for success, explain how hair that has not been recently washed will have more grip and hold better (if hair has recently been washed, try applying a dry shampoo to create tact). In addition, this could be the perfect time to do a little bungee 101 with them – elastics work well enough, but in some circumstances a bungee works much better, or the technique I explain below. I think women get frustrated with elastics, they either seem to be too small or too large, never just right for the hair type and thickness, so the technique below works for all types of hair and allows for a seamless ponytail that is secure, flawless and lasts all day.
The hot ponytail this season is low and textured. I recommend creating a deep side part and volume with the Sam Villa 1" Thermal Styling Brush and Professional Ionic Blow Dryer.
Low and Textured
- Take two plastic elastics hair bands (they don’t break or tangle hair), place a bobby pin through on each side of the elastics.
- Gather hair low and behind the ear in nape area creating a low ponytail. Begin at the bottom and place your first bobby pin that is attached to your elastics going up. Holding on to the other bobby pin, wrap the attached elastic around the ponytail until it feels secure and your remaining bobby pin is at the top of the ponytail. Place the pin downward through the elastic to secure the ponytail.
- Take a small section from underneath the tail, wrap around the elastic until the area is covered and the ends are on the underside of the ponytail.
- Take your third bobby pin and place it up through the ends and into the elastic.
- To create the texture, use a 1" barrel curling iron and curl the ends.
Ponytails are also perfect for special occasions, especially when clients have to create a look on their own. Share this technique with them to boost their confidence:
Sleek and Sophisticated
- Start with dry hair and create center part.
- Liberally apply Redken Velvet Gelatine 07 to one side of the hair - you want it to feel damp. Use approximately 1-quarter size dollop on each side, depending on density.
- Using a Sam Villa Styling Brush, direct hair down and back with a Sam Villa Professional Ionic Blow Dryer, following the brush with the nozzle to promote shine. Repeat on opposite side.
- Take two plastic elastics hair bands and place a bobby pin through each side of the elastics.
- Gather hair at the nape in a low ponytail. Begin at the bottom and place your first bobby pin that is attached to your elastics going up. Holding on to the other bobby pin, wrap the attached elastic around the ponytail until it feels secure and the remaining bobby pin is at the top of the ponytail. Place pin downward through the elastic to secure the ponytail.
- Take a small section from underneath and wrap around the elastic area until the area is covered and your ends are on the underside of the ponytail.
- Take the third bobby pin and place it up through the ends and into the elastic.
- Smooth tail with the styling brush for a sleek shiny tail (or spiral tong it with a one-inch curling iron to add texture).
Ponytails are a girl’s best friend – they’re easy to create and can be chic enough for a black tie event or Bohemian enough for Coachella. Pay attention to the “it” ponytail of the season and your clients will always be on trend.
Aspire for MORE!
-Sam Villa, Founding Partner of the Sam Villa brand and Education Artistic Director for Redken 5th Avenue
[Images courtesy of Glow Communications]