From the Beauty Closet

The Pony

4 years ago by

Ohhhh, hair….

We kind of talk about it a lot over here. But of course, you know that already. I’m not about to chop my hair (only Garance can truly rock that), or test out another at-home color kit (my ombré is still going strong, despite my efforts to color over it. I know, I’m refusing to cut it off because my hair has never been this long and it makes me feel like a Victoria’s Secret Angel- if only for 30 seconds- everyday.). There is one hair style that I am constantly lusting over: the perfect pony tail.

Everytime I see one, I immediately want to run home and throw my hair up. Whether it’s a slightly messy, J.Crew-esque style or something simple and sleek, like in the photo above. I stand in front of my mirror, toss my hair back and off my face and loop the pony through a binder (in Minnesota, we say hair binder, okay?). It’s always slightly off, but not in a model off-duty way, just straight up not looking right. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I master what every cheerleader has been able to perfect since age 5? A SIMPLE PONY TAIL.

I think part of it might be that I am still coming to terms with the fact that I, like everyone else, have a forehead. I’ve hid my forehead behind a variety of bang styles and now, that I am officially bang free, I’m learning to take my back forehead…or something. So I go home every night (like seriously, every night) and try to master the art of the pony tail.

I’ll let you know when it happens, but until then, your tips are much appreciated.


Add yours
  • “I am still coming to terms with the fact that I, like everyone else, have a forehead.” — haha!

    Not a fan of the ponytail (on me at least) because my hair never stays stick-straight. So, because I have long hair it’s usually just like Audrey Hepburn’s “horse tail” in Sabrina – before she chops it off, of course!!


  • I’m such a huge fan of the pony tail! It’s so casual and chic when you totally own it, you don’t have a choice but accept that “you have a forehead”! haha! More seriously it means you have confidence, that is always a good thing.

    Xoxo! Cory

  • Use two hair bands to make your pony tail, it’ll make your hair look thicker. Separate an inch or two width of hair all the way around your hairline. Tie that in a pony tail. Next take the hair you just separated out and style as desired (messy/sleek) then use a second hair band securing this hair around the initial pony tail. Gives the impression of thick full locks.

  • great advice Jen !! Thank you!!

  • J’ai les cheveux très longs, depuis longtemps, et je n’ai toujours pas réussi à réaliser la queue de cheval comme je l’aime. Haute, dense et bien coiffée, mais relevée malgré le poids de la longue chevelure. Bref je demande le Graal, s’il vous plaît.



  • I have my hair in a ponytail most days, but still cant figure out how to make it work properly :D I have very thick and unruly, wavy hair, and it is never the way I really want it to be, so any tips are appreciated by me as well!!
    great post

  • I love a good ponytal but I have the same problem. I just can’t seem to execute it perfectly!xx

  • Salut Alex,

    Adepte du bun, je pratique aussi parfois la queue (de cheval bien sûr …!! french humour …). Ce que je fais pour réussir une queue haute : tête en bas je rassemble tous les cheveux sur le point le plus haut de mon crâne, à mains nues ou avec une brosse à cheveux pour un effet “lissé”. Ensuite, j’attache avec un élastique. Pour avoir du volume, je crêpe un peu ma queue de cheval avec un peigne. Ça ne ressemble pas à la photo de ton post mais je trouve ça sympa, surtout quand il fait beau temps !!

  • I think a ponytail is a classic! But, it has to be perfectly combed and straight.

  • put it up a bit higher…and don’t just look at yourself straight on in the mirror to determine the perfect position. rotate around and get a good profile and rear-view too. no one in real life is experiencing you only from directly on…and no ones forehead looks good like that :)

    and, be wary…a super sleek bang-less pony can look really severe. soften it with more feminine clothes and pinker toned make up. Unless, severe is the look you’re going for of course, then rock it!

  • easier when hair is a little dirty…

  • Alex… buy a large and med size Denman paddle brush all blk …your tools r important and the hair rubber band u use to hold it…it should go around 3 times….Go to Rickys Alex i am a hairdresser…there is more u can do .try this first

  • I wish I could pull of a really sleek pony tail. I think my hair is too fine to pull it off, so I end up looking “harsh” if that makes any sense. Plus, my hair skills are less than spectacular–isn’t it amazing how the simplest styles can be so difficult?!

  • Ponytail is always my default hairstyle, out of laziness, out of convenience, and because I don’t know what else to do with my hair…have always wanted to learn how to do it nicely (rather than my usual hurried/lazy/no effort at all manner of doing it). Would love to see any good tutorials! ;)


    Brigadeiro’s Blog

  • When I was a not so little girl, I always wanted a pony also. But for some reason I kept cutting off my hair. So I used to close my bedroom door, put a pair of black tights on my head, & make a pony with the tights legs. then I would dance around my bedroom whipping my hair back & forth and for a few moments, I had a pony. Crazy, no?

  • La queue de cheval , un indispensable me concernant !
    La Parenthèse Enchantée

  • Thanks Jen,! Tried your trick and I’m guessing you were a cheerleader. It’s perfect!!! Alex, a perfect ponytail is like the fisherman and his Marlin – should remain a mystery and something to search for. Much cheaper though and you can try and try and try…..

  • Keep us updated! :) I love the perfect ponytail too but I have yet to accomplish it.

  • One tip if it’s going to be a high pony-tail, is to put it in-line with the angle of your cheekbones. Just imagine drawing a line out from your cheekbones and put the pony tail where it meets the back of your head.

    Also, I think the pony tails are often a solution to “my hair is a bit greasy today”. If you put your hair up after washing+drying, it really ends up looking much better! (although, not saying I often manage that :)

  • I understand you, Alex, because I like to sport the pony tail, but since my hair is heavy it seems to me that even if I do a perfect pony tail it always ends in a messy one…
    But maybe the problem is that we (women) are too hypercritical.

  • I grew up with hair binders in MN too! It’s easier to get a sleek ponytail with hair that hasn’t been washed in the past day or two, and use styling products to smooth it out if needed (like Aveda’s anti humectant pomade). For a messy-but-great ponytail, you have to first make a nice ponytail & then deconstruct it the way you want it to look, then use hairspray to keep the messy parts looking right. Otherwise you get a plain old “not right” ponytail because it just lies on your head or falls in your face. Good luck!

  • Beautiful and timeless! Best hair-do ever : )

  • “I think part of it might be that I am still coming to terms with the fact that I, like everyone else, have a forehead.”

    Genuinely laughed out loud at that. I’m still coming to terms with mine!

  • Ahh je pensais être seule à ne pas savoir faire une queue de cheval digne des mannequin !!
    Plusieurs problèmes. La coupe parfaite qui permet de rendre les cheveux attachés, finition extrêmement droit et à une certaine longueur. Si les cheveux sont attachés trop haut, il y aura toujours une mèche toute seule qui dépasse. Grr… Mon deuxième fabuleux problème : les deux racines qui se trouvent sur ma tête. Mes cheveux doivent être parfaitement brossés et lissés, sinon deux petites bosses remontent. Le top……….. Ma solution est de bien faire la raie au milieu, les cheveux de gauche à gauche, et ceux de droite à droite… et on attache. Effet sérieux, mais effet de mannequin garanti. Ce n’est pas grand chose, mais il m’a fallu une éternité pour enfin comprendre… Et une super coiffeuse qui puisse me couper les cheveux D R O I T, pas seulement pour un rendu cheveux détachés, mais SURTOUT cheveux attachés !

  • I too, am having bang detox… except I might never come to terms with the fact that I have a forehead (I think getting my eyebrows dyed and shaped helps, but it could also just be me finding more ways to spend money on myself).

    I was not a cheerleader, but I was a dancer so I had to perfect the bun. You need a teasing brush, they are very small, narrow brushes and I can’t imagine life without them. I also am a fan of Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo, it adds lots of grit — good grit, not bad. Spray all over, then tease your hair lightly around the crown of your head, with more in the back for a little height. Then, carefully gather your hair up into a ponytail (the height should follow your jawline if you draw your fingers from your chin to the back of your head) and secure with a cloth band. Takes about ten minutes, but it is worth it for a work or night out ponytail.

    The double-pony tail trick sounds so interesting.. must try tonight.

  • Does anyone else find that when you change your hairstyle, you also start dressing differently?

  • I do two things: one is when I’m sitting in my desk chair .. I lean and tilt my head back, run my hands through my hair and then wrap my elastic around, usually at the lower middle part of my head. There’s something about leaning back in my (swivel) chair and running my hands through my hair that produce a really good pony tail (more so than with a brush, standing in front of a mirror).

    Also, I love two pony tails; one just above the other .. seems way more interesting than just one.

    But the one thing I always remember, in reading about Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, was that she had perfected the perfect LOW pony tail. I always keep mine low unless I’m wearing a baseball cap.

    Good luck, Alex – love your posts!!

  • I have naturally thick and frizzy hair. I’m also 42 so it’s not young hair. Ponytails are part of my look. I wear them 99% of the time. My tricks for my hair type are: 1. Freshly-washed hair is best (I wash twice weekly). 2. Liz Earle’s botanical hair oil is amazing – run it through before hair dries/before straightening. 3. GHDs are the only way to go. 4. Use a soft, flat hair elastic that goes around three times. 5. Use a light gel for the sides and nape of the neck to keep things neat (I use Giovanni).

  • One time I wore a low pony to work, and the men I work with told me I look like a soccer mom. I never wore one again but I am a fan.

  • Je suis une pro de la queue de cheval :) J’en fait très (trop) souvent, je trouve cette coiffure élégante, pratique (on a pas les cheveux dans la figure) et rapide. C’est mon indispensable ! Queue de cheval haute pour une classe à en faire tomber plus d’un, moi c’est mon dada…

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