It’s been years since Ariana Grande debuted her signature style, but it seems everyone’s infatuation with her sleek high ponytail continues to grow. It’s easy to see why: When done correctly, a ponytail can instantly make you look chic and sophisticated—with minimal effort required. Unfortunately, not all ponies are created equal, and there’s a fine line between a slick updo and a sweaty post-workout style. Read on to discover five ways to take your ponytail from lazy to luxe in just a few minutes flat.
Tip #1: Smooth things out
Ever wonder how Kim Kardashian West achieves her snatched ponytail? Every strand is properly prepped and smoothed to create that flawless “glass” look. Begin by applying a dry oil, then apply hairspray to the roots and smooth the hair back. Next, flat iron the tail in small sections to blend the ends for a seamless finish. To prevent bumps, turn your head upside as you pull your hair into a ponytail, or, even better, opt for a hair bungee instead of a traditional elastic.
Tip #2: Get knot-ty
The only thing separating your daily ponytail from a post-sweat sesh style? The hair elastic. Visible hair elastics and scrunchies may be fine at the gym, but, if you’re aiming for a chicer look, it’s best to disguise them. When styling, leave a 1-inch section of hair out of the pony, then wrap it around the hair elastic and pin it in place. Another option? Use the 1-inch section to create a knot around the hair for a cool, modern look.
Tip #3: Go extreme
The reason why Miss Grande’s pony always looks so snatched? Not only is it super high on her head—giving her amazing cheekbones and an instant facelift—it’s also extremely long, resembling (quite literally) a horse’s tail. Want to follow her lead? Add length with clip-in extensions. Simply apply a couple of wefts to the back of your head upside down, then gently pull your hair into a hair ponytail. An easier option? Opt for a clip-in ponytail instead!
Tip #4: Accessorize it
If you really want to look fierce, complement your style with accessories. And no, we’re not only talking about embellished headbands and sparkly barrettes—we mean actual accessories. Think: chandelier earrings, a statement necklace or even a bold lip. Your ponytail should serve as a blank canvas to showcase any statement piece.
Tip #5: Braid away
Feeling extra spicy? Take your sleek pony one step further and opt for cool braid. Pull your hair up into a sky-high pony, then braid the tail into your plait of choice. From a fishtail braid to Dutch braid, adding a subtle twist is a surefire way to elevate the go-to look.