If your go-to hairstyle rhymes with shmonytail during the spring and summer months, you’re definitely not alone. I’ve been guilty of throwing my hair up with an elastic a time or two (or more like a hundred). The traditional ponytail is fast, easy, and an almost too-perfect disguise for third-day hair; but let’s be honest, it’s boring. Listen, I’m not telling you to ditch the pony altogether—I won’t—but this riff on the classic style will take things up a notch and is stupid easy to do (I’m talking one-additional-minute easy). This braided ponytail works on all hair textures and, even better, requires very little dexterity. As in, if you can do a simple three-strand braid, then you can do this look.
1. Get a grip. To avoid a sad, skinny tail, mist texturizing spray over the length of dry hair.
2. Create a little separation. Rake a sculpting paste through your roots as you scrape your hair back. That pieciness near your roots is what keeps the finished look sporty and cool, not like you slicked things back before going for a jog.
3. Start with a tight, low ponytail. “Braiding loose hair feels too romantic and soft,” says hairstylist Anthony Turner, and romantic and soft is beautiful, but not what we’re going for. Also, securing the braid at the top as well as the bottom will keep it in place all day if your hair usually slips right out of a braid.
4. Lock it in. Smooth defining cream through the ponytail; it’ll keep the braid clean and sharp by preventing any layers from poking through. Again, that’s a look, just not this look.
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