Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, Jorja Smith, Haley Lu Richardson and now... me? With many of the world's most-watched women taking on a ponytail that sits at the top of the crown, scraped back and tumbling down the nape of the neck, there are few hairstyles that seem so universal right now. They bode well with the trend for all-things-accessories, they scream busy, busy, they are fairly non-committal once assembled and can be introduced at a moment's notice.
So, I set about to be the next to join the brigade. In looking for that Ariana Grande elevation in my own hair inventory, it started with a visit to an expert.
A professional for something as easy as a ponytail? I know, extra. I thought the same until my head was being massaged in the basin. Downstairs at Nicola Clarke at John Frieda, I soon discovered that when it comes to a legit A-grade ponytail, those in the know are the golden ticket in perfecting - and the important part - finding that ideal placement.
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What stylist Jonathon was able to do for me was decipher exactly where best placed my hair should be. I'd expressed that the purpose of my visit was to find a ponytail that rivaled Ariana's, so it was all about the higher the better.
In the past, I'd never considered that choosing where my ponytail should and could be placed would be determined by my face shape, rather than my mood. But Jonathon showed me otherwise. Looking at my side profile, he ran his comb from my jawline to the crown of my head and set about fastening the ponytail. But, no, it wasn't quite right. A few degrees out and the precision that takes this look to the next level is lost
Starting again, he found the spot. Then, with much concentration, fastened the top half of my hair in place. In assembling the pony in two steps, the hair that falls from the crown will appear thicker and fuller - a prized result in the landscape of the world's best ponytails.
Now, I'm not suggesting that every time you go for a ponytail it need be fastened by a pro. No, no, no but if you're looking to reach the heights with your style this summer then some expert - or even just your friends emulating the above - could prove time well spent.
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An excellent ponytail for 2019 is about the three Ps: preparation, placement and product. Preparation: day old hair is always best as the natural tackiness of the hair proves a helping hand, but also hair blow dried back and with a hearty helping of mousse will work. Placement: as you learned above. And then product. There's been little airtime for product in the trending hairstyles of late. Yes, they're all there in our bathroom cabinets but they're working hard to not be seen. Kind of like Spanx.
But now, like Kim Kardashian West and co have made Spanx an outward-facing trend, so too have Ari and co reissued the advent of product. Hairspray, gel, lacquer or oil - it doesn't really matter as long as it works and keeps hair slick to the scalp before it falls loose through the tail part of the ponytail. Tong hair once in place for that My Little Pony look that proves too good to not revisit.
I left that salon swishing with the sass of a Grand National winner, and much like these world-leading ladies, I'm ready to put the sky-high ponytail at the top of my head, and agenda, for the foreseeable future.