When it comes to Black hair, we keep it neat, if nothing else. But some of our favorite stars (Keke Palmer and Joy Bryant included) have stepped out with one of spring’s biggest beauty must-haves: the messy ponytail.
Admittedly, the name is a bit of a misnomer, as both look amazing and put-together. But messy ponies are really about a less tight hold and the freedom to let a few wisps of hair slip out. Here’s how to get their look in three easy steps:
1. Prep the hair: If you already have a little hang time going on with your hair, make sure that it’s straight and sleek. When you’re in between washes, achieve this by running a warm flat iron down the length of your hair to smooth out frizz. Follow with a light moisturizer for an attractive sheen. If you’re hair isn’t quite long enough for the long ponytail (we’d recommend hair that reaches your arm pit in the back), don’t worry. That’s what ponytail add-ins were made for. There are so many out there, our advice is to get yourself to a beauty supply store and have a field day. Some are easy enough to clip on, while other require hair pins. Once your get the additional length you want, flat iron for a smooth look.
2. Secure the ponytail: This style looks cute with ponytails that are level with the middle of your ears. Fasten the hair with a pretty clip, like these nice, understated ones from Kohl’s ($8 for 8 barrettes), or with a regular elastic band. If you go for the elastic band, once you’ve made your ponytail, take a thin strand of hair and wrap it around the ponytail, securing with a hairpin.
3. Mess it up a little: Normally, we want our ponytails to look as flat and tight as possible, but this time, we give you license to be a little messy. Wiggle your ponytail around so that it’s not so secure, take a few wisps of hair from the front, sides, or even the nape of your hair line and let those fall. If they tend to stick up, and not down, use your flat iron to straighten and make them lay down.
Once you try this at home, be sure to let us know how you like it!
— Whitney Teal