Zendaya’s Retro ‘Space Jam’ Ponytail Is As Sporty-Chic As It Gets

You can’t call this anything *but* a slam dunk.

From the day her casting in the long-awaited Space Jam reboot was announced, it was clear Zendaya was made to play Lola Bunny. The actor and the character’s wry, upbeat personalities seem perfectly matched already, but Monday night’s red carpet premier showcased a different kind of similarity, albeit with a retro twist. The Emmy Award-winning Zendaya arrived at the event in a Looney Tunes-inspired, multicolored and patchwork shorts-jacket set by Moschino that was a true feast for the eyes, but it was her hair and makeup that really draws the double-takes. Zendaya’s retro ponytail for Space Jam’s premiere was a masterclass in flirty updos: Bouncy, polished, and timeless, it’s both highly appropriate for a fun-filled evening and something of an homage to her character who wears her own bunny ears tied back with forehead-skimming side bangs.

Zendaya’s own glossy bangs were also pulled to the side, carefully (but not stiffly) brushed to the right, while her exposed baby hairs on the left were artfully laid to seamlessly swoop into the rest of the swept-back style. The ponytail itself featured a signature retro flip, letting the bottom rest just past her shoulders for maximum bounce and movement. In other words, it was essentially the perfect going-out pony.

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The rest of Zendaya’s premiere style was just as on-point: some liquid liner, drawn into an eye-elongating cat flick, underscored the vintage infusion, and she turned up at the event in matching bright blue face mask emblazoned with a glittery, bedazzled basketball.

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Retro ponytails like Zendaya’s are really having a moment right now, spotted on a number of young stars like Kylie Jenner, Megan Thee Stallion, and of course Ariana Grande, patron saint of ponytails everywhere. It’s no wonder they’re so popular — with the right brushes and tools, they’re easy enough to construct at home while still looking elevated and interesting.

To get Zendaya’s Space Jam ponytail, you’ll want to start with volume-building products and a glossy blowout done with a large round brush. These vintage ponytails are all about height and movement, two things that require some serious volume. Once hair is blown out (flip your head upside down while blasting with alternating hot and cold air for an extra boost), grab a boar bristle brush and sweep the ponytail to your desired height, securing it with a band. Pin bangs with a camouflaging bobby pin, then use a pomade-covered spoolie or a specially designated toothbrush to brush back flyaways or arrange baby hairs. Set the bottom of the pony in hot rollers for maximum flip, and set aside one two-inch piece to wrap around the hair band, disguising it. Once the flip in in place, blast the whole thing with a medium-hold hairspray and the actual ponytail with shine spray. It’s a guaranteed slam dunk every time.

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