Believe it or not, ponytails used to get a bad rap from clueless critics. Some may have considered them lazy — an easy way out of actually styling your hair. Respectfully, agree to disagree. Yes, the ponytail was meant to be simple. But at the Spring/Summer 2019 shows, hairstylists gave the "easy" style a powerful upgrade — making the humble ponytail one of Fashion Week's top hair trends.
"We’re nodding to the idea of a ‘finish;’ the idea of a dreamlike quality or fantasy to the hair," hairstylist Guido Palau says backstage at Marc Jacobs, where stylists showed '60s-inspired bouffants. "This is an example of taking the idea of dressing hair up to the extreme. It’s not about the technicality of the hair — it’s about keeping this hair a fantasy. The end result is beautiful in individual ways. Women aren’t so afraid to change up their hair anymore.”
And fair warning: This isn't your haphazard, end-of-Flywheel ponytail (even though who doesn't love a messy 'do). Stylists like Palau, Ursula Stephen, Kevin Hughes, and Justine Marjan revamped the classic this season by adding inches of extensions, sleek middle parts, and knotted bases.
Really, it's just a tweak on the technique that we've used since the beginning of time — revel in all the stylists' secrets, ahead.
"This isn't a look you do at home," Palau, Redken Global Creative Director, jokes backstage at Marc Jacobs. The overall look was a nod to the '60s — inspired by women like Barbra Streisand and Bee Radziwill who wore polished, voluminous looks done at the salon. But if you do want to give the look a try, tease and backcomb your base with Redken Wind Blown 05 texturizing spray and the Guts 10 volumizing foam in addition to extensions and pads for a boost... and ask a friend for some help.
Alice + Olivia
Marjan gave Alice + Olivia's models whimsical, purposely messy knotted up 'dos to go with the feel of the collection. "It's a really clean center part to start," she tells TZR backstage. "With TREsemmé Compressed Micro-Mist Hair Spray Hold Level 1: Texture at the root for lots of movement at the top."
Afterward, she used her hands to gather the hair so not to lose the texture, and secured it with an elastic. For the fun part — the knot — she simply took two pieces on the side of the ponytail and tied them into a knot, pinning the tendrils to the scalp with two bobby pins. A few models also wore neon green extensions (very on trend) from Hidden Crown Hair, trimmed to match their natural hair length.
Oscar De La Renta
"The inspiration was really about this strong, confident woman who's like a nomad," Kevin Hughes, Moroccanoil Artistic Director, tells TZR. "She's traveling all over the world, lives in the city, and isn't afraid to have that hair out of her face. The models are also wearing larger jewelry, and we don't want to take too much away from the clothing."
For the elegant, adventurous look, he captured the hair into a long ponytail secured low on the nape, with a strong center part. To ensure that the hair is as sleek as possible, he used a dime-sized amount of Moroccanoil Treatment all over while it was damp, and the brand's Smoothing Lotion before flat ironing.
Janelle Chaplin, O&M Creative Director, tells TZR that the models wore a look that was equal parts glitzy and tough. "We painted on a shine serum with a color brush, and left the tail dry and glamorous," she says. "Sometimes serums can look shiny for five minutes, and then they dull. We layered on a matte foundation (C Paste Pliable Light Weight Fibre) so the gloss will stay."
Designer Carly Cushnie and TREsemmé NYFW stylist Ursula Stephen were inspired by 1990s-era Sade, and gave models a red lip and long braid to achieve that look. "Spray hair with the TRESemmé Repair & Protect 7 Pre-Styling Spray at the same time as you are brushing straight back into the ponytail," Stephen said in a release. "This will make hair very smooth and shiny while protecting it from any breakage or damage from the braiding.”