Other than the lack of cheeky humour by the hosts, the thing that stood out at the Oscar this year was ponytails. Seen on host Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, it was also spotted at the Golden Globes, where Jennifer Lopez flaunted one. Says Shefali Shetty, senior style director, B:Blunt, Mumbai, “The trend started last year when people were bored with haircuts because once a cut is popular everyone wears the same style.” At the international award ceremonies this time there was a clear shift from formal elaborate up-dos and chignons towards loosely tied hair.
Says Charly Sellari, chief hairstylist, Jacques Dessange, New Delhi, “Tied-up hair is more elegant, goes wonderfully with haute couture and shows off any piece of jewellery magnificently.” Carole Robequin, head stylist at Jean-Claude Biguine, Mumbai, points out the advantages: “A ponytail can emphasize a person’s bone structure. It highlights the facial features, especially for someone with high cheekbones and a prominent jawline.” Our experts, Shetty, Sellari and Robequin simplify your quest for the perfect pony.
Trendy tie-ups: (left) Jennifer Lopez adds a touch of glam with a beaded accessory; Nicole Kidman’s ponytail with a fringe is great if you have a round face. Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images/AFP & Chris Pizzello/AP
Achieve this season’s simple, easy and effortless pony; first wash hair with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Towel dry and evenly spread a walnut-sized blob of volume mousse all over hair, taking care to avoid the roots. Do ensure that the mousse is spread evenly or the hair will look oily and crispy at spots where there is excessive product. To prevent this, apply little bits all over and comb through with your fingers. Next, flip hair upside down and blow dry. You can also wrap damp hair around medium or large velcro rollers. Once dry, brush very lightly or gently tousle your hair. To prevent the sag below the pony, Sugandh Dariya, senior educator at Paul Mitchell, Mumbai, suggests holding the hair in the palm facing upwards while brushing it. Finish by finger-dressing your hair with a tiny drop of serum to take away the frizz.
Like any other hairstyle, the pony must be in tune with the face. Shetty says those with oval faces can get away with everything: swept back, fringe parted to the side and even a centre parting. Round faces must add some asymmetry to break up the roundness. It could be with a fringe a la Kidman. Thin faces must avoid straight styles and go for a look that adds volume to the face, like soft waves. For a dressy pony try Witherspoon’s 1960s-inspired glam hair. Shetty considers Indian hair suitable for this style because it doesn’t need a lot of backcombing. Just roughly finger-comb the hair back and tie half of it up, leaving just a chunk of hair at the nape of your neck. Combine the two parts together by rolling it between your fingers, and voila: the illusion of a big, bushy, glossy ponytail.
The trend is not sleek or tight tie-ups, so finger-combing your hair is in keeping with the natural and dewy make-up trends on the runway. But if you’re looking for a brush, Shetty suggests a soft bristle which calms the hair down. She recommends it specifically for ponytails and to dress curls. She also advocates a hook rubber band (available easily at most stores) that helps keep a tighter grip on the pony as it can be rolled around the pony with one hand, leaving the other palm free to tightly hold hair. To prevent hair snagging and breaking on the grip, Dariya advises using a covered elastic band with no metal grips. Lastly, small bobby pins help tuck wayward strands in place.
But don’t refrain from tying your hair up because you don’t have tools. As Robequin says, “The simplicity of a ponytail hairstyle is that you can use a regular comb for it.”
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