A universal look for the hot season
The weather is finally warming up, and there is a happy vibe in the air. What trends lie ahead for hair this summer? That’s what we asked Charles Baker Strahan, celebrity hairstylist for Herbal Essences. In short: ponytails. Here are his tips for choosing and styling yours, as well as ensuring your overall look is flawless.
To each her own
According to Strahan, ponytails are going to be everywhere this spring and summer. Whether worn up high, with a bump, or pinned down, he tells us there are many ways to adopt this trend. “Ponytails have so many expressions and fit so many different types of girls; and it also helps with humidity and styling control because it’s confined. So it gives your hair style without having to work too hard for it.”
Photo: Models in ponytails, Herve Leger collection by Max Azria, Mercedes-Benz Spring/Summer 2012 Fashion Week in NY.
A question of inspiration
Strahan tells us that the inspiration behind the ponytail trend stems from the fact that it’s “one of those things that works for everybody, if you have enough hair to do it. It can work for you in different elements; for instance, if you have naturally curly hair and don’t want it to get wild and out of control when you’re going in and out of the heat and humidity, or potential rain. That high ponytail on the top of the head always feels chic and interesting, and it dresses the hair in a way that’s still approachable and beautiful.”
3 different ponytails = 3 different looks
Strahan insists that the first thing to think of is “what your natural texture is and where the ponytail will live on your head.” Here are the three examples he shared with us:
High + sleek ponytail –A fairly extreme look for which Strahan suggests playing up the eyes and accentuating the neckline, in order to create an illusion of length. When choosing clothing, he tells us it’s a good idea to go for something with a lower décolleté.
Low ponytail – This is another option where “maybe the hair has a little bit of volume or softness to it, and you’re pulling it down; or maybe it’s a sleek, more subdued ponytail”, Strahan offers. With this look, he suggests wearing a jacket and covering up the shoulders.
Side ponytail – In this case, Strahan says it takes a bit more prep work: “Maybe it’s putting some curl into the hair, or mussing it up so it feels a little more Bardot. You can also backcomb it, then do it to the side,” for a look that is more romantic, and pair it with a super feminine dress.
When asked which products are key for a perfect ponytail, Strahan tells us: “The first thing that’s really important is the elastic you use. There are a couple different types: little micro elastics are really great if you have a finer hair texture.” For dense or thick hair, he recommends using a hair bungee (a kind of straight elastic with little hooks on the end) and wrapping it around the ‘tail. For a dressier ponytail, a hair pin can be useful to secure a lock strategically placed around the elastic: “You definitely want to make sure to cover it up, or at least use a clear one.”
You may need a bit of hairspray, too, to keep your tail smooth. “If you have a finer texture and you want to polish the tail and hair but not put too much product into it, the Shimmer Spray ($4.99), which is a new product from Herbal Essences, is really amazing.” For coarser hair, Strahan recommends the Smoothing Serum ($4.99).
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