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How Do I Create a Sleek Ponytail?

By Donna Johnson
Updated May 21, 2024
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When thinking of easy hairstyles, one that is likely to come to your mind is the ponytail. A smooth ponytail can be an easy, yet sophisticated hairstyle for nearly any occasion. To make a sleek ponytail, start with dry or slightly damp hair and styling product, use a flat iron if needed, gather your hair into a ponytail at the desired height and secure with an elastic band.

To begin making a sleek ponytail with naturally straight hair, partially dry your hair with a towel and work styling product through your damp hair, from the roots to the tips. A de-frizzing cream or gel that will smooth your hair and add shine without causing a crunch texture is best. If your hair is naturally curly, you may wish to use a flat iron to straighten and smooth your hair before creating the ponytail.

Your hair must be completely dry before using a flat iron. Towel-dry your hair and then use a hairdryer to remove the remaining moisture. Use the flat iron on the entire length of your hair, being careful not to burn your scalp. To avoid damaging your hair, do not set the temperature of the flat iron higher than necessary to do the job and do not leave it on a section of hair for longer than needed.

Next, decide if you want a part in your sleek ponytail; if you do, a side part that lines up with the middle of your eyebrow generally looks best for this sophisticated hairstyle. Use a comb to make the part as straight as possible, or comb all your hair straight back from your face if you do not want a part. Gather all your hair together into a low ponytail at the back of your head and wrap a hair elastic around the ponytail several times to secure it. Never use a rubber band, as it can cause your hair to break. Finish the style with a light mist of hairspray to avoid flyaway hair.

There are several variations of the basic sleek ponytail that you can try. You can hide the elastic by taking a thin section of hair from your ponytail and wrapping it around the elastic band, braiding the section first, if desired. Tuck the end of this hair under the ponytail and secure it with bobby pins.

You may also vary the height of your ponytail, although this works best without a side part. A sleek ponytail that lies at or just above ear level may be more to your liking than an extremely high or low one. You may also backcomb, or tease, the front section of your hair before creating the ponytail, to give the front of the hairstyle some height. Move the comb through your hair from a short distance below the roots to the scalp. When gathering the hair into a ponytail, only comb the teased section enough to smooth the visible top layer without losing the height.

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Discussion Comments

By irontoenail — On Feb 01, 2014

@MrsPramm - As long as you don't overdo it it's possible to use heat on your hair without damaging it, though. It does depend on the kind of hair, of course. Hair that is kind of straight in the first place is probably going to be the least damaged by being heated, unfortunately for those with curls.

But sleek ponytails are possible for everyone. you just have to spend a little more time on it.

By MrsPramm — On Feb 01, 2014

@Fa5t3r - I don't use a flat-iron at all, to be honest. I just use a bit of hair gel and I braid my hair while it's drying, then brush it out, very gently, then put it in a ponytail.

This doesn't create the absolute perfect ponytail, because it can be a little bit kinked from the braid, but it is still fairly sleek and it doesn't damage my hair at all.

Plus, it sounds like work, but it really only takes a few moments of actual styling.

By Fa5t3r — On Jan 31, 2014

If you're going to use a flat-iron and you have delicate hair, I would recommend using some hair styling product that is formulated to protect your hair from heat. I don't even touch an iron to my hair without coating it in product first.

If I do it will seem straight for about a day at the most and then it will frizz even worse than before.

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