Ponytails are overrated! Whether you want to add style to your race-day look or inject a little fun into your weekday run, try these four trend-forward tress tamers from expert stylists.
*Fun fact – the model you see pictured here is Women’s Running magazine’s own Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Sebor!
Celeb stylist Nicholas Penna, Jr., of SalonCapri in Boston, shares his hairstyle tips for runners who want to look photo-ready at the finish line. He describes this style as “a classic twist on the braided updo. Perfect for runners because it’s up and away from the face, yet adds a feminine touch.”
Step 1: Gather all hair above the temple and secure it with an elastic.
Step 2: Flip head upside down and begin French-braiding the back section of the hair from the nape of the neck.
Step 3: When you reach the elastic, gently gather the rest of your hair into a ponytail.
Step 4: The next step is up to you; either wrap the ponytail up into a loose bun with a bobby pin or leave it as a chic, high pony.
Step 5: To secure the look, Penna recommends Kerastase Double Force Controle Ultime ($39, kerastase-usa.com) hairspray.
Mitch Stone, Academy Award-winning celebrity stylist and founder of Mitch Stones Essentials, says, “There are many types of ponytails, but I suggest the fishtail. It is beautiful and will stay out of your way.”
Step 1: Start by adding an anti-frizz balm, such as Mitch Stone Essentials Lustre Drops ($16, ulta.com), throughout dry hair. This will create shine as well as texture to help hold the braid in place.
Step 2: Brush hair into a side (or regular) ponytail. Secure it with a clear ponytail holder, like Goody Clear Ouchless Mini Elastics ($5, drugstores).
Step 3: Split your hair into two sections. Take a small piece of side one and add to side two. Then take a piece from side two and cross it over the first section from side one. Continue performing this movement.
Step 4: When you reach the end of your hair, attach another clear pony holder at the bottom of the braid.
Step 5: Once braid is secure, (very!) carefully snip original ponytail holder to remove it from the top part of the braid. Finish by applying a light-hold, moveable hairspray like Mitch Stone Essentials Session Spray ($20, ulta.com).
Pump up your normal ’do with Stone’s simple solution for fly-aways and layered hair.
Step 1: Separate hair horizontally into two sections. Pull the hair from your ear to the crown of your head. Comb out any bumps and secure with fun, colorful elastic that won’t cause breakage, like Karina Perfect Hold Elastics ($5 for 15, drugstores).
Step 2: Pull the rest of your hair into a separate low pony. Depending on your hair’s length and layers, you could add a third elastic between the top and bottom ponies.
Penna likens this simple style to a modern up-do: “a red carpet ready look that’s easily transferrable to athletic chic.”
Step 1: Apply a quarter-size dollop of styling cream like L’Orèal EverStyle Texture Series Tousle Crème ($7, drugstores) to give that undone-yet-done look.
Step 2: Part hair down the center. Gather hair in a low knot and secure tightly with an elastic if desired, allowing wispy pieces to fall around the ends of the knot.
Step 3: Finish with a light spritz of hairspray. Penna recommends L’Orèal Professionnel Texture Expert Freezing Mist ($15, salons). If you have short layers, incorporate a no-slip fabric headband like Sweaty Bands Live Laugh Run ($15, sweatybands.com).