July 5, 2014 11:02:19 PM
The ponytail is the default hairstyle for most Southern gals, especially in the summer when everything is wilting. Long tresses are swept back off the face and out of sight at the gym, running errands and for about 100 other occasions, but thanks to smoldering jet setters such as Carrie Underwood, Heidi Klum and Beyonce, it's time to pony-up for a fashion-forward ponytail.
The newer, fancier ponies are dolled up with more detail and are never just an afterthought. One of my favorites, befitting the grocery store aisle or an afternoon of yachting, is accomplished by hot rolling the hair for an overload of voluminous texture before backcombing and securing it into a messy, undone ponytail worn higher than usual. It's edgy, even a bit contrived, and comes off cool with heels or flip-flops, regardless of how hot it is in Mississippi.
The ballerina ponytail also never disappoints and oozes chic sophistication. I begin with damp hair, extra dollops of a strong gel for staying power, a Mason Pearson brush, and keep it all sleek, shiny and understated like Audrey Hepburn. For me, it's all in the details, like leaving out a small strand of hair to loop around the ponytail fastener. Make yours a show pony! Another tip is to add clip-on hair extensions whenever you want to rev up the style. Before my friend Linda traded in long hair for a modern bob, she called clip-on extensions her "travel hair." Of course, she's stunning either way.
A few more ideas: Go bold with a say-something scarf tied in a knot, and braids are on every fashion editor's must-have list this season. Tuck the ends under, pin and embellish with something a bit unexpected like a feminine ribbon or sparkling clip. The ponytail worn to the side is a throwback to the '80s and quite lovely when dressed with retro waves, but don't get carried away, ladies. The "scrunchie" should not be resurrected. Some things should be left in the past.
The idea is to rethink the 30-second ponytail to make it extraordinary like you. Joggers, cheerleaders and stay-at-home moms all have that little dish filled with ponytail holders, but now ponies travel just as well down the Red Carpets and into corporate boardrooms. Heed my caution and be kind when undressing those delicate strands of hair, y'all -- no ripping, tearing or yanking, please. I know you're busy, but make up those extra seconds somewhere else.
So, when it comes to the summer trend in hair, the ponytail is no one-trick-pony.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.