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There’s more to a ponytail than simply sweeping strands off your face. Turns out, it can reveal a lot about your personality, too. Who knew?
Celebrity hairstylist John Barrett, that’s who. The mane man just debuted a ponytail bar in his namesake Manhattan salon, where clients can score endless variations on the classic look. “Ponytails come in all shapes and sizes,” he explains. “Sleek and sophisticated, tousled and fun, textured and wispy, bohemian and even the topknot for the modern, downtown ballerina girl!” And according to the stylist, each pony says something different about your mood and inner self.
“There isn’t one thing a ponytail says about a woman,” says Barrett. “Some say ‘I’m going downtown for a fun night out,’ while others say ‘I’m going to a meeting and need to be professional.’ That’s the beauty of ponytails—the versatility is endless and there are styles for days!”
This ‘do is the epitome of fun, flirty sexiness. According to Barrett, the woman who wears a high pony is the party girl; the one who likes all eyes to be on her. She’s also a fashion and beauty risk taker. “Don’t dare take on this look unless you’re prepared to soak up all the attention in the room,” he adds.
Ever since the bobbysoxers popularized the pony in the ‘50s, this has been the most popular way to rock the style. According to Barrett, the mid-crown pony is indicative of a polished, feminine woman who’s quick to smile or laugh. Plus, it’s perfect for those who like a girly look, since it works so well with a cute bang or soft texture.
These architectural looks were all over red carpets and runways this year (think elaborate plaited designs, cone-like buns and kooky-cute flipped ends). “These aren’t the easiest styles to pull off, so the woman wearing them is probably full of confidence, ready for risks and into experimenting with her look,” says Barrett. “She’s closely watching the style world and up for a challenge.”
The woman who wears braids and pony’s together is definitely up on the latest runway and red carpet trends. Plus, the way a pony’s braided can reveal a lot about the wearer, Barrett explains. If she has a few cornrows above her ear reaching back into a pony, then she’s a bit of a rocker. But if she has a French braid swept down into a low pony, she’s probably bohemian. “A girl with a braided pony is fun and playful,” Barrett explains. “She loves getting the best of both worlds!”
This is one of red carpet queen Naomi Watts' favorite go-to strand styles, and for good reason—there’s a ‘low pony’ option for everyone! If you’re a free-spirited hippie chic girl, you’ll love the messy, textured look (which is sometimes accented by a micro-braid or two); while sleekly sophisticated women favor the pin-straight, impeccably-smooth-with-no-flyaways style.
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“Traditionally, a high twisted bun will be worn by a young, ladylike, style-conscious city gal,” says Barrett. If it’s worn in a messy ballerina-esque nest on the tippy top of her head, she’s probably wearing a feminine skirt and skips dramatic makeup in favor of a more au natural look. A woman sporting the newer version of the style—a tight, knot-like bun—she’s more likely to be fashion-forward (and might be sporting a thick bang and khol-rimmed eyes).
No matter which style you choose, just remember—mastering a gorgeous ponytail takes practice. The good news? Just like your personality, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
GALLERY: We Tried It: Hair Oils
We went out to see how the stylish ladies of NYC are wearing their ponytails. Check out our Street Style Ponytails Gallery.
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