Pony up!

Red carpet regulars like Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Kerry Washington have all stepped up their ponytail games as of late, fiercely demonstrating the alluring power of a simple style. 

While ponytails often get categorized as the go-to lazy girl hairstyle, the under-the-radar up-do actually has the potential to transform your next holiday look. Now we're all for haphazardly tossing hair into a messy style when the occasion calls for it, but you might be surprised how just a few unexpected celeb styling cues can take your trusty pony from practical to ultra-chic. 

To recreate these elevated ponytails at home this season, celeb hairstylist Marc Mena breaks down their looks.

ESC, Ponytails

When in doubt, this timeless ponytail is a solid option. "From a day at the office to a holiday party, this polished style impresses for any occasion," confirmed Marc.

For a slicked-back ponytail of your own, start with smooth hair, using a Keratin Complex Flat Iron. Once hair is straight, spritz the look all over with a Tresemmé Humidity Resistant Hairspray to discourage frizzing. Using a comb, part hair in a clean line down the middle and gather hair into a low, tight ponytail at the nape of the neck. Depending on the thickness of your hair, take a 1/2 –inch section from the underside of the ponytail and wrap it around the base, securing with bobby pins. To finish the look, rub a small amount of pomade through your hands and lightly distribute on top of your hair to tame flyaways, he instructed. 

ESC, Ponytails

This low-key but glamorous pony is the perfect topper for casual holiday parties when you want your hair out of your face. "It's a fresh and natural look that can be used to extend the last day of your blowout," shared Marc.

To get the low-maintenance look, start by spritzing Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray at your roots to sop up oil on day-old hair. Use your fingers to pull your hair into an ultra-high 'do at the top of your head. Don't fuss over bumps or baby hairs that stick up since those details will keep the hairstyle from looking too over-done. Finish by spritzing the tail with the texturizing spray for volume. Complete the look with a colored elastic for a pop of holiday polish, he suggested. 

ESC, Ponytails

For dressier holiday occasions like a family dinner or a cocktail party, opt for a style that's a little more contrived, but still carefree. "By adding in elements like a braid and teased root, Kerry's look is on-trend with a fashionable finish," shared Marc.

To recreate, start by adding a volumizing mousse to towel-dried hair. Blow hair dry, blasting the roots for extra body. Once hair is dry, gather the top section into a triangle, pulling back toward the middle top of the head and temporarily clip out of the way while you get to work on the ponytail. Using your comb to smooth out bumps, gather the ponytail at the midpoint at the back of the head and secure. Braid the tail and tie with a clear elastic, then spritz the braid with a Keratin Complex Flex Flow Spray, said the hairstylist.

Returning to the sectioned-off strand at the top of the head, backcomb the hair underneath, spraying with hairspray and smoothing the top over with a comb. Secure the teased section with bobby pins then wrap the loose-hanging ends around the base of the ponytail and secure with bobby pins to complete the polished look.

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