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Top That: Tips for Ponies and Top Knots

Perfect ponies and sky-high top knots—the staples of breezy summer style. If you’re in love with lengthy locks, you’ve likely already experimented with a 'do or two. Both options work wonders in any occasion, with enough versatility to compliment everything from casual, lived-in looks to chic, elegant ensembles. Easy, adaptable, and perpetually fun, classic ponies and top knots are anything but "basic." Here are a few tips and tricks to up your look. Time to tie your tresses to trends.


Knots landing

It’s time we talked "top knots"—we’ll start with the half-knot. These super simple mini-buns seem to have swarmed the streets overnight, and frankly, we aren’t complaining. Pure, simple, and undeniably cool, this popular style can bring almost any cut into high-fashion's future.


For best results, lightly mist hair with a texture product like Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Texturizing Sea Spray before gathering the upper layer of strands at the top of the crown. Then, twist or wrap your locks around the base before tightly securing with a cloth-covered band. Ta-da! You are now present-day trendy. Throw on some joggers and check out that new juice bar.


If the throes of summer are getting to you, pull the rest of your hair up in a cute updo—no one needs a sweaty neck. If you’re looking for bit more style in your basic bun, Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray is the perfect product to pave the way. Once applied-and-dried, flip your hair upside down and French braid your tresses backward, from the nape of the neck to the top of the crown. Once braided, tease the remaining strands at the base of the crown before styling into a towering top bun. The finishing touch? Gently mist your fab new ‘do with Kenra Artformation Spray 18 to let your new, Pinterest-worthy style last all day. Pro tip: pair this look with an elegant ensemble by day, then undo the 'do for bouncy, beautiful fringe by night. Hello, weekend hair-hacks!

Hair with a bun
A sleek updo with a bun can go from dressy to casual and back again. 
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Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum is a stylist fave—and it's easy to see why. Use it to add a smooth shine to your ponytail creations.


Pony up(do)

In the world of effortlessly versatile long-haired updos, the ponytail stands alone. Sleek-and-chic or wild-and-wavy, this classic style can be fashioned for any occasion.  For lived-in length, spritz with DESIGNLINE Dry Shampoo and flip back a few times for volume and bounce. Loosely gather the 'tail in a band, pulling a few strands free at the front for casual, face-framing fringe.


If slicked-back and serious is more your speed, grab a paddle brush to paste down flyaways and groom strands into place. Once well-brushed and smooth, secure your 'tail tight against the skull before applying a small amount of smoothing serum (Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum will do the trick) to finish the look with smooth, controlled shine. Tip: Twirl the length of the ponytail around the base to hide the band for optimum style. If layers or ends spring up while wrapping, grab a control paste like DESIGNLINE Mineral Salt Texture Paste to smooth wayward strands back into position. Hide remaining ends with strategic tucking and secure with pins for a sleek, flawless finish on this classic style.


Not unlike our well-loved top knots, the key to peak ponytail chic lies in the right positioning. Pro tip: use necklines as your guide. The higher the neckline, the higher you should position your pouf. Likewise, low necklines need low ponies. It’s all about proportion—awkward space ratios create an unflattering affect. Too much spacing embodies giraffe-like elongation, while too little space could make your neck disappear.  If you can’t seem to find the sweet spot, ask your stylist to play with your pony’s positioning in a way that works for you. 


With a little effort and some extra patience, you can find an easy updo as unique as you! Wild and flirtatious or sleek, chic, and serious, the right prep and positioning can set the tone for any ensemble. Ask your Signature Style stylist to help you find a simple, go-to 'do that's effortlessly easy to work for you.

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