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Pony Express: How to Get a Polished Ponytail

Don't just pull your hair into a ponytail—give it some polish in a few easy steps.
  • The Look: Sexy and Sideswept

    The side ponytail is back—but with a modern twist.

    Make Waves
    If your hair is straight: Mist volumizing spray over damp hair and set with hot rollers. Or use a texturizing spray to coax out curls.
    If your hair is curly: Prep with a cream or serum and blow-dry straight. Add waves with a curling iron.

    Go Sideways
    Gather your hair to one side just below the nape of your neck. "You want the hair around your face to have a full, rounded shape," says stylist Oscar Blandi.

    Loosen Up
    Add romantic wisps around your face by freeing a few strands with a pick-style comb.

  • TED MORRISON

    Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

    Goody Versa Comb, $3

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  • TED MORRISON

    Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

    Hot Tools Professional Hairsetter with 20 flocked rollers, $50

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  • TED MORRISON

    Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

    Garnier Fructis Style Wonder Waves Wave Enhancing Spray, $4

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  • TED MORRISON

    Sexy and Sideswept: The Tool Kit

    Tresemme 24 Hour Body Root Boosting Spray, $4

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  • The Look: Smooth and Chic

    Get Sleek and Shiny
    If your hair is straight: Prep dry hair with a thermal-protecting spray and smooth with a flatiron. Finish with a light mist of shine spray.
    If your hair is curly: Layer a shine serum over a heat-styling spray to shield your curls from heat damage. Then blow-dry your hair straight and use a flatiron to add extra polish.

    Part Smart
    You don't want your hair to look plastered to your head, so make a deep part on the opposite side of your natural part. "This will give your hair built-in lift," says stylist Mark Garrison.

    Fight Frizzies
    A natural-bristle brush keeps your hair smooth as you pull it into a low ponytail. Touch up flyaways along the hairline with a fine-tooth comb coated with hairspray.

  • TED MORRISON

    Smooth and Chic: The Tool Kit

    Infiniti by Conair 1-inch Solid Ceramic Straightener, $38.99

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  • TED MORRISON

    Smooth and Chic: The Tool Kit

    Oscar Blandi Mini Jasmine Oil Hair Serum, $35

    Buy it now

  • TED MORRISON

    Smooth and Chic: The Tool Kit

    Brush Strokes Wooden Boar-Bristle Brush, $6.49

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  • TED MORRISON

    So Long, Scrunchie

    Use these decorative elastics to dress up your ponytail.

    Here: France Luxe Cone Ponytail Holder in Ivory Tokyo, $16

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  • TED MORRISON

    So Long, Scrunchie

    Scunci Crystal Ponytailer, $6

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  • TED MORRISON

    So Long, Scrunchie

    Bellissima Ponytail Holder, $6

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  • TED MORRISON

    So Long, Scrunchie

    Jane Tran Animal Print Ponytail, $7.50 for three

    Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, July 2009.

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