How to Create a Messy Ponytail in 2 Ways

All Things Hair | 09 February 2017

How to rock this perfectly undone updo.

We feel that real, ingrained-in-your-bones hairstyle is best seen during those in-between days. You know: those times you’re too busy with the stuff of life—errands, spin class, avocado shopping, en route to the airport, your sister’s last-minute promotion party—are when you immediately go on fashion autopilot and bring out your fail-safes. For us, messy ponytail hairdos are our black leggings and LBDs of beauty: The last word in casual chic, they always deliver, and for something quite simple, are surprisingly never boring. To help you to create a messy ‘do that’s all your own, we are sharing two ways to rock the messy look, including mussed up-inspired hairstyles that were inspired from the Rag & Bone and Jonathan Simkhai shows in NYC. Read on to learn more about how to master this classic hairstyle for this ultimate in effortless beauty.

Look 1: How to Create Casual-Chic, Messy Ponytail Hairdos

1

Start with clean, middle-parted hair.

Wash and condition your hair with Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Dove Intensive Repair Conditioner. Rinse and blowdry your hair until it is 90% dry, or until just damp. Create a middle part.

 

2

Texturize.

Spritz on some sea-salt texturizer like Suave Professionals Texturizing Sea Salt Spray on the lengths to add a bit of a casual-gritty look and feel. Make sure the strands are somewhat evenly coated, and don’t be afraid to zhuzh here and there for added texture.

 

 

3

Section off the back.

Using a rat-tail or fishtail comb, create a horizontal part line across your head, separating the two front sections from the crown.

4

Twist the crown section.

Using your fingers, create a twist on the strands at the crown area.

5

Secure in a bun.

Coil the twist around itself on your crown and secure the bun with a small clamp.

6

Brush out the remaining hair.

Smoothen out the front sections with a brush, removing any tangles or knots.

 

7

Grit up the front.

Give a slightly rougher, tougher feel to the front sections with a texturizing balm like Bed Head by TIGI Joyride Texturizing Powder Balm.

 

 

8

Gather hair into a temporary low pony.

Gather all the strands into a ponytail at your nape and secure with a hair tie or a clamp. This is temporary; you’ll need your hair away from your face while you work the hair on your crown.

9

Create some volume.

Impart some grit into your crown by spritzing on a volumizing spray such as Catwalk by TIGI Bodifying Spray or TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Foaming Mousse.

 

10

Tease the hair at your crown.

To create a mini-bouffant or pouf, backcomb the hair after spraying with a small natural-bristled teasing brush. Be gentle!

11

Loop hair around into a ponytail.

Once you’ve got your pouf, release your temporary clip and gather all your hair back into an actual ponytail, using a hair tie or fabric-covered elastic. Grab one small section from the side and loop it over the ponytail base.

12

Twirl hair around the pony base.

Conceal the base of the ponytail (and your hair tie) with this lock of hair. Secure with bobby pins.

13

Done!

You’re all done and ready for the day!

 

Look 2: Steps for Creating a Messy Ponytail from NYFW

model getting hair styled into a messy ponytail backstage at nyfw
When creating your messy ponytail, keep your base smooth with a boar bristle brush. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

Step 1: Start clean or refresh with dry shampoo.

To begin your look, refresh your hair with TRESemmé Fresh Start Basic Care Dry Shampoo to soak up any excess oil. While this particular style is best on second-day or lived-in hair, you can absolutely create the look on freshly washed hair. Wash hair with TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Shampoo and condition with TRESemmé (un)Done Conditionerthen proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Rough-dry with blowdryer.

The rough-dry technique helps build texture in your hair while you blow-dry. To do this step, simply prep hair with TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spraythen use your hands to roughly comb through your hair as you dry. Pro tip: Use a medium to low temperature setting to avoid burning your hands.

creating messy ponytail hairstyle on her hair
Gather your pony as high as you want.

Step 3: Create ponytail.

Gather hair into a ponytail as you think of it as an undone look. Secure with a hair tie.

young woman with teased hairstyle on platinum blonde hair
Go crazy with the teasing or keep it simple. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

Step 4: Enhance hair texture by backcombing.

Using a fine-tooth comb, backcomb the ends of your hair to enhance texture and create body. Finish your look with a hairspray that gives your ponytail hold and lots of movement like Dove Style + Care Strength and Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray.

Looking for more cool updo styles? Check out these awesome braided updos for long hair.