If you want a perfectly styled mane that looks as if you didn’t think twice about it, allow us to point you in the direction of the messy ponytail. Nowadays, the effortless effect is taking beauty trends by storm. No makeup, makeup is huge, and lived-in roots are equally as trendy, which tells us we can expect effortless messy ponytails to reign supreme in 2020.
Now, before literally putting zero effort into your ponytail, remember that, as with nude makeup, a touch of undetectable effort is required to make the most of your carefree look. Not sure where to begin? Whether you have second-day hair or just hopped out of the shower, the step-by-step tutorial below will teach you how to get the voluminous, cool-girl hairstyle that’s flooding your social media feeds.
What you’ll need:
If you’re starting on first-day hair:
If you’re starting on second-day hair:
How to get the look:
STEP 1: PREP HAIR WITH TEXTURE SPRAY
With this step, you have options. If you’re creating this effortless messy ponytail hairstyle with clean hair, spray some of your texture spray onto damp hair. If, on the other hand, you’re rocking this style with a day two ‘do, reach for a can of dry shampoo. Whichever option you choose, be sure to evenly disperse the spray between each layer of your hair for optimal texture and volume.
STEP 2: CREATE MORE TEXTURE AT THE ROOTS
Once your hair has dried, take note of your roots. How do they look? Do they look full-bodied, or do they need a little lift? If you resonate with the latter, use a fine-tooth rattail comb to gently tease the hair beneath the top layer from your hairline back to your crown. This extra textured layer will help bring your voluminous look to life.
STEP 3: GIVE PIECEY TEXTURE TO YOUR ENDS
Next, it’s time to add a little extra texture to your mid-lengths and ends. Instead of using the same spray you began with, reach for a bottle of texturizing hair spray. It will cling to your strands to create slight separation while boosting overall grit.
STEP 4: PULL YOUR PONY JUST BELOW YOUR CROWN
Once your hair is perfectly textured, use your hands to gently pull your hair back into a ponytail at the level of your choice. Personally, we love the look of a mid-height pony just below the crown of your head. When your placement is just right, tie it off with a hair tie. Be sure not to wrap your elastic too tight, as you’ll want to be able to pull a few pieces free before completing your look.
STEP 5: FRAME YOUR FACE
Effortless messy ponytails look their best with a few purposeful flyaways. That said, gently tug a few strands out around your hairline to really embrace that lived-in, undone look.
STEP 6: WRAP YOUR HAIR TIE
Take a thin section of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around your ponytail to conceal the elastic, pinning the ends in place beneath the underside of your pony. Sure, it’s a messy ponytail, but you still want it to have a little put-together appeal.
STEP 7: FINISH WITH HAIR SPRAY AND ANOTHER TEXTURE BOOST
Now that your ponytail is secured, use the tail end of your rattail comb to gently tug the hair on top of your head to add a touch more height—just make sure to confine the tugging to the top, not the sides. Next, lock your look with a few spritzes of humidity-resistant hairspray, and voila, the most picture-perfect effortless messy ponytail.
Next up: Want to learn how to create another stunning ponytail style? Here’s How to Perfect a Mix and Match Braided Ponytail.