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How to Create a Sleek Ponytail in 5 Simple Steps

Perfect this hairstyle staple in just minutes.
August 31, 2022


Gone are the days when we only associate ponytails with the gym and running around to complete errands. Ponytails of all shapes, lengths, textures and types have ruled celebrity red carpets, fashion week runways and special occasions in our personal lives for years. 

The fact is, ponytails can be seriously chic and take you from the boardroom to the ballroom. And the sleek straight ponytail is a classic that often makes its way to the top of the best bridal hairstyles lists and more each season. 

Now, if you have frizzy hair, that means you’ll want to start your smooth ponytail journey with some special smoothing hair products and some frizz-fighting techniques — but it’s not impossible to get the look. Follow our easy five-step tutorial below on how to create a sleek ponytail that is anything but basic.

What Can I Use for a Sleek Ponytail?

Before you get started you’ll want to gather your tools. Here’s what you'll need:

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Shampoo with Essential Oil

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Conditioner with Essential Oil

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer

L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel

L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented

How Do You Make the Perfect Sleek Ponytail?

Grab your smoothing brush, detangling comb and products mentioned above and get ready to master this timeless look in mere minutes.

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Step 1. Shampoo and Condition

Start your sleek ponytail with clean hair for the most optimal results. You can’t go wrong with a cleansing system like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Simply Clean Shampoo and Conditioner with Essential Oil since both are suitable for all hair types and specially formulated to give color-treated hair a salon-like cleanse without stripping color or drying strands.

If you have frizzy hair, a shampoo for frizzy hair may be your perfect match. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. This hydrating system is formulated with hyaluronic acid to give hair a boost of moisture that leads to smoother hair fibers. Once you’re done shampooing and conditioning, blot your hair dry with a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt — a terry cloth towel may add frizz.

Step 2. Detangle Your Hair

Before you start smoothing out your ponytail base, be sure to detangle your hair. Working with hair that’s riddled with knots and bumps can make the process longer and may result in a ponytail that’s not so sleek. Grab your detangling comb or use your fingers to start detangling your strands from the tips to the roots.

Step 3. Blow-Dry Your Hair Smooth

To make sure your ponytail is sleek and straight, you’re going to want to blow-dry your hair smooth. Before you reach for any hot tools, apply a frizz-controlling serum that doubles as a heat protectant or a heat protectant cream, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, which offers up to 450-degree heat shield.

Apply it to damp hair, then blow-dry your hair sleek and smooth with a paddle brush. Even better if your hair brush has boar bristles, as boar bristles can help distribute your hair’s natural oils from root to tip, making it look shinier.

Editor’s tip: If you have natural hair, depending on your hair porosity, thickness and curl pattern you may need to give your strands a couple of passes with the flatiron to get a straight texture if that’s what you desire. If you need gel to keep flyaways down or to style your baby hair, the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Mega Gel will be your go-to. You can also do a sleek ponytail on natural hair without heat by using curl stretchers on your lengths or leaving them curly. 

Step 4. Create Your Ponytail

A smooth, sleek ponytail can be placed high, low or somewhere in between — it’s all about what you prefer. Pick your ponytail placement then gather your hair in one hand and begin brushing it back, including the sides and hair at the nape of your neck. Smooth over any areas that might be bumpy. 

Once you’re done, secure your sleek ponytail with an elastic — bonus points if you have a silk or satin hair tie that’s gentle on all hair types. If you want, grab a half-inch wide section of hair from the bottom of the ponytail, thread it through a bobby pin and twist and wrap it around the base of the pony to conceal the hair tie. 

Step 5. Finish with Hairspray

Once you’re done with your sleek ponytail, help ensure your hairstyle stays in place throughout the day by spritzing on a shine-enhancing hair spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented. Now, you’re officially ready to slay your day.

Next: How To Create A Messy Bun In 3 Just Steps

Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Katy Andrascik, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hairstylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi , Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Model: Adrianne Kiara

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