The sleek ponytail is one of the most versatile and polished hairstyles. It’s great for special events, professional meetings and even casual days. One of the best parts about it is that anyone can do the style — no hair type or texture is exempt from rocking this tried-and-true go to. It just takes a few extra steps to do the style when you have natural hair. Fortunately those steps don’t add much time to your styling routine. Read on to get a detailed tutorial on how to do a sleek ponytail on natural hair.
5-Step Sleek Ponytail Tutorial for Natural Hair
There are several ways to get a sleek ponytail on natural hair. For this particular tutorial, we’ll be mainly focusing on how to perfect the style using heat, for a quick process, using just a few products and the five steps below.
Step 1. Cleanse or Refresh Your Hair
You likely saw this coming but we always start off with clean hair. If your hair needs a cleanse, grab the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Push Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner to give your curls a boost of hydration and to tame frizz.
If you’re only a few days out from wash day, spritz your roots with a dry shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Tinted Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair or Blonde Hair for a quick refresh, and to remove excess oil.
Step 2. Blow Dry Your Hair
If you just washed your hair, grab your blow dryer. If you have really thick hair, you’ll want to separate your mane into small sections so that you’re not applying too much heat for too long. Blow dry your hair until it’s about 90 percent dry — it’s okay to leave a little dampness to apply your product and get that sleek base.
Editor’s tip: Heat protectant is a must before you grab any hot tools. Before you blow dry your curls, add the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant to your hair. Work it through your curls from the roots to the ends to ensure that your mane is fully protected.
Step 3. Flat Iron Your Hair
Alternatively, if you’ve just applied dry shampoo, you can skip the blow dry step. Instead, give your hair some time to dry. Then apply the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In to provide 450-degree heat protection and a bit of moisture to your strands and also to tame flyaways.
Once your curls are ready, separate your hair into small sections and give each section one to two passes with a large flat iron. Be careful not to go over each section too often and keep your heat setting on the lowest temperature possible. You want to get your hair sleek but with little to no heat damage.
Editor’s tip: If you’re creating a sleek ponytail the heat-free way, you can skip the blow dryer and flat iron. Add leave-in conditioner instead, brush your hair into place and add hair gel to give your pony some hold at the base.
Step 4. Create Your Ponytail
Once you’ve prepped, blown out and moisturized your hair, decide on the placement of your ponytail and then begin to gather your hair. If you want a high ponytail, you’ll want to gather the base at the crown of your head. If you’re going for a low ponytail, pull your hair back and down to the nape of your neck. This would also be the time to add a middle part or side part if you decide that you want to add that to your style.
Use a hair gel like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Invisi Gel to give your ponytail some hold at the base. Add the gel as you brush and gather your hair, then use a hair tie to secure it. Brush the length and ends of your ponytail so that it has body and movement.
Step 5. Finish With Hair Mousse
To lock your style in place, add some hair mousse to your ponytail’s base. A little less than an egg size amount should be enough. This will just help to secure the sleekness of your ‘do and keep flyaways and frizz away for longer. We love the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse for this step because it’s lightweight and won’t leave your hair feeling tacky when you take your ponytail down.
Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Hillary Caitlyn, IG/@hillsofhope