How to Choose, Apply, and Style Ponytail Extensions
We sometimes think of ponytails as just a practical hairstyle. Hair dirty? Throw it up. Don't have time to style it? Ponytail it is. However, there are tons of ways to make the ponytail super stylish — and there are tons of ways to experiment with different ponytail styles. From sleek to wavy, worn up high or down low, long-ponytail looks were a dominant style at the last New York Fashion Week.
However, not all of us have the length to get this look naturally — but with ponytail extensions, you can have access to all things the ponytail has to offer. "What's most appealing about a ponytail is the effortless beauty of it, whether it's a sleek look or tousled, my personal fave," says Liyah Lashea, hairstylist at Brooklyn's H2 Salon. Because the look is so beautifully simple, she suggests keeping the styling process equally no fuss. "If you're doing it at home, I like the new wrap-around Velcro ponytail extensions," she says.
Don't worry, working with ponytail extensions isn't hard to do on your own. Here, Lashea walks you through all things ponytail extensions, from how to pick your hair extensions to perfecting different styles.
Tools and Products You'll Need For Ponytail Extensions
- Ponytail extensions: As Lashea mentioned, ponytail-specific extensions might be your best bet, especially if you're a novice. Lashea has some tips for picking your pony; most importantly, try to get it to match your natural hair color and texture as closely as possible for a realistic look. "Human hair is the best because you can always color it to match your hair exactly how you want," she says. If you have highlights, try mixing different tones. If you can't find your exact shade, go with the lighter option. As for texture, opt for something similar to your own, or switch things up. "If you have curls, hair can always be manipulated, so don't overthink it. Just get the curl pattern that appeals to you," Lashea says.
- Medium-bristle brush: If you're going for a sleekly swooped-up look, you'll need a good brush to smooth hair back.
- Hair ties: You'll be putting your natural hair into a pony or braid first. Go for the no-snag kind, and choose them in a shade close to your hair color (and the shade of the faux pony).
- Hairspray, pomade, gel: The styling products you choose really depend on the look you want. If you're going with your natural texture, you can use your go-tos to style the pony. No matter what your texture, you'll want your look to stay put — that's where hairspray comes in. If you want to smooth out or shine things up, pick up a pomade (get those baby hairs!) or gel.
How to Style Ponytail Extensions
Step one: decide on your look. Whether you scroll through POPSUGAR, Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok, start by finding your inspo (we have some ahead). That way you can pick your ponytail length and texture based on the hair goal you have in mind.
Step two: pick your placement. There are so many ways you can go with a pony — up super high, somewhere in the middle, or down at the nape of your neck. Before you start styling, know your spot. "I like to tell clients, 'Let's do the ponytail where you are most comfortable.' There is nothing more annoying than being uncomfortable," Lashea says. And have fun with it!
Step three: smooth hair back. If you're going for a sleek look, Lashea recommends taking small sections at a time, applying hairspray, and brushing each section back one at a time before fastening them into a pony with your hair tie. Let it dry slightly, she says. Some prefer to anchor their style by braiding up the pony so hair doesn't show.
Step four: attach your extensions. How you put in your extensions depends on what kind you get, but they are all pretty straightforward. If you're using a pony that has combs, insert the comb into the base of the pony, right on top in the middle, and wrap it around. They may have Velcro to facilitate the securing process. With all the styles, there should be a designated section of hair that you can wrap around the base, so your style looks seamless. Secure it with bobby pins.