Ponytails are like the beauty equivalent of a white t-shirt: they're effortless, classic, and universally appealing. That said, they're also easy to overlook due to their ubiquitous nature; sometimes the more popular and common something is, the less special it feels. But lately we've noticed that a handful of stylish celebs have been opting for a new interpretation of this essential hairstyle¬--the polished ponytail¬--making it a must-try once again.
As created by hair maestro Guido for the Louis Vuitton F/W 10 collection, the polished ponytail is the perfect youthful counterpoint to the season's ladylike trend and it's an unexpected choice for evening or fancy events. In fact, all four of our celebrity examples opted for polished ponytails for noteworthy occasions. Lauren Conrad went for a curled version earlier this summer, which she paired with an olive long-sleeve sequin dress by Mandalay for the finale of The Hills. A month later, we noticed that Rachel Zoe used a sweetly perky pony to show off her voluminous sleeves at the opening of Louis Vuitton's new store in Santa Monica, while Rachel Bilson and Elle Macpherson both went for casual versions for Chanel's Soho boutique re-opening party and the Louis Vuitton F/W 10 show, respectively.
We won't insult your hair expertise by over-explaining pony process, however, for those of you who like details, we have a few for your edification. To create the polished ponytail for the Louis Vuitton show, Guido¬--who also happens to be Redken's Creative Consultant¬--applied Redken's Velvet Gelatine 07 Cushioning Blow Dry Gel ($17) to the models' damp hair and then dried it with a round brush. He pinned their hair into rolls (small curls) and let it cool, but we like to set our hair¬--briefly¬--with large hot rollers for a similar effect. Then just smooth the hair into a ponytail, secure it with an elastic band, and wrap a small piece of hair from the ponytail around the elastic to conceal it (a bobby pin or two will anchor it securely). For extra polish, take a tip from Guido and apply Redken's Glass 01 Smoothing Serum ($15) around the hairline to ensure you have a sleek look. On a side note, while you can always do the polished ponytail with clean hair, we think it works even better on slightly dirty locks. In fact, it might be the best post-blow out 'do we know¬--no wonder so many ladies love it so!
Photos of Lauren Conrad and Rachel Zoe, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Elle Macpherson, courtesy of Splash; Louis Vuitton runway image courtesy of Louis Vuitton; Backstage photos, courtesy of Redken