Sleek Parted Ponytail

Summer is approaching, and we’re in for some hot, humid days. What do you do with your hair on those sticky afternoons? A sleek ponytail with a sexy side part, naturally. My friend Caroline revealed how to get the look, and Jamie Beck took photos. Here goes

This spring, there were two really big trends on the runway: a sleek, wet look, and deep side parts. I decided to combine the two and make it a little more appropriate for everyday. This style is perfect for those hot summer days when you can’t help but sweat. — Caroline

1. Brush your hair all the way through to get all the knots out and make it really smooth.

2. Create a deep side part. The deeper the better (which means: the more to the side, the better). If you have bangs, it’s ok, you can use some product like a pomade or extra hairspray keep them slicked down.

3. Comb your hair into a smooth ponytail. You can make it whatever height you want. This summer, I am loving ponies that sit right smack in the middle of your head.

4. Secure with a rubber band. Make sure it’s as tight as you can get it, you don’t want your ponytail slipping down halfway through the day!

5. Hide the rubber band with a bit of hair. (I like to do this, especially if I’m going out to dinner or drinks and want to look a little fancier.) Just take a bit of hair from the underside of the ponytail and wrap it around the band. Pin in place (with bobby pins) underneath the ponytail to secure.

6. Optional: I really like to play with opposing combinations. Masculine/feminine, sleek/messy. I love when the top half of this hairstyle is sleek, but the ponytail itself has a bit of movement and texture. Here, I backcombed the end of the ponytail to make it look messier.

Plus, two products that may help you along the way: Shine balm is a great product to help your hair look sort of wet. I take a nickel-size amount, rub it between the palms of my hands and rake it through the top half of my hair. And Elnett is always my go-to hairspray. It brushes out easily and won’t leave those pesky white flakes like other hairsprays can.
Gorgeous for summer, right? It could also be beautiful for a dressy occasion: Imagine it with red lipstick and a black dress. Thanks again, Caroline and Jamie!

P.S. Nine more hair tutorials.

(Photos by Jamie Beck for Cup of Jo. In the how-to photos, Caroline’s striped sweater is from Cardigan New York, which is offering 20% off any color Elysse sweater with the code CUPOFJO. In the outdoor photos, Caroline is wearing this baseball tee and vintage jeans (similar ones here). Her awesome shoes are black patent loafers, and you can find some on sale here. Her jewelry is from her own line, Brvtvs, and will be available soon. Her lipstick is So Chaud by MAC.

  1. I have always had problems with pony tails ,
    I have curly hair so iit doesnt look that pretty like this -.-

  2. Jenny says...

    Gah! Your friend Caroline is just too much beautiful to bear!

  3. Hey Joanna, this post is wonderfully helpful. I love the side part, makes me feel a little MAD MEN-ish. I also found these great new products for my pony tail. They are soft on my hair and don’t bend or break my hair like a lot of the other ones. I found them here! Kitsch Hair Ties

  4. Anonymous says...

    Thanks for link Joanna! Any idea what size is caroline’s frames are? They fit so perfectly on her!

  5. I ADORE (♥♥♥) these hair tutorials… please keep them coming Jo, Caroline & Jamie! :D
    Bisous!! :D xoxoxoxo

  6. yes, short haired tutorials coming up!! we’re working on them. thank you for the comments xoxo

  7. Michelle says...

    Thanks for the hair tutorials! Love them.

    What are those black shoes in the pics? They look so chic and comfy.

  8. Oh Joanna and Caroline, you guys are great. I love the tutorials (something so simple, but hey, it’s great) and the photos. I want to jump around with Caroline and arm-in-arm with Joanna.

    I’m straightening my crazy hair this week and giving this a try!

  9. Omg I love bubble tea!!!

  10. I love these tutorials – so beautiful! I actually have really thin hair and wrapping a bit of it around the rubber band either thins out the ponytail but covers the band, or doesn’t cover the band well enough at all. Any advice? Or any other ideas?

  11. Love this, but am with the others that want curly hair tutorials. Pretty please?

  12. I don’t have long enough hair but her outfit is perfect! So fun and comfortable looking!

  13. Love this, so cute! Every time I wrap a little bit of hair around the rubberband it sadly never looks good. I need more practice! Do you know where her sunglasses are from? Thanks!! xx

  14. Anonymous says...

    Oh yes, what is the blush Caroline is wearing?

  15. Anonymous says...

    I love her sunglasses! I’m shopping for a new pair for the summer. What is she wearing?

  16. How does she make a simple ponytail so fun and sexy?!

  17. Ooh, yes! So chic and elegant and American classic. I’ll certainly be rocking that this summer!


  18. Too cute – a great way to look pulled together on busy mornings.

  19. Love it! Joanna – do you know where her sunglasses are from?

  20. YES! i love all the hair tutorials. i’ve been doing the messy french bun on the regular these days.

  21. Love it! Makes me ache for my long haired day’s of the past! And ADORE her jeans.
    btw, junghwa giveaway on Fig&Sparrow today that seems right up your ally Joanna. -J

  22. Sharon Fischel says...

    I just spontaneously HAD to have those shoes – in RED patent! Thanks for the inspiration. Too bad those baseball shirts are out of stock at jcrew.

  23. Gorgeous! She’s also got me craving Bubble tea now…

  24. Finally a style I can do! Ponytails + boba= one fantastic day!


  25. shannon says...

    i ALWAYS love the hair tutorials but so annoyed that i can never actually try any of them. short haired girls would love a tutorial as well! :)

  26. ronan says...

    Have you ever considered doing a tutorial for short haired girls? :)

  27. Lovely. These fantastic hair tutorials are far and away my favourite kind of Cup of Jo post. Keep ’em coming please!

  28. I’ve always loved a parted pony, thanks for the tutorial! She’s beautiful and I’m super in love with her delicate tattoos :)

  29. You look like a gorgeous J.Crew model!

    My hair is naturally coily, so when I do my version of the “pony tail” it’s more of a “bunny tail”

  30. Does anyone happen to know if the earrings Caroline’s wearing are from her line Brvtvs as well???

  31. love it! And while I just chopped my hair off into a medium bob, I still think I could do this with a little tiny pony (obviously not the same effect, but easy!

  32. Anonymous says...

    This is gorgeous. So relaxed and yet polished. Beautiful.

  33. Yes! Brilliant!! Doing this tomorrow since I am at my folks house in the countryside, and my fine hair protests their water by turning greasy fast! (plus I’m growing out my bangs!)

  34. I love these tutorials, thanks for sharing another! I can’t wait to try this.

  35. This makes me want to grow my hair long again!

  36. great totorial! where on earth did she get that bracelet? It’s just the right combination of statement piece and delicate. Love it!

  37. This is ah-mazing! I totally have to try this.
    xoxo Hannah

  38. That is the way I wore my hair today !.. it is so cold, I wear scarves and a coat and I need my hair out of my way, so a ponytail it is.
    I am glad I was in style. :)

  39. That is so fun! Thanks for the step by step too…
    I swear I used to have the same jeans/t combo…and the same slender figure, but that’s another story.

  40. I love it! Where did she find her sunglasses? Thanks! :)

  41. I use clear mascara to deal with the baby hairs. It stays way better than hairspray, doesn’t look greasy, and you can just use the mascara wand instead of a brush or comb. Hope that helps!

  42. Megan, I feel you on the behind the ears baby hairs! They are the bane of my existence. Most of the time I just try to embrace them since they aren’t going anywhere, particularly in the humidity.
    I will definitely be trying this out!

  43. My hair is in a pony tail every day in the Summer! The humidity won’t allow anything else ~

  44. I love this! In the summer when it’s really hot I pull my hair into a messy top knot – it’s fun, easy, and keeps you cool all day.

  45. Simple and sweet=perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Absolutely stunning, and so chic! Such fun pictures!

  47. LC Taylor says...

    ditto on the sunglasses question! :)

  48. Alice says...

    This is basically my day-to-day hairstyle, except I wear mine in a bun! I now feel super cool and ahead of the trend!

  49. yes please what brand are the sunglasses! :)

  50. This IS sleek, sexy, fun AND sporty. But, another curly girl here… got a curly friend?

  51. love this look – so simple and fresh looking.

    i saw someone a couple days ago with the mermaid braid and i really had to restrain myself from running up to them and shouting “OMG! you read cup of jo too!”

  52. what about her sunglasses? love them. where are they from?

  53. Sigh, I’m with Michelle. I love Caroline’s hair tutorials but they always make me envious that I won’t be able to any of them with my curly hair. If you have any hair genius friends with curls, will you tap them for ideas someday?

  54. So pretty! Do you have a source for her sunglasses? Thanks, Joanna!

  55. 2 questions:

    1) I have crazy baby hairs by my ears that flap out by mid-day but look too greasy if I put a lot of product in to keep them still. Any solutions for this?

    2) What color is Caroline’s blush?


  56. your friend is so lovely! this hairstyle looks simple enough for me to attempt it :)

  57. Thanks for sharing, this is great :) very chic!


  58. Michelle says...

    hair styles like this makes me frustrated with my much loved waves and curls…

  59. This is beautiful! So classic and pretty! Now I just need my hair to grow out! :)

    ~CP, ladiesinnavy

  60. Hooray, another hair tutorial! :) i am wearing the messy french bun that you and Caroline demonstrated a few months back, and will definitely give this look a try! Thanks for sharing!

  61. i think this is the sexiest hair tutorial yet:)

  62. When my hair was long I loved putting my hair back in a sleek, bouncy ponytail; love this look!

  63. Love this — makes me want to grow my hair out!

  64. so simplistic and classic. I love the shiny sleekness that makes you look effortlessly chic!