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(33 Posts)
ToastedTeacakes Mon 15-Oct-12 22:38:06

So what's the deal with ponytails?
You hear them referenced when people claim to resist making any effort, as if wearing one somehow signifies a lack of self care or as a last resort on a bad hair day.

I have curly hair which I straighten. It works well and is in decent condition, but since always wearing it tied back or plaited as a child I grew up obsessed with being able to wear it loose and long like the 'normal' kids (who to my eyes always had straight hair, alas).

Thing is, it is mid length now, sort of bra strap length, and I feel that I don't look my best when wearing it down. I've got a fringe growing out and my hair never seems to lie flat or convincingly 'chic' whenever I wear it loose. But I'm still fighting to achieve this, which is kind of daft, isn't it?
Thing is, when I toss it into a loose, messy ponytail my face instantly lights up, looks prettier (for wont of a better word!), younger, and my over all look seems more pulled together - yet this contrasts with how we generally perceive ponytails, and..... yes I am overthinking this!

What are your thoughts on this, and for those of you who don't have naturally pin straight hair, how are you most comfortable wearing it?

QueenCadbury Tue 16-Oct-12 09:34:23

What about doing it in some kind of messy bun instead of a ponytail? If you search you tube there are loads of tutorials for wearing hair up.

JuliaFlyte Tue 16-Oct-12 09:54:17

I know how you feel I have long hair but always wear it up in some way as it's too heavy around my face. I have a small face and I am swamped by long hair. If I want to wear my hair down it needs to be just below chin length. From time to time I chop it off and love it but then get bored with the lack of options and grown it again confused

These tutorials are great, I should remember to do them myself!

HoneyDragon Tue 16-Oct-12 09:57:15

Bun or Pony here although it does look nice down, it doesn't exactly look groomed after school run and dog walk, whereas up does grin

NotGeoffVader Tue 16-Oct-12 10:00:05

Every day for me is a bad hair day - ponytails work on a practical level as they keep long hair away from investigative toddler....and save time when I'm rushing off to college. On occasion I'll wear it as a high ponytail which is more flattering, but is uncomfortable to drive with, so it's usually a 'back of the neck' job. When I go out (rare occasions) I do make an effort. Honestly!

FayeKinitt Tue 16-Oct-12 13:13:16

If I could get away with wearing my hair up every day I would! Unfortunately I have a face shaped like a potato so hair up looks crap on me! I pretty much spend all of my time with my hair like this

Lucky you OP looking better with it up! I'm jealous envy

CointreauVersial Tue 16-Oct-12 13:16:31

I have never, never had ponytail hair - always seems to be too short, too layered..... and I look like a pin-head if I tie it back.

I used to envy girls with effortless ponytails, when my hair was all over the place.

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 18:34:36

Thanks for replies smile

Interesting views.
I have always felt this weird pressure to wear my hair loose, and wonder if it stems mostly from my permanently plaited childhood, or whether it's one of those insidious, cultural things....loose hair equating with sexier, more carefree style, etc.

I'm more interested in why I torture myself over trying to be able to wear it loose. I did go with a topknot for a while but it really just doesn't feel like 'me', if that makes sense, whilst the ponytail is just fine. I actually think that my hair looks more done and smart when tied up - and I'm sure it makes me look taller, which is possibly my imagination!
Worn loose, I feel disheveled. I don't resemble the glossy straight haired ladies who can simply wash and go. My straightened hair, whilst evidently resilient, always looks sort of odd shaped, and doesn't fall over my shoulders in a fluid way, more like a flattened down haystack..

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 18:36:02

Oh, and I have to frame my face with the bits of side-fringe when wearing the ponytail - the fully pulled back look isn't so great on me.

MaBaya Tue 16-Oct-12 18:37:12

Experiment with different up-dos? I wear my hair in a smessy low side bun sometimes, or a more sleek high bun. I also pin the front back off my face in various different ways. I do feel more glam with my hair down, but ffs, its just annoying a lot of the time isnt it?

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Tue 16-Oct-12 18:43:27

I have similar hair to you, and similar ishoos with up-dos. They suit me, but somehow I feel I'm not doing it properly if I don't have it loose some days! So yes, I think we are a bit beholden to the forty-odd years of popular culture favouring long hair worn down. The nineties was a dreadful time for someone with my hair to be a teenager - proper poker-straight hair everywhere. In Victorian/Edwardian times they had the most fabulous loose up-dos, which people which our kind of hair can carry off beautifully, much more so than people with poker-straight hair.

I do a bun when I can be arsed, but to put it up quickly I usually use one of those big sprung claw things that look like a torture instrument. They keep the hair looser than pulling it into a ponytail band so it frames my face a bit more.

FfionCompletion Tue 16-Oct-12 18:49:18

I'm quite into back combing the front section a bit to get a bit of volume (like a mini beehive) and then pulling the rest up into a ponytail. For me, It's a more together look than just scraping it back.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 16-Oct-12 19:06:47

I have hair like yours and put it in a ponytail on bad hair days or when i don't have time to wash it. It does change the face doesn't it. Sometimes it looks quite nice. The bits at the side of my hair start to stick out after a while which isn't great.

I have wavy, unruly, below the shoulder hair, which occasionally looks fabulous, but really only on the day it's been washed and until I leave the house, once the wind blows it it stays where it has blown and doesn't fall back into place. I do wear it down about half the time, because it seems a waste not to and it is a fabulous colour (thanks to Lush Henna).

I wear a ponytail quite a lot. I am mid-40s and sometimes think I mght be too old, but I do think it suits me. I always straighten or blow dry my fringe, and use a couple of clips for stray side bits.

I sometimes use one of those clawclips as they are so easy, but find they dig into my head if I'm in the car, whereas ponytails don't. Mine's not long enough for a sock bun or similar. I also find that unless whatever is holding it up is very close to my head the weight of the hair makes my scalp hurt. I'm paranoid about that because I have suffered from alopecia in the past.

That's another thing about the ponytail, I love the swish of it against the back of my neck, makes me so grateful it has all grown back.

Pinot Tue 16-Oct-12 19:31:50

I like a ponytail, it can look chic. Definitely needs some'at at the front though - either a quiffy bit or a fringe, or side wafty bits.

Loose, messy side bun is another fave too. I use colour matched hair elastics so it blends in.

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 19:45:01

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Mine tends to look unwashed after one day, too, and I think this is because the straightened hair tends to wilt quite quickly. Mine never falls back into place in the wind either! I was wondering if I was unique in this respect! I haven't heard of clawclips, will look into them.
I don't think age is an issue (unless you're sporting bunches or something), so shall probably also take this into my forties with me, just perhaps not smack bang on top of my head.

MadBus I'm late 30's, so lived through the 90's thing, I used to iron it back then with my mums clothes iron. How I lived to tell the tale I do not know.

My hair is extremely light and porous, like candyfloss, so when straightened it doesn't have the weight of thick or naturally straight hair. If I toss it over my shoulder it tends to land with a wedge in it, as opposed to falling back down 'normally'. It's true that this type of hair does work well in updo's though, I think it's because the fluffiness keeps it pert!

Most of all, it's how it opens up my face: when worn down I think that I look more tired somehow, a bit ratty. My eyes seem to twinkle when I stick it back up. I can stand in front of the mirror and do a 'face' test:

Updo - cute, awake, fresh.
Loose - depressed, shadowy, tired.
This ought to decide for me, but I still arse about trying to force it into submission!

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 19:49:41

Also interested in how the worn loose/updo thing affects our style, too, as in what we wear and whether it works well with our hair, etc.

Definitely affects style, I would never wear mine down with an outfit with with a collar, as it looks too cluttered round the shoulders (would be ok if properly long and all worn behind shoulders, but mine falls forwards). Also, I wear contact lenses most of the time, but when I wear glasses, again I feel too cluttered with my hair down. Although the glasses are OK if I pin my fringe back off my face.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 16-Oct-12 20:05:42

Op. I put a curl cream on mine which weighs it down and defines the curls. Perhaps that's why mine doesn't get too messy in the wind? The wind just blows the curls about and then they just drop back down.

Imlostwithoutahope Tue 16-Oct-12 21:04:48

I'm mid 30s and wear mine in a ponytail on the days I can't be arsed to straighten it. The problem I have is that my hair is very thick and in a ponytail resembles well actually a ponies tail ! I tend to also wear it up in a bun,top knot thing in a bid to make me look as if I have effortless style when actually it's taken 20mins of struggling.

If I do wear A ponytail I pull a few bits from my face and a side fringe to soften the look.

GeetTallBird Tue 16-Oct-12 21:07:02

Oh my, that chestnut bun is the holy grail of ponytails! How easy is that! I am going to be super cool and hip and trendy now, (in my mind anyway)
This looks awesome and only took one practice and one hairband and two of DD's hairclips on my bra strap length hair!

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 21:10:57

How do you create a low, side bun?
I'm sporting a messy side braid at the moment, trying to meet myself half way.

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 21:12:33

Chestnut bun?? Where..what?

GeetTallBird Tue 16-Oct-12 21:21:10
Right at the bottom smile

ToastedTeacakes Tue 16-Oct-12 22:10:11

Ah, thanks, I hadn't noticed that one before in my frenzy to seek out ponytails grin

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