If a ponytail isn’t part of your hair rotation, that’s about to change. Party-ready ponies are making a comeback on the red carpet, so we reached out to celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan, who works with everyone from the Kardashians to Olivia Culpo, to breakdown one of the recent sleek styles she created for Culpo. And trust us, you’ll want to wear it to every event on your calendar this season.
Marjan tells PeopleStyle that the slicked-back pony has become so popular with her clients because it’s like an “instant facelift” and “flattering on everyone,” adding that it’s also about showing off a “good makeup moment.”
So how’s it done?
The first step is to flatten iron your hair so it’s super-straight. Then part the hair in two sections — back and front. Clip the back section out of your way, and if you have clip in extensions, it’s time to add them in to the top of your head to make your ponytail extra full and thick. (Pro tip: Marjan recommends buying real hair extensions that are darker at the root so they camouflage into hair easier. They will also last you a long time and can be washed repeatedly.) Once extensions are in, start teasing the root and then mist with hairspray for an extra hold. Brush the hair back so it disguises extensions and mist with hairspray. To reduce flyaways, apply hairspray directly to the brush.
The trick to reaching maximum smoothness is mixing a few drops of hair oil (Marjan’s favorite is Ouai) with gel (quarter size for thicker hair and a dime size for thinner strands) and running the mixture through your strands before pulling it back.
And now for the mic drop moment: With a brush smooth the front section into a ponytail and secure with an elastic. Then create a second ponytail (yes there are TWO ponytails in one) following the same steps. Secure second set of extensions with the clips facing down so it’s easier to brush up into a ponytail, then combine the second pony with the first one and use a bungee elastic to fasten them together. Wrap a piece of hair around the base and you’re A-list level glam.
Now that you have the styling breakdown, there’s one thing you need to buy before you rock this look: some aspirin.
“It makes your brows look higher. Your eyes are a little higher. It’s amazing,” Culpo told PeopleStyle of the look. “The only bad part of it is you honestly get a major headache. Every time I have that hairstyle I need a head massage following. And an Aleve!”
For more sleek styles to copy from your favorite stars, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE on newsstands everywhere Friday.
Are you ready to pump up your ponytails? Share below!