Hair Ideas: How to Make This Braided Ponytail into a Perfect Date Look

by Catherine Q. O'Neill

Getty ImagesGetty Images

Last summer, I learned so much about soooo many hairstyles that Adir Abergel gave me an honorary hairstylist's license. The reason? I was interviewing him (and others) while writing about (and testing!) all the looks in our new special issue, Allure Hair: The Ultimate Hair How-To Guide. And out of those 41 looks, there was one that really took me by surprise (above). At first, I thought this braided ponytail wasn't necessarily my style, a little too cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs--but it actually became my favorite of the issue. I loved it so much, I even invented a spin-off.

See more: 34 Hair Ideas for 2014

So the original recipe calls for these steps:
- Part your hair down the center and section off all the hair that's two inches from your hairline, ear to ear.
- Gather the rest of the hair in a ponytail at the nape of the neck.
- Separate the front section of hair into four equal parts and braid them all toward the back of the head.
- Pin the top braids back and around the base of your ponytail. Then, pull the bottom braids straight back, pin them against the head, drop them down, and pin them around the base.

See more: Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

But for many people, this is more a serious-fashion look than a date one. So if the latter is your immediate goal, try my modifications: Only section off a chunk of hair from above each ear. Sweep the rest into a ponytail at the back of the head (not the nape). Then pull the braids straight back and around the tail, and pin them around the elastic. Not only does this give a ponytail a graphic edge, it also creates an immediate face-lift, with flattering lift at the crown. See my version below. (Sorry for the photo quality--I was running late to dinner with my boyfriend. Told you it was good for date night!).

Catherine O'NeillCatherine O'Neill

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