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Nowhere else is home to quite so many clever hair hacks as TikTok. From DIY curtain bangs and achieving heatless curls overnight to the one-minute messy bun hack and using hair toning drops to transform colour, the app is unrivalled when it comes to hairstyling, transformations and shortcuts.
Lately, beauty-obsessed TikTokers can't seem to get enough of what we're coining the 'perfect ponytail' trick and it couldn't come at a better time. With a lot of us working from home again, more of us are opting for low-maintenance updos which look and feel cool, and whatever your hair type or texture, the high ponytail is always a winner. But while celebrity hairstylists and beauty influencers would have you believe it takes mere moments to nail, achieving a ponytail that has bounce, volume and stays put isn't actually that easy...
What is TikTok's perfect ponytail hack and why has it gone viral?
There are hundreds of ponytail hacks on TikTok but Kirsty Hollick (aka @the.bridalist, who is a dab hand at hair tips and tutorials on the app) has gone viral for showing followers how to achieve a speedy summer ponytail that isn't flat or lacklustre. The best part is that it only takes a simple scrunchie and doesn't involve fiddly hair grips, hair bungees (elasticated hair ties the pro hairdressers love) or the need to intricately section your hair and apply product. Even better, it can be tailored to your hair type, whether it's thick, fine or in between; you don't have to have flowing Rapunzel-esque lengths for it to work.
How do you do TikTok's ponytail hack?
The 'perfect ponytail' hack is simple. First, you'll need a scrunchie, but you can also use a simple hair tie if you prefer. The trick is to use a paddle brush like the Denman Large Paddle Styling Brush, $54, to brush your hair up into place.
Then, take your scrunchie and loop your hair through twice. To achieve the second loop, you might need a medium or large scrunchie (depending on the thickness of your hair).
Before pulling your hair through the scrunchie for the final time, use your free hand to split the ponytail into two sections. Flip the top half over your head so that it's not in the way, and tie the last part of your scrunchie around just the bottom half of your ponytail. This will leave the top section of your hair free, but simply flip it back over the bottom section of hair and use your fingers to pull at the base to tighten.
What you'll get is a voluminous, perky ponytail that won't fall flat as the day goes on. Depending on how perfect you want the finished result, you can pull out small sections of hair around your face for a framing effect or clip up any stray strands.
Does TikTok's ponytail hack actually work?
My hair is very thick and throughout the day, gravity takes its toll on any updo I wear, especially ponytails, so I was intrigued to try this. Surprisingly, it's not as fiddly as you might think and I aced it on the second attempt. The first time, my scrunchie was way too small but I opted for a large silk version which worked a treat to give me a gorgeous high pony à la Ariana Grande. I'm proof that it works on medium-length hair, too, and thanks to the extra support of the bottom half of hair, my ponytail stayed in place for a lot longer than any of my usual updo styles.
I've found that this hack works a lot better on day-old hair rather than hair that has just been washed, as any updo requires a certain amount of grip. However, a dry shampoo like Batiste Dry Shampoo Original Clean & Classic, $9.99, or non-sticky texture spray such as Eleven Australia Dry Finish Texture Spray, $27 or Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray, $17, spritzed through roots, lengths and ends will provide the right amount of hold. Avoid finishing with hairspray to allow your ponytail some bouncy movement.
Considering how easy this is, I'll be ditching my straighteners this summer and wearing my hair up a lot more, and it seems Kirsty's 1.7 million viewers will be doing the same.