How Can I Get A Flawless Ponytail? Ashley Graham's Stylist Answers Our Hair Questions

Ashley Graham, Olivia Culpo, the Kardashians... There aren't many celebrities whose hair Justine Marjan hasn't styled to perfection. She has everything from bobs to ponytails nailed, knows the prettiest hair accessories to buy in time for spring and exactly which hair products are worth your hard-earned money. So when given the opportunity to pick her brains, it was obvious we'd bombard her with all the hair-related questions we ever had...
How do you actually get a smooth ponytail with no bumps if you have thick hair? – Rose Lander, Marketing and Events Executive
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I always create ponytails in sections so that the hair is easier to control. Most of the time, I gather the top half of the hair first in an elastic band, then gather the bottom of the hair and attach it to the first ponytail with another elastic. If hair is super thick, I may take even more sections. Before brushing the hair up, spray roots with a strong-hold hairspray, like TRESemme Hairspray, then brush with a Mason Pearson Smoothing Brush (which includes boar and nylon mixed bristles), while the hair is still wet from the hairspray.
Is there a way to stop my hair from unravelling when I fasten it into a bun, other than lots of hair pins and hairbands? (They're super uncomfortable!) – Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
Tie the hair into a knot, then just one or two pins, like Kitsch PRO Essential Bobby Pins, will do! This keeps the hair secure without it sliding out of place. Make sure your hair isn’t too silky as this will make it harder to hold. Prep hair with a sea salt spray like Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray or OUAI Wave Spray, or a dry texture spray like Oribe Dry Texture Spray, so that there is more grit for the pins to hold onto.
What can I do with curly hair for a wedding look? It's naturally curly and I don't want to straighten it. – Charlie Elliott, Strategy Associate Director
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First of all, make sure your curls are hydrated and healthy so that you look polished. Start by getting a healthy trim about a month before the wedding so your hair has time to settle. I am also a big fan of toners and glosses in salon to keep the hair looking shiny and full of depth. Wash your hair with a hydrating curl shampoo and conditioner. Some of my favourites include the TRESemme Botanique Naturals Collection and Moroccanoil Curl collection.
Post-shower, gently squeeze out moisture with a towel. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle and spray a hydrating detangler. I love TRESemme Repair and Protect 7, and the Balmain Hair Couture Leave In Conditioner. Gently diffuse your hair with the diffuser attachment (I like the ghd Air Dryer) on a high heat and cool pressure setting. If your curls tend to fall quickly, use a spray gel, like Oribe Spray Gel, or hairspray as it is drying. Avoid touching the hair with your hands until it is 100% dry as this can cause more frizz. When finished, leave as is or use some Rhinestone Bobby Pins to tuck one or both sides back, create a stack over the ears, or twist up into a cute pineapple.
What's the best way to maintain volume throughout the day without caking my hair in hairspray? – Shona Pickersgill, Marketing Research Manager
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Make sure all the products you are using aren’t weighing the hair down, starting with the right shampoo and conditioner. If volume is your main concern, use a volumising shampoo and conditioner, like Christophe Robin Volume Sea Salt Scrub Shampoo, or Bumble & Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner.
What's the best hair serum? Anything worth investing in that's going to make a difference?
The answer will be different from person to person depending on hair type and texture. For thick and dry hair I love the Moroccanoil Treatment. For fine, delicate hair I love TRESemme Keratin Smooth Serum. One of my favourite practices that makes a big difference is applying a pre-shampoo treatment oil to the hair before washing it. Leonor Greyl has an amazing multi-use treatment called L'Huile de Leonor Greyl, which can be applied to the hair 20 minutes before washing and to the body post-shower. This way the hair absorbs the oils it needs and the rest is washed away when you shampoo without leaving a heavy residue.
Is there a way to ask for sexy, relaxed, beach babe hair in the salon? Hairstylists always give me huge ringlets and say they'll drop, but they never do. Also, how can I achieve this relaxed style myself at home? – Katy Harrington, Managing Editor
My favourite way to get relaxed waves at home is to use the ghd Platinum+ Styler to create flat iron waves. This gives a more relaxed texture and you have more control over the wave pattern. The best way to get what you want in a salon is to bring in a picture. Tell your stylist you want a relaxed texture and to keep the ends straight. The last few inches of your hair should definitely not be wrapped around the iron. If you are in the salon and your curls look crazy, ask your stylist to run the flat iron over them to bring them down.
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Do you have any tricks for reducing frizz when blow-drying hair? Is using my fingers to flatten it down okay? – Natalie Gil, Senior News Writer
Using your hands is probably not the best idea as the heat from our hands can actually cause the cuticle layer of our hair to open, resulting in more frizz. I would suggest finishing blow-drying each section with the cool shot on the dryer to set the hair. Always use the nozzle attachment on a hairdryer to direct the hair downwards so the cuticle lies flat, and using frizz control products from start to finish. Some of my favourites include the Aveda Smooth Infusion collection, OUAI Smooth Collection, Gisou products, and TRESemme Keratin Smooth. When the hair is dry, spray a smoothing brush with a lightweight hairspray.
Can anyone suit hair accessories? What's the best, easiest way to wear them without looking overdone? – Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
Absolutely! I love hair accessories because they instantly add a statement to any hair look. If you're nervous to wear accessories and want to dip your toes in, I would suggest starting at the back. Pull your hair into a low bun and place some pins on either side or below and above the bun. Another simple way to wear is to simply tuck one side behind your ear and hold it in place. Try the XL Snap Clip or the Classic Rhinestone Bobby Pins. They're both super easy and your hair will stay in place all day. I launched the #kitschxjustine range of accessories as a non-intimidating way to try the trend and play with hair accessories. I wanted to create pieces that were fun, easy to wear, and that can easily be dressed up or down and every piece can be mixed and matched.
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I've got little strands of hair that always stick up on end at my roots. Are they broken hairs or new baby hairs? – Casey Bird, Creative Lead
They could be either! Broken hair at the root could be caused by blow-dryers that get too hot, sleeping on harsh fabrics, brushing your hair when it is wet, over processing with colour, trauma and weak strands. To combat and prevent, I suggest taking some hair vitamins (I like Olly Undeniable Beauty Gummy Vitamins) to encourage healthy hair growth, switching to a silk pillowcase to prevent breakage while you sleep, using only non-damaging hot tools like ghd, who make sure their tools don't heat up to the extreme, and making sure you manage stress. If these are new growths, I would suggest taking the same measures to encourage the hair to grow healthy and strong. For baby hairs that are particularly hard to style, I like to use PRO Creaseless Clips to lay them down. Also, spritz them with a strong-hold hairspray.
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