Can I Wear a Ponytail to Work Without Looking Like a Kid?

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The ponytail has been a default hairdo ever because Historical Greece and 1600 B.C.E., where by the seem was immortalized at the Palace of Knossos on Crete in the fresco “Ladies in Blue.” A search possessed of several personalities and social signifiers, the ponytail can appear to be like the easiest of probable ’dos while also adapting to modifications in culture and social mores — and it has performed so through history and for each guys and ladies.

In pre-17th century China, for case in point, guys less than the Manchu dynasty wore their hair in a queue — a type of lengthy braid from the major of the head — and compelled the Han Chinese beneath their rule to undertake the very same design and style as a image of submission. In 18th-century Europe, the ponytail was a indication of the army, with British troopers sporting their hair in very low ponytails even though the French sported a minimal braid.

In the mid-20th century, the ponytail had mainly swapped sexes in the United States, starting to be synonymous with bobby-soxers — women, these types of as Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy in “Grease,” who wore poodle skirts, saddle footwear and bouncy ponytails. While it was to a specified extent usually a useful, sporty thing, by the 1970s the pony was also a hippie factor for both men and women.

Famed ponytail wearers include things like Barbie Sandra Dee, the 1950s motion picture star renowned for her pony Barbara Eden in “I Desire of Jeannie” Madonna in her “Blonde Ambition” years and Karl Lagerfeld with his powdered poof.

As to why the ponytail’s charm has been so very long-lasting, the reply is easy: It receives your hair out of your confront, involves small maintenance and can be worn by lots of people today. (Also, it tends to pull your pores and skin back, performing as a type of mini-deal with-raise.) Which is also why it’s this sort of a very good resolution for function it obviates the chance for distracting fiddling. And there is a thing about a totally bared encounter that jobs self-confidence and protection: You don’t require to cover powering your hair.

At the exact same time, on the other hand, if you want your experienced uniform to incorporate a ponytail, you want to professionalize it, so it doesn’t get confused with, say, the sporty pony or the slapdash pony or the performing pony.

To that stop, I questioned DJ Quintero of the Wall Group, a stylist who has labored with red-carpet ponytail-wearers such as Blake Lively and Lily Collins, what he would advise. He said there were two essential elements: placement on the head and how the pony is secured.

“The bigger the ponytail, the extra informal the glance and really feel,” he wrote, so for perform, “position it wherever from just higher than your occipital bone” — the foundation of the cranium, in which it connects to the spinal twine — “to the nape of the neck.” Then, he claimed, consider a compact segment of hair and wrap it all over the elastic to smooth the line and communicate intentionality.

And although the most famous present-day ponytail-wearer of the minute may possibly be Ariana Grande, a superior function model for your needs is probably Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. She pulls off the polished pony royally.

Every 7 days on Open Thread, Vanessa will remedy a reader’s trend-linked query, which you can send out to her anytime by way of e mail or Twitter. Concerns are edited and condensed.