The Perfect Ponytail in 3 Steps, with Advice from Redken and Rodney Cutler at the Cushnie et Ochs Spring 2014 Show

If you've been following Fashion Week, you'll have noticed by now that a lot of designers like Veronica Beard, are opting for natural, messy, I-don't-give-a-damn hair, and that's all great! Really, I am glad to know that if I don't have time (or energy) to do much but swoosh some gel through, it's more than okay.

However, if you are into something a little sleeker, like say, the perfect ponytail, there are a few key tips to getting it right. Backstage at Cushnie et Ochs, Redken stylist Rodney Cutler was kind enough to give us the step-by-step on a chic, polished ponytail — the exact one he gave to the models at the show for a strong and uniform silhouette.

1. Start with clean hair. For a full and sleek pony, you'll want to fill the cuticle. Cutler recommends using a volumizing spray, and, counterintuitively, not a straightening cream. "You don't always use a product because it says the desired results on the bottle," says Cutler. Depending on your hair, a thickening spray might help to keep it slick, so in other words, start experimenting.

2. Next up, the hair dryer. "Blow dry the hair in the direction you want it to end up." says Cutler. Instead of turning upside down to get lift and volume, for this pony, you'll want to blow dry it back toward where the hair tie will keep it all in place.

3. When securing the elastic, lean the head back. Leaning forward means you have no idea how it'll settle when you stand up straight again. Leaning back allows total control, and a good elastic band will create the tension you need for this look.

What you'll end up with is simple, chic, and polished pony to get you through gym class, errands, or cocktail hour. That's what we love about the ponytail — so versatile.

Image: Courtesy Cushnie et Ochs