Although Ariana Grande's music doesn’t usually find itself on my playlist, I will say that the "Problem" singer constantly slays in the beauty department, especially when it comes to Ariana Grande's signature hair — that half up, half down ponytail. Like fellow ponytail superstars Brigitte Bardot and Tejano idol Selena, Grande’s ‘do gives off a vibe that’s both playful and high glam, making it an update on the usually classic style.
In general, I leave celebrity inspired looks like to the Instagram glamazons, who seem to handle hairspray and styling mousse with complete easy. However thanks to the adventurous daredevil sitting right on my shoulder, I found myself dying to defy the odds and master this look myself. And with just the right combination of apprehension and excitement, I journeyed into Ariana Grande hair territory, trying my hardest not to look back.
Through a blend of online videos, Pinterest boards, and my own experimentation, I finally got my hair in pop princess proportions. And although it took a good few hours, extensions, and a lot of hair elastics, it definitely proved to be the perfect hairstyle for a big night out. Here's how to achieve that Ariana-approved pony, in just nine steps.
1. Wash Or Wet Your Hair
You can definitely create your Ariana-approved look with dry hair, but if you want to get that heatless volume this style needs, you should start with damp or freshly washed hair. Now don’t let me discourage you from using curling irons, but take it from this bleached-blonde babe: It’s always nice to give your hair a break from heat styling damage during the summer months.
2. Create Heatless Curls
After letting your hair dry a bit, it’s time to give your hair some oomph like Grande’s. As previously stated you can definitely use heat styling tools, but to get some effortless curly waves, I like use to use sponge hair curlers to get that effective yet entirely heatless result. To use your curlers effectively, spray each strand with some leave-in-conditioner, then simply wrap your hair around the center of curlers to hold.
3. Wait An Hour, Then Undo Your Curlers
Rolling and setting my hair for an hour, I couldn’t wait for glorious curls upon taking my sponge curlers out. Once that never-ending hour was finally over with, I was treated to gorgeous curls that would even make my Beachwaver jealous.
4. Brush It Out
You may be a bit sad to brush you lush curls away, but you want to keep this look as voluminous as possible. Taking a good paddle brush, simply brush your curls to free flowing waves. If you’d like to use hairspray at this step, go ahead and knock yourself out.
5. Section Your Hair In Place
To create that cute-as-a-button pony, you definitely want to fashion your hair into a half up, half down style. Using a clip (my preferred method) or hair elastic you’ve got lying around, simply grab some hair and section it off your face into a half ponytail.
6. Make A Half Up Ponytail
Once your hair is completely sectioned off, use an elastic and tie the parted hair into high ponytail off your head.
7. Add In Some Extensions
Now here’s where things get a bit tricky. Unless you’re already sporting with waist long hair, you’ll surely need some extra help to get those Ariana tresses. A lot tutorials I saw called for extensions, so I was sure to put some clip ins to work. Extensions may seem costly, but if you’re lucky enough to have a color that's easy to match, you can score out big time on sites like Amazon. Luckily, I found these babies for under $30, but can only imagine how much Ariana spends to upkeep this look.
To feign the look of long and gorgeous hair, make sure your extension piece rests just beneath your pony. Then, secure your clips and blend into the hair.
8. Wrap Some Hair Around Your Pony
Next, comes placings some hair from your ponytail around your elastic. This step surely takes a few tries, but it helps create that crucial mod look, and doesn’t need tons of hairspray for hold. Once you’ve successfully covered your hair around the elastic, simply stick a bobby pin through your ponytail to secure your style in place.
9. Strike A Pose
Once you’ve reached this step, know that it’s time to start doing your victory dance. Although my hair isn’t as stylized as Grande’s (girl probably has a dope beauty squad), this is one awesomesauce hairstyle that makes me feel like a million bucks.
Overall, recreating this hairstyle proved to be a fun challenge. Although I had my hesitations at first, creating my own spin on the look allowed me to be a glamour puss for a day, without the heat styling damage caused by curling irons and such.
Keep in mind though, this style isn’t for those who don’t like high maintenance looks. Not only does this style require extensions, patience, and a good deal of your time, but it definitely takes a lot of tries (and eyerolls) later to get your look just right. It's worth it, though, to break free from your usually routine!
Images: Courtney Leiva (9)