As the mercury rises so does the delightful humidity. That can mean frizz, limp strands or it simply being being too sticky to wear your hair down.
With the impending summer in mind, we asked Carolyn Gahan, hair stylist at the Franck Provost Sydney CBD salon, to talk us through how to create easy and effortless ponytails and braids.
The Low Bubble Ponytail
Suitable for: Very long hair either with long layers or no layers.
1. Spray a heat styling product through dry hair such as L'Oréal Techni.Art Pli and then curl hair with a thick barrel curling iron.
2. Take a small rubber band and make a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. Start pulling the hair a little bit to loosen up around the sides and crown to create a messy texture. Completely pull out a few strands around face to soften the look.
3. After the first ponytail, go down about four or five centimetres and create another ponytail. Start to pull out from both sides the hair between first and second ponytail to create the bubble look. Because you have pre-curled the hair this will be easy to do as the hair already has a bend in it.
4. Give your first bubble a little mist of L'Oréal Tecni.Art Air Fix hairspray and continue down the ponytail, creating two or three more bubbles until you run out of hair.
The Half-Braid Half-Out
Suitable for: Long, thick hair. If your hair isn't long enough, you can add a clip-on ponytail for additional length and volume.
1. Create a slight off-centre side part between the centre of the head and the right eye. Comb out a section from the top middle to a few centimetres behind the ear and clip that section away while you work on the rest of the hair.
2. Section out a hand-sized piece of hair on the left side. Braid that section and tie off with rubber band. Pull braid apart a little bit to create a wider, more flat braid.
3. Behind the section of hair that you clipped away, grab two pieces of hair from the crown and simply tie them in a knot. Keeping those two strands tight, pick up two new pieces of hair and add to each section and tie in a second knot.
4. Continue that sequence one more time until you've created three knots in a row. Tie that off with a rubber band.
5. Now gather the first braid from the left, the knots and the hair left at the bottom and create a low ponytail. Once the whole thing is secure you can remove the separate bands from the braid and knots so it's all just held together by one. Really pull apart the braids and knots if you want to create more texture.
6. Wrap a small piece of hair around the band to cover and pin underneath.
7. Unclip the hair in the front and wrap a few random pieces around a large curling wand. Spray with sea salt spray and give it a little scrunch for a beachy wave.
The Pull-Through Braid
Suitable for: long hair, medium to thick density.
1. Create a low, loose ponytail and secure with a small elastic.
2. Above the elastic, create an opening in the middle, then grab ponytail and feed over and through the middle, pulling it out on the bottom.
3. A few inches down, do another ponytail, then repeat the steps and pull it through again. Keep going until you run out of hair or you are happy with how it looks. Fix with hairspray.
The Low Twisted Braid
Suitable for: This style is difficult to create on your own. It's best if you have someone doing it because you need to keep the tension on both strands. No real prep is needed for this style, so it can be done in a few minutes.
1. Create a low ponytail and secure with a small elastic. Wrap a section of hair around the band to cover it up and pin underneath to secure. For a special occasion, you could make a tiny braid from the ponytail and wrap that around to cover the band instead to give extra detail.
2. Separate the ponytail into two sections. Start twisting each section counter clockwise and keep a firm tension on both.
3. Now here is the key. While keeping these two strands twisted to the left, you now wrap the two around each other going clockwise. Because they are twisted one way and wrapped the opposite, this will ensure they look like one big wrapped section.
4. If you have one big wrapped ponytail, when you put a band on it, it will never stay, so it's very important to have them twisted and wrapped the correct way. Finish with an elastic and then spritz with L'Oréal Wet Domination shine spray for a super polished look.
5. This style looks great with either a sleek ponytail or a loose one with strands pulled out around the face.
The Sleek Low Twist Ponytail
Suitable for: Long straight hair. If your hair is wavy, ensure you blowdry it straight and run an iron through it to get that sleek finish. This style will be hard to create if you have a lot of layers or a long fringe.
1. Add a smoothing cream such as Tecni.art Liss Unlimited or Liss Control Plus high gloss serum to damp hair. Blowdry with a boar bristle brush to create that super shiny finish. Don't create volume, so keep your blowdrying in a downward direction. Direct hair away from the face and behind ears.
2. Create a middle part. Take a large section out on both sides from the start of the part to just behind the ears. Keep those partings very clean and clipped away for now.
3. With a Mason Pearson brush, start smoothing the rest of the hair into a low ponytail. Spray that first ponytail with hairspray to smooth all fly-aways down.
4. Now get the left section you clipped away and smooth it out with a brush until it's super sleek. Give the section a little spray with flexible hold hairspray. Remember, hairspray can make hairstyles look dull and stiff so avoid using a lot for this style.
5. Keeping the section very wide and flat, wrap it over the top of the ponytail and secure with pins as far under the ponytail as possible.
6. For the right section do the same. Smooth the hair out until it's perfect and keep it very flat, then wrap over the top of the left side. Hold it there and then give it a little shot of hairspray.
7. Grab a blowdryer and diffuser on high heat and set the hair in the shape. The diffuser will stop all the wind of the blowdryer, but the heat will help to set the hair in this new shape.
8. Keeping the hair flat, use a very long bobby pin the secure underneath the ponytail. For extra hold, make sure the bobby pin goes through the elastic and up inside the ponytail.
9. Finish this look off with lots shine spray for a super polished look, using a toothbrush around the hairline to smooth all those baby hairs.
10. Run the Liss Control serum down the length of the ponytail to keep out moisture and humidity.