Michael Kors ponytail

Photo: Courtesy of Orlando Pita

The Effect: High, Bouncy—but a Little Edgy
A high pony loses all cutesy connotations when it's wrapped with black latex tape. At Michael Kors, hairstylist Orlando Pita prepped models' hair with a volumizer before blowing it dry with a round brush and pulling it back into a ponytail positioned halfway between the crown of the head and the nape of the neck. After securing it with a regular elastic band, he wrapped adhesive-free black latex tape around the base for a sleek effect that also prevents the pony from drooping. (For similar tape, try LiquidLatexStore.com. Warning: NSFW! A more classic option: a length of black ribbon.) A few drops of hair oil (like the Orlando Pita Argan Rejuvenating Hair Treatment Oil, $20; OrlandoPitaHair.com) prevent flyaways and create an extra-shiny, sleek silhouette; concentrate the oil around the hairline and on the ends of the hair.
Ralph Lauren ponytail

Photo: Matt Lever for Redken

The Effect: Smooth, Glossy, Ultra-Elegant
At Ralph Lauren, hairstylist Guido Palau combed a styling lotion (Redken Satinwear 02 Prepping Blow-Dry Lotion, $17; Redken.com for salons) through the models' hair before blow-drying it straight. He raked their hair into a low-ish pony (about an inch above the nape of the neck) and secured it with an elastic band. He then wrapped a one-inch piece of hair around the elastic, pinning it underneath the base of the pony. (Really want to draw oohs and aahs? Braid that small piece of hair before you secure it around the elastic.)
Chloe ponytail

Photo: Matt Lever for Redken

The Effect: Side-Parted, Supersleek
Wet hair can look sloppy—or slick. For a no-dry-time ponytail that doesn't seem like an afterthought, comb a strong-hold gel through your hair while it's damp. Create a clean side part and pull your hair back into a tight, low pony. The finished product is chic and extremely frizz-resistant. For the version on the Chloé runway, hairstylist Anthony Turner added one final step: a dab of classic pomade to smooth flyaways on either side of the part.
Lanvin ponytail

Photo: Matt Lever for Redken

The Effect: Glossy and Undone
To make a messy ponytail more flattering, comb a nourishing, shine-enhancing oil through damp hair before blow-drying it; then skip the round brush and use just your fingers to get a tousled texture. Create a not-too-perfect side part, then gather hair into a low pony. Pull out a few strands around your face for a softening effect. At Lanvin, a final mist of shine spray added gloss (without the grease).
Celine ponytail

Photo: Getty Images

The Effect: Low-Key but Still Polished
If your hair falls below your shoulders, try looping your ponytail only halfway through the elastic band at the end for a fresh silhouette. On the Celine runway, hairstylist Palau spritzed a volumizing foam along the models' roots first to add a little height on top. After the hair was brushed straight back into the pony, he used hairspray to keep wisps off the face for a clean, sophisticated finish.

Next: 4 easy steps to the perfect ponytail