Hair Styling How To: French Pleated Ponytail

There are few styles more classic or swanky than a French twist, but sometimes its inherent polish can feel too formal. This clever adaptation keeps the grace and beauty of a pleat but adds a casual element by leaving ends loose. This dressed up ponytail is perfect for a casual wedding or a night on the town. Wear the twist sleek and ruffle the ends for a grungy feeling or keep the top soft for a romantic interpretation. Read on for steps to creating this reinterpreted classic. –– Laura Martin

Step 1: Prep strands with hair creme for a lived in look or refinish dry shampoo for volume and softness.

Step 2: Brush hair away from from the face with a round paddle brush, holding all hair, just past the right of center back.

Step 3: Holding ends down, twist hair once, folding onto left side and leaving ends free. Secure with bobby pins attached at the crease.

Step 4: Pull free some wisps around the face for added softness. Finish with holding spray.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA