TikTok beauty trends are the very definition of hit or miss. Sometimes you’ll discover a helpful technique like adding blush to your undereye concealer. Other times, you can find yourself applying (or ingesting) something that you probably shouldn’t. Thankfully, the latest trending hairstyle on the social media app is a certified hit: the “pony braid.”
It’s just what it sounds like — a braided ponytail. Los Angeles-based hairstylist Justine Marjan tells Allure that the look has been trendy for years and has become popular “among influencers and on Pinterest as of late for its ease of styling and versatility with fashion.” TikTok users have put their spin on the style by adding middle or zig-zag parts, colored hair extensions, beads, and more under the hashtag #ponybraid, which has over 774,000 views as of this publication. Though the braided hairstyle can be worn any time of year, it’s appealing for those hot, summer days when you want your hair off your neck in a cute updo.
It’s part of the reason why Netherlands-based TikTok user Georgina Bourdjanadze gravitated to the look, which she tells Allure she wore often as a child while playing sports. “Seeing it on everyone in the fashion scene [now] is really cool,” she says. In her short video tutorial, she shares a few inspiration images demonstrating how she did it on her own blonde-highlighted hair.
The trick to achieving the hairstyle is gel (and lots of it), according to bicoastal hairstylist Cherin Choi. “Get a big tub, and don’t be shy on the amount,” she says. The jelly substance is the key to making sure the ponytail is slicked back without a flyaway in sight. She recommends products like R&Co’s Wall Street Strong Hold Gel and Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Flaxseed Defining Styling Gel to create that lasting hold.
Marjan recommends applying gel to the roots of your hair and creating a middle part before brushing it back into that sleek ponytail. She favors Tresemmé’s Tres Two Strong Hold Hair Gel For Frizz Control. “Brush, brush, brush so that the hair is smooth and sleek while maintaining the middle part,” she explains. “[Then], secure [the ponytail] with an elastic and coat it in oil.” Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Oil gets her stamp of approval because its thick consistency covers the hair well.