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This blog is written primarily for men, and while I hope most of the articles are of interest to both men and women caregivers, this one is meant exclusively for men. I just can’t bear having women laughing at me. Guys, if your loved one has hair long enough for a ponytail and you struggle with it, then read on.

I’ve Taken One for the Team

I am frequently frustrated with J’s hair, especially now that it’s longer than normal thanks to the pandemic closing salons. Putting it in a ponytail is convenient when she’s eating or exercising. Considering that I have a young daughter with long hair, you might assume that I’d be a pro at ponytail creation, but my daughter learned to do her own early on leaving me with an incomplete skillset.

So, I watched approximately 60 different ponytail tutorials on YouTube to figure out what I’m doing wrong and to help you create the perfect ponytail. I’ve selected three videos that I’ll describe in a bit. First, I’ll tell you about my problems.

Hair, Hair Everywhere

J has nice hair, now slightly longer than shoulder length. She has a lot of hair but it’s fine and can be brittle. Her normal preferred hairstyle from her career days is just shorter than shoulder length and expertly styled to frame her face. Getting that cut looking good in the morning takes a bit more effort than I can muster so I prefer a straight-forward cut that’s long enough to put up. The problem is that my ponytails suck. They are lumpy with stray hairs everywhere and strands that always fall out.

Robert Palmer girls

So, I admit it. My idea of the perfect ponytail was shaped in part from watching the Robert Palmer girls in the 1980s Simply Irresistible music video. Perfectly slicked back, not a loose hair in sight, ok – I see now that they are actually buns, not true ponytails but close enough — simply irresistible!

I know that J was able to accomplish a similar look pre-stroke but I never paid attention to how she did it. Now I’ve discovered some of the secrets!

All You Need is a Brush, Spray Bottle, Comb, Hairspray, Bungee Cords…

I’ve become a fan of using YouTube to find tutorials on how to do things. I replaced the cabin filter in my Volvo using a video. More often than not, the videos convince me not to try things on my own, and you have to be prepared to watch a lot of videos to find one that’s helpful AND accurate. Such was the case with ponytail tutorials. They ranged from not really demonstrating how to do a ponytail to hopelessly complex. If I wasn’t so committed to mastering this, I might just throw my hands up and convince J to get the shortest possible haircut. However, after a couple of hours of watching, I narrowed the field down to three helpful videos.

So, what did I learn?

  • You need a brush, which I have, and preferably a rat tail comb, which I don’t have, to create a straight part and gather all the hair.
  • A spray bottle filled with water, a detangler, and hairspray help create the right smoothness and hold.
  • Brush the sides down the side and not straight back!
  • Tip the head up when putting the pony in place so the hair stays flat. If you tip the head down and fix the pony, then when the head is level, the hair will sag.
  • Hair Bungee Cords! Who knew? I avoid rubber bands but always thought hair ties and scrunchies were sufficient.
  • Be patient! Or don’t be patient because pretty much anything goes. Perfection is not necessary!

The following videos are recommended. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel where I post both my own videos and curated ones that I think you will find helpful.

This video above is for guys with a short attention span. It’s quick and simple but doesn’t provide a lot of detail.
This video above is more instructional but still is a basic ponytail.
This video above is much more sophisticated but not impossible to follow. Attempt at your own risk!

Be sure to leave comments and pictures to let me know how it goes. J is getting her hair cut tomorrow for the first time since March so, while I’ve asked her stylist to leave it long enough for a ponytail, I won’t know what to expect until it’s over. Best of luck and have fun!

Thoughtful Comments Appreciated!

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