How to Create a Messy Ponytail

Learn how to create a messy ponytail with this Howcast hair tutorial featuring celebrity hairstylist Jacqueline Bush.


Up next in How to Do Cute Hairstyles (55 videos)

Wish you could have that just-left-the-salon look every day? You can, with these hair tutorials. In them, celebrity hairstylist Jacqueline Bush shows you how to get volume; make a zigzag part; use a curling iron or flat iron; create cute ponytail hairstyles; do some easy updos; use Velcro rollers; deal with fine hair; use dry shampoo; tease hair; put in hair extensions; do a French braid; curl your hair like Selena Gomez; and much more. Watch them and you'll never have a bad hair day again.




My name is Jacqueline Bush and I'm an editorial in celebrity hairstyles. My clientele has included Faith Hill, Mark Ruffalo, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Krakowski. I want to be able to show you that hair isn't as intimidating or as hard as you think it is and I want you be able to have fun with it and do what your vision is with your hair. Alright, so now I'm going to show you how to do a messy ponytail. She already has enough texture, her hair is not too soft, it's not too dry. I'm just messing with it right now just to give it a little extra body. A little extra volume. And then we're just going to take it, I'm taking with my hands, because that's the difference between something looking more undone and something looking more done. Because we want to do it messy, we're just going to use our fingers. I'm going to leave out the front of her hair. So right now what I'm doing is I'm just combing out, smoothing out a little bit. I'm going to take the bulk of her hair in my hands, make sure the sides are where I want it, and that the top is where I want it. Once I have that in place, I'm going to take something called a bungee cord. A bungee cord has two hooks on either end; it's just exactly what it sounds like. We're going to hook one hook on one side of her head, we're going to wrap it around, wrap it around again, and I'm going to cross it over. Now, for this one you don't necessarily have to use a bungee. I like using them because it gives me more control, but because it's a messy ponytail it doesn't have to be super polished, it's OK. So you have two options with this: you can tease the bottom -giving it a little bit more undone look- you can call it quits there, or you can do our little hair wrap trick, which is taking a section of the hair from the bottom, teasing it -It already has a lot of spray so I'm not going to spray it- smoothing out the top, still with a little teasing. We're going to wrap it around once, twice, one more time because she's got a lot of hair. We're going to secure it with a pin. Now that we've got that in there, we have two options: you can pull the bangs back, you can secure it with a pin here, or you can leave them down, but we're going to secure them with a pin because I've already shown you a couple of different looks with her bangs down. And now, to get the rest of that messy texture, it's all about just piecing it out, and I like to use a little hairspray on my fingertips. It gives my hands enough grip. I'm just spraying the parts that just need a little extra security, not all over, because remember you want it to be undone. And that's how you do a messy ponytail!


  • Jacqueline Bush

    Hair maven Jacqueline Bush has styled the likes of Katie Couric, Michelle Bachelet, Faith Hill, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo, and Patrick Dempsey, to name a few. For a time, Jacqueline resided in the south of France, where she developed an eye for the famous “French style” that pervades her work today. Gracing the pages of well-respected magazines from Elle to Weddings New York, Jacqueline’s philosophy is “organic glamour with an edge. No matter how much time and energy go into a hairstyle, it should always have an effortless feeling, leaving the client feeling sexy, without trying too hard."