How to go from a casual pony to pretty waves without a dreaded crease. Hint: The prep is worth it! 

By Ardenis Perez
Photo by Paul Westlake

Step 1: Prep

Wash hair at night and let it dry while you sleep to add texture for the next day’s style. In the morning, before styling, spray a small amount of dry shampoo on the roots, followed by a drop of heat-protectant cream on mid-shaft to ends just before you start curling. 

Step 2: Curl

Divide hair into large sections and curl each from mid-shaft to ends with a 1 1/2-inch curling iron, like Hot Tools  Radiant Blue Curling Iron (, $70). While curling may seem like an extra step, wavy hair hides a dent much better than straight hair when you take out your pony later. If you want more volume in your ponytail, backcomb at the roots of each section. 

Step 3: Secure

Gather hair into a high ponytail. Aim for the highest point at the back of head, as this spot will make a potential dent less visible than a lower pony. Loosely secure with a damage-free hair tie—try one made of coiled plastic to minimize marks. Finish with a spritz of hairspray to tame flyaways. When you’re ready to wear your hair down, remove elastic and shake out hair with fingers. Voilà—loose waves for a night out!