The best kind of TikTok beauty trend is one that's easy to recreate, and the platform's obsession with bubble ponytails fits the bill. Now, the bubble ponytail has been around for a while, but lately, all the folks on #hairtok seem to have rediscovered the style, flooding our "For You" pages with different versions. If you ask us, the reason why people love the look so much is not only because it's easy to do, but it's also something that works on a wide variety of hair textures. Even some of our editors have tried the look on for size.
You can get the look using your own hair or grabbing some extensions of any texture. If you've got fine, straighter hair, come armed with some products that will give your strands a bit more grit. "The secret to getting the perfect bubble without it looking flat is texturizing or volumizing sprays," says Daniel Koye, New Jersey-based hairstylist and wig maker. You can start by grabbing your favorite dry shampoo or one of Koye's picks, Schwarzkopf OSiS+ Texture Craft. We like to use the Best of Beauty-winning Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo.?
After you've applied your texturizing products to the lengths of your hair, Pull your hair into a high ponytail and spray it. Then, using a brush, tease your loose hair. The brush makes the tease bigger and softer than if you were to use a comb, according to Koye. "Go down a couple of inches [from the base of the ponytail] and tease with your brush and hairspray so it holds, then gently smooth over the teasing and put another elastic underneath the teased section," he explains. "You can gently pull some pieces up to make the bubble bigger and give it a piecey look." If you've got a kinkier hair texture, hairstylist Susy Oludele previously suggested to Allure to start by grabbing your favorite gel to slick down the base. She favors Shine N' Jam Edge Magic, but a product like African Pride's Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Gel, which won a 2019 Best of Beauty award, works too.
Another super popular way to create a bubble ponytail is with the help of extensions. (Kinky-coily textures will want to achieve this with Marley hair.) Spread out your pony like a fan, then take the extensions and secure in the middle with an elastic. Once your hair is in place, you can start creating the bubbles.?
When hairstylist Sunnie Brook is creating her bubble ponytails, she likes to do a similar "fan" method, pulling each section with her fingers to create the shape.?
If you're not a huge fan of visible elastics, you can wrap each section with a small piece of hair. "There are two ways to secure the hair around the elastic: a bobby pin pointing down or, if you're extra, you can put a small hairpin in the elastic with the round part sticking out, wrap the hair around the elastic and the hairpin a couple of times, and then stick the piece of hair through the pin, and pull it down through the elastic," says Koye.?
If you love elastics, though — get creative. We love wig maker Edward Smith-Roberts' (aka Edward Sizzahands) take on the look, in which the puffs are held together by those elastic bubbles we all used to wear back in the '90s. So really, you can go crazy with the embellishments: bows, scrunchies, wire — you name it.?
Now go forth, and let your hair be its best bubbly self.