One, two, flip!

By Kaitlyn Yarborough
October 06, 2020
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Just like how we pile the porch with pumpkins and later line the mantle with garland, we cannot help but get the itch during the holiday season to do something different to our hair ahead of a family Thanksgiving feast, intimate Christmas party, or photo-friendly trip to the apple orchard or holiday lights display. It’s all about making the fleeting season feel extra festive—just preferably in a way that’s doable for all skill sets at home and with little time to spare. (It is the busiest time of year, after all!)

For that, we’ve been seeing a familiar hairstyle slowly coming back on trend all year long amongst the other retro trends out there like banana clips and Bardot bangs, and it’s easy and quick enough to do at home on yourself ahead for any fun occasion on your calendar. It’s called the flipped ponytail, and depending on your glory days, it can conjure up memories of doing the Twist on the dancefloor or listening to Blink-182 at Claire’s in the mall. 

Inspired by the mod 1960s ponytail often accessorized with a bow, as well as the hippest ponytail of the 1990s that you’d see sporting a sleek side part, this hairstyle can be whipped around with more sass than your mother’s side-eye. It’s perfect for the holiday season simply because it makes any outfit look instantly more dressed-up and festive for the occasion—and happens to pair well with a winged flick of eyeliner or swipe of bold red lipstick. And even better, it’s surprisingly simple to do on most hair lengths and types. 

For those who like to learn visually, stylist Justine Marjan—somewhat of a flip ponytail expert—explains the process step-by-step in the caption of an Instagram video (shown below). To style a flipped ponytail at home, start by blowing hair dry and finishing with hair oil—we suggest Ouai Hair Oil—to ensure the silkiest, shiniest base. Then, simply gather hair into a high ponytail, brushing to ensure the roots are as smooth as possible, and secure the ponytail with a thin or clear elastic.

The best trick: Leave out a strand underneath the ponytail to wrap around the base and conceal the hair elastic. Too hard? Simply cinch as a normal ponytail and conceal with a skinny velvet ribbon. And for a more 90s feel, leave out a section to brush into a sharp side part and pin behind the ear.

Now onto the retro part. Using a curling iron—one of our all-time favorites is Hot Tools Professional 1.25-inch Barrel Curling Iron—straighten the length of the ponytail, piece by piece, and curl the last two inches of the ponytail ends outward into a defined flip. Repeat until the entire ponytail looks sleek, straight, and finished with a super stylish flip. Top it off with our must-have L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray to stay sharp all night.  

Rocking shorter hair? No problem. You can get in on the festivities by straightening your bob or shoulder cut and flipping out the last two inches with a curling iron. Bonus points if you accessorize with a padded headband or sparkling clips fit for the holidays. For both the ponytail and short style, you can switch from flipping the ends out to flipping them under for a more subdued retro look. 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to master a new updo or intricate braid, but this one will see you through the holidays without any stress—and with tons of sass. 

Try this take on a classic high ponytail for holiday 2020 and you'll feel as decorated as the porch and mantle.