High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

One of the 90s trends I’ve welcomed back with open arms is the high messy ponytail. Specifically, one topped off with a cute little scrunchie. So a few weeks ago I stopped by my childhood BFFs salon, Nix and Row in Avon, Ohio, to get some tips for perfecting the look. Scroll down for a high messy ponytail tutorial a la Jasmine and Meach. 😉


High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

Products You’ll Need:

  • Bobbi pins
  • A small scrunchie [I’m wearing the black one in this set.]
  • Teasing comb [Mine is an oldie, but goodie. This one is similar and has great reviews.]
  • Flat iron [I have a 1-inch CHI and love it!]
  • 1-inch curling iron [This one is affordable and works well!]
  • Heat protecting spray [Neuro is my fav brand!!]
  • Texture spray [This one is awesome!]
  • Shine spray [Again, love this one! Pretty much anything made by Paul Mitchell is my jam… lol!]
  • Finishing spray [I have this one and this one and love them both the same.]

Hair Prep:

Note: The way that I prepped my hair for styling is the exact same as I did for the hair pin hairstyle I posted here. If you have that process down, feel free to scroll to the hair styling section. But I’m going to go through it again for my newbies! 🙂 

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

1. Working with dry hair [ideally hair that’s been blown out], part your hair on the side [it doesn’t matter what side].

2. Using a flat iron, go through your full head of hair and smooth your roots [about 2-2.5 inches deep]. This will help prevent fly aways. It’ll also keep the look clean/sleek.

3. Going back through, use a 1-inch curling iron to curl the ends of your hair.

  • Break hair up into 2-inch sections and curl one section at a time.
  • Curl sections away from your face.
  • Stop the curling iron a couple of inches away from your root.
  • Let the curls cool completely, then shake them out to loosen them up. Note that if your curls are warm when you shake them out, they might fall completely.

4. Gently tease your hair at the root to create volume.

5. Use a light layer of finishing spray to hold the prepped hair in place. Go light so the hair is flexible enough for styling.


Hair Styling:

Okay, now you’re ready for the fun part. Here are some tips and tricks for creating the perfect high messy ponytail.

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

Step 1:

Gently pull all of your hair back into one hand. Use the other hand to pull some front pieces of hair free. You’ll want to randomly pull pieces from both sides of the part, all the way down to the side burns. You’ll know when enough’s enough. 😉 

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

Step 2:

Smooth all of the hair you plan to pull back, aiming for the ponytail to sit at the crown of your head. Pull up on the hair to keep it bump-free while you wrap it tightly with a thick ponytail holder. 

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

Step 3:

Hold the ponytail tightly with one hand at the base. Use your other hand to gently loosen the pulled back hair. Basically, with this step you’re looking to loosen the hair that’s been slicked back… not the hair that’s hanging off the back of the hair tie if that makes sense. Anyways, you’ll want to tug lightly, working from the ponytail holder out towards the face. That way you don’t create any annoying bumps!

Once you’ve worked up enough volume around the head and face, add bobby pins anywhere you feel you might need some extra security. For me, I put them near the ponytail holder because I don’t want that to budge!

THEN add your scrunchie [it’s a must ;)]!

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

Step 4:

Separating the loose hair into random chunks [about 1.5-2 inches each], tease it at the base to create additional volume.

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

Step 5:

Grab the curling iron and re-curl any pieces that might have fallen during stying.

Step 6:

Add some hairspray and off you go! Here’s what it’ll look like… 

High Messy Ponytail Tutorial
High Messy Ponytail Tutorial

So easy, right? And so perfect for those in-between days where you kind of need to, but don’t really want to wash your hair. We’ve all been there!

PS: I’d like to point out that I don’t have a ton of hair. So all of the steps where we worked to add volume clearly paid off. Don’t skip them if you’re hair is on the thinner side like mine.


>> Have a question? Need some clarification? Please don’t hesitate to drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you! 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. Please come back soon!