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3 Easier-Than-They-Look Upgrades for Your Ponytail

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson arrives at the LACMA 2015 Art+Film Gala. 

If you’re worried your everyday ponytail has become a little lack-luster, why not amp it up over the holiday season?

PHOTOS: Red Carpet hair how-tos

Scroll through for pony inspo, courtesy of some of your favorite leading ladies — like Dakota Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Olivia Palermo — and get their hair how-tos straight from the stylists who created their looks.

PHOTOS:  Celebs’ best braided styles

For a subtle change:

Try Johnson’s retro flip, originally crafted by celeb stylist Mark Townsend, who says her LACMA 2015 Art+Film Gala look from Nov. 7 is perfect for the Christmas season. “If soiree season has you strapped for time, opt for this playful pony,” he tells Us.

1. Apply a dollop of mousse to damp hair and blow-dry with a round brush.

2. Gather hair into a ponytail and secure with two tight elastics. “I always use two elastics to keep the ponytail nice and tight throughout the night,” Townsend tells Us.

3. Use a 1-inch curling iron to add waves to the hair inside the ‘tail.

4. Apply hairspray on a reusable mascara wand to clean up stray hairs at the nape of your neck and around the ears.

5. Wrap a 1-inch piece of velvet around the base of the ponytail.

6. To finish, spray dry shampoo on the ponytail for texture and hold. “If you have fringe like Dakota, dry shampoo will keep hair in place without making it stiff!” Townsend tells Us.

For an intriguing switch-up:

Olivia Palermo

Take a cue from the ever-fashionable Palermo. At Lincoln Center’s Corporate Fund Gala honoring Valentino, the Tommy Hilfiger brand ambassador wore her hair in a twisted confection, accented by a latex head wrap. Her stylist Lacy Redway tells Us Weekly, “Because of the romantic feeling a Valentino gown gives, I wanted to completely offset that with an edging of latex and the severity of a super sleek, shiny rope braid.”

1. Part hair in the center.

2. With styling mousse, smooth hair down and secure the part into place.

3. To achieve the sleek look, smooth flyaways with hair gel.

4. Sweep hair back into the low pony and secure with a Bungee. Then, cover the hair tie by wrapping it in Latex.

5. Cut a piece of latex large enough to go around the head and act as a headband.

6. Tie the latex in a knot at the nape of your neck.

7. Twist ponytail all the way down to the ends, adding gel as you go to keep it in place.

8. Secure with an elastic.

For a bold, new look:

Elizabeth Olsen

Follow Olsen’s lead and completely wrap up your tresses. Olsen’s stylist Townsend, tells Us that her photo shoot ‘do was inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer‘s Tequila Sunrise performance. “The best part about this style,” Townsend says, “is that it looks perfect on clean or unwashed hair!”

1. Prep hair with a smoothing shampoo and conditioner, and blow-dry with a paddle brush.

2. Section hair into three parts and secure with elastics to create three separate ponytails in the center of the back of your head. One just below the crown, the next at eye level, and the last at the nape.

3. Spray dry shampoo on each of the ponies for extra grip.

4. Wrap a long velvet ribbon of your choice around each one, starting from the top and connecting them together as you move down.

5. Use bobby pins to secure the ribbon as you twist to the end.

Will you try one of these refreshed ponytails? Tweet with @UsWeekly using the hashtag #stylebyUs!

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