Hair it is! Rapunzel’s number puts a little swing in spring |

Hair it is! Rapunzel’s number puts a little swing in spring

Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Oscar Wilde said, “It’s beauty that captures your attention…”

If this is true then a girl has got to start somewhere, and what better time for a sexy transformation than spring? From the looks of Spring Fashion Week, a lot of hair styles that are hot now will be continuing into the fall. This spring ponytails are in full effect, and a sleek, low, wide pony is a favorite among many designers on the catwalk. If a ponytail doesn’t feel formal enough for the occasion, then wrap or knot it into a chignon and dress it up. A silicone product like Bumble and Bumble Defrizz or Hairdressers Oil will help keep the smoothness and shine of both looks while taming down any frizz.

It is almost ironic a style as old as the ponytail, which can be seen in Greek frescoes dating back to 1600 B.C., can also be seen on the runway today used by top designers in Paris, New York, and Milan. Whether it was to “ward off the cut of a saber” or comply with the Manchu “Queue Order” in 1645 China, for centuries ponytails have been worn by both men and women for a multitude of reasons, and it certainly wasn’t always fashion related.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1951 that “the word ‘ponytail’ entered the American vernacular.” In 1958 “the Hook Brown Company applied for a patent for an ‘elastic loop fastener,’” which today is now referred to as the ponytail holder. During the past 60 years ponytail styles have moved from the back of the head, to the side of the head, to the top of the head and to the back again. One thing is for sure, fashion as well as science has found this style intriguing.

In 2012, using the “Rapunzel number,” British scientists were able to determine whether the shape of a ponytail can be deduced from the properties of a single hair. This research won the authors the Ig Nobel for Physics. The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think, and are awarded by Nobel Prize winners in an annual eccentric event at Harvard.

90s Grunge is also making its way back into mainstream fashion. For a unique looking “rock and roll” wave, prep towel-dried hair with a texture product like Bumble and Bumbles Styling Lotion, Thickening Spray or Oribes Foundation Mist. Wrap the hair in a semi-tight bun and fully dry. Once the hair has been shaken out the waves should be soft yet purposefully messy. To piece it out use a polish like Bumble and Bumbles Brilliantine, and finish with a workable hairspray like Bumble and Bumbles Does it All or Oribes Superfine Hair Spray. Try to keep in mind that Grunge is a style and does not necessarily mean grungy (or dirty…).

Tips and Tricks

Part of putting up a nice ponytail has to do with using the correct tools, not all brushes and ponytail holders are the same. One of the best brushes to use for achieving a smooth and sleek ponytail is a Mason Pearson Pure Bristle brush, “Boar bristles are easier on hair” and “redistribute oils throughout hair, boosting shine.” A good brush coupled with the knotted Hair Ties brand ponytail holder will give you one of the prettiest ponytails in town. Hair Ties are much gentler on your hair than traditional ponytail holders, preventing breakage and tangling while doubling as a fabulous hair or wrist accessory!

Melissa Cox is a stylist at Urban Angels in Truckee. Historic information provided by Kate Sullivan, Allure Magazine,, with hair brush information by

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