Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: You take your time to pull your hair up in a high ponytail, but somehow the base is off-center, the hair underneath is saggy, and your “slicked” roots are riddled with lumps and bumps.

kim-kardashian-ponytail-p          ariana-grande-high-ponytail-tutorial

Basically, anyone who says ponytails are simple have clearly not attempted the ultra-high, super-sleek, no-bumps-whatsoever ponytail that only celebs with professional hairstylists can pull off. And if you’re like me, you hate when people say, “I dunno, just practice, and you’ll get better!” So instead, I rounded up all the best tips and tricks to getting the perfect high ponytail and consolidated them into five easy steps.


Step 1: Blow-dry your roots straight up.

The key to getting your hair to cooperate is to flip your head over and use a bit of heat and a brush to dry your hair in the same direction at the root. If your hair is already dry, dampen it with water to reshape it.


Step 2: Do half of your ponytail first.

Instead of just throwing all your hair on top of your head and hoping for the best, break the style into two parts to get a really smooth, secure ponytail.

First, part your hair in half from ear to ear, then tie it up in a half-up ponytail. Use a boar-bristle brush to smooth your hair as you gather it, then position it however high you want the base of your pony to be. Once all the bumps are gone, secure your half-up ponytail with a small hair tie. To position your ponytail, follow an imaginary diagonal line that extends from the corner of your eye toward the crown of your head for the perfect placement.


Step 3: Then add the second half.

Now that you’ve got your base set, you don’t have to worry about accidentally moving your ponytail off-center or creating bumps on top while you work on the back. To complete the ponytail, brush the rest of your hair up and join it with your already-tied ponytail.


Step 4: Secure the whole thing.


Just hold the ponytail in place with one hand, and secure the whole thing with a tightly wrapped hairband. This is where you’ll need to do some experimenting to find the perfect band!


Step 5: Make it pretty.

The easiest way to make a ponytail seem polished? Cover the elastic with a small sliver of hair. Grab a half-inch section of hair from under the ponytail and wrap it around the base until the band is completely covered. Use a hair pin to secure it.

And you’re set!