The fast, polished ponytail that looks like you’ve gone to loads of effort

By Melinda Stella

The best thing about braided hairstyles is that they take minimum effort (and time), yet they give an instantly polished look and garner comments such as “You didn’t have to dress up for me!” (Mum when I picked her up from the airport) or “Why are you so dressed up?” (My fiancé when he arrived home from work). In my books, anything that ticks both of those boxes becomes an immediate favourite.


I took these photos when my hair was damp – not recommended. This hairstyle works best on dry hair the day after it’s been washed.

  1. Part your hair on the side. I usually have a side-part anyway, but I make it a little deeper when doing a front braid.
  2. Grab the front section of your hair, from your fringe (if you have one) until about halfway down your part. I find it easier to tie my remaining hair back so I can just focus on the braid. Braid the entire front part of your hair (if you have no idea how to braid, here is a five minute video tutorial on Miss J Shopaholic – I assure you, it really is easy to do!) and secure with a hair tie, bobby pin or clip.
  3. Pull the unbraided section of hair into a side ponytail (or for a slightly more dressy look, a side ballerina bun) and pull the braid into it, securing with a hair tie. My hair has a natural wave to it, but you might like to use a curling iron to step it up a notch.
  4. Using the end of the braided section, wrap the piece of hair around the hair-tie and secure it with a bobby pin.
  5. Give it all a quick hair spray, share an Instagram snap and you’re done!

Melinda is one half of the Virgo duo behind Shop Me Chic. When she isn’t chasing after her two little boys or writing essays, she is keeping the local café in business with her coffee addiction, watching ‘Khloe & Lamar’ and indulging in a little too much online shopping. You can tweet Melinda & Sonia (@ShopMeChic), ‘Like’ them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram (@ShopMeChic).

What’s your favourite fast, polished hairstyle?

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