There's a ponytail and then there's a ponytail. One is basic and boring. The other is anything but.

Here to tell you how to take your pulled-back hair from ho-hum to oh-yum! is popular New York City hairstylist, Kenneth Tepper, from the trendy Pierre Michel Salon.

Ponytails are all the rage these days because they're swingy, young and sleek according to Tepper. "Who doesn't want that?" he asks. In addition to being a hip look, the versatile pony also offers a cool, off-the-neck style for a workout with an easy transition into a night on the town.

The trick is to make sure your ponytail is flattering and fashionable (no limp locks here!).

"Right now the most fashionable ponytail is the side pony," says Tepper. "Worn low and to one side, it's super sexy."

It's also very red carpet (as we've seen lately with stars like Queen Latifah, Carrie Underwood, Ashley Greene, Shakira and Cameron Diaz) to wear it high, twisted, wavy or in a bun.

But you don't have to walk the streets of Hollywood to be glamorous with your ponytail. With a few easy steps, Tepper says no matter what length your hair is, you can pull it back to create a sexy summertime look that is anything but boring!

For shorter hairstyles: If your hair is chin to shoulder-length and layered, do a small pony in the back and take two to three inch sections around the face. Give each section a twist and secure it back with two criss-crossed bobby pins. "Looks downtown casual and hip in five minutes," says Tepper. "Be a little daring, use bobby pins that don't match your hair color too!"
Side ponytails were the look at Milly by Michelle Smith's Fall 2010 runway show. Photo: Getty Images

For longer hairstyles: Start with a pony then work the hair into a messy bun. Pull out some strands for an extra messy and sexy look. You can also braid your pony says Tepper. The versatile braid can be worn down, twisted into a bun for a plaited look, wrapped around the head or french braided. "If you don't know how," says Tepper, "have someone show you and practice -- you'll be an expert in no time!"

For a dressier look, conceal the ponytail holder with a small section of your own hair. Pull a thin piece from beneath the ponytail and wrap it around the band two to three times before securing it with bobby pins. If your hair is straight and resists wrapping, curl that piece first with a curling iron, Tepper advises, and add a little hairspray. "Magic! It wraps around and stays almost without the bobby pins."

Whatever pulled-back look you choose this summer, Tepper reminds us to take care of our tresses and don't over-do it with the shampoo. "Although we like to take extra showers in the summer," he says, "just rinsing the hair will keep it healthy. Warm water brings the oils at the scalp down to the ends where you need them. So rinse as often as you like, but wash a little less and keep your hair healthy all summer long."
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