Jennifer Aniston's hair is always a hot topic, and this time she's perfected the pony writes Anna Hunter

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Hair is officially Going Up; the ponytail is back. No longer just a gym or playground staple, it’s time to embrace your inner Sandra Dee and sport a pony. The modern ponytail is more chic than cheerleader; just look to hairstyle trailblazer Jennifer Aniston to see how it’s done.

Jen’s most recent red carpet outing at the LA Call Me Crazy premiere saw Jen showing off a polished mid-height pony with volume at the crown. As executive producer of the five-film movie, Jen’s classic style conveyed that she meant business. Any lady that outfits herself in a black Dior bustier and shorts, complete with black Tom Ford clutch and black Jimmy Choo heels is not a woman to be messed with.

Her elegant ponytail drew attention to her delicate diamond earrings and was the perfect partner for her subtle, radiant make-up and enviable tan. Oddly, her choice of hairstyle also highlighted the circular marks on her back thought to be the result of cupping therapy. Jen had roughly covered the marks with concealer, but they were still visible for the world to see and the paps had a bit of a ‘zoom in’ field day. Despite the cupping blotches, Jen opted for the strapless top and ponytail regardless. We love her.

To achieve a grown-up ponytail in the real world we turned to hair stylist and Herbal Essences brand expert Ben Cooke for some words of wisdom.

“A ponytail works best on clean, straight and super shiny hair. Hair should be blown in the direction of the desired ponytail to avoid strays during styling. As you brush your hair neatly into position, spritz with hairspray to prevent naughty loose strands. Secure with a bungee or two small elastics. The key to the perfect show pony is to cover the band with a ribbon of your own hair (à la Jen), pinning it around the elastic. Once completed mist with hairspray and use the back of a comb or brush to smooth and impart shine.”

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Ben’s favourite style of pony is “super slick” and “super tight”, but he warns that it can be a bit of a severe look. If you’re aiming for a more low maintenance style, secure hair in a low side ponytail and tong the ends for a beachy look. Add a French plait at the front or loosely braid the lengths for a romantic, carefree vibe.

To take your pony from day to night, Ben’s advice is to “backcomb and pin into a relaxed, textured bun. This works particularly well if you move the ponytail higher on the end, creating a top knot effect”.

The pony can be many things; high, low, side, straight, backcombed, wavy, sporty, understated, messy and verging on the Croydon facelift. Mainly, we predict it’s here to stay. After years of fame for 'The Rachel' haircut, we’re grateful that this one is far more wearable. Once again, Jen’s ahead of the pack.