If you picture Ariana Grande, chances are you'll imagine her wearing her trademark half-up half-down hairstyle, with her ponytail waaay down her back, swishing about mesmerisingly. Ari's not the only one getting in on the half-up half-down act though, this year has seen everyone from Beyonce to JLo, Kim Kardashian to Kylie Jenner wearing the style. And we want in.
Loved by Ariana Grande and Beyonce, half-up half-down hair conceals roots and glams up third-day hair – perfect for now, if you ask us
"Half-up half-down hair is perfect for right now because it's a simple way to disguise unwanted roots," explains Color Wow ambassador James Johnson , stylist to almost every gorgeous-haired reality star you can imagine. If you're washing your hair less than ever now (you're not alone!) half-up half-down hair is perfect. "It's a fool-proof way to extend the time between hair washes and enables you to go a few more days without washing because you can use your natural oils to get it slick and tight," says Dom Seeley , creative director for Color Wow who regularly works with Huda Kattan.
Wearing your hair half-up half-down is also a fab way to show off your painstakingly applied balayage, as Dom points out: "If you have different tones and highlights or balayage it really shows off all of the different colours, plus if you leave the front section down like Kylie Jenner does this makes the most of face-framing highlights making your hair colour pop as well as contouring your face and highlighting your best features."
Half-up half-down hair is ideal if you want to wear your hair off your face without is being too harsh, adds James. If you use your long hair a security blanket, we feel you; "Some people hold back from wearing their hair up due to shyness but this is a great introduction to wearing your hair up," says celebrity hairstylist Sophie Cumming of Hair At Home London, who did presenter Maya Jama's hair for the Brits this year.
Who suits half-up half-down hair?
You don't have to have waist-length locks like Ariana Grande to pull off this style as Kim K proved with her first-lady-esque spin on the look. "As long as your hair can fit in a ponytail from mid-scalp to crown you can wear the look," says Dom.
The style works best on medium to thick hair so you have lots of volume at the bottom when half of the hair is taken out of the equation but if you're not blessed with Rapunzel length locks clip-in extensions can thicken the hair out.
Half-up half-down hair snatches your face up, making your face appear slimmer and more fresh-faced too. "A full half-up half-down style creates the illusion of slim diamond-shaped face. If you have a slightly rounder face leaving out the front sections gives a slimming effect," says Sophie.
Curly or textured hair is just asking to be worn in a half-up half-down style according to curly hair expert Anastasia Stylianou who styled Nicole Scherzinger's hair for Cannes last year. "Most curlies don't need to wash their hair every day but on day two, three or four is can get frizzy, flat or the curl pattern can change. Half-up half-down hair can compensate for this."
"Wearing curly hair natural is gorgeous but sometimes you want to feel more snatch and this style is great for that as you feel different from your day to day hair."
Half-up half-down hair tutorial
Section your hair from ear to ear, going from the front to the back, secure the top section loosely in a clip.
Spray hairspray onto your hairbrush and brush through the bit that you've sectioned, smoothing the hair up and away from the face to the desired ponytail positon. "Follow the line of your cheekbones for a well-positioned pony that complements your face," advises James.
Tie the high ponytail securely with a band - wrap your own hair around it for an Ariana finish. "If you have any gaps in your hairline add the Color Wow Root Cover Up , £28.50, to give a thicker appearance," advises Sophie.
Watch Sophie's tutorial for an easy-to-follow step by step.