How to get a smooth, perfect ponytail: We share 3 game-changing tricks to ensure a bump-free style

The ponytail is probably the first hairstyle you ever learned how to do, but chances are it’s one you still struggle with to this day. It should be simple: brush hair back, pull it all together, secure in place with an elastic. But oh, the variables! Hair texture, length and volume can all change the way a ponytail looks and how tricky it is to style. And just when you think you’ve pulled off the perfect ponytail, you let go of the elastic only to see ridges and bumps in your hair. What should have been smooth hair just looks like a mess.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered just how easy is is to fix these common ponytail errors. I met up with Morgan Roy, creative director at the Aveda Institute Toronto, to discuss the problematic ponytail and she shared some easy tricks on how to style one that’s bump-free. First, you want to change the direction of your hair so it flows backwards. This step is easy enough: just spritz some heat protectant spray, like Aveda Brilliant Damage Control, through your hair and blowdry, brushing the hair away from your face as you go. (Just like you’re brushing it into a ponytail.) Next, instead of pulling your hair into one ponytail, try doing it in two steps. Pull back the top part first—that is, the hair from your ears and up—and secure it in place. Then brush the bottom half of your hair up and combine it with the first ponytail. This may sound complicated but it actually is an easy way to manage all your hair—which is especially valuable if you have thick hair! Finally, get rid of any bumps or ridges by using a tail comb. Start at your hair line and wiggle the tail comb back, smoothing away any problems. For the full details on how to get a smooth, perfect ponytail and say goodbye to bumps, watch the tutorial video above.

Also, think you have what it takes to become a master hairstylist? The Aveda Institute Canada is currently running a competition to find Canada’s top aspiring styling students and grant one winner with a full scholarship. You have until March 17 to enter, so start styling now!