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A curly side ponytail can work well in both casual and formal settings. Start with unwashed hair and a side part, and then curl your hair using a curling iron in a size that works for your hair type and length. Gently tease the area at the crown of your head to add volume, and then gather all of your hair to one side, being careful not to pull it too tightly. Secure it with an elastic and then give everything a light spray with your favorite finishing product.
As a general rule, any type of updo will look best the day after you wash your hair. This is because the natural oils produced by your scalp add texture, making it easier for you to manipulate your hair into a curly side ponytail. If you need to complete this look on clean hair, work a texturizing product through your locks before you start to make it easier to style.
Start by parting your hair to the side and curling it with a curling iron that works for your hair type. A curly side ponytail is usually best done with hair parted to one side or the other; if you dislike side parts, you can do a slightly off-center one instead. Once your hair is parted, start curling it from the bottom of your hair to the crown, making sure that the pieces near your face are curling towards the back of your head. If you have shorter locks, you will generally have to use a curling iron with a smaller barrel to achieve noticeable curls, while longer locks can handle a thicker curling iron.
Any time you create a curly updo, it is important that you add volume to the top of your head to balance out the curls at the bottom, and the easiest way to do this is to tease the hair at the crown of your head. Lift up a small section and gently brush the hair underneath towards your scalp. Spray the area lightly with hairspray to set it, and then move on to another section, repeating the process until there is enough body at the roots to balance out the curls at the ends. Carefully brush over the top of your hair, being careful not to undo the teasing or loosen the curls, to smooth it out.
With your hands, gently pull all of your hair to one side. Avoid using a brush, as this can flatten the hair to your head and loosen the curls too much. Secure the hair in place with an elastic, and carefully rake your fingers through the curly side ponytail to break up any curls that are too large. If any of the volume you created with the teasing is lost during the process, use the end of a rat tail comb to pull the hair back up gently. Set everything with hairspray to hold the style in place and so that your curly side ponytail is frizz-free.