Eight Runner-Tested Hairstyles

 These eight updates to the ponytail are battle-tested and runner-approved for summer. They're designed to be durable and easy: Each is shown post-run, and with one exception, each was done for the first time by Tessa Hoefle of Runner's World

The Hairband Braid

Try this hairstyle when you're in a hurry. Who says looking good has to take all day? And (unlike the hair bands of the eighties) with a prep time that clocks in at less than forty seconds, you won't regret it.

Get this look by braiding a finger-width segment of a ponytail and wrapping braid around hair band. Secure with a bobby pin.


The Hasay

Try this hairstyle if you are a fan of recent grad and former Oregon phenom Jordan Hasay, or a fan of her signature hairstyle. Known for massive talent and massive hair, Jordan's wraparound braid is perfect for containing fly-aways in the summer. Just be sure to put a thin line of sunscreen along the exposed scalp to avoid sunburn.

Get this look by starting a three-finger-width French braid behind one ear, and gathering across the forehead line.  

The Fishtail Braid: Bun

Try this easy alternative to the messy bun for quick post-run clean-up. The fishtail bun is practically prom-worthy, and testing found it tight enough to withstand a tempo.

Get this look by wrapping the fishtail braid around the base of the ponytail. Secure with a hair band.

The Fishtail Braid: Inception

Try this braid within a braid. Once you have the hang of the fishtail braid, this sophisticated hairstyle is surprisingly easy. However, skip it on rain runs: testing found the intricate braids prone to tangling in rainy weather.

Get this look by splitting ponytail into three even segments and fishtail braiding each segment. Finally, braid the three fishtail braids into one. Although simple, this look can be time-consuming. Switch to a regular braid as hair narrows to save time. 

The Bajo Braid

Try this hot-weather godsend. Spanish for "under," this inventive hairstyle is ideal for short hair or layers that stick to your neck in the summer months. For best results, pair it with a high pony or bun.

Get this look easiest by turning head upside-down. Starting at the neck, French braid a segment of hair up the middle of the scalp. Braid hair to the end and secure with hairband. 

The Five-Strand Braid

Try this hairstyle for your next rain run. Perfect for thick hair, the five-strand braid minimizes the knotting and bunching that comes with inclement weather.

Get this look by separating ponytail into five even segments. It's important to keep segments separate, so secure the bottom of each segment with a hair band. Imagine that each segment is numbered one through five. With one hand, weave segment one over segment two and under segment three. Then, with the other hand, weave segment five over segment four and under segment three. Repeat. 

The X-Factor

For a challenge, try this PR hairstyle on your next race day. These pigtails with an edge stay out of your face and out of your way—and your competition will do the same.

To get this look, divide hair into four quarters. French braid the top quarters towards the center of the scalp, cross in the middle, and finish with the bottom quarters.


The Fishtail Braid

Try this hairstyle for a morning run. Although it looks complex, the fishtail braid is an easy upgrade and comfortable enough to sleep on. For the same post-run wave as a French braid without the pressure on the scalp, fishtail hair the night before and skip the shampoo after.

The best part? As the French braid's easygoing Californian cousin, imperfection is always welcome


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