Hot 100 Fest headliner Ariana Grande is known for both her amazing vocal range as well as her signature high ponytail, so Billboard spoke exclusively with celebrity hairstylist Aaron Light, the man behind Grande’s modern ’60s fringe bang.
“The bang was an equal collaboration,” says Light, who has worked with Grande since her Nickelodeon Victorious days. “There are so many stars that will go drastic and cut off all their hair, bleach it or do something wild, but if a look is amazing, it just needs a little tweak here and there. You don’t have to go so extreme to make a statement,” he added.
Start With Your Bangs
Light suggests beginning your routine by blow-drying bangs with a 1-inch round brush and then placing them in a 1-inch roller. “I like to use this product on her called Royal Blowout from Orbie. It’s a great blow-drying aid that keeps moisture in the hair and prevents heat damage,” says Light. “A lot of my clients are getting their hair done constantly, so a good heat protectant is important.”
Pro Tip: If you don’t have rollers, wrap the hair around your finger and secure with a clip or bobby pin.
Ariana Grande: The Billboard Cover Shoot
Don’t be Afraid of Oil
After blow-drying the rest of your hair, use a serum so your strands are silky smooth. Light uses Matrix Oil Wonders Flash Blow Dry Oil on Grande to keep the hair from drying out.
Pro Tip: Using a heat-setting spray and a flat iron is a great alternative to blowing your hair out straight.
The Right Hair Tie Is Essential
To create a tight ponytail with no slippage, first brush your hair up into a high pony on the top of your head and then secure with a hook bungee.
Pro Tip: Smoothies Bungee Bands is the hair tie of choice.
Borrow from the Boys
Spray a barbering brush with a light hold hairspray and brush backwards from the hairline to the hook bungee, smoothing out any flyaways and bumps.
Pro Tip: For an extra finish, wrap a small piece of hair around the bungee and secure with a bobby pin. Oribe Superfine Spray is the recommended option.
Saltwater Spray Should be Embraced
Spray ponytail with a sea-salt spray, like Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray, for a textured look.
Pro Tip: Keep rollers in bangs until this step, them smooth as desired.