Recreate Olivia Culpo’s striking braided ponytail

The hairstylist behind the look shares the exact steps

Beauty Crew Contributor / March 07 2017

While Olivia Culpo may not have the titles actress or singer on her resume (just yet, anyway), the social media star has fast become one of the must-watch celebrities when it comes to beauty inspiration.

She recently stepped out sporting a combination of two of our favourite hair trends: the slick ponytail and dutch braids.

The sleek style was the work of celebrity hairstylist and TRESemme Global Ambassador Justine Marjan, and we couldn’t resist asking her how she created this incredible braided ‘do.

Here are the exact steps for recreating Olivia Culpo’s braided ponytail.


Prep hair

To get that super-smooth finish, Marjan recommends applying TRESemme Beauty-Full Blow-Dry crème to your damp hair, and then blow-drying straight. Marjan recommends using the ghd Air Hair Dryer.



Once your hair is dry, straighten your hair with the ghd eclipse styler, directing the roots in the direction of the ponytail (so up and to the centre).


Section your hair

Section off two one-inch sections at both temples, using the arch of your eyebrow as a guide. It’s a good idea to use crocodile clips to pin the hair around the sections away, as this will help create a cleaner finish.

“Getting your hair super-straight and smooth is the key for a polished finish! Using a smoothing brush and fine toothcomb to separate the ponytail as you create it makes this much easier.” Justine Marjan, TRESemme Global Ambassador Justine


Time to braid

Add gel to the roots of the hair you’ve just sectioned. Try [expensive gel that holds while still promising flexibility] to give your hair the hold you need, while still allowing for some flexibility. Then create a dutch braid on each section, starting at your temple and finishing at the crown of your head. Once you’ve reached the crown, continue to braid the section without picking up pieces from your scalp until you reach the end.


Add more gel

Once your side braids are done, apply more gel to the roots of your hair at the top section that’s between the braids. Then brush this back into a high ponytail, adding the braided sections and securing with an elastic


Secure the rest of your hair

Add gel to the roots for the rest of your hair (everything sitting below your side braids), tilt your head back, then brush the remaining hair into the ponytail and secure with another elastic.


Fix flyaways

Don’t panic if you have a few rogue strands. Marjan says, “Spray a toothbrush with TRESemme Ultra Brushable Hairspray to tame any flyaways.”


Finish it off

Apply a smoothing serum, such as Pureology Smooth Perfection Smoothing Serum, to the ends of your ponytail to ensure maximum sleekness

Looking to nail casual waves? Read Justine Marjan’s top tips for creating the ultimate beach waves.

Image credit: @justinemarjan

From Kylie Jenner's latest lip kit launch to cutting edge skincare technology, Jordyn has covered all things beauty for titles including BEAUTYcrew, marie claire and beautyheaven. Her words also appear in Harper's Bazaar and Collective Hub.