We’ve seen the ankle-length braided ponytail swoop into the lineup of tress trends some seasons ago and cement itself as a summer go-to for celebrities and everyday women alike. These days many women around the country still can’t get to their hairstylists for help with their strands, yet weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions have not ceased to exist.
Luckily for all of us, Annagjid “Kee” Taylor, the hairstylist who works with some of our favorite Tinseltown beauties—such as Keke Palmer, Nafessa Williams, Tika Sumpter, Tiffany Haddish and Amber Riley—is giving us the tools to achieve this beloved look on our own.
“This style has such a surprising impact—it’s sleek and dramatic all at once,” she tells ESSENCE. “It’s like a quiet storm: From the front, it looks like a chic sleek pony, but from the back, [there’s that] wow factor. It’s classy and bougie, but a little bit ratchet!”
Taylor is a salon owner and the founder of the hair care line Deeper Than Hair. She’s also the woman who penned the illustrated children’s book All Hair Is Good Hair, which reinforces the beauty of Black locks for our girls. And she had most of our hearts when she started what became the #DMXChallenge—which is still one of the best hair challenges to launch on social media to date.
In this gem of a tutorial, Taylor gives the step-by-step rundown on how to achieve this ankle-grazing look. With her fun commentary and girlfriend-to-girlfriend advice (she is very precise and we love it), she makes getting this star’s favorite hairstyle easy. And whatever challenges exist, she says, are worth the payoff.
“The hardest part of executing this style is that your arms are going to be killing you way before you’re ready,” says Taylor. “While not being able to see the back of your head is tricky, you can feel your way through that. But your arms are going to get tired way before you’re done with the style. Just take breaks to rest when you need them so you can refresh and get ready to finish the job!”