The ‘Jawline Rule’ Will Give You the Best Ponytail Ever

Finding the perfect placement for your ponytail is a tricky business. Too low and you suddenly feel like a colonial-era boy a la Thackery Binx. Too high and you feel like a cheerleader who’s perhaps a bit too pepped up. So when a beauty editor friend off-handedly mentioned the Jawline Rule as an easy way to achieve the perfect pony, I immediately had about a hundred follow-up questions. And now, dear readers, I’m ready to pass on this exciting hack to all of you.

What is the Jawline Rule?

The Jawline Rule states that following the line of your jawbone can help you find the best place to anchor your ponytail at the back of your head for a flattering up-do every single time.

How does one follow the Jawline Rule?

Start by placing your finger at the tip of your chin, then trace is up along your jawline, past your ear to the back of your head. Where your finger lands is the spot where you should tie off your ponytail. As the delightful Ina Garten might put it, how easy is that?

jawline rule ponytail
Abby Hepworth

Why does it work?

While the trick certainly works for me and the beauty editor who recommended it, I turned to the experts to see if the rule applies to everyone and also to learn why it works. Mahogany Grace, an NYC-based hair stylist with more than 16 years of experience, explains, “For someone who is not accustomed to pulling their hair back/up, this trick is a great starting point for creating the perfect ponytail. Following the jawline should bring your pony slightly above the occipital bone—that positioning is ideal for a softer more playful look.” Laurabeth Cabott, founder of the Kansas City salon Artistry by LB, agrees, adding that it's a super complimentary look on all face shapes and can help to emphasize your cheekbones, no makeup required. “It’s always flattering because it gives you a snatched look by opening up your face and giving a lifted effect.”

What if I have curly hair?

If you have particularly curly hair, celebrity stylist Jennifer Korab (owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa and Pureology National Educator) recommends tweaking the Jawline Rule ever so slightly to better compliment your curls. She suggests tracing your jawline up to the back of your head and then placing your ponytail just below that point. “Curly hair tends to shrink in length, so placing the ponytail slightly lower can help ensure that the curls have enough space to retain their shape,” she explains.

What if I have thick hair?

If you’re working with thick hair, Korab advises going just above your Jawline Rule point. “For thick hair, placing the ponytail slightly higher can help distribute the volume more evenly and prevent it from feeling heavy at the base.” This will also mean less adjusting, tugging and pulling throughout the day.

Anything else I need to know before I share this with everyone I know?

Nope, that’s the long and short of it, folks. All that’s left to do is choose the right hair tie to secure your look in place, no matter what your day has in store.

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Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...