Summer officially kicks off this weekend with Memorial Day, and one hairstyle in particular is sure to make its triumphant return to a sidewalk near you: the ponytail.

The classic look is often thought of as a necessity in warmer weather or as a last resort for a bad hair day. But celebs and starlets have shown on the red carpet just how much impact a perfect pony can have on an overall look with some seriously inventive and not-at-all boring styling. Check out these recent ponytails that caught our eye and use them for inspiration for your next special occasion style.

 

 

 

 

Adventures in Ponytails: 4 Inspiring Looks Nicole Kidman

Nicole sky-high and perfectly polished pony was the talk of the red carpet at Cannes, with its tightly pulled back chignon and frizz-free, sky-high top.

Salon tip: David Babaii tweeted recently "Higher pony's are flattering & pull features up, accentuating facial angles & contours." Keep this in mind when consulting with a client on an updo style.

 

Adventures in Ponytails: 4 Inspiring Looks Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer is no stranger to a high ponytail--the extra sleek and chic one of hers is practically iconic--but this look may go down as one of the sexiest ponytails of all time. Tongues were wagging for this voluminous and textured style to make for a fun and flirty look for a night out.

Salon tip: Ever use dry shampoo in your updos? It can provide some needed grip for freshly washed strands, says Joico's Damien Carney.

 

Adventures in Ponytails: 4 Inspiring Looks Kate Beckinsale

This one is borderline updo, but there's just enough of a bouncy tail to make it count, here, right? We're in love with this style from Kate, the queen of the romantic and elegant updo, and it's the perfect style to recreate for a client looking for a slightly edgy and not-too-done-up look for the occasion.

Salon tip: Shine is key in copy-catting one of Kate's looks. Suggest a shine spray for your client to take with her and use on-the-go throughout her evening.

 

Adventures in Ponytails: 4 Inspiring Looks Olga Kurylenko

We love a classic look with a modern twist--and literal twists. The Oblivion star rocked this simple, sleek pony with a side part and the added detail of two large twists on either side of her head. Definite head-turner.

Salon tip: Uh, hairspray. A good one. Keep an eye out for the new Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray launching in June.