Alex Noonan shows you how to transform this trusted style from simple to sophisticated in minutes.

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"The classic, sleek ponytail looks beautiful on anyone," declares Robert Maiolo, of Maiolo Copeland salon, Sydney. "It acts as an instant facelift and can be worn to the most glamorous event or event occasion." The key to taking this look from crashing on the couch to a party with panache is to spend a bit of time perfecting and polishing the style. We discover how to create three looks with ease.

High Pony

The high ponytail is as simple as it is sleek. To re-create the look at home, Maiolo advises, "First blow-dry your hair smooth with a straightening milk or balm, like John Frieda Collection Brilliant Brunette Runway Straight Smoothing Milk, $16.99. Then brush your hair into a high ponytail and secure with a hair band. Take a small section from the ponytail and wrap it around the band and tuck the end into the hair band underneath the pony tail." Spray the wrapped hair with a hairspray, like ghd Ultimate Hairspray, $35, to secure and finish with a spritz of hairspray all over. If you have fine hair or you would like to add volume or length, Maiolo recommends attaching hair extensions. '''Try HairDo Clip-In Straight Extensions, from $159.95.

To the Side

"The key to this look is creating a soft texture in the hair before tying it to the side," reveals Maiolo. If you have a fringe, blow-dry it smooth first. Create volume and texture in the rest of your hair by spraying L'Oréal Professionnel volume architect, $21.95, at the roots. Then tip your head upside down and blast it with the blow-dryer until completely dry. Using a comb, backcomb your hair through the back and crown. "With your fingers, style your hair into a ponytail in line with your ear on your favourite side," suggests Maiolo. "Then, with the pointed end of a tail comb, pull sections at the back upward to create height." Finish with hairspray, such as '''Wella High Hair Finishing Spray Firm Control & Ultra Control, $20.

Low and Loose

Hair accessories are a fantastic way to instantly dress up your tresses, and with this loose style it's all about relaxed glamour. To start, blow-dry your strands smooth and set in hot rollers, or tong into ringlets. Once your hair has cooled completely, "brush out curls with a Mason Pearson brush [try the Popular Pure Bristle & Nylon Brush, $185] to create gorgeous shiny waves," says Maiolo. Run a small amount of a curl-taming product, like Pantene Pro-V Wave Creating Milk, $6.99, through the mid-lengths and ends. "The hair clip is the main focus in this style, so treat yourself to a beautiful hair clip or a vintage brooch," adds Maiolo. "Clip hair into a loose ponytail and don't worry if some pieces fall out as this will soften the look even more."