On Thursday at a Beijing press conference for his upcoming film, The Great Wall, Matt Damon faced the crowd looking as normal as a relaxed, Oscar-winning dad can. His plaid button-down, slim-fit jeans, and boots seemed to say, “Nah, I’m not busy after this, I’ll just be watching the game.” Then, he turned his head to the side and revealed a man-ponytail that added, “If we don’t have any cold beer we can just throw a few in the freezer. I’ll set a 10-minute timer.”
The 44-year-old Hollywood actor and man’s-man has confirmed that the ponytail isn’t just for the avant-garde Jared Letos and the Thor-ish Chris Hemsworths. Actually, this trend has been a long time coming according to Miles Elliot, owner and barber at Freeman’s Sporting Club in NYC. “Ponytails are the result of other trends — first, it was the undercut with the closely shaved sides that left a lot of length on the top, then that transformed into topknots and buns, and that progressed into a full-length ponytail.” he says. “It’s a result of those undercuts translating to new styles as guys grow them out.”
Elliot, who he sees ponytails in the shop everyday, says that the look is relatively easy to pull off, and works with most face shapes and casual looks. “It’s a little more difficult if you have a more buttoned-up look,” he says. The key is keeping you hair clean (no one wants to see greasy strands hanging off your head) and the ponytail low (to avoid looking like a teen pop star. But as with all styles, Elliot adds that the man-ponytail isn’t for everyone. “As a trend, a lot of people will be cutting them off in two years,” he says. “That’s why you need to stay away from trends. If you genuinely want to grow a ponytail because you like them, then go for it. If you are just growing a ponytail because everyone else is doing it, it’s not worth it.”
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