Matt Damon Grew a Ponytail – But Should You?

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 ChinaFotoPress / Getty Images

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.”

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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.”