At the Sari Gueron show, I'm relieved to see a style I'm familiar with: the ponytail. In a look he describes as "chic but still street," Ashley Javier, a Clairol Herbal Essences stylist, creates a slicked-back shape using lots of gel. For extra height at the crown, he asks me to wind hair around a two-prong wave iron in a figure eight. This creates undulating bends instead of a traditional curler's ringlets. "Teasing doesn't really work here, because of the stiff gel; you don't want it to look like a dirty rat's nest," Javier explains. And so comes the gel. I rub a squirt into my palms and begin dabbing it onto the model's hair, but Javier says it's not enough. He starts piling on big globs of it, then asks me to work it into the hair. "Gel makes the hair sculptural and graphic. It should be all solid and hard. Crunchy is fine," he assures me. "You just don't want any frizz." I'm nervous when I look down at my hands, which are covered in a combination of goo and model Heather Marks's blonde hair. Then Javier asks me to put in the hair elastic. With my sticky fingers, how can I wrap the elastic around without pulling out even more hair? "She's very gentle, isn't she?" Javier says to Marks with an impish smile as he tightens the elastic himself. Marks doesn't even wince. Turns out putting someone else's hair in a ponytail is the hardest thing I had to do all week.