If your hair is dry and you have not conditioned it then you are running the risk for splitting the ends. So to begin with, make sure that you shampoo well and use a conditioner unless of course your hair is oily. Towel dry it as there is no need to blow_dry your hair for the ponytail look. You might want to add a little bit of gel to give it a nice shiny look and to help keep those flyaway hairs under control.
Remember that hair grows forever, it doesn't stop. If you go out on a limb, drastically change your hairstyle and end up hating it, it can always be changed to something else, another style or color. Talk to your stylist to see if they have any fun celebrity hairstyles for you. You never know, they may have a style that they have been dying to try on you, but never had the opportunity before. Most hairdressers won't try to push a new style on you (nor should they), but if you ask, they love to share their creative side.