The ponytail is one of the most versatile and popular hairstyles today. The look requires minimal styling, equipment, or special techniques, and you can dress it up or down with ease. Even better, there’s a ponytail – whether high, mid-height, low, or on the side – that suits every face shape and hair texture. From the gym to date night and even your wedding, a ponytail can be the perfect hairstyle to make you look your best.
1. Short Ponytail
The classic ponytail is long and flowing, but short hair suits this style too. While you won’t be able to do a high ponytail with short hair, a low pony will flatter your cut and give you a fresh look in seconds. Keep the ponytail very textured and undone for the best results. It looks even better when teamed with a fringe, which creates a chic, French feel.
2. Long Ponytail
If you have long, thick hair, you’re in luck: the classic ponytail is an effortless style for you! It’s incredibly versatile because you can wear this style everywhere from the gym to a lunch meeting and for a night out. Whether you style it sleek or wavy, the long ponytail never goes out of style. To keep it looking its best, make sure you maintain your long locks with regular treatments and trims. For those who love this look but have fine or thinning hair, clip-in extensions are a great option to fake it.
3. Cute Ponytail
A short hair classic, the cute ponytail is sweet and sassy. It is a youthful, playful take on the hairstyle. While you can keep it simple, adding accessories will look extra cute. Think scrunchies, bows, ribbons, or a brightly colored scarf. You can also try colorful hair clips or decorative hair slides.
4. Easy Ponytail
It couldn’t be more simple to upgrade your everyday ponytail. The first step is to cover the hair elastic around the base of the ponytail. Take a section of your hair and wrap it around the elastic, then secure it in place. While you could use a bobby pin, using a cute clip will give your simple ponytail some extra personality and make the hairstyle look more polished.
5. High Ponytail
The high ponytail hairstyle has been popular for decades because it’s a sexy, confident look that also lifts and tightens your face. To nail this style, make sure your hair has some grit and texture to it; spritz in some dry shampoo if your hair is too clean and slippery. Don’t worry about keeping your hair too sleek, either, as this type of ponytail is supposed to look tousled.
6. Medium Ponytail
Medium hair is usually around shoulder length, which means it’s just long enough to turn into a stylish mid-height ponytail. If you’re growing out your locks or have fine hair, it is an excellent option for making your mane seem thicker and longer. Keep this ponytail soft, wavy, and romantic, as a sleek ponytail will only emphasize the length and fineness. Ask your stylist to give you long bangs, too, as this will create the illusion of more hair.
7. Low Ponytail
The low ponytail is a very chic hairstyle that’s favorite with models. It has a cool ‘90s appeal and will suit you if your hair is naturally straight and fine. It’s also a very professional hairstyle that is great for work or meetings. Oval and heart-shaped faces look great with this style. You can change it up by switching from a center parting to a deep side part.
8. Side Ponytail
There’s one trick to nailing the side ponytail: don’t go too high. The hairstyle looks best when the ponytail starts at the top of your neck or mid-height. The easiest way to style a side ponytail is with loose waves and unstructured pieces that frame your face. Use sea salt spray to give it texture and help the waves form. However, this look requires thick hair, so if yours is fine, a sleek side ponytail could be the way to go. Straighten and smooth down your hair with a gel or styling cream, then create a side parting and secure your ponytail on the opposite side.
9. Half Ponytail
The half ponytail – also known as the half-up, half-down style – is coming back into fashion. It is one of the most versatile hairstyles because it works on any hair length or texture. Only the top section ties into the ponytail, and you can choose how high or low you want it. The higher the ponytail section, the more volume you will create at the crown of your head, which makes a round face look longer. Meanwhile, the loose lower part of your hair creates a beautiful frame for your face.
10. Braided Ponytail
If you have a little more time, combine your ponytail with a loose braid. Doing so gives your look a soft, romantic, and summery feel. For these reasons, this is a great hairstyle for weekend brunch or a casual date night. This hairstyle is also very flattering on ombré or highlighted hair, as it will show off all the different tones. Braids require thick long hair, so clip-in hair extensions could be a good option if you’re combining them with your ponytail.
11. Ponytail + Weave
Sewn-in weaves are not only great for protecting your natural hair, but they are also fantastic for creating a standout ponytail look. The sleek front, textured back version of the style creates a cool contrast that ensures all eyes will be on you. Gluing in a weave can damage your hair, so it’s usually best to avoid it. Instead, have the bundles sewn in by your stylist. To create a bold ponytail, make sure you ask for more bundles of hair and body wave or deep wave, so the hair doesn’t look thin or flat and is long enough to stand out.
12. Black Ponytail
Because it’s such a simple hairstyle, some people can mistake a ponytail for being boring. However, this take on the classic is full of personality and is sure to turn heads. It combines the fresh, sporty feel of a high ponytail with the glamour of long, flowing curls. As a result, you can wear this style for day or night. It is a great way to show off your hair’s natural texture, volume and bounce or to try out extensions.
13. Prom Ponytail
The ponytail is known for being a casual, everyday hairstyle. However, it can look fabulous for more formal events like prom night. Tease the roots of your hair from underneath, so the top still looks smooth and elegant. Once you’ve secured your ponytail, use tongs to create soft waves. Finally, twist a small section of hair around the elastic, so your ponytail looks seamless. You need long, thick hair to create this look so opt for real human hair extensions if you don’t have this hair type.
14. Braided Ponytail for Black Hair
A striking and protective style for Afro-textured hair is the braided ponytail. It combines braiding techniques with a long rope of hair, which you can either braid or leave loose. Cornrows and Fulani braids look amazing when paired with a chunky fishtail braid ponytail. To get a thicker ponytail, consider a weave or hair extensions.
15. Two Ponytails
What’s cuter than one ponytail? Two! This look can be tricky to get right because it can make you look like a schoolgirl. To turn it into a fun and fabulous night out hairstyle, make sure you work plenty of volume into your locks and add body and movement with beachy waves. Attention to detail is also crucial: make sure you disguise the hair elastic with a section of your hair, keep the ponytails even, and leave some strands of hair out to frame your face. This hairstyle looks fun and flirty when teamed with a smokey eye and a bold brow.
16. Natural Ponytail
Natural curls, kinks, and coils look fantastic when styled into a high ponytail. However, because natural hair has so much volume and bounce, the hair won’t ‘fall’ the way straight hair does. Instead, the natural hair ponytail ends up looking like an up ‘do. You can take this style to the next level by wrapping a scarf around the base of the ponytail.
17. Unique Ponytail
Adding a braid to your ponytail can give it a fresh twist. This helix braid – also called a DNA braid – is eye-catching and unusual and provides the hair with a feeling of movement purely through its structure. It’s a three-strand braid where the middle section is thinner than the others, and it naturally begins to twist as you work your way down. If you’re not a confident braider, try plaiting your ponytail. You can also braid it with a ribbon running throughout for another unique take on the style.
18. Crochet Ponytail
Crochet braids are becoming more and more popular because they make it easy to get the hair of your dreams without spending hours in the barber’s chair. Your hair is initially braided into cornrows – though the tension is not as tight as with regular cornrows – before hair extensions are threaded through and secured with a crochet hook, rather than being sewn in like a weave. You can have any texture hair you want when you opt for crochet braids. Once the hair extensions are attached, you can style them into a ponytail as usual.
19. Bangs & Ponytail
Bangs and a ponytail are a match made in heaven. This low-maintenance style is still glamorous and romantic and works for day or night. While a fringe pair well with a ponytail of any height, a low pony is a particularly beautiful combination. Layered curtain bangs frame your face while the rest of your hair is pulled back; this also draws attention to your eyes, making this style the perfect complement to a bold eyeshadow look.
20. Curly Ponytail
Curls look beautiful when set up in a ponytail. The look can be very stylish and sophisticated, but it’s crucial to make sure your mane has plenty of definition. Without defined curls, your hair can look like a halo of tangles and flyaways. Apply a smoothing, curl defining styling cream before you put in your ponytail, and spritz through a finishing spray at the end to ensure everything looks polished. Because curly hair doesn’t fall as far as straight, your earrings will be visible, so it’s a great way to show off a statement pair!
21. Urban Ponytail
The urban ponytail look is an ultra-sleek high ponytail with brushed baby hairs. You can get this look with real human hair extensions, as these can be heat-styled just like normal hair. Non-human extensions can melt if exposed to heat, so they aren’t the best choice for this look. The urban ponytail has been a popular look for years as it not only has plenty of attitude but puts the focus on your face. Statement make-up is a must when you try this style – even if you team it with streetwear or athleisure outfits.
22. Drawstring Ponytail
A drawstring ponytail is a type of hair extension that will give you a gorgeous ponytail in seconds. However, you will need to prep your natural hair before you clip it in if you want the fashionable super sleek look. Use extra-hold gel and brush your hair smooth, gathering it into a high ponytail or bun. Like most ponytail extensions, the drawstring piece then clips onto your real hair. The difference is that you can then pull the drawstrings to create a secure, tight ponytail rather than a weft of hair. You can choose whatever hair texture you like, from sleek and straight to tight curls and coils.
23. Formal Ponytail
For a formal occasion like a wedding, a ponytail can be the perfect understated yet elegant choice. You’ll need to make sure your hair is perfectly smooth with no flyaways, as this is a simple style. Then add some subtle, loose waves – the finish should be bouncy and natural, but not curly or beachy. Leave some pieces free around your face, then secure the rest of your hair into the ponytail. Add a luxurious hair accessory to complete the look, such as a velvet ribbon, pearl barrette, or flowers.
24. 50s Ponytail
The 1950s was the era of the ladylike ponytail. Sandy famously wore this cute, wholesome hairstyle in the musical Grease. While the hair is carefully styled and smooth, it also has a wave to it. You can create the style with tongs or other heat tools. The final essential element to creating a ’50s ponytail hairstyle is the fringe. If you already have bangs, make sure to curl them to fit with the rest of the haircut. If not, create faux side-swept bangs and blend them into the rest of your hair.
25. 80s Ponytail
The ’80s ponytail is all about height and the essential accessory of the era: the scrunchie. Whether you choose to place your ponytail at the crown of your head or to one side, you will nail the ’80s look. Another trend that was popular at the time was crimping. For a modern take on the style, crimp small sections of your ponytail, rather than the whole thing. Plus, choose a scrunchie in a neutral color, rather than neon.
How to do Ponytail Hairstyles
How do you get the perfect ponytail?
The secret to a perfect ponytail is to make two ponytails. First, divide your hair into equal top and bottom sections, clipping away the top. Use a hair tie to secure the bottom half close to the part, pulling tightly. Next, pull the top section towards the bottom elastic, and join the two together in a single ponytail. Alternatively, you can tie it separately, then merge it with the bottom using a third elastic. By using two sections, you help to keep the base tidy and reduce the weight dragging on a single hair tie, which makes your style sag. Other optional steps include teasing the crown for more volume, putting a claw clip in the center of the pony, and wrapping the elastic with hair so it's hidden.
Is a high ponytail bad for your hair?
A high ponytail can be bad for your hair, causing stress and breakage if you wear it all day, every day. Try to mix it up with down days, or substitute your hairstyles with high and low alternatives such as braids or pinned-up dos. Doing this will give your hair and scalp a chance to relax. You'll also want to make sure you're using hair ties that won't snag or pull your hair, as this can cause the strands to break.
How do I get my ponytail to stick out?
Using the two ponytail method will automatically create more volume and give you a perky pony. However, there are some other tricks as well. Separate the ponytail in half and secure a claw clip in the center, close to the base. The top half will hide it, but it'll give it extra oomph. Alternatively, you can gently tease the hair in the center as well to create additional volume. Just remember to be careful, particularly if your hair is already damaged or prone to breaking.
Why does my ponytail sag?
Your ponytail will sag if there's too much weight and not enough structural support. To counteract this, you need to reduce the amount of weight pulling on a single hair tie. One of the easiest methods to do this is to use the two-pony method of splitting your hair into a top and bottom section and securing them separately before joining them together.
Why is my ponytail so thin?
A thin ponytail can result because of thin hair or hair loss. You can try thickening shampoo and conditioner if your hair is just naturally thin. However, if you're suffering from hair loss and you're not sure why it's a good idea to chat with your general health practitioner to find out what's going on. Layers can also make the ends of your pony less substantial, so if you often style up, rather than down, it might be best to forgo layers next time you head to the hairdresser.
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