In the confusing world of perfectly undone waves and high-maintenance “messy” buns, we know we can always turn to one style to get us through workdays, weekends, and everything in-between: the ponytail. Whether we’re sweating our way through a hot, humid summer or slowly crawling through the South’s take on a cold, dry winter—a ponytail is there to pick up the slack. Pun intended.
From the high ponytail to the trusty low braided ponytail styles to the ever-stylish sleek ponytail, cute ponytail hairstyles are a dime a dozen, which means you could, theoretically, rock one every day. Sign us up! And this year, it’s all about the pony. We’ve got a feeling that a teasing comb, texture spray, and patience are all necessities for these styles. Working with fresh hair and worried that its softness will work against you? We’ve included half up half down ponytail styles that are anything but typical. Find inspiration in these gorgeous and doable ponytail hairstyles that’ll keep you looking pretty and polished, no matter your desired look.
Retro High Pony
This vintage ponytail hairstyle has been making a major comeback. Leave out a chunky portion of hair at the front to sweep to the side in a grand fashion, pull that ponytail up high, and flip out the ends with your straightening iron.
Half-up pony—but way, way better. Use clear elastics to create a “bubble effect” and then cinch each with a fun barrette.
Studio 54 Ponytail
Business up front, party in the back—this is the easiest way to make your curls look dressed up to the nines.
Ponytail…but make it fancy! This ponytail-updo hybrid looks much harder than it is. Start by pulling your hair into a half-up style and securing with a clear elastic. Then, combine the rest of your hair with the half-up and tie together with a skinny ribbon.
Half-Braided Low Pony
A low ponytail is as easy as it gets, but a quick braid at the base instantly makes it a day-to-night look. To mix things up, style it with a fishtail braid.
Who knew your trusty pins could be your next best accessory? Line them up along the side of your sleek ponytail, and they’ll instantly put in the work.
Curly Ultra-High Pony
Curls, curls, curls. To feign even more volume, gather the top half of your hair into an ultra-high ponytail and then follow up by pulling the rest of your hair into a ponytail just below.
Why mess with a good thing? This classic high ponytail never goes out of style. Wrap a small piece of hair around the base to conceal the hair tie.
From high to low, every ponytail will love a bow-tastic finishing touch. Try out a wide, silky bow (like this one) to make it feel girly and fun.
Wrapped High Pony
This one’s a classic. Turn to it when you need an occasion-ready look that takes so little effort. Hint: Add extensions if you’re looking to make a major statement.
Short Shaggy Ponytail
If you think short-haired ladies can’t pull of a stylish pony, think again. Let those layers and bangs roam free, and it’ll capture that undone look perfectly.
Not too high, not too low—just right. This is your perfect everyday pony that oozes cool factor.
Braided Low Ponytail
Make your low ponytail the talk of the town—and to do that, it only needs a colorful scarf. Secure your hair into a low ponytail, tie the scarf around the base, and then weave your mane into a loose braid.
Bubble Half-Up Half-Down Ponytail
Nothing says fun like a bubble ponytail, and curls can really make it pop with even more personality. Style this curly ponytail with more accessories—like barrettes and scrunchies—to dress it up.
French Braid Ponytail
You get the best of both worlds with this braided ponytail hairstyle. Start with a fun French braid, and end with a casual low ponytail. Scarf optional.
Let’s make second-day hair the new norm. Who’s with us? This relaxed ponytail makes the most of your dry shampoo.
Big Bubble Ponytail
Instead of going all-in on the “bubble effect,” keep it big and bold with just one. Then wrap the clear elastic with a strand of hair for an occasion-worthy finish.
Retro Long Ponytail
We’re always here for a vintage ponytail and this one makes the most of long locks.
Pull-Through Braid Ponytail
Enter: the most showstopping ponytail yet. (Here’s a secret: it’s actually so easy.)
Super Slicked Low Pony
Bring on the drama with this super sleek curly pony. Tease up your curls for ultimate volume and style with gel to texturize, hydrate, and smooth your curls.
Short Scrunchie Ponytail
We’re all for bringing the 90s back. Pull your lob into a ponytail cinched with a cute scrunchie, and you’ll wonder why we ever let them go out of style in the first place.
Take a walk on the wild side with this edgy ponytail. Start with a fishtail braid from the top, then secure into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck.
French-Braided Low Ponytail
Not a French braid, not a low ponytail—something spectacularly right in the middle.
This hairstyle works from day to night, office to cocktail party. Leave out a few wavy tendrils to frame your face, and tease the crown beforehand to add volume.
Introduce your high ponytail to its new partner-in-crime: the ponytail cuff.
French Twist Low Ponytail
This is not your average ponytail. A quick braid takes this style from basic to date night-worthy.
Scarf Mohawk Ponytail
A Dutch braid gets a fun twist. Secure the braid at the nape of your neck with a funky scarf, and you’re set with a statement-making look.
We’ll take that ponytail with an extra side of shine, please. In this case, hair oil is your best friend.
This ponytail shows up with volume to spare, and that’s just the kind of supportive friend we like to keep around. Give it some extra oomph with dry volume spray or teasing.
Undone Half-Up Half-Down Braided Ponytail
Even Rapunzel would be jealous of these strands. This perfectly undone ponytail lets long, tousled locks really shine.
Pumped-Up Curly Ponytail
This is the oldest trick in the book: Layer two or three ponytails on top of each other to sneakily pump up the volume. It keeps your look from being pulled down by too much weight.
High Pony with Side Bangs
Pack a little sass into your ponytail look by leaving out bangs at the front. Keep everything uniform with matching curls and a slicked back look.
All in the Details Half-Updo
This hairstyle is giving major Disney princess vibes. Merida? Rapunzel? Whomever you’re channeling with this look, it’s sure to impress everyone.
Double Pony Power
The secret to a rockin’ long pony is not one, but two ponytails, stylist Lauren Davis says. Start by sectioning off two-thirds of your hair at the top, then texturize the rest of the hair and position it about one inch from the top pony. Repeat the texturizing process on the top pony, and you’ve got yourself an adorable hairstyle that can be kept playful with a hair scarf or effortlessly chic for date night.
High Ponytail with Wand Curls
Add even more volume to your ponytail by finishing it off with wand curls. The curls take a typical sleek high pony over the top with their extra oomph.
Y’all remember the fishtail trend from the 2010s? We’re firm believers that it never really went out of style. This hair color and style by Jane Steele at Avenue 42 Salon in Richmond, Virginia, is strong proof of that.
Sleek Low Pony
Working on day two or three hair? Not a problem. Stick with a slicked-back low pony. We’re loving this look by Sincerely Rae Hair in Atlanta, Georgia. It still looks just as effortless for those days when you’re in a rush. A styling mousse helps control small frizzies and gives the style that glossy shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why does my hair look bad in a ponytail?Ponytail styles look differently with every face shape and hair texture, so knowing what technique works for you will help make your hair look finished. Take care of your ponytail by avoiding styling it while it is wet, avoiding humidity that causes frizziness, and brushing it properly.
- How do you avoid getting a bump in your ponytail?Avoid getting bumps in your ponytail by securing the bottom hair near the nape of your neck and moving upwards to include more sections until finally smoothing the top. Also, hair styling gel or spray can help smooth the hair before gathering it into an updo.