Ponytail hairstyles are known to be practical, but they can also be sexy. Sweeping strands away from the face but letting lengths hang free gives a youthful yet polished effect. The style is easily adaptable for black hair, shorter, hair, or fine hair. If you’re looking for a modern take on the updo, look no further.
Chic Ponytail Hairstyles
Today you can’t simply tie your hair back with an elastic band. Modern ponytails can be upgraded with a bouffant, hair wrap, braid, bangs, eye-catching hair pieces, etc. You can try different textures, play with extensions and alternate high and low ponytails. Here are some ideas in pictures.
#1: Bouffant Ponytail
Lots of volume gives this look drama and a vintage vibe. To create the style, first add texture with a large barrel iron. Then backcomb the crown and gently smooth the top layer covering the bouffant. Finish by securing with an elastic. For fine hair, add extensions to the tail.
#2: Loose and Looped Ponytail
Some ponytail styles are best suited for the gym, but this one is special enough for a date night. To style, begin with a low ponytail, leaving two strands out for ties. A few inches down from the base, tie the hair off and gently pull at the tied section to make a bubble. Repeat a few times.
#3: Embellished Drawstring Ponytail
If you have short layered hair, this is the easiest way to create a ponytail with bangs. Style the front, then pull the rest of your hair into a bun. Attach the draw string hair piece by sliding the comb into the top of the bun, then cinch. Add your favorite accessories.
#4: Ponytail Cascade
This hairstyle is best for thick hair; if your hair is fine, add bulk with weave. Curl strands with a conical curling iron, then brush into a high ponytail. This is a perfect contemporary option for a wedding or a pretty look for a night on the town.
#5: Braided Ponytail Mohawk
Braids elevate ponytail styles, adding interest. This cornrow ponytail hybrid combines a single braid with a classic low gather for a look that’s fashion forward and easy. Use wax to add polish to the braid and hairspray for a tousled texture through the tail.
#6: Pompadour Pony
Height at the top with sleek sides makes a striking silhouette. This shape works for long locks as well as for shoulder length hair; tease the crown section and fold back to create a bouffant. Then pull back the sides and nape into a pony. Finish by wrapping a long hair piece around the base of the pony. Curl for a soft finish.
#7: Twisted Side Ponytail
This style starts with a twisted braid that wraps around the head starting from a side part and following the curvature of the hairline. Use fingers to loosen the weave for a pretty finish. Ends are left loose creating a romantic tail that falls over one shoulder.
#8: High Sleek Ponytail
For straight hair, high ponytail hairstyles are a quick stylish option. To create this look, tease the roots and pull all hair back at the crown, securing with an elastic. Wrap a strip of hair from the bottom of the tail up and over to conceal the hairband. The look works with both sleek roots and volume.
#9: Cornrows for Long Ponytail
For those with lots of natural length, a few braids are a great way to customize this classic look. Wearing a ponytail high on the head shows off your strands and feels youthful and fun. Create the braids first, tying off at the apex, then make a messy ponytail.
#10: Messy Ponytail
For the days between shampooing a tousled tail is cute, especially with waves or curls. Before pulling hair up, tousle it with dry shampoo to absorb excess oil and add a matte texture. Instead of using an elastic, try pinning your hair up in sections for a relaxed finish.
#11: The Criss-Cross Ponytail
Anyone can create cute ponytail hairstyles with this simple technique. Leave a section of hair on either side of your head for the twist above your low ponytail. Bring the rest of the hair to the back hairline and create a simple low pony. Make twists from the spare sections, criss cross them and wrap the base of the ponytail pinning the ends underneath.
#12: Center Parted Pony
A middle split works well with layered cuts, giving structure to face framing pieces. The part should only extend back a few inches from the front hairline, so that volume can be maintained in the crown. The loose edges make this a great short hair ponytail option.
#13: Weave Ponytail
Create a smooth, long, runway-ready ponytail with extensions. Simply pull your own hair back into a tight knot, then wrap the weave around, until the desired thickness is achieved and attach with bobby pins. Alternatively try a weave ponytail with bangs.
#14: Half Ponytail
A half up half down ponytail keeps hair out of your face and looks relaxed and feminine. The key to keeping it soft is not to use brushes or combs. Use fingertips to separate and pull strands back. Secure with a hairband or twist and pin. Partial ponytails are especially pretty with soft waves as shown.
#15: Glamorous Pony
Elegance and simplicity define this refined style. Before putting your hair up, polish strands with a flat iron and use a shine spray to add sparkle. When you style, leave a thick section out at the front hairline. Drape this swath along one side in a C-shape then wrap its ends around the base of the ponytail.
#16: Botticelli Ponytail
For a look that never goes out of style, try this curly ponytail. The combination of volume and coil creates luxurious femininity. Set hair with rollers or a large-barrel curling iron before gathering high on the head. For extra length, clip extensions into the underside of the style.
#17: Knotted Ponytail
Knotting the base is a great way to take ponytail hairstyles in a new direction. On long hair, simply tie a knot and pin it. For shorter lengths, make a mock knot from a series of vertical loops.
#18: Dutch Braid Pony
Adorning a short hair ponytail with a headband braid creates a crown-like effect that is perfect for a summer wedding or a casual shopping day. You don’t need to know complicated techniques to succeed with this style, just make a simple three-strand Dutch plait and feed it into your ponytail.
#19: French Braid Ponytail
This look is a great way to incorporate layers or long bangs into a swept-back look. The loose braid running towards the crown adds volume and allows different lengths to be worked into the style piece-by-piece. The freely hanging tail keeps the look from feeling childish, especially when styled in tousled curls reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot.
#20: On Top Ponytail
African American women and others with extremely curly hair often wear their strands in humidity-resistant hairstyles like this high ponytail. Pomade or cream smoothed on roots gives control in black ponytail hairstyles. Weaves are used to add length, and can also provide striking colors like the bold red pictured here.
Whether you’re looking for something exotic, classic or playful, ponytail hairstyles are a great way to look your best. One simple style provides endless possibilities!