Fashion

18 Basic Ponytail Styles That Are Anything But Boring

Practical and perfect for combatting the heat, a ponytail is the ultimate hair power move. You’ll see it in films—just before the main character is about to save the day, you can bet they’ll tie their hair up. After all, sometimes you just need your hair off of your neck to feel a little more clear-headed. But there’s no denying that the humble ponytail can be a little drab sometimes, right? And while it might look simple, it can be tricky to get right. It’s frustrating when you’re facing a wiggly parting or lumps and bumps and all you want is a sleek, pulled-back pony.

“This is actually one of the hardest looks to achieve,” says Aaron Carlo, Tresemmé’s lead stylist. “The trick is to do it in two steps—you can’t do it in one! Firstly, divide the hair in half. Start by tipping your head back (this will prevent the bottom of your hair from sagging out of the ponytail), and then section the hair from ear to ear and going across to the top of your head and secure that in a ponytail. Then you can begin drawing hair up from the bottom and secure that into the ponytail. This way, you have less distance and volume of hair to control, and you avoid getting those bits of hair at the back that don’t sit smooth.” To finish, Carlo recommends using a strong-hold hair spray to lock in the style. 

If a carefully curated messy ponytail is more of your zone but you can’t strike the balance, then Carlo advises you work with, rather than against, the natural texture of your hair. If you need to add some guts to the root for texture, “dry shampoo is your best friend,” Carlo says. “Work in some of the Tresemmé Between Washes Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($6) at the roots, and then pull the hair into a topknot style, and secure it quite tightly. From here, you can pull out some face-framing bits, loosen hair at the roots to create that movement and body, and you can pin and place any loose bits of hair to create that ‘I just threw my hair up’ look that you know everyone wants.”

Take a look below for the best ponytail hairstyles that we return to time and time again.

Simple yet effective. Cover your ponytail holder with a section of hair to amplify the look. 

Noted: This is how you make a retro hairstyle look like a present-day trend.

The ultimate second-day-curls style. 

Tendrils are back, and we’re into it.

Another take on the ponytail + tendrils combo, but this time it’s the braid edition. 

The two textures in this ponytail plus the slicked edges make for an elite combo.

Pineappling perfection.

An Ariana Grande–esque high, full pony can instantly complete a look. If you have shorter hair, fake it until you make it with Insert Name Here’s array of clip-in options. 

Beauty Works also makes tons of great clip-in options for beefing up a naturally thin ponytail.

It’s called laid-back luxe. Click here for the coolest scrunchies on the market right now.

The baby hairs take this ponytail to another dimension. 

If super-tight styles aren’t for you, then a low, loose look is always in style. 

For uniformed waves, secure your hair in place before you wave or curl your strands. We’re beyond smitten with Amika’s High Tide Deep Wave Hair Crimper ($120).

New level unlocked: elevating headbands with braided ponies. This affordable teasing brush from Revlon is gold. 

For the perfectly imperfect low ponytail, smooth hair into the ponytail holder, and then gently distress by teasing out tendrils.

Flyaways or layers? Smoothing on a gel or pomade will keep your style in check. Shop Pattern’s Edge Control ($12) if you’re after a sleek AF finish. 

Hopefully, you no longer need convincing that a casual ponytail is a perfect style for a summer ‘fit.

A padded headband literally takes a low ponytail to new heights. This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK. Up next: TikTok Has Spoken, and These Iconic Hair Trends Are Taking Over

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