Main content

12 Ponytails That Belong Anywhere But The Gym

Tight Blonde Ponytail NEW

There is no such thing as wearing a ponytail too often.

Sure, the athletic-inspired hairstyle makes training for a half marathon infinitely easier, but that’s far from the only thing it can do. On clean hair and dirty, long and short, this cinched ’do is a showstopper.

We like to think of ponytails as the best part of having hair that’s long enough to pull back. You still can enjoy your length and texture, but nothing’s falling in your face or making you feel the dreaded swamp neck situation on a hot summer’s day.

Do you suddenly feel the urge to up your ponytail game? Is there ever an occasion too fancy for a ponytail? Read on, long-haired ladies.

Messy Ponytail

In romantic comedies, there’s almost always a scene where the love interest arrives at the heroine’s apartment unannounced. When she opens the door, her bedhead-chic ponytail is perfect and artful.

To live like you’re the romantic lead in your own life, apply texturizing spray to second-day hair before pulling it up to the high point of your head. Fluff the style as much as you’d like.

Party Ponytail

This isn’t your mama’s everyday ponytail. This cocktail party-ready look begins with a teased, voluminous crown and a smooth tail. Leave out a single strand of hair to wrap around your ponytail holder, then finish the style with a few ringlets.

For extra hold, add a light coat of flexible hairspray to the style.

Ponytail with Braid

Here’s a punk take on the ponytail that’s practically begging for you to take it out to a concert or bar. With a long-tailed comb, create a square section on top of your head and clip the rest of your hair out of the way. French braid your loose hair from forehead to the crown of your head, then create a high ponytail.

Ponytail Puff

Natural girls, this one’s for you. This voluminous ponytail is a going out style, one that begs for statement jewelry and a flashy lip color. If you’ve already gone to the effort of a twist out, the puff pony is a logical next step.


You’ll start by smoothing your edges down with gel and a hair brush. Once they’re set, use a wide band or string to draw the rest of your hair into a ponytail on the top of your head. Secure the style with bobby pins.

Straight Low Ponytail

For formal events where an updo feels like doing too much, an elegant low ponytail can be the best solution. Apply dry shampoo to your roots, then part the hair sharply down the center of the head. Smooth through the rest of your mane with a flat iron (shine serum would be great here, too) and tie off the style with a no-show elastic.

Double Ponytail

Our favorite trick for faking a longer, more voluminous ponytail doesn’t require extra hair products or any fancy, expensive tools. Instead, all you’ll need is an extra hairband.

To make this style work for you, divide your hair into two sections like you’re planning on a half-up style. Tie the top portion into a ponytail at the high point of your head. Then—and this is the genius bit—bring the rest of your hair into a ponytail just below the first. Fluff your top ponytail, and enjoy your luxurious new length.

Curly Ponytail

If you’re a naturally curly girl, you don’t get a lot of love in terms of hair tutorials. Most styles require you somehow start out with waist-length, effortless waves.

The curly ponytail doesn’t require any of that. Starting with your curls dried and styled as usual, you’ll want to comb them into a tail at the top of your head. The more curls fall over your forehead, the better.

Ponytail with Extensions

The life cycle of clip-in extensions usually goes like this: Decide to invest in them, wear them once, never want to style them again, hide them in the back of the closet, and forget about them. That’s not a good use of such a versatile styling tool, no matter how easy it is.

Instead of giving up on your extensions, clip them into your hair and flatiron for a long, luxurious style that’s gala-ready. For a wedding or birthday, this look is truly stunning.

Bridal Ponytail

In the interest of wearing ponytails absolutely everywhere, we’re advocates of the style for even a wedding day. If your ceremony falls closer to the informal side of things, tie your hair back into a dressed-up tail

Worried about losing the look of hair for your wedding photographs? Wear beachy waves for all your snapshots, then tie your mane back for the reception. It’s the best of both worlds, wedding edition.

Ponytail with Cornrows

Cornrows are so much more versatile than many people realize. We love the look of the braids pulled into buns and (of course) ponytails. After all, you’ve already gone to the trouble to sit through the braiding process—why not make the most of it?

Using a thick hair band, pull your braids back into a low ponytail. Bonus points if you pair this look with stylish earrings.

Fishtail Ponytail

We’ve already clarified that ponytails shouldn’t be kept to the confines of your local gym or Pilates studio. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear them out of class.

One of our favorite gym-to-work styles is the fishtail ponytail. After you create a smooth, high ponytail, you’ll begin your two-strand braid. Cross small strands from either piece of hair over each other, braiding until you run out of hair. Tie off your ponytail with an elastic, then pancake the braided ponytail until you’re happy with its size.

Tight Ponytail

If you’re an adult woman who’s never tried an extra-tight ponytail (we lovingly refer to it as a “facelift pony”), now is your moment. Plastic surgery was designed to help people who don’t know how to do their ponytails correctly.

Using a comb, scrape your strands back into a tight tail. Flipping your head upside down will help you shape a better ponytail.

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device