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45 Ponytail Hairstyles That Belong Anywhere But the Gym

Discover versatile styling options for ponytails. Here are 45 elevated ponytail hairstyles that can effortlessly transition from casual to chic.
45 Ponytail Hairstyles That Belong Anywhere But the Gym

For many of us, the classic ponytail was the first hairstyle we learned how to master. This athletic-inspired look makes all kinds of activities infinitely easier—but that’s far from the only thing it can do. Ponytail hairstyles can also be chic and festive updos. Whether on clean or dirty hair, long or short, this cinched ’do is a showstopper. If you’re feeling inspired to style up your pony game, no event is too fancy. Keep reading to discover 45 timeless ponytail hairstyles suitable for any hair length.

45 Easy Ponytail Hairstyles for Every Occasion

Good hair day by @hairbybradleyleake

Wavy Ponytail

A wavy pony is one of the most versatile ponytail hairstyles. If you like curling your hair, this style is a great way to reuse all that body the next day. Use a texturizer like Matrix Builder Wax to keep your waves tousled and voluminous on day two.

Good hair day by @thelovelyhairclass

Retro Ponytail

We may refer to it as retro, but this bouncy high ponytail with flipped-out ends is actually timeless. Use a hair oil to ensure your ends are healthy-looking, moisturized, and shiny. We recommend Biolage Professional’s All-In-One Multi-Benefit Oill since it also doubles as a heat protectant—perfect for turning in those ends with a blow dryer. Secure the pony with a strand of your hair or a fun scrunchie for an extra flirty touch.

Good hair day by @reagandellinger

Romantic Ponytail

This is the messier, coquettish cousin of the sleek retro ponytail. Part your hair to the side, section off the front, and pull the rest of your hair into a high pony. Instead of slicking everything back, leave the crown fluffy and curl the pony for a bouncy look.

Good hair day by @kristina.manners

Side Part Ponytail

This fun and flirty updo features side bangs and a high pony with teased, voluminous ends. Evoke millennial nostalgia by stacking a few pink chunky barrettes over your side bangs to hold them in place.

Good hair day by @nathalieakgun

Disco Diva Ponytail

Transport yourself to the disco era with this fluffy ponytail, a swift updo that channels the carefree spirit of the '70s. Part your hair in the middle, smooth down the sides with gel for a polished touch, and secure a ponytail at the back of your head. Now, here's the secret to achieving the full disco diva effect: Curl the ponytail with a ½” curling wand to infuse it with dynamic volume and bounce. The wow factor is in the contrast between the sleek sides and the voluminous pony, so don’t forget to tease away!

Cuffed Ponytail

A ponytail cuff is a simple accessory that is a game-changer for creating volume in a straight ponytail. The cuff creates a subtle lift at the base of your pony, introducing a touch of volume and dimension. The result is a straight ponytail that defies gravity, achieving a look that is both refined and full. Experiment with different cuff styles and placements to find the perfect balance between sleek and voluminous.

Good hair day by @sunniebrook

Bubble Ponytail

Inject some fun into a classic ponytail with the playful bubble trend. Fasten your hair into a high ponytail, then place spaced-out silicone elastics down its length. Gently pull apart each section of hair to create the appearance of fanned-out bubbles. You can wear elastics that match your hair color for a more sophisticated edge or experiment with colorful ones for a bold look.

Good hair day by @hairbybradleyleake

Ponytail Braid

Few updos exude confident, off-duty model vibes like a braided high ponytail. Plus, this ‘do is an easy way to give the illusion of thickness and length in finer hair. Just secure your hair into a high ponytail and then weave it into a three-strand braid to stay ready for any event.

Good hair day by @adina_pignatare

Teased Low Ponytail

Low ponytail hairstyles are far from boring. In fact, they’ve been rebranded as the It Girl ‘do, thanks to countless social media tutorials. If you still need a bit of convincing, try embellishing your low pony with a bow, a knot around the elastic bands, stylish pins, or other accessories.

Good hair day by @purplegoldjohanna_pro

Loose Low Ponytail

Loose, low ponytails are a go-to for the girls who always look effortlessly put together. The key here is not to tighten the ponytail and leave the roots loose. Unlike the sleek ponytail, which is ideal for disguising dirty hair, this style works better with clean hair. Leave out a few face-framing strands for a soft, romantic touch.

Good hair day by @paris_parisrosehairartistry

Half-Tucked Ponytail

Halfway between a bun and a pony, this hairstyle is great for shorter-haired girls or those who want to let their necks breathe. Start by making a low bun, but stop after the first flip. That way, you still have a pony, not a bun. As the finishing touch, wrap a small piece of your hair around the elastic band and secure it with a pin.

Good hair day by @chitabeseau

Braided Front Ponytail

This pony with a braided partline brings a touch of modern artistry to your look. Start things off by braiding the front section of hair, beginning at your forehead, and let it seamlessly blend into a sleek, ultra-high ponytail.

Good hair day by @chitabeseau

Chignon Ponytail

Step into an era of timeless elegance with the chignon pony, a classic hairstyle that has graced the heads of fashion icons and trendsetters for generations. First, gather your hair into the shape of a sleek and polished chignon. But instead of securing the bottom of your hair into the bun at the nape of your neck, allow the ends to cascade into a low ponytail.

Good hair day by @realericvaughn

Maximalist Ponytail

The maximalist ponytail embodies the mantra "the bigger, the better." Picture a grand ponytail with an abundance of hair expertly teased for maximum volume. Whether your natural hair is long and voluminous or enhanced with extensions, you can tailor this style to your liking. We recommend using hairspray—Matrix Vavoom Freezing Spray Extra Full is one of our favorites—for some serious lift and staying power. A cheeky statement clip is the ultimate finishing touch.

Good hair day by @sydneyannlopezhair

Elevated Ponytail

Experience the allure of a sophisticated twisted chignon that cascades into a low ponytail. For those with colored hair, it’s a stunning way to highlight the dimension in your color. Consider bringing a photo of this captivating look to your stylist for your next big event to ensure the best result.

Good hair day by @torielynnbliss

Y2K Ponytail

Many ponytail hairstyles thrive on bouncy curls, but this Y2K-inspired updo is just for those with super straight hair. Secure your hair into a sleek, low ponytail, then add a claw clip underneath the elastic band to make your ponytail pop. The straight ends add a distinctly nostalgic and stylish flair that’s reminiscent of the turn of the millennium.

Good hair day by @annette_updo_artist

Twisted Ponytail

This is the kind of hairstyle that looks like it took a lot of work but is actually very simple. Begin by crafting two side twists, one on each side starting from the ear. Then, pass the right twist through the left twist to form a ponytail.

Good hair day by @samvillahair and @georgegarciaredken

Artsy Ponytail

If you love wearing outfits that represent your creative and artistic side, this ponytail hairstyle will be a fantastic addition to your look. Start with a regular ponytail, then take small sections of hair and form bows with an elastic band to create the petals of a flower. Check out the above tutorial to see how it’s done.

Good hair day by @kellymccormickhair

Voluminous Ponytail

Prepare your wrists for a lot of teasing! That’s how to achieve this glam ponytail, which will elevate your style wherever you go. It’s a great updo for celebrations on hot summer days because the humidity can enhance the fluffed-out effect.

Good hair day by @adina_pignatare

Glitter Ponytail

We already have glitter clothes, glitter nails, and glitter makeup. Something’s missing, right? Amp up the sparkle by dusting your ponytail with chunky glitter. A simple low ponytail turns into a showstopper hairstyle once you add all that glitz.

Good hair day by @ashlemaster

Accessorized Ponytail

For this ponytail, break out all your colorful scrunchies, decorative bobby pins, jumbo hair clips, and anything else fun you can think to add. This might be the easiest way to show off your personality and accessorize any outfit.

Good hair day by @redken

Fishtail Ponytail

Dive into bohemian chic style with a fishtail braid pony. Begin by parting the hair and weaving a tight fishtail braid down your nape, securing it with a hair tie. Then, gather the unbraided strands into a high or low ponytail, depending on your preference. Spritz the braid with Redken Dry Texture Spray for added texture, and pull it apart for a more lived-in look.

Low Scrunchie Ponytail

We get why scrunchies are still so popular: A simple change in the accessory you wrap around your hair can transform your whole look. More than a cute addition, a silk scrunchie can help prevent friction and breakage, so you won’t have to worry about damage when putting your hair up.

Good hair day by @cindyduplantis

Mohawk Braid Ponytail

Make a bold statement with the mohawk braid ponytail. This edgy ponytail hairstyle takes the classic ponytail to new heights by incorporating a sleek mohawk braid down the center of the crown. Section off the middle portion of your hair, then use it to create a tight and visually striking braid that extends from the forehead to the nape of the neck. Gather the remaining hair on the sides and pull it, and the tail of your braid, into a high ponytail for added drama.

Good hair day by @marco___arena

Bow Ponytail

A bow upgrades a simple ponytail into a distinctly feminine look. A soft, low ponytail with a big bow wrapped around the elastic band will make you stand out from the crowd.

Good hair day by @mr_alexandrycosta

Chopsticks Ponytail

Embrace the beauty of your Asian heritage by adorning your ponytail with chopsticks as a stylish nod to tradition. Ideal for those with long, sleek hair, this hairstyle starts with a high, tight, and sleek ponytail positioned on top of the head. To add a special touch, form a half knot with the ponytail. Slide the chopsticks through the knot, leaving the remaining length of the ponytail to cascade.

Good hair day by @mizani


A half-pony is still a pony—and it’s a go-to look. This is one of the most popular and versatile updos: It looks good on any hair texture, and the result is always adorable. Whenever you’re stumped on how to wear your hair, a half-up style is always the answer—our round of 31 Half-Up Hairstyles is proof.

Good hair day by @alstyling

Box Braids Ponytail

Box braids are a show-stopping hairstyle on their own, and they also make a great base for any updo. Simply throwing your box braids into a high pony can instantly make you the most stylish person in the room. For an extra but necessary step in your haircare routine, we recommend using Kérastase Nutri-Supplement Scalp Serum to moisturize your scalp before and after your braiding session.

Good hair day by @biolage

Pull-Through Braided Ponytail

A pull-through braid is a cross between a bubble ponytail and a waterfall braid and helps add depth and dimension to finer hair. Watch the easy how-to linked in the video above, and be sure to use Biolage Professional’s Complete Control Hairspray to hold the style in place.

Good hair day by @sunniebrook

Coquette Ponytail

Jump on the coquette trend with this bubble ponytail tied with ribbons. The easy DIY will give an extra flair to your updo. For more ultra-feminine inspo, check out our article 10 Flirty Coquette Hairstyles To Try.

Good hair day by @mizani

Sleek Curly Ponytail

One of the best things about sleek, low ponytail hairstyles is that they’re suitable for all hair types and textures. For curly-haired beauties, we recommend flaunting a sleek root with a puffy, voluminous pony—the contrast will beautifully show off every facet of your mane.

Good hair day by @mr_alexandrycosta

Braided Band Ponytail

If you have already mastered other ponytail hairstyles, this is a next-level hairdo for those who want an especially distinctive look. Two small horizontal braids take center stage; each interwoven to serve as a surprising alternative to the traditional elastic band. Begin by parting your hair and crafting two small, tight horizontal braids. As the braids come together on the opposite side, gather the remaining hair and secure it within the woven embrace of the braids.

Good hair day by @monaeartistry

Jumbo Braids Ponytail

Jumbo braids sprinkled with pearl accents can take any look from ordinary to refined. Section your hair into two thick portions and braid each one for a jumbo, textured effect. Secure the braids into a high ponytail, then place pearl pins throughout.

Half Braid Ponytail

Embrace a bohemian romantic vibe with the half-braid ponytail, a hairstyle that combines the laid-back allure of undone braids with the elegance of a ponytail. Create a loose braid right above the nape, allowing strands to gently cascade for a whimsical effect. As you reach the nape of your neck, transition the braid into a loose ponytail. Leave a few strands of hair free around the face to enhance the boho look.

Good hair day by @biolage

Double Ponytail Puffs

The only thing better than one curly ponytail is two adorable puffs. Part your hair down the middle, then use an elastic to gently gather all your curls into a ponytail on either side of your head. It’s super straightforward, but it creates two voluminous and textured ponytails that showcase the beauty of your natural curls and provide a stylish protective option.

Good hair day by @this.afrothing

Side Ponytail

Whether you're aiming for a spontaneous touch on a laid-back day or want to go out and steal the spotlight, the playful side ponytail will serve you well. You get the benefit of having your hair hang over your shoulders while still being tidy and tucked away from your face.

Good hair day by @mr_alexandrycosta

Knotted Ponytail

Upgrade the classic low ponytail with a modern twist at the base. Start by crafting a polished low ponytail. To add extra flair, select small strands from the front on both sides and twist them around the elastic band, creating a chic knot. Discreetly secure the knot in place, seamlessly integrating it with the ponytail for a contemporary and stylish look.

Good hair day by @hairbyelliefay

Hair Wrapped Ponytail

Turn the classic high ponytail into an alluring, sky-high masterpiece. Tease the crown of your hair to form a bouffant, tie your hair into a high, wavy ponytail, and pull out chunky, face-framing sections to soften the look. For the finishing touch, wrap one or two strands of hair around the elastic band. As a result, you'll have a polished and sophisticated ponytail that exudes vintage glamour.

Good hair day by @meganwilson.colourist and @bixiecolour

Bouffant Ponytail

If you’re not a fan of high ponytails, this low-bouffant ponytail may be more your speed. It’s similar to the high look above, but you should position your pony at the bottom of your head instead of at the top.

Good hair day by @joaquinagurruchaga

Messy Half Bun Ponytail

Calling all beachy surfer gals! Create a relaxed vibe by gathering the top half of your hair into a loose, carefree bun. Stop midway to let strands fall naturally, framing your face for an effortlessly undone look. Secure the bun, leaving the lower half of your hair flowing freely to enhance the laidback effect.

Good hair day by @madisonsullivanhair

Sleek Ponytail With Middle Part

We fully understand why this pulled-back sleek ponytail with a middle part is the go-to updo—it allows you to smooth down frizz, flyaways, and evidence of dirty hair. Whether it’s for a work meeting, a gym class, or a night out, nobody will have a clue about the secrets you carry under your locks.

Good hair day by @justbhair

Bouffant Half Braid

Achieve a distinctive look with a bouffant crown that transforms seamlessly into a braid before ending in a messy low pony. Rest assured, you'll be the only one rocking this ponytail hairstyle at a special event.

Scarf Ponytail

Good hair day by @hairby_risa

Gather your hair into a loose and tousled ponytail, securing it with a standard hair tie. Then, wrap a vibrant, patterned scarf around the base for a touch of bohemian flair. This not only adds a pop of color and texture but also protects your mane, especially if the scarf is made of silk.

Good hair day by @annette_updo_artist

Festive Twisted Ponytail

Bows and ribbons aren’t just reserved for the holiday season: They help add a dash of magic to your ponytail year-round. Gather your hair at the back of your head, tease two locks on each side for volume, and twist them towards the center. Secure the twists at the center, forming a textured ponytail, and tie them with a red velvet ribbon to create a charming garland-like effect.

Good hair day by @mizani

Textured Ponytail

This ultra-high ponytail features a surprising flair when you turn your head—the middle section of your hair from the neck up is intricately braided upward until it meets the elastic band at the crown. For an extra touch of volume and drama, tease the ponytail; this will create a surprising contrast between the sleek braid and the teased texture.

Next Up: Messy Low Buns: 30 Easy Looks to Recreate for Your Next Occasion

Header image credit: @hairbyelliefay

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