The ponytail has got to be the most versatile and popular hairstyle of the past decades, but we’re willing to bet you’ve never considered how many distinct styles of ponytails there are out there. Whatever your style or your mood, your ponytail can adapt to suit you just perfectly. We’re featuring ten awesome ponytail style suggestions below, inspired by current trends, as well as by street style fashionistas from around the world. Which one is your favorite?
1. The Straight and Narrow
Straight doesn’t have to mean dull, and it most certainly doesn’t have to be boring. As countless stars of the silver screen have demonstrated throughout the ages (Jodie Foster, Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron, to name but a few bombshells), there is quite some appeal to keeping it simple, kempt and sleek, with a straight, silky ponytail. All you need is some styling gel or sculpting wax, if your hair tends to run on the wavy side—and you’re all set to take up High Street during office hours!
2. Romantic Soft Waves
You’re taking a romantic walk with your beau at sundown… The breeze gently ruffles your long, wavy hair—and blows it straight into your eyes, leaving you impervious to the fact that your date was just about to kiss you. The date fails, he feels rejected, you feel bad without even knowing where you went wrong. Instead of going through all this, why not channel a goddess vibe and put up your hair at the top of your head, with hair billowing down your shoulders?
3. Sweet’n’Low on the Side
The eighties have been back in all things style for years now, and the ponytail is no exception to the trend. If you’re young, fun and practical (or, at least, would like to appear to be all those things), swing for a low ponytail, secured at the nape of your neck, to one side. You’re guaranteed to look sweet and young, irrespective of age—while avoiding the embarrassing age inappropriateness of wearing two ponytails or, worse, two pigtails once you’re out of your tweens. Opt for a more sophisticated, adult version of ‘young’ and you might just find yourself the talk of the town.
Wavy hair is always a problem-causer. What can you do with it? Fluff it up and risk looking like an aged poodle? Straighten it out with a flat iron, causing irreparable damage to it? If your hair is naturally wavy and medium length, your best bet is a medium-height ponytail, a perennial style that never goes out of style, is versatile enough to match any kind of outfit, from chic to super smart and right back to casual. You’ll never have to worry about keeping your hair looking just the way you want it to, throughout the day.
5. Retro Smooth
If you’re a fan of the TV series Mad Men, chances are you’ll jump at the opportunity to boost the volume of your ponytail and give it some retro, 1960s flair. You might similarly be inspired by Adele and her luscious mane, which is always looking impeccably glam, irrespective of whether she’s walking down a London street or crooning at the Grammys. Inspired by styles featured at Hershesons, here comes the Retro Smooth, plumped-up volume ponytail.
6. Short and Curly Does It
Women with naturally curly hair know it: there’s no joy in trying to figure out what style to wear your hair in today, when you just know your hair will only sit the way it wants to. Since naturally curly hair most often seems to have a will of its own, you can try and flat-iron it, invest loads of money into styling products (that risk damaging it permanently)—or, the much more simple version, wear it up in a chic little ponytail. This style works perfectly for shorter (to shoulder-length hair), as it will frame your head in a soft cloud of appealing curls.
7. Work It, Twist It
Twisted ponytails work with any type of hair, but are particularly suited for straighter or softly wavy hair. They’re easy to do up in the morning: all you need to do is put your hair up in a loose, low ponytail, then separate it into two equal parts at the nape of your neck, then twist it in on itself. You’ll be done in no time, and a few well-placed hair pins here and there will make sure you won’t spend the rest of the day redoing the hairdo (a problem especially if your hair tends to be softer in texture).
8. Half-Way Through
If you’re not sure how well a ponytail would suit your face shape, which can, indeed, be a problem if you have a heart-shaped, square-shaped or diamond-shaped face, you can always put up part of your hair in a ponytail, while leaving the rest of it loose, to flow over your shoulders and frame your jawline. This is a great look even for fancier occasions, and can also carry you beautifully during a casual day at the office or at school.
9. Scarf It All Up!
Perhaps the easiest way to make the good ole classical ponytail look funkier than it usually does is to wrap a scarf around it. Simply select a small, square or rectangle-shaped scarf and wrap it around your low-hanging ponytail. It works beautifully with side ponytails—just make sure you don’t spring for a silk or satin scarf, as they tend to slip out of people’s hair. Tie it in a bow or simply secure it with a knot. Create your entire outfit around the scarf or let it work as a color accent, whatever suits your fancy!
10. Gettin’ Funky with It
After all is said and done, though, possibly the best thing about ponytails is that they’re so simple, they’re immensely versatile. You can basically experiment with them all you want: plait part of them, add braids, beads, pins, meshes and hairclips, until you find your own thing. You can even try spiky ponytails if you’ve got shorter hair. Whatever you do, the most important thing is that you express your own personality at all times.