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How to Make Cute and Fashionable Ponytails

Fortunately for me, and I'd venture to say many other women, ponytails are in style right now. Trust me, they don't have to be reserved for those bad hair days. If done right they are sleek, modern and sophisticated. If you're looking for ways to enliven and dress up your look, read on for some unique ideas for cute ponytails.

Ideas for Cute Ponytails

It's amazing what the right hair accessories can do for an otherwise plain ponytail. One of my favorite choices is placing a flower in the hair. You can either pin it on one side of your head, or attach it to the band, right on the top of the ponytail. It's also worthwhile to purchase some fun, fancy barrettes to dress up the hairdo. Small ones look really nice for pinning back bangs, larger ones can turn a casual ponytail into a fancy, sleek look. Consider buying some nice jeweled barrettes, they come in all shapes and sizes.


Ideas for High Ponytails

If your hair is long enough, consider taking your ponytail up a notch into a high one. Personally, I enjoy this look because it keeps my hair out of my face all day and is less likely to sprout those annoying loose strands/flyaways that lower ones are apt to do. You can opt for the straight, sleeked back look or you can choose a more voluminous curly look.

For the straight look, I recommend flat ironing the hair first. Use a little gel, hairspray, dry shampoo or mousse to add some texture. Use your fingers and pull hair straight up grabbing it from above the ears and at the nape of the neck simultaneously. Try to smooth it out with your fingers, but if you can't get rid of all the humps and bumps, grab a paddle brush to do the rest of the job. Use either a bungee hair holder or regular non-slip elastic band, but I prefer the latter. The bungee holder allows you to pin the tail exactly where you want it after you've gathered the hair. Your hair will naturally migrate when you go to put in an elastic band. Just a little f.y.i!

Hide the band with a strand of hair! Just take a piece from the bottom of the ponytail and wrap it around the band a few times and pin in place. It looks much nicer than seeing a plain, old elastic band. It helps to first add a bit of hairspray to the strand you're using first. For a high volume tail, tease it a little, starting with the strands on top of the ponytail and working your way underneath. Conversely, you can go for a more tidy look and paddle brush the hair. Then, add a bit of silk spray at the end to reign in the flyaways and add to the smooth, shiny look.

Look at the front when you're finished with the back. You can use your fingers to carefully fix any pieces that are not quite right. Perhaps the right side is a bit puffier than the left. Take your fingers and hook the strands from underneath to gently lift them up. Be very careful and methodical when you do this, however. You run the risk of making a mess up there otherwise. Finish off the look with some hairspray!

High Volume Crown Ponytail- Puff Effect

If you like the look of the high volume crown ponytail, it's relatively easy to accomplish with a bit of practice. There are two ways to achieve this look, you can experiment to see which one works better for you.

The Teasing Method

This works the best with a teasing tool, but you can use a regular comb, too. There's really nothing to it, just tease the hair on your crown until it's a bit messy. Check out the video on the right for a good demonstration. Place the ponytail at about the level of the top of your ears, or higher... not too high or too low, though. One trick is to add a bit of hairspray or dry shampoo before you tease to help you achieve the desired volume.

The Pulling Method

Just skip the teasing here put your hair into a regular ponytail. With the pointed end of a pick (or even with your pinky) carefully grab pieces at the crown and slowly tug them out, creating the puff effect.

How NOT to wear a side ponytail!

How NOT to wear a side ponytail!

This is a nice side ponytail

This is a nice side ponytail

Loose side ponytail with a couple of braids

Loose side ponytail with a couple of braids

Loose, curly side ponytail

Loose, curly side ponytail

The Side Ponytail Look

The side ponytail is hot right now, just ask Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Nicole Ritchie, etc... Bear in mind though, they can go terribly, terribly wrong if not done right. You can end up looking like you're four, or worse like you're a super nerdy pre-teen. You want it to be flowing and subtle, not looking like you have a horn growing out of the side of your head. It's all about proper positioning.

Tips For a Fashionable Side Ponytail:

  • The ponytail should never start above the top of the ear or it will have that "sprout" look. It should always begin below the earlobe or it's too high.
  • It should never be too close to your face, either. It needs to be no closer to the side of your face than the widest part of your ear. It will be too "forward" otherwise.
  • Beware middle-aged women! This look can have you looking like a school girl wannabe in minutes flat, so you need to keep it sophisticated and age-appropriate. Check out some of the ideas below...

The Low Side Ponytail

Consider making a loose and low side ponytail for a more grown-up look. The idea here is to avoid a tight, slicked back appearance. You can add a couple of loose braids to the top, like the picture on the right. Or, you can make it into a loose twist. Check out the video on the right where I demonstrate the twisted base ponytail. It looks much more refined if you hide the band, too. Either hide it with a strand or hair or a braided strand of hair.

Add some curls or waves for a more tousled look. If you're young enough to pull it off, put in a feather. Choose a flower if you're a bit more mature.

Tucked Under Ponytail

The tucked under ponytail is another modern, more grown-up style. In fact, it's verging on an updo, but it's very simple to do:

  • You just need to start with a high ponytail.
  • Wrap the hair in the band a couple of times, then on the third time (or the final time, depending upon how many wraps you make), don't pull the hair all the way few. Leave out a tail.
  • Spread out and manipulate the ponytail to get it smooth and wide.
  • Use the tail to wrap around the band, hiding the elastic. Secure in place with hair pins.
  • Spray with hairspray and you're on your way!

Cute Ponytail Accessories from Amazon

Add a headband to dress up your ponytail.

Add a headband to dress up your ponytail.

Accessories, Braids and Twists

Add a small braid to the ponytail. Just grab a piece of hair from the front and braid it (hold it in your teeth to secure it for a minute). Grad the rest of your hair, add the braid and secure it into the elastic with the rest of the hair. Alternatively, you can make a small twist and do the same thing.

You can also french braid a side and incorporate that into the ponytail as well. Or, you can master a more complicated waterfall braid. Check out my video on the right for that tutorial.

Adding a nice headband can also add style to your ponytail. Make it sparkly for a fancy occasion.


Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on April 18, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, Jane. I'm glad you got some tips. There are days when there's nothing better than a ponytail!

Ann Leavitt from Oregon on April 17, 2012:

I've always been a ponytail maverick, but it was because I was a bit of a tomboy when I was little and didn't want to mess with having long hair in my way. Now I have fun with curled ponytails, low side ponies, and getting some volume and pouf before pulling it back into a pony. I got some great tips in here-- thanks for the ideas!

ashleeosborn on April 09, 2012:

love these ideas! definitely going to try the high volume one next time i got out. I always have a hard time doing anything with my hair, but with these instructions i think i'll be able to manage something cute for once.

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 11, 2012:

Hey, thanks alexa001! Thanks for reading and commenting.

alexa001 from HOLTSVILLE NY on January 11, 2012:

Wow..awesome..I like your blog posting so much... Thanks

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 02, 2012:

Thanks, bgoodall! I like the thicker bands, personally. Not the skinny rubber band like ones, my hair is too thick for those. I get mine at Rite Aid, they're just the no-slip Goody brand. I know what you mean about having hair in your face... I can only take it for so long. Thanks for coming by.

bgoodall on January 02, 2012:

This is awesome! I have long hair and get sick of it being in my face all the time but I never know what kind of barrets would look good. Do you have any ideas on what brand of scruchies/hair ties that work the best?

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 01, 2012:

Awww... thanks, Sunshine. I appreciate the visit!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 01, 2012:

Great ideas for ponytails!! Voted UP!

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 01, 2012:

Hi marriedwithdebt... I love incorporating braids into ponytails, too. Tell her a cool way to make the braid look zig-zagged is to take the middle piece when she'd done braiding it and slowly pull that piece down up while cinching up the braid. Hard to explain, but it makes for one cool braid. I could even do a hub on it if you or she is interested.

Thanks for popping by and happy new year to you and your family!

marriedwithdebt from Illinois on January 01, 2012:

My wife does one on our daughter where she braids a section of hair from the front of her head, then cinches the braid into a traditional high ponytail.

As the father of two daughters, this is definitely advice I need.

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 01, 2012:

Well, ktrapp. You are not alone in that, we all have those days. Hope you find these options fun and useful. Thanks for coming by!

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on January 01, 2012:

My ponytail is probably a sign of laziness, but I love all these ideas for making it look neater and more stylish. ~voted up~

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on December 24, 2011:

Thanks for sharing, wavegirl. I'd be in trouble if the ponytail was a fashion no no. My hair gets on my nerves if it's in my face. Thanks for reading, sharing, commenting. Merry Christmas.

Shari from New York, NY on December 24, 2011:

is there anything cuter than a ponytail! Especially if you are having an otherwise bad hair day! Personally I have always been a lover of the side pony. Great hub with great ideas! Thumbs up ;) and I just had to share this one on Reddit and Twitter!!!

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on December 23, 2011:

Yay, Seeker! I'm so glad to hear it. I think you'll really enjoy them, I do! Thanks for coming by.

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on December 23, 2011:

What a great hub. I have to wear my hair up for my work and you do get so bored with the same drab old ponytail or bun! So this hub has given me some great ideas on how to liven up the look and still look okay for work!

Excellent hub + voted up!

Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on December 22, 2011:

You're welcome, Clovescharms. I appreciate your visit and comment.

Clovescharms from New York on December 22, 2011:

very useful tips! thx for sharing!

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