11 ways to up your ponytail game this summer

Olivia Culpo ponytail hairstyle

They’re anything but boring

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / October 17 2019

From the ‘snatched’ high pony to the sleek low-slung ponytail and the ever-stylish braided version, wearing your hair up has never been cooler.  

Spotted on fashion week runways around the world and pretty much every red carpet event this year, the beloved ponytail has become one of the biggest trending hairstyles. It doesn’t look like ponytails are going anywhere – and we can totally see why. They’re chic, stylish and just about any hair length can pull them off.

Popularised by A-listers like Kim Kardashian, Blake Lively, Ariana Grande, Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber, there are almost endless ways to up the glam factor of your pony. From oversized bows, jazzy hair clips and other statement accessories, we’ve pulled together the best ponytail hairstyles to help you spice up your ‘usual’. The best part? These ideas work for all hair types and textures. 

#1 / The sky-high ponytail

Fact: Sky-high ponytails look AMAZING and pretty much any hair type can nail the look. Also called ‘snatched’ ponytails, this updo is easy to master – all you need is some bungee hooks to tie your hair up, a little bit of arm strength, and some hairspray for a super polished finish (check out our article on Chris Appleton’s high ponytail tricks). Psst…this hairstyle is basically an instant (and temporary) facelift!

It was time @katyperry 👱🏼‍♀️
It was time @katyperry 👱🏼‍♀️

#2 / The sleek low ponytail

Equal parts glamorous and effortless, a centre-parted low ponytail is about to become your go-to as the weather warms up. To create a straight, smooth look, use a hot iron and spritz of hairspray to maintain that uber sexy sleekness, and to tame any unwanted frizz.

super sleek for @nicolescherzinger at the #emmys last night 🤩 #justinemarjanhair using the @ghd_northamerica platinum plus styler and @tresemme anti frizz wipes for the shiniest finish ✨ #justinemarjanhair @kathyjeung @highheelprncess
super sleek for @nicolescherzinger at the #emmys last night 🤩 #justinemarjanhair using the @ghd_northamerica platinum plus styler and @tresemme anti frizz wipes for the shiniest finish ✨ #justinemarjanhair @kathyjeung @highheelprncess

#3/ The textured low ponytail  

If you have bangs, this is your jam. Take inspo from Camila Cabello and wear your hair low and textured, teasing it at the crown to balance out the volume. Leave your bangs out for a cute, Brigitte Bardot-inspired look.

🎀
🎀

#4 / Side-braided ponytail

You can never go wrong with braids. Add an extra, unexpected detail to your look by weaving a thin braid from your brow bone to the base of your ponytail. You can keep your locks straight, or embrace your natural texture like Shay Mitchell.

#ponytailporn 🙇🏻‍♀️ #shaymitchell #justinemarjanhair @patrickta
#ponytailporn 🙇🏻‍♀️ #shaymitchell #justinemarjanhair @patrickta

#5/ The bedazzled ponytail

If you want to get a little fancy, take your cues from Lucy Hale and rock a sleek, sparkly ponytail for your next night out. Perfect for both long hairand short hair, this bedazzled look only involves a few simple steps. On Instagram, hairstylist Justine Marjan (she’s the one responsible for this little slice of goodness) says to firstly flat iron your hair, smooth it out with a brush, and tie it with an elastic at the base of the neck, leaving out two tendrils to frame the face. Next, she suggests using wig glue and tweezers to gently place crystals on the hair.

I met @lucyhale tonight and she let me bedazzle her head for #nyfw 🙏🏽😭✨🤩 #justinemarjanhair GET THE LOOK: 1. Prep dry hair with @tresemme micro mist in smooth then flat iron with the @ghd_northamerica platinum plus styler 2. Gather back half of hair with more hairspray then brush with a smoothing brush and tie with elastic cord at the base of the neck 3. Leave out two tendrils around the face then repeat with the rest of the hair 4. Tie elastic cord around the length of the pony 5. Use wig glue and tweezers to gently place crystals on the hair
I met @lucyhale tonight and she let me bedazzle her head for #nyfw 🙏🏽😭✨🤩 #justinemarjanhair GET THE LOOK: 1. Prep dry hair with @tresemme micro mist in smooth then flat iron with the @ghd_northamerica platinum plus styler 2. Gather back half of hair with more hairspray then brush with a smoothing brush and tie with elastic cord at the base of the neck 3. Leave out two tendrils around the face then repeat with the rest of the hair 4. Tie elastic cord around the length of the pony 5. Use wig glue and tweezers to gently place crystals on the hair

#6 / The floppy bow ponytail 

Hair bows are back in a big way and we are ALL about it, because it’s hands-down the fastest way to dress up a ponytail. Embrace messy, bedhead hair by wearing your hair in a loose, low pony and adding a giant, floppy bow. It’s super easyand absolutely screams summer chic.

Last year I stumbled on this giant oversized bow at a vintage boutique in Italy. Could giant floppy bows be the new thin bow? 🤔 Just saying... 🤷‍♀️ because I think this 1 minute, 2-step style just made Courtney's messy bed head look so chic for summer. 👱🏻‍♀️ Throw a bow on it! 🎀
Last year I stumbled on this giant oversized bow at a vintage boutique in Italy. Could giant floppy bows be the new thin bow? 🤔 Just saying... 🤷‍♀️ because I think this 1 minute, 2-step style just made Courtney's messy bed head look so chic for summer. 👱🏻‍♀️ Throw a bow on it! 🎀

#7 / Wire-wrapped ponytail

We love this style because there’s no right or wrong way to wear it. Simply grab a length of golden wire (you can find some at your local craft store) and wrap it around a section of your ponytail á la Gabrielle Union, and let your natural texture do its thing. It looks complicated and glamorous, but is actually totally effortless. This look is perfect for all those curly-haired gals out there.

New York with my Company ❤️💪🏾💃🏾
New York with my Company ❤️💪🏾💃🏾

#8/ Low plaited ponytail 

This low-key plaited ponytail is all we want to wear on a quiet night in, but Zendaya’s sleek-back look proves you can easily dress it up for a night out, too. Simply brush your hair back and plait it in a low ponytail (if you’re a beginner, here are some handy tips on how to braid).

So this hair happened the other day on @zendaya using @oribe @theouai Makeup by the ridiculously talented @nikki_makeup
So this hair happened the other day on @zendaya using @oribe @theouai Makeup by the ridiculously talented @nikki_makeup

#9/ The chain ponytail

You’ll look like you’ve walked fresh off the runway with this stunning chain ponytail look. Great for those summer festivals, this will take your ponytail game to the next level. Hair extensions make it easier to attach the chains (you can hook them onto the base of the weave) and will add an extra splash of drama, or you can simply intertwine them into your ponytail for a subtle, but pretty option.

whose ready for the video tutorial of this look???! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏾‍♀️🙋🏿‍♀️ #justinemarjanhair #chainponytail
whose ready for the video tutorial of this look???! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏾‍♀️🙋🏿‍♀️ #justinemarjanhair #chainponytail

#10/ The snap clip ponytail

Add a little bling and experiment with everyone’s favourite nostalgic hair accessory – the lovable snap clip. Scatter them randomly around the base of your ponytail, or place one on each side for a more balanced look.

back with my A1 🤩 @doritkemsley 💛 #justinemarjanhair using the #kitschxjustine snap clips at the link in bio ✨ @carlenekmakeup
back with my A1 🤩 @doritkemsley 💛 #justinemarjanhair using the #kitschxjustine snap clips at the link in bio ✨ @carlenekmakeup

#11/ Half-ponytail 

Not only is this ‘do a cinch to master, but it’s a serious winner for summer because it keeps your hair away from your face. Basically, all you have to do is to pull the top half of your hair up into a ponytail, brushing underneath to separate the top and bottom equally. Then, secure with a hair elastic. This style is an easy look for lazy peeps, it’s even a winner for men.

True's Mom
True's Mom

Looking for some formal hairstyle ideas for a special event? Check out the best wedding hairstyles.

Which of these ponytail hairstyles is your favourite? Let us know in the comment section below.

Main image credit: @justinemarjan