A ponytail doesn’t just have to be a hairstyle you can wear to the gym. This versatile updo can be worn for anything from meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time (don’t worry, we’ve all been there!) to that important job interview you’ve been preparing for over the last few days. One of the reasons why we love ponytail hairstyles so much is that they’re so easy to create—it’s the perfect style for when you want to look put-together but don’t have much time to spare—but they’re still utterly chic.
Want to take your ponytail to the next level, making sure it’s bump-free every time? Below, find our guide on how to do a ponytail so that it looks perfect every time, plus we’re sharing plenty of extra ponytail tips and hairstyles.
HOW TO DO A PONYTAIL THAT LOOKS PERFECT
STEP 1: DETERMINE WHERE YOU WANT TO PLACE YOUR PONYTAIL
The first step to creating the perfect ponytail is placement. Where you decide to place your ponytail will determine how you should go about creating your updo. Learning how to do a high ponytail that’s level with your temples or above can give your hair more bounce. Low ponytails have less movement but look sleek and modern.
STEP 2: BRUSH YOUR HAIR THE RIGHT WAY
This may sound silly, but there is a right way to brush your hair when it comes to mastering how to make ponytail hairstyle. If you want to help keep frizzy hair and bumps from making an appearance, brush your hair in the direction of your ponytail.
STEP 3: ADD TEXTURE
Adding texture to your hair can create a more voluminous look. After all, nobody wants a flat ponytail, right? Spray a volumizing hair spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT High Lift Creation Spray, onto your hair and use your fingers to muss your hair up a little. If you want to create even more texture, backcomb your hair after spritzing on hairspray.
STEP 4: CREATE YOUR PONYTAIL
Gather all of your hair and pull it into your ponytail. If you see any bumps forming, even after you brushed away tangles earlier, take a round brush and roll it sideways over the bumps to smooth them back. Once you’re happy with how smooth your pony looks, take a hair elastic, and secure it. Wrap the elastic around enough times so that your hairstyle won’t fall throughout the day.
STEP 5: HELP TAME FLYAWAYS
Flyaways can completely ruin your ‘do. Now, let us just say, this hair hack might sound super-weird, but it actually works! Take a toothbrush (one that hasn’t been used, of course) and spritz it with hair spray, such as the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Fine Control Hairspray. Then use the toothbrush to brush down and tame those pesky flyaways.
BONUS STEP: HIDE YOUR ELASTIC
This step may not be 100% required, but it certainly will take your ponytail to the next level. If you don’t want your hair elastic to detract from your look, take a small piece of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around the hair tie to keep it hidden. Use a bobby pin to hold that strand in place on the underside of your pony, and no one will know it’s there.
Editor’s note: We mentioned this hairstyle is great for long and medium-length hair, but what about short hair? Don’t worry, having short strands doesn’t make learning how to make a ponytail—or even how to do a high ponytail—impossible. Simply use these same steps to create a half-up ponytail. Alternatively, if your tresses are just shy of fitting into a pony, pull up as much of your hair as you can, then use barrettes to clip down stray strands.
HOW TO GET A FULL PONYTAIL
How do you get a full ponytail? Even if your strands aren’t gloriously voluminous on their own, there are tips you can try to get a fuller, thicker-looking ponytail.
TIP #1: TRY A DOUBLE PONYTAIL
The key to a fuller-looking ponytail all lies in illusion (and maybe a little hair mousse!). For the double ponytail hairstyle, you’ll create two ponytails, one of which is hidden. Gather the hair above your ears to create a half ponytail and secure it with a clear elastic. Then, take this half ponytail and flip it over your head so that it’s out of the way.
Create a second ponytail using the remaining bottom section of hair and make sure to secure it directly below the base of the first ponytail—this will ensure it’s hidden. Put your top ponytail back into place, then tie the two ponytails together. Hello, volume! This can also help to make your pony appear longer. Double win!
TIP #2: USE BOBBY PINS
Don’t let your ponytail fall flat during the day. Prop it up with two or three bobby pins after you’ve tied your hair in place. Slide the bobby pins over the hair tie on the bottom part of the ponytail. Place them at a steep, diagonal angle, and they’ll lift your ponytail for a heightened look.
TIP #3: TEASE YOUR HAIR IN SECTIONS
Teasing a ponytail can help make your hair look fuller—but how it’s done is what matters the most. Most people backcomb their ponytails in one section using a fine-toothed comb. If you really want to add the appearance of volume, split your ponytail into thirds and tease each section to build even more body.
TIP #4: FAKE VOLUME WITH A MINI CLIP
All you have to do is split your ponytail in half, stick a small claw clip inside, and hide it with the top section of your hair. This will leave you with a more voluminous look in a few seconds flat.
TIP #5: EMBRACE A LITTLE FRIZZ
If you crave a fuller-looking ponytail but don’t want to put in a ton of effort, apply a dollop of the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Thickening Medium Hold Cream Paste throughout damp hair and follow it up with a few spritzes of wave spray. Once you’ve applied your product, allow your hair to air dry, and that’s all you have to do to add definition and texture to your hair. From there, just tie your hair up into a ponytail and voila!
4 PONYTAIL HAIRSTYLES TO TRY
Want to switch up your pony? Read on to learn how to do ponytail hairstyles—four, to be exact.
PONYTAIL HAIRSTYLE #1: BRAIDED PONYTAIL
One of our favorite ways to add texture and detail to a ponytail? By combining it with a braid! Not only does a braided ponytail look undeniably beautiful, but there are also so many ways to style one. In fact, here are 30 Braided Ponytail Hairstyles You're About to Be Obsessed With.
PONYTAIL HAIRSTYLE #2: CURLY PONYTAIL
Speaking of adding texture, why not try rocking a curly ponytail? Whether you have naturally curly hair or need to add spirals to your mane with a curling iron or wand, both are equally stunning options that are perfect for a special occasion.
PONYTAIL HAIRSTYLE #3: MESSY PONYTAIL
If you’re in a rush, throw your strands into an effortless, messy ponytail. This carefree look is perfect for running errands or heading to class. Learn how to do it with the help of this step-by-step tutorial: How to Achieve an Effortless Messy Ponytail.
PONYTAIL HAIRSTYLE #4: SLICKED-BACK PONYTAIL
Prefer to keep things smooth and tidy? A slicked-back ponytail is a great hairstyle for keeping your strands out of your face that has a polished appearance. Apply a bit of hair gel, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Clean Style Gel, throughout your mane. Then, slick your strands backward—making sure to avoid any bumps—and secure with an elastic.
Now that you know how to create the perfect ponytail, how about mastering the messy bun next? Here’s How to Create a Messy Bun.