No matter how many braids, twists, or buns we master, ponytail hairstyles will never lose their top-tier place in our styling regimen. There are so many variations on the classic pony that it’s all but impossible to run out of ideas—and what more could you ever want out of a simple standby? Whether you’re headed on a run or gracing a black-tie event, there’s a ponytail for any occasion… or, even better, a ponytail that suits every occasion. Not only are these five looks virtually foolproof to execute, but you can wear ’em just about everywhere, too.
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Worn with a sleek deep side part, a standard side-slung ponytail goes from an everyday fixture to a look worthy of everything from a night out to a more formal event. Just create that deep, straight part with a fine-tooth comb and pull the lengths of hair into a tight ponytail secured over one shoulder before using a dab of gel to slick the top of the hair into place.
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A tousled, slightly messy ponytail can go everywhere, but it’s especially suitable for making your go-to look a little more exciting. Secure the lengths of hair into a high-ish ponytail right at the back of the head, then loosen the strands around the crown and toward the back for an effortless, nicely textured effect.
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Why choose between a braid or a ponytail when you can have both? This look couldn’t be easier—simply create the beginnings of a low French braid, then tie the rest off into a ponytail. You can leave the texture soft and natural for a dreamy, romantic style or use gel or hairspray to add shine.
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A low ponytail is one of the most classic hairstyles of all time, and depending on the way you style it, it can be elegant enough for a special occasion or low-key enough for the grocery store on Sunday morning. We like to dress ours up with a dab of shine serum and a section of hair wrapped around the base to conceal the hairband.
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You don’t need to have Kate Middleton-caliber natural bounce to recreate a perky, voluminous ponytail, even on fine hair—just use a generous amount of a thickening product, like our new favorite Kérastase Matérialiste, before blowdrying with a round boar bristle brush to make the magic happen.