And they're all hairstylist-approved.
If only we could all have a celebrity hairstylist do our hair every day. While we can't give you that ultimate hair goal gift, we can lend you some insight from the pros themselves. We're here to present you with 19 celebrity hairstylist-approved ponytails, plus tips for how to achieve them at home.
The Voluminous Pony
Dreaming of a voluminous ponytail? Celebrity hairstylist Marissa Marino says to look to Kate Beckinsale for inspiration. “Kate Beckinsale has this look down,” she exclaims. To create the look at home, she says to begin by curling your hair with a 1.25” curling iron. Once curled, tease your hair at the crown with a comb. (She suggests the Tangle Teezer Ultimate Teaser, $14). From there, use the tail end of the comb to section out a few face-framing pieces, then brush the rest of your hair back into a ponytail at the middle of your crown. “Once secured you can use the tail of the comb to lift the hair at the crown for even more volume,” she adds.
The Statement Bow Pony
Living in the bow era we currently are, Rachel Brosnahan’s exaggerated red bow ponytail from the Golden Globes is applaudable to say the least. “The two major details that catch your eye in Rachel's ponytail are where the ponytail sits on the back of the head and the length,” says celebrity hairstylist and T3 stylist ambassador Bridget Brager. To create the look, Brager says to create a slicked-back ponytail with your own hair. Then, use the 22” The Hair Shop Wrap Ponytail ($205) “and simply wrap and secure the piece around the base of your ponytail,” she instructs. For added smoothness and shine, she says to treat the hair with a dash of the Rodan + Fields Defrizz+ Oil Treatment ($63) before passing over it with the T3 SinglePass StyleMax ($150). “When the hair is slick and closer to the head, I like adding color around the hairline using Color WOW’s Root Cover Up to make the hairline appear fuller,” she adds.
The Slicked-Back Ultra-Long Pony
Slicked-back hair has been around for years thanks to celebrities like the Kardashians and, as shown above, Gabrielle Union. “I love a slicked-back ponytail with the added drama of long, flowing hair for a truly striking look,” says celebrity hairstylist and Flawless by Gabrielle Union co-founder Larry Sims. “To create this look, I pull the hair away from the face—the ponytail is the star of the show as you walk away, but the focus on the face initially draws you in."
The Lacquered Voluminous Pony
Forget about sleek! Paris Hilton’s high, straight pony looks downright lacquered. To get the look, amika pro stylist & Stylist Collective member Eric Vaughn says to start by flat ironing your hair (he suggests the amika Confidante Styler, $150) to create a smooth base before adding any clip-in extensions for extra volume in your tail. Once your hair is straight, he says to use mousse from your roots to your crown to slick your hair back into a flawless snatched pony. To lock it in place, use a strong-hold hairspray, such as the amika Headstrong Hairspray ($26). Don’t stop there, though. You’ll want to add shine, too. He recommends the amika Top Gloss Shine Spray ($29).
The Side-Part Low Pony
The side part is back, as are low ponytails. “I love how a side part frames the face,” Marino says. To achieve the clean, classic look—illustrated on Taylor Hill, above—Marino says to pick where you want your part. Then, use a smoothing cream or a few spritzes of leave-in conditioner to smooth your hair from the roots down to the nape of your neck. Secure it with an elastic and it’s as simple as that. “If any front pieces don’t reach all the way into the hair tie, spray them with a strong hold hairspray to hold them into place,” Marino says.
The Middle-Part Pony
“This look has really taken off in the last few years,” she says. To achieve the look at home, she says to section out your bangs or face-framing strands. After clipping them out of the way, she says to brush the rest of your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic. “Once secured, let down the bang section and create a middle part,” she instructs. Smooth each section back toward your ponytail, but go one side at a time to maintain the part. Secure the pieces with an elastic over the top of the first one and finish with hairspray.
The Flirty Flip
“This is a good example of how small detail can make a big impact,” Brager says of Margot Robbie’s prim and proper pony from an outing in NYC. “Margot's high ponytail and side parting is a perfect pairing for a polished look.”
To achieve her full pony, Brager suggests adding extensions. Then, to nail the flirty flip at the ends, she says to use a 1 ¾-inch curling iron (and a heat protectant, of course).
The Curly Pony
Marino says that Jenny Slate’s curly bun is another hairstyle that can easily be transformed into a ponytail. “[Her style] is great for those with naturally curly hair on a non-wash day,” Marino says. To get the look, she says to spritz your hair with a lightweight leave-in conditioner, combing it through from roots to ends. “Section out some face-framing pieces, then pull the rest of your hair into a high ponytail,” Marino instructs. If you decide you want to fully recreate Slate’s bun, Marino says to simply twirl your ends and pop a few bobby pins into place.
The Relaxed Side-Bang Pony
"Even with bangs, a ponytail can easily dress up any occasion,” says amika Pro Stylist and Stylist Collective member Yene Damtew, who turns our attention to Taylor Swift to illustrate her point. “The soft pony can be achieved on days-old curls which is amazing.”
The High, Perky Pony
The way Sims sees it, volume never goes out of style so a high, perky ponytail with a va-va-voom tail (like Laverne Cox’s above) is always a good idea. To create such a style, gather all of your hair into a high ponytail and use a boar bristle brush to smooth from your hairline to your crown. Secure your ponytail and use a curling iron or wand to add curls throughout. (If you prefer to curl your hair before putting it up, you can do so as your first step.) Take a small section of hair (a half-inch thick, or so) and wrap it around the base of the pony, pinning it in place on the underside so that it’s concealed. If you have fine hair, Sims reminds us that creating a smooth bun foundation works well as a base for adding extensions into place.
The Natural Pony
Looking for a pony to show off your natural texture? Demtew says to copy Yara Shahidi. "Naturalists can have fun too,” she exclaims. “This heatless ponytail look is my favorite and can be created using amika’s Curl Corps Enhancing Gel ($30) and Curl Corps Defining Cream ($30)."
The High, Straight Pony
Shocking as it may seem, flat iron hairstyles are on the rise here in 2024. With that in mind, Sims says that high, straight, glossy ponytails (like Tessa Thompson's, above) are, too. “The classic high ponytail is effortless and can easily make any look more glamorous,” he declares. “To create this look, smooth the front of the hair before gathering it to the crown of the head. Tie a hair band around the hair. Then, for a bone-straight ponytail, apply a straightening serum to the hair before using a flat iron to smooth out any frizz.”
The Mid-Level Pony
For a more relaxed but still glamorous ponytail hairstyle, Sims suggests keeping it mid-level and letting a few face-framing tendrils spring out, like Gabrielle Union did, here. To get the look, he says start with a center part, leaving a few longer pieces out around your face. “Try to grab pieces that, as they fall, will gently graze your cheek,” he instructs. “Then, pull the rest of your hair (minus the long pieces in the front) toward the back/middle of your head. Make sure to smooth the sides to ensure your ponytail is tight.” After securing your ponytail, Sims says to use a curling iron to add waves throughout.
The Bubble Ponytail
Issa Rae’s bubble ponytail is one for the books. To achieve the look, Bravo TV Celebrity Hairstylist Julius Michael, who is a VOLOOM Brand Ambassador, says to pull your hair into a low ponytail. “Take small elastic bands or bow ties and create little puffs of bubbles starting about one inch from [the base of your] ponytail,” he instructs. To really puff up the bubbles, gently tug on the sides before moving to the next section. “After your bubbles are created, you'll want to make sure they are all neat and even,” Michael adds. If you have fine or short hair—or simply want more volume or length—he says to consider clip-in extensions when exploring the style.
Low, Long Wavy Pony
Ciara looked like an absolute goddess when she showed up to the Met Gala with a bum-length center-parted low pony. To recreate her iconic style, Vaughn says to star with mousse and an upward blow dry. Once your hair is dry, he says to flat iron it from your roots to just below your crown so that it will brush smoothly for a slicked-back base. Lock it in place with a glossy, strong hold wax, like the amika on lock high hold wax ($28). Once everything looks perfectly smooth from your hairline to the nape of your neck, secure your pony with an elastic. Then, to achieve Ciara’s floofy tail, Vaughn says to wrap extensions into place.
The Retro Pony
Another of Vaughn’s favorite celeb ponytails? Zendaya’s retro curled-up pony with side bangs. To get the look, he says to apply a smoothing balm or cream to damp hair. Using a round brush, smooth all of your hair while blow drying. (He says using a straightening blow-dry brush makes the process even easier.) Once your hair is dry, Vaughn says to section out your bangs and pull the rest of your hair into a sleek, high pony, maintaining a side part if you can. Secure the ponytail and wrap a few strands around the elastic to conceal it. Then, style your leftover face-framing hair into a dramatic side-swept bang, locking it in place with hairspray and bobby pins just below the base of your ponytail.
The Ariana Pony
How could we write a story about ponytail hairstyles without honoring the woman with perhaps the most iconic pony ever? "Ariana Grande, the ponytail queen, gives a modern spin on an old-school hairstyle,” Damtew says.
The '60s Stunner
Brager also loves Tracee Ellis Ross’s ‘60s-inspired pony. To create such a perfectly high pony, you have to be mindful of placement, she says. “Focus on getting the base of the ponytail in the perfect profile position—the top of the crown,” she instructs. “Positioning the ponytail at the top of the crown or top of the head ensures you’ll be able to see the ponytail from the front. This also allows the profile to give the perfect 60’s flip.” If you have fine hair, though (or even if you simply want dramatic volume), she says you’ll need to add a little extra lift with some back teasing and texture spray.
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