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Simple Ponytail Looks for Everyday: 8 Easy + So Flattering Twists on the Classic Style

Celeb hairstylists' how-to's are so simple to create at home

Ponytails are so versatile — they can make for a dressy or casual hairstyle, depending on the exact look you choose. While fancy and fussy options can be fun for a night out, we want to give a salute to the simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday wear, the hard-working, toss-up-and-go ‘do that keeps us all feeling cute on bad hair days. 

But make no mistake: everyday doesn’t have to mean boring — there are so many ideas to choose from. And some even flatter certain face shapes, take years off your look and draw attention to your favorite features. Find out which looks will flatter you and follow these tips to finding — and creating — your ideal ponytail in just minutes!

What to consider when choosing a ponytail hairstyle

“The ponytail is classic,” insists Linzee Katzman, a hairstylist at NYC’s Valery Joseph Salon. With so many variations, they are a great hairstyle that can enhance your facial structure or be the perfect effortless street-style finish.” Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist and founder of the Andrew Fitzsimons haircare brand, agrees, adding that high, tight ponies are especially good for women who want an anti-aging pick-me-up. He says, “they create a natural lifting effect that emphasizes the cheekbones!” 

You can think about the shape of your face (think soft pieces around the face for wide faces, and mid-height or low ponytalis for long faces), your hair texture and thickness and the goal for your overall look. Not sure what to choose? Here are eight looks we’ve picked out to take the guesswork out of finding pony perfection.

8 simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday

1. Simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday: The puffed pony

Looking to maximize what you’ve got? The puffed pony, like this one by @hairandmakeupbysteph, is your answer. “Volume is the key for this look,” says Fitzsimons. How he recommends you get it? With good old fashioned teasing. “It’s your best friend in this situation,” he insists.

To do: “Separate sections of your hair and tease with a fine tooth comb,” he says. Smooth the top layer as you pull it up high and secure with an elastic. Then tease the top of the “tail” on the pony for extra oomph. 

Related: How to Style Thinning Hair So It Looks Twice as Thick — 9 Tricks You’ll Wonder How You Lived Without!

2. Face-framing pony 

jennifer nettles  simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday
Jennifer NettlesGetty Images

The way to visually narrow a wide face? With face-framing side pieces that visually slim cheeks. The key is to keep your side pieces on the longer side, says Fitzsimons, so “the actual layers themselves don’t sit on the widest part of the face.” It’s a red-carpet secret stars use to flatter their face shape while also creating an overall soft, breezy and approachable feel. 

To do: Simply allow your side pieces to hang along the side of your face while pulling the rest of your hair back into a ponytail at a height of your choice. To keep them from looking stringy throughout the day, Fitzsimons advices misting your front pieces with a hairspray like Andrew Fitzsimons Touch Soft Hold Hairspray (Buy from Ulta, $16.00)

3. Simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday: The snatched pony

Want a facelift? No need to dial a plastic surgeon, just lift your ponytail! Not only does a high, tight ponytail, like this one by @pauljoneshair, pull your features up, it also draws attention in that direction, giving you an instant anti-aging effect. Bonus: It also elongates your neck.

To do: “This look is easiest to create when the hair is wet,” says Katzman. Work in gel or pomade, then brush the hair back in sections holding it tightly as you go. Try: Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Extra Strong Hold Hair Gel (Buy from CVS, $5.99). “Continue working the hair back until you smooth out all the bumps.” Secure it with an elastic. Then, for a finishing touch, wrap a lock of your hair around the tie (as shown) and pin it in place. 

4. The side-swept pony

Nancy Travis  simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday
Nancy TravisGetty Images

“If you have a smaller chin, a ponytail with a deep side part is a flattering style,” says Fitzsimons. “It enhances and balances the shape of the face while accentuating the jawline and cheekbones.” What also helps? Drawing your ponytail to one side to visually fill in the space at the lower part of your face.  And if you have a rounder face, the linear style of a ponytail on the side helps pull the eye up and down for a more narrow appearance.

To do: Back-comb hair at the roots to create fullness all around. Make a side part, then wrap 1″ sections of hair around a curling iron. After all hair is curled, gently comb through with fingers. Secure hair into a low side ponytail so hair rests on one shoulder. Wrap a 1″ section of hair from the tail around the elastic; pin in place. Next, gently tug out small pieces of hair around the face. Set with hair spray.

5. Simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday: The mid-level pony

Nicole Kidman with a mid-level ponytail
Joy Malone / Stringer/Getty

“This look can flatter almost anyone,” says Katzman. But it’s especially nice on those with square faces “because it is an extension of the jawline,” she says. And long faces will find it flatters by detracting from the overall length of your face the way a high or low ponytail can’t. 

To do: Says Katman, “Get your grip ready by placing your thumbs under the cheekbones.” Then pull your hair back and secure it from there. “This should ensure your pony is mid-height,” she says. An extra tip? “Tilt your head back when securing the pony to make sure there is no hair gaping in the nape,” she says. 

6. The bubble pony

A bubble ponytail, like this one by @that.gurl.g, in which your hair is secured many times down the length of your ponytail and puffed out in between the hair ties, is great for creating the illusion of volume where there is none. Plus, it’s an easy hairstyle that looks complicated — which means it adds polish to any outfit in minutes. 

To do: Starting with your hair in a high ponytail, add evenly spaced no-snag elastics down the length of your hair. Try Kitsch Black No-Snag Elastics (Buy from Ulta, $3). Then Katzman recommends using the pointy end of a comb to gently pull between the elastics so it puffs.

Related: Bubble Braid — How It Flatters and Easy Ways to Style the Trending Look

7. Simple ponytail hairstyles for everyday: The half pony

If you have thick hair, having it up all day can lead to a headache. That’s when the half-ponytail, like this one by @averyywoods, comes into play. It can keep your strands out of your eyes and save a bad hair day, all without the stress on your hair follicles!

To do: Pull your hair up into a half ponytail and secure with an elastic. For a little extra height in the back, split the “tail” in half and wrap an elastic around just the top section. For a polished finish, tackle any flyaways in the front by smoothing down with pomade like TIGI Bed Head Hair Wax Stick (Buy from Amazon, $12.99).

8. The clipped up pony

@nothangtw

Easy, loose, non-damaging high ponytail tutorial for summer 💆🏻‍♀️💗 its my go-to! #summerhairstyles #looseponytail #highponytailtutorial #hairtutorial #hair #hairstyles

♬ original sound –

Using a jaw clip to fan out the end of your ponytail, like @nothangtw did, is a quick way to look sweet and flirty. Katzman’s advice? “When choosing your clip, make sure the clip is small for short hair and large for longer hair so you can control how much hair you want to hang over the clip.” 

To do: Tie your hair into a loose low ponytail. Then pull the ends straight and up and secure up the back of your head with a jaw clip, letting your ends fan out over the barrette. 

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For more hair style inspiration, click through these stories:

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