Variations On a Classic: Our Favorite Ponytail Hairstyles


It’s a classic, the tried-and-true…the ponytail.

Anyone with hair long enough to secure with an elastic band has undoubtedly tried some variation of the ponytail. From a workout or a bad hair day ponytail to a sleek, stylish one, there are many ways to wear it – from basic to over-the-top.

You might already have some different favorite ways to wear this classic style, or you might tend to go with the same boring elastic every time.

Either way, to help you elevate your ponytail routine, we’re here with some variations on this classic style. Work these into your wardrobe to add a little extra personality – and don’t forget to share (and tag us in) your looks on social.

Our favorite ponytail hairstyles

The tousled low ponytail


Whether you have thin, straight hair or wavy, thick hair (or something in between), this ponytail style can compliment any look. If your hair is naturally straight, you might need a little back-combing or a few flicks of your curling iron to add a little volume and dimension before securing your hair in a loose, low ponytail style. The key to remember is, to not make this style look too perfect – some flyaways and stray hairs outside of the style add to its flair and are strongly encouraged!

Shorter layers on the top or sides may naturally fall out of your pulled-back style. Add a little Finishing Spray to keep those strands tamed – and you could even give those a subtle wave with a curling wand or by wrapping them around a flat iron.


If your hair is longer, leave some strands out of the ponytail near your forehead or temple to frame your face and achieve a softer, more playful look.

The flipped (or inside out) ponytail


Easy to achieve and super versatile, this ponytail style has many names such as the flipped, inside-out, topsy-turvy, flip-through, flip twist and inverted ponytail. Whatever you decide to call it, ‘basic’ should not be part of that description.

Our favorite way to wear this style is with volumized curls or waves. Start with hot rollers or a curling wand or iron, adding large waves and/or curls all over your full head of hair. Mist with with Shaping Spray for extra texure and control. Then, secure all of the hair in a loose ponytail. Next, use your fingers to create a hole in the hair, just above the elastic band, and flip the whole ponytail up and then down through that hole. You might need to shift the elastic a little closer to your head to tighten.

If you want to stylize this look even further, here are some additional options:

  • Wrap a small portion of hair from the bottom of your ponytail around the elastic to hide the band. Secure underneath with a bobby pin.
  • Pull out some face-framing layers.
  • Brush out your curls or separate them by hand to pump up the volume of your ponytail.
  • Loosen up the hair going into the flipped ponytail by gently tugging on different secured sections all over the head

The high-and-sleek wrapped ponytail


This high-and-sleek ponytail works best for longer, straight hair, but you can easily customize it for your hair texture and length. Fight frizz and add shine by using Style Prep 10 or another smoothing product on towel-dried hair before drying and styling.

To get this look, flip your head upside down and use a fine round brush to flatten any bumps while gathering your hair into a high ponytail. Secure tightly with a thin elastic. Then, separate a small section from the bottom side of your ponytail and wrap it around the elastic, securing the end with a small hair pin.

If you happen to have any stray hairs around the hairline, rub a little pomade into your hands and slick them down – then top off with your favorite finishing spray.

The volume-on-top ponytail


This variation is similar to the high-and-sleek ponytail, but has more volume from the forehead to the crown. Instead of slicking all the hair backward and up into your ponytail, first add a little texture to the top of the hair with our Thick & Full Root Booster. Spray it on damp hair, concentrating on the roots, then blow dry with your head upside down for extra volume.

Depending on your hair texture, back comb the hair on top just a bit and use hair spray to hold the volume and texture. Then, gather the sides and back of the hair (being careful not to smooth the top) into a mid-to-high level ponytail. Smooth the sides and back for a more polished finish, or just spray to complete the style.


Now you’re equipped with some new ideas to vary your ponytail hairstyle. We’d love to see how you change up this classic style – show us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Fantastic Sams Cut & Color is a full-service, "no-appointment-needed," hair salon with over 900 convenient locations.  

Find a Fantastic Sams Cut and Color Hair Salon near you. Real. Fantastic.

Franchises available