Ponytails never really leave the hair scene, they just morph into new shapes, sizes, colors and positions on the head.
Depending on the hot fashion trends of the moment ponytails may be worn bone straight with a high gloss shine or created from clouds of natural waves, curls, kinks and coils.
One of the most inspiring things to do with your hair is to sit down and brainstorm 25 ways to jazz up your own ponytail. Whether your hair is short or super long, unless your head is completely shaved, you can make a ponytail.
With today's clip-in ponytails, clip-in extensions and amazing wig offerings, anyone can rock a dizzying array of jazzed up ponytails without a lot of difficulty.
Although some hairstylists disagree that ponytails are right for Red Carpet or formal hair events, ultimately there is no right or wrong time or way to wear a ponytail.
Listed below are some of the 25 ways you might experiment with jazzing up your ponytail. Keep in mind that you should custom fit any of the options to your hair type, texture, current condition, length and lifestyle.
So let the ponytail games begin:
1. Double down with multiple pony tails
When The Spice Girls were at the height of their popularity in England their hair was a major topic of conversation.
Beautiful blonde Emma aka Baby Spice wowed the fans with her random assortment of buttery blonde tails and ponies which sprang from the top or sides of her head like long lush dog ears.
Baby Spice definitely knew how to jazz up a ponytail and make it all her own. Her own version of double ponytails and pigtails became part of her signature look which is still remembered to present times.
Why not check out Emma's tail inspirations from the past and create your own modern ponytail
She also looked stunning with low slung pigtails that started below her ear lobes giving her an instant demure look. Play with wearing your pigtails up, down, or in between.
2. Tie it up in knots
Play with Zulu knots or separate your ponytail into two separate tails and twist into random knots pinned to the back of your head.
Experiment will pulling loose strands out of the knots and letting them form random twists or faux dreads. Try wrapping the base of each knot with a strand of your own hair for added interest.
3. Adopt a pink poodle pony
Follow Gwen Stefani's lead and do the outrageous pink colored ponytail shown to the side.
Although her hair is currently on the sedate scale, Gwen is the queen of cool unusual colors and ponytails.
If you really want the cotton candy look see a professional hairstylist. Don't try the pink look at home. You could hurt yourself.
4. Try the little sprout route
If you just can't bring yourself to re-create Gwen Stefani's pink and white ponytail look consider her sprouted ponytail look.
Gwen became well known for her past assortment of thin ponytails mounted in random formation along various parts of her crown. They were breathtaking and innovative.
Don't stop with just one think tail sprout. Play with just a few or an entire head of thin pony sprouts.
5. Twist and tie it into faux dreads
Whether you add the still hot twists to your regular ponytail or do your entire head, it's a look that will make a big difference.
Note: Do not use Vaseline or other petroleum products to create your dreads. Use hair pastes, wax or gels designed for hair styling only.
6. Crank up your ponytail cuteness factor
Nothing generates more appreciative head turning than a slick shiny ponytail that ends in soft bouncy curls.
After you have carefully created your perfect ponytail grab your favorite hot rollers or curling iron and go to work. Create just a few flirty curls right at the ends of your tail. Remember, the larger the roller or curling iron barrel, the bigger the curls.
7. Take your tail's texture to new levels
Brandy is a classic example of a celeb who transformed her sleek hair into massive natural curls for a variety of ponytail styles ranging from half up/half down ponytails to one single tail. Take Brandy's lead and add allover curls or waves.
For a new trick, sleep in small rag curlers or pipe cleaners to create lots of kinky curls or waves. If you prefer an instant transformation, use very small hot curlers or a curling iron to get super kink.
8. Splay the ends
Create two random ponytails at different levels on your scalp. Take the ends and apply a great wax or hair paste.
Use your fingers to "spray" them out in a formation as shown to the side. This style may need assistance from your fav stylist or a good hair friendly pal.
An alternative look for shorter ponytails is to use wax and create stiff spikes that form a random pattern from the ponytail.
9. Dip it
Create a the hot new Shoe Polish look on the tips of your ponytail. This is the look that resembles dragging your long hair through an open can of shoe polish.
Adding the contrasting "shoe polish" colors is not a temporary change but if you limit the contrasting color to just your very ends, you can snip them off with your next end trim.
When possible use temporary or demi-permanent colors to lightly "dip" your ends. Blondes look great with black or red tips and brunettes can try the blonde or red dipped look. When possible.
10. Wear a side tail
It doesn't have to be a big deal.
Pull all your hair to one side, attach a "hair friendly" hair band and then play with various options from splaying the ends to curling them. Wear it high, low or in between. Tip the ends or play with your bangs for a hot new variation.
11. Crimp it
Whether you decide to crimp the entire tail, only the top or bottom layers or random pieces, the right tool can create an instant hot new look for your ponytail.
Be creative and pull a few random hairs out of your ponytail and let them fall into crimped tendrils around your face.
12. Add sculpted top curls
A good ponytail is a great starting point for a great updo that is soft and carefully sculpted with carefully placed looped curls.
Whether you want to dress up your ponytail for a special event or just change the look, use your ponytail as a starting point for a cap of well placed curls.
13. Decorate with feathers
Why not make a fabulous low slung ponytail, pin the tail up and adorn with gorgeous Peacock or other feathers.
While you're at it, consider letting your colorist create a custom rainbow effect at your crown to offset the gorgeous feathers. This is definitely not a hair color look to try at home without help.
14. Wrap It. Add instant interest by taking one piece of your own hair and wrapping around the top of your ponytail or pigtails. If you prefer, add a clip on braid or hair strand and wrap that at the top of the pony to providing contrasting texture or color.
15. Add temporary extensions
Whether you decide to attach add-on hair or invest in fun faux hair extensions, go wild and be super creative.
Add ribbons, pin-in ponytails or braids. Christina Aguilera made all the fashion pages with her recent pink and white add-on faux hair extensions.
16. Pull on the glove
You can also select a variety of materials from suede, velvet, silk or leather to wrap the entire length of the tail from the top to the ends. If you prefer, you can slip on a special hair glove for instant hair protection and a hot new look.
17. Half Up/Half Down
A half up/half down do that features a soft ponytail nestled at the back of your crown is always a wonderful sleek and sensual look.
Ponytails can also be positioned underneath other strands to create instant volume and fullness.
18. Twist it
The hottest new hair styling tools on the market include the new instant twisters and braiders.
Experiment and instantly create single or multiple two strand twisted ropes. Use these hot new tools to create a unique twisted ponytail look or create free form strands that frame your ponytail. Your only limitation is your imagination.
19. Braid it
Nothing transforms a ponytail quicker than a beautiful Dutch, French or Fishtail braid. Experiment with one main braid or separate your hair into side pigtails or ponytails and weave a beautiful fishtail or French braid down the middle.
Microbraids make hot ponytail accent wraps or side pieces. Use a set of complimentary micro-braids to form loops or knots around the top of your main tail. Play with a number of looks until you find one that suits your fancy.
Over the past year the hair jewelry designers have introduced a huge range of ponytail specific accessories from Austrian Crystal studded elastic bands to clip-on string beads and jeweled side combs. With the incredible selection of options from beaded scrunchies to faux fur and jeweled babbles, let your imagination run wild.
Another option is to add hair snaps, hair magnets or other jewels to the area of your crown surrounding your ponytail. You can also clip in hair snaps, beads or magnets at the top of the pony.
21. Add edible hair.
At a recent rock concert I witnessed a girl with long plastic wrapped strands of edible cherry and black woven into her series of long twisted sprouted tails.
As the concert progressed I noticed people pulling out the wrapped licorice from her strands, pulling off the wrappers and munching on the sweet treats. Although it seemed a little bizarre, why not?
At least it is a practical use of add-on hair accessories. Be creative and think of your own version of licorice hair.
22. Cover it
Nothing looks more appealing that a soft shiny ponytail pulled through the back of a baseball cap. Show up your tail or show off your cap but take advantage of another way to make a new ponytail statement.
23. Clip it
Banana clips are one of the hottest "easy" bun making accessories around. If you tire of your tail, simply wrap it a few times around the elastic enclosure and pin up your newly formed bun with a festive banana clip or series of clips.
24. Slick it down
Get that "just off the beach" look with a slicked back ponytail. Cheat and use jojoba oil as your wet look product. That way you condition and shine at the same time as looking chic in your wet look.
25. String it up
Use string or heavy thread to create an intricate stitched pattern at the top of the tail. Or be creative and make an intricate basket weave pattern from various pieces of ponytail strands tied together with string.
Another option is to leave the ponytail hanging free but form an intricate weave around the top and the sides of the scalp.
I am sure if I allowed my mind to roam through fields of ponytails for another few days I might just come up with 50 new ways to leave your old boring ponytails behind.
Remember, whatever you do, let your imagination be your guide and consult with experts when you use chemicals, dyes or other products to alter your look.
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- Revised Publication Date: 04/29/11