Ariana Grande's 40 Most Iconic Hairstyles Over the Years: A Retrospective

Ariana Grande with deep brunette hair

Ariana Grande / Instagram

Last year, we served up makeup inspiration aplenty with some of Ariana Grande's major must-see (and must-copy!) makeup looks. It's only natural, then, that we follow that up by featuring a handful of her most showstopping hairstyles.

These days, we typically associate Ariana Grande's hair with tons of curl, volume, and, yes, ponytails (of both the traditional and half-up varieties), but as it turns out, she's actually debuted quite the résumé of hairstyles over the years. From spiraled ringlets to pint-size crimps, we think she should get more credit for the variety of styles she's sported in the past. Here are a handful of our favorites.

Low Pigtails With Scarf

Ariana Grande With Low Pigtails and Headscarf

@arianagrande / Instagram

Turning her usually brunette locks blonde is a bold choice for the pop star. Adding a simple white headscarf over top makes the look even more interesting.

Ponytail With Loose Tendrils

Ariana Grande with ponytail with loose tendrils

@arianagrande / Instagram

Ariana sometimes trades in her signature high ponytail for something a little more casual. As seen here, her natural curls shine through when placed in a simple updo with loose tendrils around her face.

Retro Ponytail

Ariana Grande with retro ponytail

@arianagrande / Instagram

A subtle side part helps anchor this ponytail, which veers retro thanks to loose waves throughout the ends and a thick base. To replicate the look, try using three or four ponytail holders rather than the standard one, and use a wide-barrel curling iron to create soft waves.

Classic Brunette Ponytail

Ariana Grande with deep brunette hair

Ariana Grande / Instagram

This look is as classic Ariana as it gets. Here, hair is swept off the face and secured on the back of the head. Finish with winged eyeliner and peach lips to get a look like the one seen on the singer.

Honey Blonde Ponytail

Honey Blonde Hair Ariana Grande

Getty Images

A high ponytail plus honey blonde hue equals a summery twist on Ariana's standard look. Here, one long tendril is kept loose, helping to frame her face while still keeping attention on her statement earrings.

Down With a Wet Look

Ariana Grande With Loose, Towel-Dried Hair

@arianagrande / Instagram

While most wet-look hairstyles are swept off the face, Ariana's is more subtle. To get a similar look, try using a product like Amika Supernova Moisture and Shine Cream ($26). Just rub a dime size dollop through the ends and let air dry after combing.

Classic Ponytail With Face-Framing Tendrils

Ariana Grande with a ponytail with loose tendrils

@arianagrande / Instagram

One way to alter your favorite look only slightly is to release two tendrils of hair to frame the face. While most might think to curl the tendrils, we love how Ariana's are kept straight and rounded inward at the ends.

Ponytail With Oversized Ribbon

Ariana Grande with a ponytailk with large ribbon

@arianagrande / Instagram

Ariana loves a retro moment and this look is no exception. Her classic ponytail gets a 1950s twist thanks to an oversized ribbon and pearl earrings.

Half-Up With Side Swept Bangs

Ariana Grande with half up half down hair

@arianagrande / Instagram

A half-up, half-down look stays sleek and smooth, but gets a bit more interest thanks to a long bang swept off to one side. A good shine spray will keep things looking extra smooth, so finish with that.

Classic Center-Parted Ponytail

Ariana Grande with a center parted ponytail

@arianagrande / Instagram

As the queen of the ponytail, Ariana knows how to switch the classic look up. Here, she forgoes a standard swept-back style in favor of a severe, center part, keeping the rest of the look smooth and sleek.

For a super-smooth ponytail, try spraying hairspray directly onto a flat brush you bring your hair back to be tied, smoothing the look as you go.

Side-Slicked Updo

Ariana Grande with a side slicked updo

@arianagrande / Instagram

Think of this look as a modern take on the zig-zag part. To replicate, take one-inch pieces of hair from the part and smooth them on to alternating sides. Finish by securing into a low ponytail or bun.

Dip-Dyed Braid

Ariana Grande with a dip-dyed braid

@arianagrande / Instagram

This style brings together multiple trends. There's the high braid, which is secured into place with another, smaller braid rapped around the elastic, and there's the dip-dyed end, which is covered in gold glitter.

Braided Updo

Ariana Grande With a braided updo

@arianagrande / Instagram

Though not the easiest look to replicate, this is one of the most fun. Here, hair is pulled into a high ponytail, with the ends being separated into braids and secured all over the hair. The end result is avant-garde in the best way.

Double Topknots

Ariana Grande with two topknots

@arianagrande / Instagram

Why wear one topknot when you could wear two? Here, two topknots (which are secured with some ends left loose) act as faux-hawks down the center of the head.

High Pigtails

Ariana Grande with high pigtails

@arianagrande / Instagram

She might be known for a single high pony, but sometime Ariana rocks two at once. Here, her glossy dark tresses are smoothed into double high-ponytails secured in place with hair-covered elastics.

Ponytail With Braided Tendrils

Ariana Grande in a ponytail with braided tendrils

@arianagrande / Instagram

Replicating this look is as simple as pulling hair back into a ponytail, removing two face-framing tendrils from either side of the head, and braiding those. You can secure the braids with elastics or leave loose, for a casual feel.

High Ponytail With Long Bang

Ariana Grande in a high ponytail with long bang

@arianagrande / Instagram

To get the look of a snatched, futuristic-meets-retro high ponytail like this, cover your elastics. Once you've secured your ponytail, wrap a small section of hair from the bottom of the ponytail around your hair tie, securing with a bobby pin. Leave one piece of hair out, smoothing it over the face to mimic a long bang.

Ponytail With Wide Headband

Ariana Grande in a ponytail with wide headband

@arianagrande / Instagram

One throwback style that Ariana makes her own is the ponytail with headband. Here, she utilizes a wide, white headband and keeps lots of volume at the crown of the head.

Low Ponytail With Headband

Ariana Grande in a low ponytail with headband

@arianagrande / Instagram

For this headband-with-ponytail style, the songstress keeps the pony low, with a slight wave throughout, adding an oversized pink headband that covers both her hears and nearly half of her head.

1960s-Style Half-Up With Volume

Ariana Grande with 1960s style half up hairstyle

@arianagrande / Instagram

Another voluminous look, this shiny half-up style includes lots of volume at the crown of the head, behind a thin headband. Replicate the look with a Bump-It.

Pigtails With Volume

Ariana Grande in pigtails with volume

@arianagrande / Instagram

Glam pigtails get a Spice Girls-inspired makeover with a high, wide elastic at the base, plenty of volume, and rounded out ends. The cat eye completes the look.

Extensions With Waves

Ariana Grande wearing long hair in waves

@arianagrande / Instagram

For pure drama, Ariana opts for extensions, which add both length and volume. For this look, her hair is left wavy but still shiny. To mimic the look, prep clean hair with a good mousse, working it into ends before air-drying and finishing with a wide-barrel curling iron for loose waves.

Cherry Red Strands

Ariana Grande red hair
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Though she's dabbled in pastel pink before, we almost forgot that circa 2009, the singer was known for cherry-red tresses.

Low Ponytail

Ariana Grande red hair and pink lipstick
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

By 2012, Ariana Grande still had her signature red hair but had taken the shade darker with a rich tone of garnet. And though she's also known for her ultra-high ponytails, she demonstrated a lower take on the style then.

Side-Swept Curls

Ariana Grande long brown hair
Jason LaVeris/Getty Images

The same year, Ariana Grande styled her auburn-colored curls with a sweet side sweep and a slightly off-center part.

Sleek and Straight

Ariana Grande blonde highlights
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

It's rare for the singer to step on the red carpet sans a voluminous up or half-up hairstyle, but for the MTV EMAs in 2014, Ariana Grande wore her hair sleek, straight, and parted perfectly down the middle.

Half-Up Waves

Ariana Grande blonde hair in ponytail
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

With freshly lightened strands, Grande attended the 2014 Teen Choice Awards with what's now become one of her trademark hairstyles: a half-up 'do with loose curl and lots of volume—squared.

Slick High Ponytail

Ariana Grande ponytail
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Anchored with memorable length (and complemented with a bold and sultry cat-eye), Ariana Grande wore her strands in a sky-high ponytail for the 57th Grammy Awards back in 2015. For similar polish, wrap a generous helping of strands around the base of your ponytail. 

Ombré Topknot

Ariana Grande top knot
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

In 2015, Grande showed off her gorgeous ombré hair color with a relaxed, perfectly imperfect topknot.

Space Buns

Ariana Grande double space knots
Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images

Before an interview with KIIS FM in London, England, Grande waved to fans while sporting braided space buns. (We love her half-up, half-down take!)

Pinned-Back Curls

Ariana Grande barette and curly hair
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In a noteworthy departure from her iconic ponytails and undulating waves, Ariana Grande sported voluminous spiral curls and pinned back layers during her American Music Awards performance in 2015.

Romantic Topknot

Ariana Grande brown hair in bun
Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Though her typical hairstyle MO is bold and playful, we can't stop staring at Grande's romantic iteration of a topknot she debuted on the red carpet.

Half-Up with Blonde Ends

Ariana Grande slicked back ponytail
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

For the 2016 Grammy Awards, the singer created a maximum impact with her typical 'do but a not-so-typical color: dark roots prettily counteracted by platinum blonde ends.

French Braids

Ariana Grande brown hair in two braids
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Just in time for the cooler months of winter, the singer upgraded the color of her strands with a rich shade of chocolate brown for a 2016 visit to Music Choice in NYC. To keep flyaways at bay, do like Grande did and try two French braids out for size this season.

Braid-Wrapped Ponytail

Ariana Grande light blonde hair in ponytail
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

For a little bit of quirk, Grande offset her half-up style with a braid-wrapped ponytail that was slightly off-center in March of 2016.

Straight Half Updo

Ariana Grande ponytail
RB/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2016, Grande opted for her signature volume, length, half-up style, and super-subtle highlights for a touch of dimension. 

Crimped Ponytail

Ariana Grande crimped ponytail
Jared Siskin/Getty Images

Just when you thought crimping had died with our other favorite '90s hairstyles, Grande made our preferred baby-size waves modern with a hefty dose of face-framing fringe, blonde tips, and an ultra-thick ponytail.

Mini Braided Ponytail

Ariana Grande braided ponytail
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

For 2016's American Music Awards, Grande took her ponytail to new heights with a handful of mini braids to accent her slicked-back style.

Icy Silver Strands

Ariana Grande grey hair

When Grande's celeb hairstylist Chris Appleton posted this photo to his Instagram account, our jaws collectively dropped. In it, Grande is posing with icy blue-silver hair (if you look close, you can see the hint of a baby blue color at chin length). The fresh look is for Grande's new campaign with Reebok, though we're hoping she keeps this color well past the end of her shoot. After all, Appleton put it best when he captioned the photo "Ice queen." Don't you agree?

Caramel Lob

There's no denying that Grande has been open about moving onward and upward and focusing on herself recently. Just listen to her recent single "Thank U, Next" for proof. And it's paid off, too. She scored her first Billboard Hot 100 number one single with the song and broke a Spotify record as the fastest song to reach 100 million plays. On top of all of this well-deserved self-fulfillment, Ari is taking another step forward with a brand-new chop: a fresh caramel lob. We'll always be big fans of her famously long ponytail, but this new length is a more grown-up, stylish cut.

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