On days when you aren’t quite sure what to do with your hair, you can always rely on a high ponytail. The style is versatile and easy to achieve, no matter your hair type, texture, or preference. A ponytail can complement any look, whether you lead an active lifestyle and want to keep it simple when it comes to styling or you want a chic, put-together look for a special occasion. High ponytails can be styled and elevated in a variety of ways, and with the right products, you can master the technique in no time.
If you want to try a high ponytail but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with 40 standout styles, worn by our favorite celebrities. The ponytails that we’ve selected work on a variety of hair textures and types, so there's something for everyone. Ready to take your high ponytail game to the next level? Keep scrolling for some inspiration that’s bound to have you reaching for your hair tie.
Rihanna’s loose curls complement her high, voluminous ponytail. This look could work for a night out or as an everyday style, and we love the styled baby hairs at the front that give the look a classic, 90’s inspired feel. “To recreate this pony, I recommend curling your hair with a wide-barreled curler once it has been tied,” Lazou says. “Curls that are too tight could create a completely different look, so keep them wide for best results.”
Sleek and Voluminous
This look is all about the glam. “Hailey’s high ponytail has been neatly pulled together with so much sleekness and shine, yet there isn’t the flatness you often see with other ponytails,” Lazou says. To get volume here, gently backcomb the hairs on the underside of the ponytail. If you want to elevate the look, take some inspiration from Bieber and finish it off with a statement hair bow and softly flipped ends.
J.Lo’s ponytail is pure perfection—we love the sleekness on top and the soft elegance of the cascading curls. If you tend to take a more-is-more approach to styling, this look might be for you. The secret is to use a clip-in ponytail as well as a bit of your own hair to wrap around the base, hiding any clips for a seamless finish.
Beyoncé’s take on a high ponytail subtly differs from the traditional look. Who'd have thought that gathering your hair slightly off-center would look so good? “This look is definitely more formal—it would be perfect for an evening out,” Lazou says. “To achieve Beyoncé’s curls, use a wide-barreled curler once you’ve tied your hair up. I wouldn’t recommend styling your hair like this too often as it can put a lot of pressure on the scalp, so it's best saved for special occasions only.”
High ponytails look great sleek, but embracing a bit of frizz can also create a stunning look. Ciara has opted for a glamorous take on the style, which would work great on those with textured hair. When recreating this look, Lazou recommends keeping the roots as sleek as possible to balance out the frizz of the ponytail.
One of the best things about ponytails has got to be the "facelift" effect they give. While you should be sure not to tie your hair too tightly in order to avoid breakage, ponytails can add definition to the face and bone structure. “To recreate this look, you’d need to blow dry your hair in the direction of the ponytail to keep everything sleek and smooth,” Lazou says. “Once you’ve tied the ponytail, attach your hair extensions to the base. Use strands from your own hair to wrap around the base of the ponytail and hide any extension clips.”
Kacey Musgraves has kept things simple with a sleek ponytail that draws attention to her bohemian-inspired outfit. The look has been elevated with a twisted wrap-around to hide the base, which also links with her outfit. “To recreate this look, tie your hair into a bun, keeping a few pieces loose,” Lazou says. “Attach a ponytail extension piece to the bun to keep it secure and then twist together the leftover strands of your natural hair to wrap around the base.”
If you want to experiment with different colors without having to dye your hair completely, why not take some inspiration from Katy Perry and opt for a high ponytail that matches the color of your highlights? If you prefer a voluminous look, you might want to add a ponytail hairpiece, especially if you have thinner hair.
It would have been impossible for us to do a roundup of the best high ponytail hairstyles without including Ariana Grande. The musician, actress, and beauty icon has worn this style in a number of ways, and she gets it right every single time. To recreate this look, you’ll need super smooth, sleek hair, so it's best to start by straightening your strands. “Once you’ve tied up your hair, I would recommend using a few products to keep the hair around your scalp looking sleek,” Lazou adds. “To add volume to the pony, use some hairspray or dry shampoo. If you have curly or wavy hair, use some humidity-resistant products to maintain the sleekness.”
While Megan Thee Stallion’s high ponytail isn’t voluminous, it still makes a statement with its length and laid edges. You’ll need straight extensions to recreate this look, ideally human hair ones as they'll last longer. You’ll also need a very slicked-back scalp, which will take time and the help of some strong holding gel. “When using hair extensions for ponytails, don’t forget to leave out a few hairs to wrap around the base to hide any hair ties or extension clips,” Lazou says.
If you're wearing a high ponytail for a special occasion, take the rest of your look into consideration. If your outfit or makeup is bold or dramatic, then a subtle ponytail may be best. Tessa Thompson’s high ponytail draws her features upward while highlighting her makeup and face shape. To recreate this look, focus less on volume and more on length.
Issa Rae’s elegant high ponytail is perfect for natural hair textures. If you don’t want to dye your strands, choosing a ponytail in your desired color is always an option. If you want your extension to last a long time, it’s best to go for human hair or synthetic hair made from quality fibers. We love that the wrap base is next-level here thanks to being braided first, which adds more dimension.
Braiding hair looks amazing in a high ponytail, and Amandla Stenberg’s look is no exception. Her natural hair has been slicked back beautifully, and to elevate the look, a few of her baby hairs are laid into a slight curl at the side of her face. Before adding the hair extensions to create your voluminous updo-ponytail hybrid, gather your natural hair into a bun first.
One stunning way to elevate your high ponytail is by pairing it with a fringe. We love how this one on Tyra Banks frames and complements her face shape. Bangs are universally friendly: They suit everyone and come in different styles, so there’s something to suit your preferences. If you want to try the style but aren't sure whether you want to commit to fringe full-time, try some clip-in faux bangs.
Bella Hadid’s high ponytail is perfect for those with medium-length hair, as this style doesn't need to be long in order to be glam. What’s so great about a mid-length style is that it easily transitions from day to night. Take some inspiration from the supermodel and keep accessories minimal: We love that she’s ditched the earrings and opted for a statement metallic choker instead.
Keep It Simple
Khloe Kardashian’s ponytail is so simple. It complements her highlights and blends in seamlessly with her extensions. If you have layers, they can create interesting texture in a high ponytail, so don’t worry about it looking perfectly sleek. “To recreate this look, blow dry your hair upside down to add a bit of volume at the roots,” Lazou says. “Then, gently pull the hair back into a ponytail, ensuring any layers are on top of the tail like Khloe’s. Once hair is tied, add some texturizing or volumizing spray to the tail to stop it from going flat.”
Kim Kardashian’s high ponytail is perfect for wavy hair. With messy, tousled styles, keeping the rest of your look simple is a must because you want to draw attention to your beautiful texture. For those with straight hair, you can achieve these waves with the help of a texturizing spray, or you might find it easier to use a waver tool to create the volume and texture.
All About Red
Sophie Turner’s high ponytail has a minimalist feel and simply lets the color do the talking. The style draws attention to her graphic eyeliner as well as her outfit. It’s simple, but it still makes a statement. “To recreate this ponytail, keep the hair around your scalp as sleek as possible. Blow drying and heat styling in the direction of the ponytail with some added smoothing spray will help achieve this,” Lazou says. “With the ponytail itself, you can add some very slight large waves like Sophie’s using a large-barrel curling wand.”
Half-up, half-down styles are another great way to wear a high ponytail. We love Huda Kattan’s style, which draws attention to her makeup and prominent cheekbones. “When recreating this look, tease the hair close to the ponytail base to add volume,” Lazou says. “Blow dry your hair in the direction of the ponytail to create smoothness around the scalp. If your hair is thick enough to recreate this look, you can tie it up and leave a few pieces free to wrap around the base.” She then recommends teasing the hair close to the ponytail base to add volume. If you have naturally thinner hair, you can use a ponytail extension to recreate this look and use your natural hair to wrap around the base and hide the clips.
A softly textured high ponytail can complement any outfit. To recreate this style, blow dry your roots in the direction you want the ponytail to sit. This will help achieve the sleek finish, but you may also want to use a smoothing serum or hair gel to keep everything in place. “Use a thin hair tie and keep a thick section of hair free to create a thick wrap around the base,” Lazou says. “Jasmine [Sanders] also has some very soft waves at the bottom... which can be recreated [by] using a thick-barreled curling wand and pulling out the curls using your fingers or a comb.”
High ponytails can draw attention to your full look, but always remember to keep things simple. Don’t overdo it on volume or length, as this will take attention away from your outfit. “To achieve this ponytail, I recommend using some gel or any other holding product to tame flyaways. Adding some soft curls at the end of the tail will elevate the look,” Lazou says.
You can’t go wrong with a sleek high ponytail paired with a gorgeous soft glam makeup look, as seen here on Chrissy Teigen. “The subtle wet look adds to the high-shine finish that brings a feeling of effortless boldness,” Lazou says. The key to achieving this look is making sure you use the right product—you want a wet effect but you don’t want water and gel dripping everywhere. “A high-shine serum that isn’t sticky in texture should be used to create this look,” she explains. “Be sure to wash your hair with a lot of water after this style—water will remove the residue better than anything else.”
Only a few hairstyles can seamlessly transition from day to night, and the high ponytail is one of them. We love Kendall Jenner’s simple yet slightly elevated style. The loose strands around her ears give this look a slight edge. “To replicate this everyday style, I’d suggest teasing the hair at the top of the ponytail and adding some volumizing spray to prevent it from going flat. Remember to take a piece of hair closest to the ponytail to make it look neat,” Lazou says.
Sleek and Thick
Drying your hair in the direction of the ponytail can achieve a sleek look, as Blake Lively demonstrates here. If you have straight hair, you don’t need lots of product to help it sit perfectly straight and slicked back. We love how the ponytail itself isn’t directly on top of Lively's head but slightly lower, which gives a subtle air of elegance.
For her Blond Ambition tour in 1990, Madonna blessed us with one of the most iconic high ponytails of all time. We love her unique take on this classic style. “Madonna’s hair has been gathered into a sleek bun as a base to attach a ponytail headpiece, consisting of the plaited bun with extensions coming out of the top. This is a great statement piece,” Lazou says.
Braided High Ponytail
Yara Shahidi’s hair is perfect for naturals who want to experiment with ponytails. She's also taken her look to the next level by sporting a gorgeous gold hair accessory. For ease, you might want to go for braiding hair that's pre-stretched so you won’t have to spend time pulling the tips—all you need to do is separate the ponytail into sections to plait. Three braids are great, as you’ll be able to divide the hair equally.
Another beautiful style for natural hair, we love how Serena Williams has used golden accessories to add some glamour to her look. The sleek texture contrasts the volume in the ponytail itself, particularly in the upper section, and the gold accessories complement her outfit without being over the top. You can use braiding hair for this style, but you might want to blow dry it on high heat to replicate the silky smooth texture seen here.
Showing us how to do tribal-inspired glam at the premiere for the first Black Panther movie, Nyong'o's curly ponytail reaches the next level with a gray metallic hair tie. If you don’t have type 4 hair, you can still create this look with the help of a crimper tool—just use some heat-resistant products beforehand to keep your strands protected.
This may look like a regular ponytail at first glance, but Priyanka Chopra is sporting twisted hair pieces with ribbon material interwoven, which then feed into the ponytail. If you’re tired of simple ponytails, this is a great way to switch up your look, especially if you have an event or just want to try something new.
Old School Style
While this look is giving old school glamour, it’s also quite modern, as side-parted ponytails are on trend at the moment. “This look is very easy to recreate. With a bit of gel and a wide tooth comb, style the hair into a slight curve before you gather it together into the ponytail,” Lazou explains. “Don’t pull the hair too much once it’s in the ponytail, as you’ll lose the soft curve you’ve created.” To finish the look, you can optionally use a comb to pull out some small baby hairs and curl them around your finger.
Red Carpet Ready
This classic glam ponytail is perfect for the red carpet. We love this voluminous, curled style on Ashley Graham. If you have short hair, recreate this look by investing in some good quality hair extensions. Then, you’ll be able to create your favorite styles over and over without worrying about hair thinning.
Faux High Ponytail
If you want to try a high ponytail that isn’t secured by a hair tie, take some inspiration from the beautiful Kerry Washington. “The key aspect of Kerry’s ponytail are the soft Hollywood curls. These are easy to create by using a large barrel curling wand and pinning up the curls to cool and set,” Lazou says. For best results, Lazou recommends preparing your hair before styling, then using your fingers or a comb to pull out the curls.
SJP’s bouncy ponytail sits perfectly on her shoulders. The black clip is the perfect finishing touch: It’s so simple yet so elegant. The hair on her scalp isn't pulled too tightly, which is an important detail when tapping into this trend. Tight ponytails can put pressure on your head, which can also cause breakage in the process.
Alessandra Ambrosio’s glam ponytail is simply stunning. We love how this runway-worthy look accentuates her facial structure and creates a slight lift. Most long ponytails you see on runways and red carpets get a glamour boost from hair extensions.
Joan Smalls wore a blunt ponytail to the Met Gala, which she then accessorized with a statement headpiece as she walked the carpet. We love that she’s kept her hair simple and let her outfit do the talking. When styled properly, blunt ponytails can look great. A look like this usually requires the ends to be cut just so, meaning you may need a ponytail extension or the help of a professional stylist.
If you want to try a high ponytail but are concerned about your edges, why not make like Lana Condor and leave them out? This look shows how you can style your baby hairs around your face in a chic way without using excessive gel. While her ponytail is the center of attention, we can’t help but also admire her dramatic cat eye and classic hoops. You'll likely need extensions to achieve this look, but depending on the thickness of your hair, one pack might be sufficient.
Olivia Wilde’s long ponytail complements her outfit beautifully. We love the finishing touch of a metal accessory. This look perfectly demonstrates how the right hairstyle can make an outfit pop.
You don’t need long hair to wear a high ponytail, as Rose Byrne’s look shows. “This ponytail looks so effortless. Rose has some very soft curls at the end of the ponytail and the pieces of hair around her face have also been curled slightly,” Lazou says. We love how this ponytail highlights the ombré tones of Byrne's hair.
Bar Refaeli’s sporty high ponytail seems like it wouldn't work with such a glam look, but it does. We love how she’s found the perfect balance between a simple ponytail and an embellished navy blue gown. Her statement earrings and details in the dress's neckline take center stage.
Box Braided Ponytail
Ponytails are one of the best styling options for braids. They look good, they keep your hair out of your face, and you can accessorize them with a scarf or hair tie of your choice. Nicki Minaj’s long micro braids are simply stunning. We love how they’ve been swept to the side to show off the blonde braids and draw attention to her beautiful makeup. You’ll want the help of a professional to achieve this look, and you may want to use pre-stretched braiding hair to save you (and your stylist) some time.