Here's a weird scientific fact of the day: There's such a thing as the Ponytail Equation, which quite literally helps predict the shape of a ponytail. Researchers in England discovered a ratio called (not kidding) the Rapunzel Number, which calculates the effects of gravity on a ponytail relative to its length. If the number is low, the ponytail fans outward; if it's high, the ponytail will hang vertically. Should you file this away under useless information you'll never need to think about again? Probably. But you know what isn't useless ponytail information? The cute hairstyles we're about to show you below.
From curly hair to short lengths and super-long strands, these ponytail variations will ramp up a basic pulled-back look. Sure, they may take a bit more time and elbow grease than a few wraps with a hair tie, but the end result is so worth the effort. Keep scrolling to see what we mean.
This look is all about creating a series of (purposeful) knots along the length of the ponytail to create a more done-up bubble pony. Take a look at the full tutorial.
Trenza Cola de Pez
What's the easiest way to dress up a ponytail? Throw a braid in it. Before pulling all of your hair back, create a fishtail braid along either side of your head, then gather everything into a high (or low) pony. The element of surprise is unexpectedly stunning.
All Day Chic
If you have the type of hair that stays put without accessories, you may not even need a hair tie to complete the look. Grab two sections and wrap them into one another, then pull the two sides together once more and create another knot. Leave out some length at the end for the ponytail component (and grab an elastic if necessary), et voilá.
For this look, start by creating loose waves with a large-barrel curling iron, then begin creating a French braid at the nape of the neck. After a few passes, secure with a hair elastic, then cover with ribbon or use an accessory like this gold cuff from Jennifer Behr.
This double-Dutch braid-into-a-side-ponytail creates even more texture and depth within the model's gorgeous curls.
The Chriselle Factor
It's amazing how much a simple satin bow can completely transform the look of a low ponytail. Undo a few face-framing pieces to mimic the tails of the ribbon and you're ready for whatever the day throws at you.
Actress Selita Ebanks looks stunning in a loosely pulled back mid-height ponytail. It's a simple style, but her natural curls create volume and movement that are apropos for the red carpet.
Paper & Stitch
Create two focal points in this double pony by first gathering the hair into a half-ponytail, secure with an elastic, then loosely gather the rest into a low ponytail and secure once again. Lift the hair in the middle ever so slightly to gain more volume, and if you wish, wrap the elastics with more hair to hide them.
We love the unexpected Dutch braid at the center of the head to add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise basic ponytail. Separate a thin section right down the middle of your scalp, form a tight Dutch braid, and then gather the hair at the nape of the neck with an elastic.
Need more summer hair inspiration? Check out these no-heat styles for high outdoor temperatures.