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Simple Ways to Dress Up a Plain Ponytail

The classic ponytail is a go-to summer hairstyle for anyone with medium length or long hair: It\’s quick and easy to do, even if your styling talents are limited; it keeps you cool; and it can be simple enough for the beach or glamorous enough for a night out. See our favorite ideas for inspiration.

1. Add volume and texture

Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale wore this wavy, summer-ready pony to the VMAs for a look that was both formal and fun. The Beauty Department recreated it and put together a tutorial that takes you through adding volume by curling and teasing, wrapping the front pieces over the back, and adding texture powder for even more lift. Though this type of relaxed-looking ponytail is perfect for the beach, you can also choose a super-sleek style to keep your hair out of your way on even the hottest days: Pair a center part and a smooth pony for an elegant, no-fuss style or add volume in the front and create a high ponytail for a style that is professional and pretty.

Simple Ways to Dress Up a Plain Ponytail

2. Incorporate a braid

Combining a braid with a ponytail lets you get all the benefits of braids — intricate detail, and an every-strand-secure finished product — without the Little House on the Prairie vibe. Wrap a long, curled ponytail with Missy Sue\’s matching braids from the front of your head; let a wide braid on the top of your head become a narrow strand in the ponytail; create a reverse French braid, known as a Dutch braid, on the side of a wavy pony; or turn the ponytail itself into a modern fishtail braid.

Simple Ways to Dress Up a Plain Ponytail

3. Upgrade your ponytail holder

Plain, utilitarian elastics are fine for the gym, but a well-styled ponytail can be as easy as adding a little extra color or sparkle to the band you use to secure it. Use a gold ponytail cuff (like this one from Urban Outfitters) or a subtle, no-crease ribbon; try a neat and tiny floral bow or a bright woven band. Or follow the advice of Jennifer Aniston\’s stylist and use a bungee cord hidden by a lock of hair.

Simple Ways to Dress Up a Plain Ponytail

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