There’s something about a slicked back braided ponytail that hints at effortless confidence. The sleek hairstyle can provide an instant lift (keeps hair out of your face) and looks great whether you’re running errands or heading to an important meeting. “Braided ponytails are trending because they’re chic, low-maintenance, and can be easily worn with jeans and a t-shirt or dress,” says Erin CourtneyStyleseat hairstylist and natural hair expert.
Different from a regular ponytail, a braided ponytail gives structure to the otherwise flowing traditional style. Starting with your hair in a ponytail will also make it easier for new braiders because you will have more control when cutting and braiding the hair. The style is loved for its versatility, allowing for quick and easy styling on the go or sleek, elegant style when you need to dress to impress. Not to mention that all hair textures and lengths can wear the look.
To inspire you to test out the hot girl trend this summer, TZR spoke to three expert hairstylists for the 11 best braided ponytail ideas. Some iterations offer a clean look, while others will add an extra touch to your next party. Read on to learn how to recreate at home and the products to maintain the style.
Extra long braided ponytail
Add extensions to your braided ponytail for the ultimate cool girl look. To get the look, Courtney recommends lining the edges of the hair with your styling product (gel, edge control, or wax) to lay the edges down and fly down. Then, secure the ponytail with a rubber band or hair tie. Add braided hair, then braid the ponytail down. To secure, secure with a rubber band or hair accessory.
Undercuts are a great trick to free hair from extra weight and provide less daily maintenance time. And an undercut braided ponytail requires minimal styling, equipment, or technique to pull off. Just grab your mouse or your favorite styling gel for extra shine and a good hairspray to keep flyaways at bay.
Cornrow Accent Braided Ponytail
Slicked back braided ponytails are also a great protective style for natural hair. Here, the sleek classic is updated with a woven micro cornrow from hairline to pony. This is a great style to incorporate a simple style and for anyone new to slicked back braided ponytails. And as a bonus, according to Diane DaCostatexture expert and author of Textured Tresses, the style can last two weeks.
Braided ponytail with puff
Not ready to fully commit to the trend? You can still dip your toes in showing off your natural texture in the style. Curly patterns already have plenty of volume and texture and will work to elevate the classic. Simply untangle your kinks, curls and coils and style them into a high ponytail. Due to the natural bounce of type 3 and 4 curls, hair will tend not to fall out like type 1 and 2 do, creating a fun update to incorporate into your special event wardrobe.
Down to earth
It’s hard not to be interested in Queen Bey’s style, with her hair choices being a main attraction. Channel your inner Beyoncé with this butt-length braid for a sexy, confident look that’s perfect for parties. Don’t forget to spritz a leave-in conditioner or dry shampoo if your hair is too clean or slippery, as it will be easier to achieve the ripped look with some texture to work with. “You can put leave-in conditioner in your hair before you put it in the braid – that way it holds it in place and gives you a really nice plucked cat eye at the same time,” shares Priscille Vallescelebrity extension expert.
Focus on baby hair
Ponytails and baby hair will always be the perfect combination. Not to mention, they’re a great creative tactic for taming hard-to-establish flyways. To keep this hairstyle looking its best, be sure to follow it up with regular treatments and trims, and spritz some shine spray daily if you plan on wearing the style for a few days.
Classic Slicked Back Braided Ponytail
The cool thing about the slicked back braided ponytail is the ability to wear it any length, like this cropped version of the classic. After braiding the hair, apply some pomade to your hands for a sleek, yet flowing braid.
Braided ponytail with loose ends
To add texture to the chic style, leave the ends of your braid loose. To get the wavy look, apply mousse to the length of the hair like your braid. Letting it sit overnight, or at least a few hours, will give you loose waves once the ends are detangled.
More is better
Although you can keep a braided ponytail rather simple and chic, adding accessories will really make the look pop. Think scrunchies, ribbons, bright clips and bows. It’s a great way to spice it up and wear your personality. This is truly maximalism at its finest.
Go glam with this extra long fishtail braided ponytail. Start by gathering the hair at the base of your head and dividing the section into two halves. Take a thin strand from the left side and pull it to the left side. Then, tuck that same strand under the right section and pull both sections tight. Repeat these steps on the right side, changing from left to right. To dress up the look even more, add some fun hair accessories.
Whether you choose to do a high pony like seen here, or a low braided ponytail, oversize it with jumbo braids. This dramatic look is great for any occasion, and depending on your hair density, it may require some extra hair to pull off the jumbo braid. To recreate at home, take a fine-toothed comb and pull the hair to the top of your head. With the comb, get rid of unwanted bumps for a smooth finish. Complete with extra hold hairspray to secure the look.
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