When you want something quick but stylish, try these curly ponytail hairstyles. Here are 30 ways you can add movement and bounce to your look.
For the longest time, straight hair was considered the most desirable look, but now, curls are making a comeback, and let’s be honest, they never really left. The natural hair movement encouraged people to embrace, embellish and celebrate their curls, and the curly ponytail does just that. Whether you have straight or curly hair, you can have fun with this look.
Get into these curly ponytails and find your next quick hair fix.
1. Criss Cross Curly Ponytail Hairstyles
Who said ponytails have to be plain? This intricate design defies that stereotype. This ponytail combines water wave hair bundles and a high ponytail. You can have a little fun by creating a criss-cross design at the front. To achieve this, split one half of the front of your hair into square sections using rubber bands. Do the same with the second half.
You can use colorful rubber bands like the ones in the photo or plain black ones. Once you’re done, crisscross the sectioned hair with an alternating square. Then gather all of them into one main ponytail that will be wrapped with water wave bundles.
2. Water Wave Curly Ponytail Hairstyles
This hair texture has become extremely popular over the past few years. Why? Because the soft yet defined curls mimic the wet hair trend we all love. No wonder it’s called a water wave. When ordering this hair online, make sure the product description reads “water wave”.
While styling, be sure to use adequate hair mousse and scrunch up the ponytail so that it maintains its texture. Don’t comb it out too much or the hair will get frizzy. For proper maintenance, use a light oil like olive or coconut oil, which will keep the hair’s original sheen.
3. Tight Ringlets Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
If you want to channel your inner cheerleader, there’s no better way than these traditional tight ringlets. Also known as chopstick curls, they’re tight and long and can be achieved by wrapping your hair around a chopstick and pressing it with a flat iron.
Another more practical way to execute this style is to use a thin and long curling iron. This look is a little different from the others in that you’ll use straight extensions that will be curled manually. It requires more effort but it’s still just as beautiful.
4. High Tier Springy Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Nothing says classy like a sky-high ponytail with thick, cascading tresses. This water wave texture creates a waterfall effect, and the high position of the ponytail makes this a great style for anyone with very short hair. If your hair is around 5-6 inches, then you can achieve this look by slicking your hair down and gathering it at the crown of your scalp.
Don’t worry if your short strands don’t fully fit into a ponytail. You can spray your hair with extra-hold hairspray and wrap a scarf around it to make sure the hair lays flat. Afterward, remove the scarf and braid in extensions to your natural ponytail before attaching the wefts or clip-ins.
5. Mid-Tier Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Not too high, and not too low, this mid-length Z-shaped ponytail gives the best of both worlds. The positioning along the scalp allows you to add as much volume as you want. It also means you’ll be able to see the ponytail from the front. This style works best for people who have medium to long hair, because you won’t be able to hide shorter strands at the back.
To add a little flair to the look, do a side part or add some extra swirly baby hairs.
6. Low Tier Body WaveCurly Ponytail Hairstyle
Thick, luxurious, and flowy, body wave extensions are an instant style elevator. The loose curls allow your hair to have movement as you walk and add a soft, feminine touch to your ponytail. So that you can let the body wave shine, attach this hair in a low ponytail. This is a style worth investing in, so use human hair.
Unlike synthetic hair, you’ll be able to wash this, blow dry it and curl it as you desire, accentuating the body wave texture whenever you want. On top of that, you won’t have to deal with the warping and tangling that happens with a synthetic weft.
7. Texture Match Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
There’s nothing better than matching your hair to your extensions, and curly ponytails allow us to get as close to our natural hair texture as possible. This specific style works best if you don’t completely slick down your natural hair. Some stylists might recommend straightening your hair before putting it in a ponytail, but if you want to achieve this look, skip that step.
See how the texture shines through both the natural hair and extension? That’s what you want. Be sure to use a clear, water-based gel. Water-based gels encourage your curls to revert to their regular texture.
8. Ultra-Volume Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Bigger is always better, so go big with volume when considering your curly ponytail. This specific ponytail uses a 3c-4a texture combination to achieve volume while staying light and manageable on your head. The hair isn’t heavy, despite how it looks, thanks to the varying curl textures incorporated in each weft. You can also achieve this volume by using clip-in extensions that fall in the 3-4 texture on the curl chart.
Since it’s so voluminous, it’s best to stick to a low ponytail. You don’t want to look overwhelmed by your hair or let it swallow your features.
9. Braid & Bulk Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
If you want to take the previous style to the next level, add a three-strand braid at the base of your voluminous ponytail. You can part your hair down the middle, do a side part or sweep it straight back for a business savvy look. Don’t be put off by the braiding detail either, it’s super easy to pull off.
All you need is some inexpensive braiding hair that shares the same color as your ponytail. Once you’ve braided an individual, long braid, wrap it around the base and secure the end with a bobby pin. Voila! Instant glamor.
10. Natural Wave Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
This one’s for the hair enthusiast with naturally thick and curly hair. You don’t need to do much. Just apply your favorite lightweight hair products to clean hair and secure it in a mid-tier ponytail. If you don’t have naturally long and curly hair, don’t worry. You can still try this trend.
Be sure to buy human hair extensions that match your natural texture. Synthetic hair won’t give off the effortless natural feeling. Tie a loose ponytail and don’t stress yourself with fancy baby hairs or super sleek edges. See how the ponytail flows loosely? That’s the goal.
11. Beach Wave Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Beach wave hair combines the glamor of a body wave texture with the ease of water waves. The loose, mermaid-like curls make you look like you just stepped out of the ocean. If you really want that sun-kissed glow, then go for an ash and ice blonde combo like the one above.
Don’t be worried if your roots are darker. That will add to the easygoing feel these curls give. This look is also achieved with human hair, so go ahead and splurge.
12. Extra Long Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Long hair, don’t care. That’s the attitude you’ll have when rocking this look. To give the illusion of even longer hair, tie it in a low-tier ponytail.
If you’re going big on length, pull back on the volume. You don’t want to stress your scalp with a long & heavy ponytail. To avoid this, choose a lightweight texture like the one above. It’s human hair so the strands are not as thick and heavy as a synthetic version.
13. Loose Brown Highlight Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Natural, wispy, and light, this is another one for those who have long hair. If you’re not a fan of extensions but want to add some life to your locks, try light brown highlights. The contrast of light and dark creates a three-dimensional effect that makes your hair seem more voluminous.
These highlights also draw the eye downwards, making the hair appear even longer than it is. The elastic hair tie is hidden by your own hair strands, so be careful not to let them tangle.
14. Slim Wave Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Slim curls are just as impactful when you put them in a beautiful ponytail like this. Keep the sophisticated and soft feel by using straight human hair extensions and curling them with a rod. Since the hair is thin you can also wrap this up in a cute bun if you’re on the run.
The brown color softens the look even further, as black can sometimes be harsh. It’s also one of the more natural-looking color and curls combos because contrary to popular belief, natural hair is rarely jet black nor is it one consistent color.
15. Kinky Coily Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
This pillowy ponytail is both comfortable and breathtakingly beautiful. It’s also a great option for those with really short hair. All you need to do is sweep your natural hair as far back as you can and attach clip-ins to cover up the rest. The clips are lightweight and pre-curled so no hassle there.
Puffy ponytails are one of the best protective styles out there. They’re low maintenance, allow your scalp to breathe, and give you access to your natural coils when needed.
16. Pineapple Puff Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Also known as a fine apple, this messy updo is popular amongst the natural hair community for its ease and beauty. Have a bad hair day? Twist out didn’t go as planned? Doesn’t matter. Pull your hair up into this pineapple for a lifesaving ponytail.
Though this look can be achieved with natural hair, you can also find pre-sewn quarter wigs with velcro, clips, or drawstrings attached for an even faster install. This style also gives off a mohawk vibe from the layers created when pushing your hair forward.
17. Soft Waves Bridal Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
You might not steal the bride’s spotlight while wearing this layered look, but you’ll certainly catch a few eyes. The soft ponytail is thicker at the top, giving just the right amount of weight and structure, and loose at the bottom, creating breathing room for the curly ends.
Each ringlet has a hint of brown, which hits the light beautifully, creating depth, texture, and highlights. The coloring is subtle but just enough to warrant a stellar look. This works best on richer hair colors like chocolate brown or black.
18. Fishtail Fun Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
What goes better with curls than braids? This look combines the ever-trendy fishtail braid with long, elegant curls. Fishtail braids are simpler than they appear. They just require a little teasing to create the puffy effect they’re known for.
For additional depth and intricacy, mix highlights and lowlights in both your natural hair and extensions to create a light and dark contrast.
19. Pink Power High Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Pink, bold, and oh-so playful, these fluffy cotton candy curls are a must-try for anyone who wants to try something completely different with their hair. You want a lot of volume for this look so take it back to the 80s and tease the base of your ponytail with a comb and some hairspray.
To achieve the fairy light look, use the least amount of hair product you can. No heavy oils as that will give off a greasy look and weight down the dusty angel hair curls you’re going for.
20. Braided Crochet Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
You can achieve a curly ponytail with just about anything, including crochet hair. That’s right. All you need is some braiding skills and curly crochet hair. Yet another look for those with short hair. Cornrow the front and form a bun by combining the cornrow ends with the hair at the back.
Once you’ve done that, all that’s left is crocheting in your preferred hair. Attach the hair to the bun and secure it with hairspray and you’re done! It’s a great style for kids who don’t want to spend the entire day at the salon.
21. Mid-Length Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
This look mixes elegance and professionalism with fun. The curls are thick enough to draw attention without overwhelming the person wearing them. The simple ring form allows you to maintain this look at home with a few extra minutes each morning and a curling wand.
Since this look isn’t as intricate, you can save your coins and go for synthetic hair. Just make sure it’s a high-quality synthetic fiber that doesn’t have an unnatural shine or weight to it.
22. Low Braided Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Low, simple, and reminiscent of the renaissance era, this bouncy brown ponytail achieves an understated beauty. Incorporating the french braid adds depth and texture while keeping any shorter strands safely secured. You can take it easy on the hair gel with this one, it’s more of a messy ponytail than a high fashion, slicked-back one.
It’s a great look for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, or prom. If you’re feeling a little extra, wear it daily. Just make sure you don’t over-process your hair with too much heat while styling.
23. Red Ringlets Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Color is the spice of life and it doesn’t get any hotter than red! This amalgamation of reds and oranges propels this curly ponytail to the next level, creating a monochromatic color experience. The varying colors create shadows and movement throughout the style. If you want to pull this off, you’ll need to dye your natural hair, so proceed with caution.
It will most likely take a professional who understands color theory and how to shade your hair so that it has a naturally red effect. It’s also better to dye your hair first, then dye your extensions to match the hair, not the other way around.
24. Low Body Wave Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
These curls are as uniform as a soldier’s march. Though each is coiled differently, the technique used allows these tresses to fall in unison. If you wanted to, you could comb them out, but that would lose the curl effect.
Unlike a full-body wave, these curls start at the end of your hair, so make sure your extensions are long enough and don’t coil the entire shaft of the hair.
25. Bangs and Waves Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
These large curls are so nice you have to try them twice. Wispy curtain bangs are all the rage, as they frame the face, softening your features and creating a defined shape overall. Two large fringe sections on opposite sides of your face create a symmetrical and clean aesthetic.
You can rock this with a loose curly ponytail and add some bulk at the top by using a larger curling rod.
26. Cascading Blonde Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Large, blonde, and in charge, this ponytail combines the color play that comes with light blonde hair with the structure that comes with curls. Since the curls are concentrated at the bottom, you can really show off the blonde color and all of its variations.
For ultra-luxurious results, take your extensions to a professional hairstylist. They can color each weft to fit into your layered vision and get the perfect shade of blonde. Take care of your human hair bundles, especially the blonde ones, as you would your real hair. Regular conditioning treatments and washes should keep them in tip-top shape.
27. Crimped Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
The 90s and 2000s had so many trends that we’re dying to bring back. Crimped hair included. This form of curling can be achieved by braiding straight hair and running it through a flat iron. If you want more definition, go for these crimped hair extensions that hold their shape longer than natural hair would, saving your strands from heat overload.
Crimped hair can be busy and overwhelming at times, so black and brown are the perfect colors for getting the most wearability out of this style. You can do a full slick look or keep some of your natural texture for added depth.
28. Low Extended Ringlet Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
Preppy, tight ringlets are great if you want to add some bounce to your hair, but extended ringlets give off a subdued, Rapunzel look that’s as classic as it gets. Where this ponytail lacks in layers, it makes up for in manageability and weight distribution. Since the curls are slimmer, they don’t weigh your hair down. This style also doesn’t need as many bundles.
Since it’s a low ponytail, it’s prone to matting and tangling, so use the highest quality hair you can find and enrich the strands with light oils. Avoid setting sprays as they can crunch your curls up.
29. Half Up, Half Down Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
A ponytail is great, but if you’re hesitant to go full throttle, why not try a half-up, half-down look? This style utilizes our desire to see contrasting levels and dimensions by giving large curls on the top and bottom. You can go with any texture, but a larger curl like the one above creates a straightforward and sophisticated look.
You’ll need more bundles for this look because you’ll be covering the back end of your hair and the ponytail at the top, so leave room in your budget for that.
30. Curls & Cornrows Curly Ponytail Hairstyle
You can never go wrong with cornrows and this style combines beautiful body wave hair with intricate cornrows at the back for a secure, long-lasting ponytail. To see the beautiful design at the back, make sure you install a high ponytail. This style also works for short hair. You can braid the back, which is often the shortest point of most people’s hair, to conceal small or broken-off strands.
The body wave also creates texture and layer illusions that add to the fullness of the ponytail without bulking it down.
How Do You Do A Ponytail With Curly Hair?
With so many different methods to pick from, it’s hard to pinpoint just one, but here are the how-to basics. You’ll need some hair extensions. Feel free to choose whichever curly texture you want. You’ll also need hair gel, spray/mousse, elastic scrunchies, bobby pins, and freshly washed hair. If you’re using your natural hair and it’s straight, you’ll need a curling or flat iron to curl the ends.
First, you’ll need to brush your hair into a high, mid, or low ponytail. Add some gel while brushing to secure any flyaways or short strands. Make sure your ponytail isn’t too tight. You don’t want a headache, or even worse, traction alopecia, which develops over time from creating too much tension while styling your hair. Be gentle.
Once your natural hair is neatly tucked into a ponytail, braid the end and form a bun. Grab your hair extensions and firmly wrap them around the base of your natural bun, securing any loose weft with a bobby pin. You shouldn’t feel the bobby pins digging at your scalp, so readjust as needed. To conceal the meet-up point between your hair and the extensions, take a bit of the extension, and wrap it around the base. Finish up with some extra-hold hairspray.
It can be hard to understand if you’re a visual learner like most people. For more detail, check out the tutorial at the bottom of this page.
What Hair Do You Need For A Curly Ponytail?
Luckily, you’ll never run out of options when it comes to choosing curly ponytails. If you’re looking for something easy, there are several pre-made ponytails online that come with a drawstring and clips for you to attach to your bun. If you want to customize your look, opt for curly weft extensions, which means sewed together. That way you can wrap them around your natural bun. This option also gives you the freedom to dictate how much hair you want on your ponytail.
You can also use clip-in extensions and attach them to the base of your bun if you want a ponytail that mimics your natural hair texture. It would be more affordable to use synthetic hair, but if you want your look to have longevity and reusability, invest in curly human hair bundles. At most you’ll need 3-4 bundles.
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Can You Do A Cute Ponytail With Short Hair?
If you’ve been blessed with long, thick, and luxurious natural hair, you don’t have to worry about securing it into a ponytail, having enough to curl and style, or struggling with annoying, short flyaways. You can simply curl your ends with a flat/curling iron and add some hairspray. But for those who feel challenged by their hair length, don’t worry!
In fact, some studies suggest that only 24% of women have what is considered “long hair” and that medium to short hair is actually more common than you think. So can you do a cute ponytail with short hair? Of course, you can. That’s why extensions, weaves and gels were invented. You’ll find a series of methods down below, whether you’ve got a TWA (teeny weeny afro) or a chin-length bob. It’s all in the technique.
Ready, Set, Curl!
Having this hairstyle in your arsenal ensures that you can pop on a glamorous look in zero time and with minimal effort. Check out this detailed tutorial on how to install your curly ponytail and go for it!
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