If you’ve never tried a feed-in ponytail, now’s the time. Here are 42 ways to wear the trendy hairdo. Overwhelmed by choice and can’t determine your next hairstyle? It might be wise to try feed-in ponytails. They’re quick, attractive, and all the rage right now. There are many ways to achieve a feed-in ponytail, from intricate, multi-layered designs to simplistic straight backs.
Feed-in braids give you the protection of box braids with the convenience of cornrows. In addition, they have the benefit of reducing the pressure on your scalp by distributing the extensions along your braid, and they look as natural as possible, even if you want tailbone length. So what are you waiting for? Here are some inspiration pics to get you going.
Coming in all shapes and sizes, these feed-in ponytails are waiting for you.
1. Super Stitch Feed In Ponytail
If you love feed-in braids, you’ll go crazy for this stitch version. Featuring a classic alteration between thin and thicker braids, stitch braids are appealing visually and easy on the scalp. A cheat code for stitch braids will cut your installation time in half, especially if you’re terrified of the technique. Simply pre-part the stitches with some gel and an elastic band. Then, braid the stitch braid as you would a regular feed-in braid.
2. Bubble Pigtails Feed In Ponytail
Something is striking and arresting about braids with beads, so you have to appreciate it when you see a creation like this. Thought up by the same stylist that does Beyonce, Ciara and Solange’s hair, this Fulani-inspired bubble ponytail style is a masterpiece. The five feed-in braids on each side frame the face and act as an art piece and canvas for this beautiful assortment of beads. In addition, bubble pigtails, a worldwide trend, are easy to install and maintain.
3. Slim Bun Feed In Ponytail
Thin braids offer lightness and neatness and can cross over to any occasion. If you want to keep it classy, go for black braids. You should choose a size like the one above or go even smaller if you want the style to last a while. They’ll match seamlessly with your own natural hair and act as an excellent canvas for any embellishments you want to add. You can wear this in a ponytail for laid-back days and wrap it up in a bun for a “boss chic” moment.
4. Heart Twist Feed In Ponytail
The heart wants what it wants, and right now, it wants these intricate, artistically shaped feed-in braids. Hearts are a big deal in the braiding community, and this style incorporates them with different popular shapes, like the zig-zag and the infinity sign. The low ponytail allows the beautiful pattern to shine on its own. If you really want the designs to stick out, go for medium to large feed-in braids to create a 3-D effect.
5. Mid Suspension Curly Feed In Ponytail
Two ponytails mean twice the cuteness! These mid-point pigtails borrow elements from popular hair movements like the Fulani and Ghana braids. It also infuses the traditional box braids with trendy Coi Leray curled ends. It’s like each, and every braid trend has been represented here, and it’s perfect! Pro-tip, start by braiding the single line in the middle. It will set the structure for the rest of your braids. Then, you can let the style shine on its own or add some baby hairs to frame your face.
6. Thick & Thin High Feed In Ponytail
You get the best of both worlds with this thick and thin, black-to-blonde braided updo. A high ponytail is a perfect way to show off the elaborate parting and plating. While the back is straight, the sides are a mixture of tiny freeform braids, stitch braids and classic feed-ins. In addition, you can add some flavor to the ponytail with beads, strings and metallic cuffs.
7. Halloween Feed In Ponytail
You don’t have to wait until October 31st to unleash this spooky style. It can be worn all year round for those who love variety and edge. Keep the roots dark to create heaviness and structure at the base. You don’t want the style to wear you, after all. Focus the colors towards the ends to ensure you get a balanced look that’s not too overwhelming. If you’re feeling bold, add some colored metallic cuffs to match the vibrancy of the back to the front of your hair.
8. Golden Ombre Feed In Ponytail
Gold never gets old, so celebrate the classic color with this golden blonde, Lemonade inspired feed-in ponytail. The classic braiding pattern at the front allows your edges to take center stage. You can also draw the eye upwards with this structured, blonde-based ponytail. Simply wrap your braided ends around the base and move upwards for a “genie” ponytail.
9. Golden Shaved Sides Feed In Ponytail
You’re not living on the edge until you’ve tried this daring look. The shaved sides create the negative space that brings this feed-in ponytail front and center. At first glance, they look like simple stitch braids, but when you look closer, you’ll see the playfulness and symmetry. One side is blonde, while the other is brown, creating this smooth half and half statement. Go for a thick feed-in if you want the colors to glisten in the sun, and don’t forget to cater to your edges.
10. Beaded Boss Feed In Ponytail
All hail the queen of beads. There’s never been a pairing as beautiful as wooden beads and slim braids. They give a light hairstyle the weight it needs to command attention. They’re also unique. It’s hard to duplicate a beaded braid look because each stylist or DIY braider creates a new bead pattern. The wooden beads add a textured element that compliments the braid. This is a great way to add variety to a plain black ponytail.
11. Off-Center Feed In Ponytail
Perfection is a tiresome myth, so why not rage against it by rocking this off-center ponytail. It’s a bold statement that requires big and equally bold feed in braids. The great thing about this style is the time you’ll save. Since the lines are more significant, you won’t have to sit still for long. To keep the natural progression from thin to thick, add significantly larger extensions after two to three plats. Keep it plain and crisp, and you’ve got yourself a winning style.
12. Teardrop Feed In Ponytail
Braiding patterns can be whatever you want them to be, and if the teardrop shape speaks to you, you should try it out. You might shed a few tears during installation because this pattern will take a while to perfect. But the end result is so stunning that you might forget about the time spent structuring your braids. Crimp the ends by braiding them together and dipping them in hot water to add some bounce. You can wear this as a regular ponytail or flip it to the side for a preppy look.
13. Caramel Brown Feed In Ponytail
With this long, caramel brown ponytail creating a waterfall down your back, you’ll be in Willy Wonka’s factory. The color is rich in tone and variation, making it the best option for a glowing day at the beach. To highlight the soft colors, go for a high ponytail. It will make for a versatile look worn in a bun or loose and free.
14. Side Sweep Feed In Ponytail
Who says you can’t have side-swept bangs and braids simultaneously? This is the perfect way to wear lemonade braids and bangs without cutting your hair. The pattern at the top follows an interlocking zig-zag formation, allowing the braids at the bottom to fall along the side of your face. You can add a few brown extensions for a peek-a-boo color effect.
15. Color Bomb Buns
If you’re crazy about color, there’s no better way to show it than with this elastic band color explosion. It’s a lot simpler than it looks. First, you need some braiding hair, water wave extensions, gel, a comb and some colorful rubber bands. Your stitch braids will be a boundary for the criss-cross braids, so install those first. Once you’re done with the base, add some water wave extensions towards the ends and form a loose bun on each side.
16. Swirly Love Top Feed In Ponytail
Hearts and swirls are a trend we’ll love for a long time. It’s hard for a braiding pattern to look both simple and complex simultaneously, yet this style pulls it off. Doing these swirls will be much easier once you’ve got the heart shape technique down. You can curl the ends with small curl formers and add a dash of color if you’re feeling flirty.
17. Slim Bubble Feed In Ponytail
Aren’t these the cleanest braids you’ve seen? The great thing about slim braids like this is that you won’t have to buy a lot of extensions. One jumbo pack should be more than enough. You’ll have to add very narrow pieces and reduce the frequency if you want to mimic this flat shape. After you’ve got the base down, you can extend the ponytail with more hair. Accessorize the ponytail base with some bauble hair ties for the 90s-2000s throwback moment.
18. Chunky Curls Feed In Ponytail
Feed-in ponytails are great, but you get this chunky masterpiece when you add curly, wispy strands to an already brilliant style. These big Ghana braids are the perfect backdrop for a voluminous ponytail that will turn heads wherever you go. Of course, you can add whichever curly texture you prefer, but a subtle water or beach wave curl will fill in any negative space at the top without taking too much attention from the feed-in element.
19. Blue Hearted Feed In Ponytail
Blue is often synonymous with sadness, melancholy and coldness. But you can switch up that narrative with this kid-friendly blue heart. Tilt the ponytail to the side for an off-center moment that emphasizes the beauty of the heart. You can pepper each braid with soft blue strands and elevate the ends with some clear beads. The see-through beads create an illusion of weightlessness, adding to the softness of the style.
20. Grand Turquoise Feed In Ponytail
There’s no rule for the color you want on your head. That’s why this sophisticated streak of teal is a great addition to an already sunning feed-in ponytail. Three lines of color are enough to take this style to the next level. You can create a genie ponytail with the teal strands and leave an extra line to blend into the dark ponytail. Baby hairs are always an option, so go for it. The bigger, the better.
21. Silky Curly Feed In Ponytail
Curls, silk, straight lines and stitches, oh yes. What else can work so seamlessly? This feed-in ponytail grabs the best braiding elements and combines them into one super smooth look. The low ponytail is the easiest to install because it follows a natural gravitational direction while braiding. To achieve intricate patterns, you won’t have to worry about twisting your head in different directions. To get the best possible results, try curly human hair bundles. You’ll need around 2-3.
22. Short Ghana Feed In Ponytail
Yet another slim feed-in ponytail for the books. These basic ghana braids are perfect for high activity, so they’ll work hand in hand with your child’s lifestyle. The smaller braids ensure your child’s hair won’t suffer from too much tension. Choose medium-sized braids if you don’t want them to sit down for too long. Add some beads at the ends to transform this everyday look into a fun, playful style. A ribbon will be a cute way to accessorize.
23. Pink High Stitch Feed In Ponytail
Much like the teal ponytail, this style adds the right amount of color. There are a few streaks of pink at the top, and you’ve got a strong style. The length is up to you, but a ponytail that’s at least elbow length will create enough movement as you walk. The great thing about stitch braids is how they look at the front of your head. You don’t have to worry about your edges because they’re incorporated within the braid while looking cute at the same time.
24. Golden Roots Blonde Feed In Ponytail
If you need a significant hair change, it’s time to go blonde. Blonde hair instantly lifts your look and changes the way you see yourself. So go for this knotless feed-in ponytail to double up on the significant hair change. It will blend beautifully with your newly dyed hair and introduce different textures into your daily look. Most blonde synthetic extensions are universally flattering, but make sure you stay away from any blonds with an orange tint. Instead, go for a number 613 or lighter.
25. Straight Brown to Bronze Feed In Ponytail
If you’re going to go simple at the base, go extra long with your feed-in ponytail. The black to brown transition is a great way to add color and contrast to your hair without going wild. You can create a colossal bun moment by wrapping up your ponytail and accessorizing the base with golden strings.
26. Goddess Curl Queen Feed In Ponytail
Goddess braids combine the flow of bohemian hairstyles with the structure of traditional African-inspired braiding. To live between both worlds, go for this braided ponytail bun. Try a lighter hair color for the curls. They’ll lay against the darker roots, creating soft shadows. You can attach the curls to the bun using a crochet hook. For extra details, use brown hair strands while braiding and attach the same colored curls at each brow section.
27. Messy Boho Feed In Ponytail
Following the fiery goddess, braid is these wispy, messy boho feed-ins. The high ponytail is the best positioning for a style like this because it gives you enough room to add as much hair as you want to the ponytail without weighing it down. Go for dark to light ombre curls to create a color variation at the top, and feel free to neglect the mousse at the ponytail. After all, you want a messy, lived-in look.
28. Rosy Red Feed In Ponytail
Bright red braids are an attractive option but go for this skunk patch style if you’re a little leery when it comes to colors that shout. If you’re having trouble finding the right water wave extension in this color, you can make your own. You need a soft Kanekalon extension in red, some rubber bands, and hot water. Tie off the top of your hair bundle, and braid or curl it. Afterward, dip it in hot water, and wait for it to dry. When you unravel the bundle, you’ll be left with a custom curled extension.
29. Curly Half Up Half Down Feed In Ponytail
The craftsmanship of this braiding style is envious and, quite honestly, breathtaking. It looks like a million braids displayed on one head. You can try and do this one yourself, but the hand maneuvering is probably best left to the professionals. Choosing a light color like brown and blonde creates a perfect catchment area for the sun’s rays. Add some body towards the end with these loose curls.
30. Big Brown Feed In Ponytail
These big, simple and stylish braids start big but slim at the top, thanks to the stagnated feed-in method. If you don’t want a bulky ponytail, this is the way to go. You can accentuate the zig-zag pattern by installing straight, regular braids. The levels at the front are both structured and flattering.
31. Springy Jeweled Feed In Ponytail
The smaller the stitches, the sweeter the braid. These are as uniform as you could possibly get with a stitched braid. Choose a neutral color like black if you want the focus to stay on your clean, uniform partitions. It’s a versatile color that will accentuate anything you put on it. You can compensate for the plain style by adding hair jewels and curly hair in the ponytail. Go for a tighter curl to avoid the frizzy, messy bohemian style. The curls will keep their form for a more extended amount of time.
32. Cute Curled Feed In Ponytail
In case you didn’t know, knotless braids are a form of feed-ins that improve the method of traditional box braids. They’re a breezy, weightless alternative that allows you to style your hair in any way you want immediately after installation. It’s why this ponytail works best when combined with knotless braids. You can curl the ends or keep them straight. Either way, you’ll have a comfortable and cute style to fall back on.
33. Gravity Defying Blonde Feed In Ponytail
Every once in a while, you come across a braiding style that makes you genuinely appreciate hair stylists as true artists, and this is one of them. It’s a style fit for a queen, with each section expertly parted and plaited to perfection. The arch design resembles Moroccan architecture, and the braids get thicker as you move down the hair shaft. Of course, to create a versatile style like this, you’ll have to pre-plan your design. The front features straight backs while the back shines as the show’s star. It’s pure art.
34. Blue Claws Feed In Ponytail
This style reaches out and grabs your attention. Claw formation is a great way to part your hair if you want to try something daring. If you’re trying this style out on a child, you can choose large parts. They will enjoy the monstrous motif. Go for slimmer sections to fill out the bottom half if you want it for yourself. You can finish off the ends with some beads.
35. Black Heart Low Pony Feed In Ponytail
This heart-shaped braid is so subtle that you’ll almost forget it’s there. The sections are incorporated within the more giant braid, melting into it towards the end. It’s an excellent style for beginners who already know how to cornrow braid. You can braid the rest of your hair regularly, then focus on forming the perfect heart in the center.
36. Intricate Feed In Ponytail
If you thought royalty was a thing of the past, think again. This style would easily fit into any dignitary lineup. The rowing glory is the intricately tied ponytail. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in a while. The bottom half wraps around the top half, creating this wide bun while the rest of the hair is fed through the bun and gathered into a giant twist. Of course, you’ll need really long hair, so buy some Xpressions and don’t cut the bundles in half.
37. Slim Midpoint Feed In Ponytail
If you’re feeling intimidated after seeing the last structured style, let’s take it back to basics. This slim, midpoint ponytail is a great entry point for anyone trying to master their feed-in ponytail. You don’t have to add any pomp or make a fuss over complicated designs. Just part your hair on your favorite side and braid from there. If you like your ponytail on the longer side, add some extensions towards the end of your braid.
38. 3 to 1 Feed In Ponytail
These short, sleek braids are a great way to get the feed-in ponytail look if you’re in a rush. The three plats merge into one giant braid at the bottom, giving off a goddess braid effect. It’s great for anyone who doesn’t want multiple braids dangling from their ponytail. Each braid has 7 to 9 medium-sized stitches, so it’s not as hard to pull off as those micro stitches you’ve seen on the list. First, keep your parts clean by applying gel between each line and defining it with a rat tail comb.
39. Fierce Fishtail Feed In Ponytail
Fishtails are an adventurous feed-in ponytail to consider when going through your options. Why? Because it’s easy to pull off on your own and works best with the texture that most synthetic extensions provide. You can use the ends of your feed-ins as a hair tie. Wrap them around the fishtail base and secure them with an elastic band. Add gold rings to the smaller braids for a royal warrior vibe. Instant beauty.
40. Twisted Stitch Feed In Ponytail
This style takes the traditional feed-in ponytail and transforms it into a twisted dream. Get it? From the base of each braid, you have these smaller cornrows leading into the main one, like a spider’s web. Duplicating that effect across the head can be a daunting task, so make sure you slot out enough time in your day because it will definitely take some hours. Instead of a three-strand braid, go for a Senegalese twist to finish this off. You can secure the twists to your bun with some bobby pins.
41. Purple & White Ghana Feed In Ponytail
This one is for the daredevils and mavericks out there. Not a neutral hair color in sight, this style is a color lover’s dream come true. The striking purple breaks out against an equally loud platinum blonde to create this eye-catching dynamic duo of color. Since your color is complicated, go easy on the braiding pattern. A simple Ghana braid formation is enough to accommodate this swoon-worthy style.
42. Bold Criss Cross Feed In Ponytail
These jumbo criss-cross feed-in braids are the cherry on top of a braiding experience unlike any other. The crescent moon shape places emphasis on the center design, creating variety at the crown. Cover up the criss-cross rubber bands with these shimmery cuffs, and braid the ends into the ponytail, adding enough hair to match the size of the other braids. The pattern is pretty simple, so turn things up with a curl party at the bottom.
There’s so much to learn about the feed-in ponytail, and we have the answers.
What Is A Feed-In Ponytail?
Feed-in ponytails are a variety of feed-in braids that gather your plaits to one central location: the top, midpoint, side or nape of your head. Unlike cornrows, which start with a visible knot at the front and use one extension all through, feed-ins incorporate small amounts of hair extensions at intervals. This allows a gradual progression of size along the braid, relieving tension at the front of your head. It also allows for a natural look, and if you use human hair to texture match, feed-in braids can look like your natural hair emanating from your scalp.
Traditionally, a feed-in ponytail incorporates synthetic hair extensions that are attached in small sections. The plait can be kept thin throughout by adding the same amount of hair or thickened by adding more significant portions of synthetic extensions as you go along. The ends are usually braided in the three-strand method and gathered into a ponytail with a scrunchie, string or leftover hair extensions.
How Long Does A Feed-In Ponytail Last?
Braids can be a pretty steep investment, so getting the most out of them is crucial. Many consider feed-in braids as a fast but reliable protective style. But how long does it last? Feed-in braids tend to last longer than cornrows because the hair extension is expertly concealed. So, where cornrow braids might last a week or two, feed-in braids can last up to 3 weeks. A feed-in ponytail, however, has an added advantage. A feed-in ponytail lifts the hair upwards instead of letting the braids rub against different fabrics. This creates minimal friction during your day-to-day activities.
Sleep with a silk or satin scarf to stretch your ponytail’s lifespan. During the day, you can hold your ponytail in a bun when doing high-impact activities. You can also add some mousse if you start to see flyaways at the roots. Finally, cut away any stray synthetic hairs to keep the ends fresh. Think of it like trimming a plant. That should push you to the 4-week mark.
Do Feed-In Braids Break Your Hair?
For all of the excellent work braids do, there’s some bad. Braids have a reputation for helping you grow your hair by keeping it tucked away. Unfortunately, they also have a reputation for creating hair problems like traction alopecia, weakened strands and brittle ends. The good almost always outweighs the bad, but you can end up with worse hair than you started with if you carelessly install your feed in braids. You’ll have to remember that any manipulation on your head, be it a simple ponytail or an elaborate beaded updo, will cause some tension. The goal is to minimize tension as much as possible.
If your feed-ins feel tight or uncomfortable in any way, they might cause damage over time. Next, make sure they’re firm enough to hold their structure without causing a headache, blistering, tenderness or itchiness. If you stay away from all of these triggers, you shouldn’t experience any breakage. Lastly, take your braids out when their time is up. When feed-in braids loosen, they create an extra weight that is no longer supported by the scalp, shifting the strain to your hair and causing breakage.
What Do I Need For Feed In Braids?
Now that you’ve seen all of these feed-in ponytails, you must be itching to try a style. So here’s what you’ll need for a smooth braiding experience. First, a clean head of hair. Second, you’ll need soft synthetic braiding extensions. Feed-in braids are close to your scalp, so a low-grade product will cause itching and irritation. Try the Kanekalon texture. You’ll also need a rat tail comb, some hair gel or edge control to enable you to grip your hair without tension, and styling mousse. To wrap the hair, use a durag, a silk scarf of barber wraps. To seal the ends, you’ll need hot water.
You should pre-stretch your hair to get maximum neatness and definition if you have tight curls. You could use a blow dryer or straighten your hair without heat by pre-braiding or threading it. Extras like beads, shells and hair jewelry are all up to you. Whatever makes you feel most confident. Most of all, you’ll need to be patient if you’re a beginner and a good braid technician if you’re heading to the salon.
How Do You Feed Your Hair Into A Ponytail?
The feed-in ponytail might confuse you because it requires that you braid from many angles. The best way to incorporate your hair into a feed-in ponytail is by pre-sectioning your hair into 4 parts. After that, section off a circle in the very middle of your head. This hair will be braided as traditional box braids. Braiding the middle cuts the tension at your crown in half and thickens the ponytail. For the front two sections, braid in an upward motion, curving your lines to reach the middle of your head. Do the same for the back, creating lines that end at the center of your head. You’ll be tucking your natural hair underneath, like a Dutch braid, while incorporating the extension. For a solid visual example, check out the tutorial below.
Get Full On Feed Ins!
This step-by-step tutorial will help you achieve a DIY feed-in ponytail you’ll absolutely love.
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