All hail the half-ponytail, the ultimate hairstyle. A half-up, half-down ‘do is the perfect compromise between the flirty fun of wearing your hair down and styled with all the convenience and relief of having it pulled back away from your face. Is it any wonder the style’s had its grip on everyone, civilians and celebrities alike, for centuries? Really, the only thing that’s changed about the half-pony through the years is minor details: height, style, and assorted accouterment (if you want.)
The best half-pony hairstyles are the ones that offer the easiest mix of glamour and individuality with pure efficiency. Some of the trendiest stars — including Young Hollywood scions like Kendall Jenner, Zendaya, Hailey Bieber, and Ariana Grande — are all documented fans of the look, but the real draw of the style is how easy it is to make it fully your own. To get the creativity flowing, check out this roundup featuring some of the coolest half-pony styles the internet has to offer. Flowers, jewels, curls, extensions, scrunchies, straightening, and everything in between can put a twist on an otherwise straightforward half-pony, and the inspiration out there is endless. Scroll on for some of the best half-pony styles around.
This one is for those who can’t resist standing out, and love a hidden detail. Accent the swept-back pieces of your half-pony with crystals and gems of every color, coils, rings, flowers, or beads — if you can think of it, chances are someone sells a version that’ll work in your hair. Sleek ponytails look especially glamorous with some kind of reflective decoration, while artfully messy styles work well with nature-inspired bits like flowers and vines.
The best part about this style? It looks way more elaborate than it really is. In this video, the model wears just-applied extensions curled into soft waves, but it will work with most hair lengths and any texture. Use a topsytail tool or some clever pull-through techniques to pull your half-pony around and under itself for a style that’s as pretty as it is laid back.
Sleek & Shiny
The secret to a half-pony with the perfect amount of volume and sheen? Skip the flat iron — tempting as it may be to save a few extra minutes, you’ll get all the same smoothness with extra volume and shape by quickly blowing your hair out with a medium-sized round brush and diffuser-equipped blowdryer.
By now, you’ve seen plenty of ponytails secured by an elastic, then a camouflaging piece of hair wrapped around that. Take things a step further by disguising the hair tie with a braid of any kind or size for a sweet hidden detail that adds a whole other dimension to your style.
Curls of all sizes and patterns look incredible when gathered up into a half-ponytail, and having them out of your face means you can really load up on shine and hydration-enhancing creams without worrying about pesky product-transfer-induced breakouts. Put some hair gel on a spare toothbrush to sweep hair back from the forehead for an extra-sleek (and super easy) look.
Yet another deceptively complex-looking style, all you need to know how to do for this chic braided look is...braid — and not even the French sort, either. Start by separating two-inch sections of hair on either side of your face (think where a money piece would go) and braid them back. Then, after gathering and securing your half-pony at the crown of your head, bring the braided bits back and secure those with a hair tie just below the pony. Pull the tied-off braids through the ponytail as the video depicts, and you’re in full-on goddess mode.
Sure, this style is vintage inspired but the most popular versions are pure new millennium. Use rollers or a medium-barreled curling iron to flip ends, though which way you want them flipped (pointing out, in, or a combination of both) is totally individual. Just be sure to leave out a three-inch swatch of hair on your preferred part side to comb over as some super retro simulated bangs.