Ah, the versatility of a simple ponytail. When you stop to think about the ponytail, it’s kind of wild that what everyone does with their hair to rake the yard or hit the gym is the exact same as some of the best styles found on the 2021 Met Gala red (or in this year’s case, white) carpet. The event saw so many over-the-top ponytails in so many variations and twists, that TZR is officially calling it: the Met Gala ponytail hair trend is about to spill over into every upcoming awards show, fashion event, film premiere, and major street style moment this year — and probably well beyond.
The beauty of the ponytail trend rests with its infinite options. At the Met Gala alone, a carousel of braided ponies, low ponies, sleek ponies, fluffy ponies, and one actual pony (thanks, Kim Petras!) revolved up, down, and around the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s steps like a parade of possibilities. To track this ever-growing trend and lay out endless inspiration for your next ponytail, scroll on for TZR’s breakdown of some of the best, most elaborate and glamorous ponytails from the Met Gala. Even if you typically keep ponies relegated to sweat-inducing activities, these larger-than-life ponytails might just change your mind for good.
Ciara never does anything halfway, and this ponytail — nearly as tall as she — is the ultimate example. The ponytail is a natural fit with Ciara’s outfit, a football jersey-inspired sequined gown that’s a simultaneous nod to the American theme (what’s more American than football?), and a sweet shoutout to her husband, Seattle Seahawks player Russell Wilson. Celebrity stylist César DeLeön Ramîrez is responsible for Ciara’s mega-pony, combining a staggering three wigs by Wildform with multidimensional Paul Mitchell hair colors for one blended, gorgeous result.
The crystals! That height! Those baby hairs! Everything about supermodel Precious Lee’s volume-heavy ponytail is sleek, sophisticated, and utterly stunning. Styled by celebrity go-to Mideyah Parker, the pair decided to salute the Americana theme by opting for a snatched ponytail emblematic of iconic Black American beauty. The hidden details make this look: Parker wove a thick braid up the pony’s back, in between rows of accessories on the side of Lee’s head, and personally hand-glued down more than 100 Swarovski crystals in a halo of shimmer.
If you thought her summertime Aperol Spritz hair was major, Gigi Hadid’s deep red ponytail adorned with a black jeweled barrette blows every style she’s worn before it out of the water. Hairstylist Esther Langham constructed the Jessica Rabbit-esque ponytail, almost certainly with the help of extensions or a hairpiece. This dark cherry-cola red played perfectly off Hadid’s powder blue eyeshadow and black-and-white Prada gown and dramatic evening gloves.
Before she even arrived at the fundraiser, everyone knew Jennifer Lopez would be stepping out in something incredible. And, as she’s done for the past near-30 years of her career, she delivered. Her mile-long ponytail is the work of celebrity stylist Lorenzo Martin, who used 20-inch wefts of ombré tape-in extensions by Great Lengths and a slew of Wella products to arrange this pony fit for the Wild West.
Spangle-covered, beautifully styled, and adorned with the glossiest, thickest braided ponytail, Gala co-chair Amanda Gorman is so far beyond radiant that it’s practically celestial. Expert hairstylist LaRae Burress envisioned an homage to the Statue of Liberty’s torch as she worked on the poet’s hair, combining a puff braid, four-strand braid, and a 3-D three-strand braid “that ended in a rhinestone torch Bantu knot,” she shared with star-struck fans on Instagram. Now that’s poetry in motion.
Kristen Stewart’s been in and out of beauty news all month with the buzz surrounding her newly-blonde hair, a seemingly permanent shift after trying it out for her role as Princess Diana in the upcoming biopic, Spencer. But this ponytail, accentuated by crisscrossed black hair bands, full-bodied waves, and vintage rat-rolled bangs deserve their own crown.
Chloe x Halle
A sweet sister moment, yes, but also a decidedly stylish one, too. Fresh off their respective major projects (Halle’s just wrapped the live-action Little Mermaid film, while Chloe’s “Have Mercy” music video is just studded with incredible hair and makeup moments), the pair decided to both go for versions of twist-out and wavy loc-filled ponytails that shared the same spirit but still maintain their individuality.