How Do I Make a Curly Ponytail?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2019
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A curly ponytail is a simple style that can be created using several different methods. Curly ponytails can be worn high and tight on the head, or lower down for a loose, casual look. For people with naturally curly or wavy hair, making a curly ponytail can be a simple, fast process. Those with straight hair may need to use a curling iron or hair curlers to get the desired effect. Making a curly ponytail last through the day can be managed by following a few basic tips.

For a high, sleek ponytail, it may help to start with the hair all ready pulled into the tail. Brush or straighten the top layer of hair so that it lies flat, and use a little gel or hairspray if frizz and flyaways occur. Using a strong ponytail elastic, pull hair into a tight ponytail that is about level with the top of the ears. Then, with a curling iron, wrap individual sections of hair for about 30 seconds to create the curly tail. This quick method creates strong definition between the tightly pulled back front and the curled tail, and may be good for an elegant updo or sporty look.


A looser, soft look can be achieved with a curly side ponytail. To create this look, straighten the top layer of hair and clip it out of the way. Use a curling iron to make loose waves throughout the bottom layers of hair, starting the iron about one quarter of the way down from the root. Once hair is fully curled, add the straightened top layer and pull hair to one side. If hair is over the left shoulder, take a small section from the far bottom right, and a similar section from the bottom just below the left ear, then twist these together over the top of the loose ponytail and clip with a small alligator clip or barrette.

People with naturally curly hair may need to do less work to make a curly ponytail. Since hair often curls best when left alone, the simplest way to achieve this look is to pull hair into a ponytail just after it is washed and conditioned. Once the hair has dried, use a curling iron to fix any pieces that have not curled ideally. If hair is already dry, use a straightening iron on the top quarter of hair to ensure that it will lie flat against the head, but leave most of the strand curly. Putting damp hair into a loose bun overnight can also result in great curls in the morning.

To ensure a strong, long-lasting hair style, follow a few basic tips. If hair is naturally straight, do not wash it for 24 hours before curling. Slightly dirty hair tends to hold a curl better than clean hair, and can make a style last all day. If hair is curled regularly, consider investing in a good curling iron and using heat-protective products on hair to prevent breakage and damage. Finally, spritzing the finished curly ponytail with a light shine spray can help curls stand out, and may help prevent frizz and tangles.


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Post 3

@browncoat - That sounds like it works well for you, but if someone is trying different ways to curl their hair I would recommend that they go to a hairdresser instead of experimenting. I don't mean that you should go to them every time you want curls, but if you go to a place where they specialize in your type of hair they should be able to tell you how you can best shape and protect your hair for every kind of style.

Just don't go to a salon that doesn't specialize in your hair type and expect them to have relevant advice. Most salons in the US are geared towards straight, white hair and don't have a clue how to properly treat Asian, African or even just curly hair in general. Any advice they give you should be treated as suspicious until proven accurate.

Post 2

If you've got straight or wavy hair you might try using indirect heat to dry your hair after washing it. That often works for me, although it depends on your hair type. Basically I just put some curling gel into the tail and then let my car heaters go on high on the drive to work and my hair curls up by itself.

I don't think it does as much damage as blow drying, although I make sure to only use gel that is made to protect hair from heat.

Post 1

If you've got naturally curly hair, the best thing you can do to make your curls look healthy is to stop using shampoo. I don't know if this will work for everyone, but I got all the curly headed people in my family to do it and we all look much better without using nearly so many products now.

Basically I just use conditioner the same way I used to use shampoo. It might sound like it would end up as an oily mess, but the only difference it makes is that my hair hardly ever goes frizzy now.

I never used to want to wear my hair up in a ponytail because it would puff out everywhere in front and just look limp in the back without a lot of styling. Now it's something I can just do casually, which is the whole point of a ponytail.

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