What is a Bouffant Ponytail?

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  • Written By: Janis Bennett
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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A bouffant ponytail is basically a puffy ponytail, and is a great way to obtain a fashionable, yet easy updo. The bouffant ponytail is a mixture of a classic hairstyle and the bouffant of the 1960s. The hair on the crown is teased to produce a lot of volume, called a bouffant or high hair, and then all the hair is gathered into a ponytail at the back of the head. The ponytail can sit high or low, depending on the intended results and the desire of the ponytail wearer. This hairstyle can be worn with casual clothing and also looks elegant and stylish with more formal attire.

For a casual look, the bouffant should not be too high or too smooth. This look can be achieved by using hands to gather up the hair on the sides and top of the head, not too perfectly, and backcombing the hair only slightly. Then, using the hands to gather the rest of the hair into a ponytail, an elastic band is wrapped around the hair. Half of the ponytail should be held in one hand, and the other half in the other; both sides are then pulled. This will pull the elastic tight, and also cause a little more volume around the edges.


When the hair is held in this style, a few tendrils can be pulled loose around the face and ears. This loose hair creates a softening effect around the face. For a different, yet still casual effect, the ponytail can be secured lower on the head and left loose.

For a more formal bouffant ponytail, the sides and top sections of the hair can be gathered and teased with a comb until it looks messy. The more hair used and the messier it looks, the higher the bouffant will be. The hair should then be flipped over and sprayed with hairspray. The hair should be allowed to dry for a few seconds before it is flipped back over.

The teased hair should then be gathered and held where the wearer wants the ponytail to be. The top layer of the teased hair can then be gently brushed to smooth it out, being careful not to disturb the volume of the puff. Any remaining hair should be gathered together with a brush to make sure it is smooth and neat. Once smoothed to satisfaction, the ponytail can be secured with a decorative elastic. To embellish this style, a headband or fancy clip can be added, or loose hair can be curled with a curling iron.

There are several alternative ways to wear this hairstyle. The ponytail can be placed on the side so hair falls down over the shoulder. The bangs can be kept out of the puff, parted on the side, and tucked into the ponytail or secured with pins. The bouffant ponytail is a classic style in which variations are only limited by the wearer's imagination.


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