How to create the perfect high ponytail: ATH’s back-to-basics hair tutorial

Fact: The high ponytail will never go out of fashion. 

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Woman standing outside with high ponytail



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We could drone on forever about the power of a sleek, high ponytail. Easily dressed up or down, this hairstyle offers versatility in spades. Already the cornerstone of many women’s updo repertoires, a classic ponytail will effortlessly take you from your desk to the dancefloor – and beyond.

This is my everyday look for work and the weekend – Ella


Whether this ‘do is your bread and butter look or just an occasion-specific option, it’s never too late to refresh your technique.

With that in mind, ATH has created the ultimate high ponytail tutorial, packed with tips, tricks and expert techniques.

Ready to give Ariana Grande a run for her money? Simply read on…

How to create a high ponytail


Brush your hair.

The first step to creating the perfect high ponytail? Gathering your hair. Brush out any tangles in your tresses and then comb the hair up towards your crown.


Blonde woman brushing hair to make high ponytail



Tilt your head.

Whilst brushing your hair upwards, tilt your head back.

This will make sure all the hair is tightly secured and doesn’t loosen when you move your head. 

Blonde woman creating high ponytail

Tie into place.

Secure your ponytail with two hairbands to make sure it stays tight and doesn’t budge throughout the day. 

Blonde woman tying high ponytail

Hide your hairbands.

Take a one-inch section of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around your hairbands, then pin into place.

This will give the style a more polished, high-fashion finish. 

Blonde woman creating high ponytail hairstyle


Using a small fine-toothed comb, gently backcomb the mid-lengths of your ponytail to give it extra volume. 

Blonde woman backcombing blonde high ponytail

Secure with hairspray.

Happy with your final look? Adjust if needed and then spray the TONI&GUY Flawless Sleek Creation Hairspray all over your hair to lock your high ponytail in place.

If you need to tame any frizz or flywaways, run your hand over your hair after spraying to flatten it down. 

Blonde woman with high ponytail spraying hairspray

And... you're done!

That’s all there is to it! Want to jazz your high ponytail up a little? Simply add a few well-placed hair accessories and you’ve got an instant evening update. 

Blonde woman with high ponytail


Blonde woman with high ponytail
The high ponytail = mastered. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Freddy My Love’s casual ponytail tutorial

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Continuing our efforts to help you #beathairboredom, we’ve teamed up with one of our favourite bloggers, Freddy Cousin-Brown (AKA Freddy My Love), to come up with the ultimate casual-chic high ponytail. The best part? There’s no fancy braiding or heated styling required whatsoever – bonus!

4 high ponytail hairstyles you should try next

bryce dallas howard with high ponytail hairstyle at critic choice awards
Why blow bubbles, when your hair can look like it? Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

1. Bryce Dallas Howard’s bubble high ponytail

When your high ponytail hairstyle starts to feel boring, relying on hair accessories is the easiest way to refresh your style. Don’t believe us? One glance at Bryce Dallas Howard’s pimped-out bubble ponytail is all the convincing you’ll need.

Whether you opt for sparkly hair rings or even a belt, you’ll have a ‘do that’s ready to #slay.

selena gomez with braided high ponytail hairstyle on the red carpet
Braids and ponytails make a dreamy combo! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

2. Selena Gomez’ fishtail braided pony

When you mix fishtail braids and ponytails together, you get an instant classic: the fishtail braided high ponytail. This style is every boho lovers dream and a perfect festival go-to.

jennifer lopez with wavy high ponytail hairstyle
Bring the beach to your hair with this romantic, wavy high ponytail hairstyle. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

3. Romantic wavy ponytail hairstyle

From the Jonathan Simkhai AW17 show to the red carpet, wavy ponytails are perfect for any occasion. Join us in marveling just how pretty Jennifer Lopez‘ high ponytail is and give the look a try for yourself.

olivia culpo with side braided ponytail hairstyle
Which side will you create your braids on? Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

4. Olivia Culpo’s side braided high pony

Want to nail a braided high ponytail, but scared that your styling prowess is less than professional? We hear you. Try copying Olivia Culpo‘s simple take on the trend, perfect for novices and pros alike.


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