How to Create a Genie Ponytail and Style Ideas

The new protective style you'll want to wear all the time.

Take a scroll through Instagram or red carpet round-ups and we guarantee you’ll spot multiple genie ponytails. This popular natural hair updo includes a tight, high ponytail, which has been on-trend for a few years now. We’re finally breaking down this style, showing you how to achieve it yourself.

Keep scrolling to learn how to do a genie ponytail and get style inspiration too!

Learn more about the genie ponytail!

Breaking Down the Genie Ponytail

girl with genie ponytail and face-framing pieces
Photo Credit: @voiceofhair

A genie ponytail is a tight, high ponytail worn on natural hair. This look is sleek and can be done using completely natural hair, a weave, or extensions. When this ponytail is done with a weave, it can be used as a great protective style option.

The base of the genie ponytail either has hair, a braid, or a metal cuff wrapped around it to conceal any hair ties or weaves. This updo is one of our favorites because it can last up to two weeks, so get ready for 14 straight amazing hair days. Plus, you can switch up the style by adding various types of braids or bangs.

Genie ponytails are a great hairstyle to learn how to do if you have natural hair because they can be worn for such a wide variety of occasions. Keep scrolling to find out how to create a genie ponytail yourself.

girl with braided genie ponytail
Photo Credit: @tetemariee

Step 1: Flat iron your hair.

If you want a straight sleek look like a majority of genie ponytails, use a flat iron to straighten your hair. This will make it easier to create that smooth look.

Step 2: Gather hair into a ponytail.

After all of your hair is straightened, gather it into a high ponytail near the top of your head. Use gel, like SheaMoisture Papaya & Neroli All Day Frizz Control Styling Gel. This will help hold and smooth hair while still keeping it hydrated.

Apply the gel near your roots where you want a smooth look and then brush through to eliminate any frizz or flyaways. Next, use a hair tie to secure the ponytail in place.

Step 3: Braid to prep for the genie ponytail.

Once your ponytail is slicked back and secure, it’s time to braid the actual ponytail. Braiding the hair will make it easier to secure the weave in place. You can do a regular three-strand braid, securing it with a hair elastic at the end.

Step 4: Wrap the ponytail to cover it.

Next, take some hair wrapping paper and wrap the ponytail from the base to the ends and secure it with bond glue. This is an important step because the wrap helps give the ponytail height–a true must-have when achieving a genie ponytail. You’ll also want to make sure the wrap is black so it can’t be seen through the hair of the ponytail when you attach it.

Step 5: Start attaching your genie ponytail.

The ponytail hair extension you use will look like one long extension except it won’t have any clips at the top band. Starting at the end of your ponytail, begin wrapping the extension tightly around it, moving upwards towards the base of the updo.

Once you reach the base of the ponytail, apply bond glue to the band of the hair extension so it stays in place. For optimal security, use a hairdryer to seal the glue.

Step 6: Cover the tracks of the hair extension.

Now that your ponytail extension is secured in place, it’s time to cover up the tracks. To do this, take a 2-inch wide piece of hair from the underneath side of your ponytail and begin wrapping it around the base. This will cover the tracks while adding additional height to the genie ponytail. Use a strong hold hair spray, like TRESemmé TRES Two Unscented Extra Hold Hair Spray to secure the piece of hair around the ponytail.

If you want to add even more height to your ponytail, wrap a second piece around the base for additional volume.

Step 7: Add your finishing touches.

girl with long braided genie ponytail
Add a braid to your genie ponytail for a long Rapunzel look. Photo credit: @keena_hall

So you have your ponytail in and the tracks are covered. All that’s left is your finishing touches. Use a hair spray to smooth down any flyaways. Next, go over the ponytail with a flat iron, then you’re all done!

Whether you’re trying a genie ponytail for the first time or needed inspo, there are so many ways you can make this protective updo your own!

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