A messy ponytail is so much more than just looping dirty hair through a hair tie and rushing out the door. Much like the no-makeup makeup look, which can often take even longer to achieve than an obvious makeup look, a messy ponytail requires time and some skill. You’re not looking for a truly messy, “I haven’t showered in a few days and did this in five seconds” hairstyle. You’re looking for a “I did this very quicky because I am so busy but look how effortlessly chic I am anyway” hairstyle. Is that confusing? Of course it is. But that hasn’t stopped many of us from searching for the right messy ponyail tutorial that will give us that exact look.
The routine that actively strives for a perfectly disheveled look is kind of weird, probably says a lot about how our society views beauty standards and women (we’re supposed to look great… but not too polished because that’s trying too hard, a little messy but not too messy because that’s gross), and can be quite annoying. I get it and I don’t 100 percent support everything about it. But I can’t lie: I love a good messy ponytail. In fact, I love messier hair in general. The sleek, polished hair might work for some girls, but it doesn’t work for me. I don’t like the way my face looks when I pull my hair back into a tight ponytail, I prefer texture over stick straight any day, and I crave volume in my hair more than anything.
The good news is that once you get the hang of a good messy ponytail routine, you can do it quickly and easily. The bad news is that you have to experiment to get to that point. Not sure where to start? Check out these messy ponytail tutorials for some truly gorgeous styles that you’ll definitely want to try:
1. I made this tutorial for Gurl a while ago, when I finally figured out how to get my hair in the perfect messy ponytail. It’s VERY messy, but I always get compliments every time I do it. Check it out in the link below!
2. A lot of messy ponytails are higher, but you can do a low messy pony too. This one from Cosmo is great for long hair and perfect for date night.
3. One thing most messy ponytails have in common is that they offer lots of volume. This giant messy pony is perfect for a special occasion.
4. Another option for a low messy pony is this crossover style that looks like you didn’t even use a hair tie:
5. Twist your hair into a cool low messy ponytail look with lots of volume – it results in a kind of retro style.
6. If you have natural hair like this, you can try the pineapple style, which a lot of girls sleep in, but I personally think looks amazing for any time:
7. The key to doing the right kind of big messy ponytail is to make sure it doesn’t look too perfect or calculated, like so:
8. If you feel like you don’t have enough hair to make your ponytail look messy enough, try this trick:
9. A messy ponytail is the perfect way to style post-workout hair when you don’t have time to shower. Follow this simple tutorial to try after the gym:
10. A big, pulled out braid mixed into your ponytail gives it a messy boho vibe.
11. Use a textured double pony tutorial to make it look like you have more hair than you do:
12. Let your low messy ponytail fall to the side, down your shoulder, for a truly disheveled look.
13. Make your ponytail into more of a messy fishtail for some cool texture.
14. If your hair is super dirty and feels kind of greasy, this twisted and knotted look is perfect. It will hold much better with dirty hair than clean hair, and it disguises the mess.
15. Adding texture to any ponytail automatically makes it look messier in a good way. Wrap a strand of hair around the hair tie for good measure.
16. This is a cute and easy way to achieve the look:
17. Do loose double braids into your ponytail for a cool messy look that will impress everyone.
18. And yes, you can still do a messy ponytail with short hair! Here’s how:
Which one of these messy ponytail tutorials are you going to try? Let me know in the comments!