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18 Ponytail Braid Styles To Bookmark ASAP

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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer/Getty Images

When it comes to style and comfort all in one, braids and ponytails both score pretty high on our style scale. Braids are always on-trend, while ponytails can look as chic or as relaxed as you choose—so there’s no surprise that braided ponytail hairstyles would be the best of both worlds. Low maintenance and effortlessly stylish, you can never go wrong with one with one of these creative looks.

Whether you’re looking for a protective style for your curly or kinky hair, or you want a fun way to bring texture to your straight or wavy locs, ponytail braids are the way to go. Check out our favorite ponytail braids to gather some inspo for your next style.

1. High Braided Ponytail

Kerry Washington rocking a braided high ponytail hairstyle and orange leather, silver studs, and mirror dress
Photo by David Livingston / Stringer/Getty Images

Classic, sleek, and always a beauty statement—a long, single braid at the crown of your head (seen here on Kerry Washington) takes the classic ponytail to the next level. Brush your hair sleek and taut to give it a polished look, and before braiding the length of the ponytail, wrap a braid around the base for extra drama.

2. Fishtail Braid

Justine Skye rocking a nude makeup look, purple fishtail braids, dangling silver earrings, and bronze dress
Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer/Getty Images

Yes, the beloved fishtail braids of your youth are trending again! Since this is one of the more carefree braid options, embrace flyaways and a loose ponytail for the effortless, cool girl look, like Justine Skye.

3. Microbraids With Low Pony

Zoe Kravitz rocking a natural makeup look, black dress embellished with pearls, and microbraids with low ponytail hairstyle
Photo by David Livingston / Stringer/Getty Images

For those in search of a romantic style, Zoe Kravitz nailed it with her tiny microbraid-ponytail combo. Throw your braids in a low ponytail and add in a few pearl accessories.

4. Sleek Braided Updo

Sydelle Noel rocking a sleek braided updo hairstyle and red, blue, and white jacket
Photo by Emma McIntyre / Staff/Getty Images

This updo hairstyle is a classic amongst Black women and the natural hair community. With sleek edges and careful braids meeting at the crown of your head, this braided ponytail look on Sydelle Noel is great when you’re ready to look chic without having to style your hair everyday.

5. Pigtail Braids

Tessa Thompson looking fierce in a braided pigtails hairstyle, bronze makeup look, and bronze suit
Photo by Presley Ann / Stringer/Getty Images

Hey, pigtails are ponytails too—as proven here by Tessa Thompson. While you’re searching for your next braided ponytail style, don’t forget about sleek, long, braided pigtails. Play with manicured baby hair and playful fly-aways to really make a statement.

6. Long Cornrows Into a Ponytail

Tracee Ellis Ross rocking a neon green suit with snake belt and long braided ponytail with cornrows
Photo by Jon Kopaloff / Stringer/Getty Images

It takes a bit of confidence to pull off knee-length cornrows (do you, sis!) but this fashion-forward style on Tracee Ellis Ross totally agrees looks good at any length. Gather your straight backs into a nice loose ponytail and voila, runway ready.

7. Low Braided Ponytail With Barrettes

Janelle Monae rocking a neutral makeup look and low braided ponytail hairstyle embellished with pearl clips and black and gold barrettes
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain / Staff/Getty Images

A sleek, low, braided ponytail is always an elegant choice (and Janelle Monae agrees). Make it a bit more playful by adding oversized barrettes to your temple and down the length of the braid.

8. Dutch Braided Ponytail

Smiling Issa Rae rocking a Dutch braided ponytail, green eye makeup look, and white suit
Photo by Amy Sussman / Staff/Getty Images

Issa Rae’s gorgeous style trumps your average side braid by adding some drama right from the crown. It begins with an oversized Dutch braid that faces outward (French braids tend to lay flat), and features a single braid woven into the length of the Dutch braid.

9. Cornrows With Half Ponytail

Gia Peppers rocking cornrows with half ponytail hairstyle, red monochromatic makeup look and red fringe dress
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton / Stringer/Getty Images

An elegant and protective style, this half pony on Gia Peppers is great for when you’re ready to try something new. The narrowly parted cornrows in the front look stunning with a dramatic ponytail at the crown. Pro tip: Opt for a textured ponytail for a more natural look against the cornrows.

10. Sleek Middle Part

Alicia Keys rocking a sleek middle parted braided ponytail hairstyle, cream hoodie, and rose gold hoop earrings
Photo by Rich Fury / Staff/Getty Images

The high ponytail gets a lot of praise, but the sleek, low ponytail is also a more relaxed way to style a long braid. Rock it with a middle part, like Alicia Keys, for a chic look.

11. Single Side Braid

Rihanna rocking a single side brand ponytail hairstyle and purple pleated dress
Photo by Rich Fury / Staff/Getty Images

If you’re new to braids or just want to add a subtle flair to your standard ponytail, a single side braid or mini French braid is the way to go—as seen here on Rihanna. It’s still your beloved ponytail, now with a touch of detail to showcase your personal style.

12. Jumbo Braided Ponytail

Yara Shahidi rocking a jumbo braided ponytail hairstyle and party sheer black dress
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff/Getty Images

Nothing says, “I’m here” quite like Yara Shahidi’s waist-length braided ponytail at the crown of the head. Adding two or three large textured braids to the length of your ponytail adds a bit of creativity that makes it great for a holiday or special occasion.

13. Center Braids

Regina King rocking center braids ponytail hairstyle
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff/Getty Images

Sometimes, less is more. Three skinny cornrows in the center of your hair is all you need to give some edge to an otherwise simple hairstyle. Want to kick it up a notch? Do as Regina King does and add statement earrings to complete the look.

Interested in trying even more new beauty looks? Get in on the IPSY Glam Bag fun by taking our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
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Kindra Moné
Kindra Moné is a writer and content creator who works with brands and magazines to create culturally relevant fashion and beauty content. She is also the founder of The Moné Edit: a community and podcast at the intersection of style and wellness.
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Article Last Updated July 1, 2021 12:00 AM