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15 ponytail updo hairstyles for black women

15 ponytail hairstyles for black women

Who doesn’t love a good ponytail? Ponytails aren’t just for pulling your hair out of your face at the gym or masking unwashed hair. Nowadays, ponytails can be sleek and sexy—the perfect complement to your going out ‘fit. And if you’re convinced your natural hair can’t be pulled up into a glam ‘do, you’re sorely mistaken. All you need are a few styling tips to take your ponytail from drab to fab. And that’s where we come in.

Read on to learn our tips and tricks to styling natural hair into a perfect pony, some of our fave black ponytail updos, and our special secret to get a longer, fuller ponytail instantly. 

How to do a ponytail on black hair

If you’re a Black woman, you may know the struggle of trying to control your natural hair and pull it into a ponytail. Although heat styling or using a straightener can help tame the hair and make it more manageable, heat styling can dry natural hair out even further and make it more prone to breakage. We want to keep the hair as healthy as possible, so here are a few heat-less tips to pull your natural hair into a ponytail.

You’ll need a spray bottle with water, a wide tooth comb, a paddle brush, and some styling gel. 

  1. If you’re parting your hair, create the part with the wide tooth comb. Otherwise, skip this step. 
  2. Then, spray the hair with some water and use the paddle brush to brush the damp hair down and pull it into a sleek ponytail.
  3. Once you’ve tied your hair off, spray the rest of the hair and use the wide tooth comb to detangle, brushing from bottom to top and gently working out any knots.
  4. Finally, use a bit of styling gel to hold the hair in place and reduce frizzy hair. You can also use the styling gel and a toothbrush to lay your edges down.

Extra tips to get a perfect ponytail on natural hair

Here are some extra tips to achieve that Ariana-worthy ponytail. 

  1. Make sure your hair and scalp are clean of buildup before styling. If you don’t feel like doing a full wash day, just do a quick root and scalp exfoliation by spraying the roots with water, lathering in your shampoo, and cleansing with a cup of water.
  2. Stretch your curls. Natural hair is kinky and coily, which makes pulling it back into a ponytail that much harder. Use the banding method or lightly twist your curls to stretch them and show off your length.
  3. Add some hair oil to your styling gel. If you find styling gel difficult to work with because it gets hard easily, add a bit of jojoba oil, argan oil, or olive oil to it to make it easier to manage. A bonus? It will help moisturize your hair rather than dry it out as some styling gels can do.
  4. Set your hair with a scarf. If you find that your hair is still looking too poofy, try wrapping a silk scarf over it tightly to help lay it down. Although overnight is best, if you’re in a rush, setting it for 15-20 minutes will help. 
  5. Finish off with a shine spray. Try a rose water spray or coconut milk leave-in conditioner for best results.
  6. Add hair extensions. If your natural hair simply isn’t too long and your ponytail doesn’t have that “wow” factor, you can get a longer, thicker ponytail instantly! Just ty your hair into a bun, attach the two combs, pull the drawstring, and voila!  

15 Black ponytail hairstyles we love

1. Side-part, long sleek ponytail

We love a good sleek ponytail! To achieve this look, use a comb to create your side part (try parting your hair asymmetrically for a more unique look), and use styling gel and hair oil to hold the part in place. Tie your hair into a low bun, and flat iron a 
HeyCurls Ponytail extension to achieve that long, sleek look. 

2. Short and flirty ponytail

This is a great example of using your shorter hair to your advantage! It’s not all about long ponytails! To achieve this look, part your hair down the middle, add styling gel to hold it in place, then pull your hair back into a ponytail in the middle of the back of your head. Use a bit of styling gel and your fingers to define your curls, and you’re done!

3. Cupcake ponytail

Okay, we aren’t totally sure what to call this one, but it looks like a cupcake to us! To achieve this look, you’ll definitely need ponytail hair extensions to add more volume. Once you’ve applied the extensions, wrap a strand of hair at the base, and bobby pin it in place. Then, add a small hair bun, wrap your ponytail around it to achieve that cupcake, and tie another hair tie around that. Finally, wrap a strand of hair around the base of the new ponytail. You’ll need thicker hair ties to achieve those large bases, and styling gel to hold the whole style in place.

4. Flipped ponytail with face framing pieces

We love a fun, flirty pony! This works great on shorter hair as well. To achieve this look, flat iron all your hair first. Then, remove two face framing pieces from the front of your head. Slick the rest of your hair back into a high ponytail and wrap the base with a strand of hair. Finally, use a flat iron to create that fun flip at the bottom of the ponytail.

5. Pearly ponytail

If you’re channeling your inner Blair Waldorf, this ponytail hairstyle is for you. To achieve the look, create a side part and slick the sides down with hair gel. Then, pull all your hair back into a sleek ponytail. Use a toothbrush and styling gel to lay your edges down in a wavy fashion, then finish off the hairstyle with a pretty pearl headband.

6. Embellished pigtail ponytail

This is a super fun Black ponytail hairstyle we love! Part your hair down the middle, then slick your hair back into two high ponytails on each side. Wrap the base of the ponytail with a strand of hair, then use styling gel and a toothbrush to lay your edges down. Finally, use a few gems to spice up the style.

7. Low, curly ponytail

This is an easy, but gorgeous ponytail, which you can easily pull off on vacation! Create a side or middle part and pull all your hair into a low bun at the back of your hair. Add a curly ponytail extension, and you’re done!

8. High wavy ponytail

We love this high wavy ponytail as it’s just the right amount of sleek and sexy mixed with a bit of fun. To get the look, you’ll need ponytail hair extensions styled with mermaid waves using a triple barrel curling wand. Then, slick your hair back into a high pony and wrap the base with a stand of hair. Finally, lay your edges down using styling gel and you’re good to go!

9. Bubble ponytail 

Love Princess Jasmine? Channel her bubble ponytail look with this incredible ponytail updo. Apply a set of curly ponytail extensions, for added length and volume (you’re going to need a lot for this one). Then, take a tiny set of hair ties and tie the ponytail off a couple of inches down from the base. Then, pull at the base to fluffy it up and create a bubble. Keep doing this all the way down until you have 3-5 bubbles.

10. Double space buns

Okay, this technically isn’t a ponytail updo, but we love it anyway and it’s super easy to create. Part your hair down the middle, then pull half your hair up on one side into a bun. Do the same on the other side, then lay your edges down. Done!

11. Side braided ponytail updo 

We love braids...we love ponytails...why not combine them into this slick ‘do? To get the look, you’ll need to be a bit deft with your hands. Make an extreme side part on one side of your hair using copious hair oil and styling gel to hold it down. Then on one side, cornrow braid your hair down to the nape of your neck. Secure the braid with a tiny elastic. Then, pull all the rest of your hair into a low ponytail, along with the braid and secure. 

12. Middle braided ponytail 

Speaking of braids, give this one a go. Inside of parting your hair on the side, create a thin section of hair right down the middle of your head. Cornrow the section all the way to the back of your head. Then, take the rest of your hair, slick it up into a sleek ponytail, and tie it off. Wrap the base with a strand of hair to clean up the look, and secure it with a bobby pin.

13. Wrapped ponytail 

We love this sleek look! This ponytail updo is great for a wedding or fancy night now. To get the look, use a paddle brush to brush one side of your hair toward the other side. Once all your hair has been flipped to the other side, use some hair oil to keep everything in place. Then, carefully, gather all your hair into a low ponytail. 

14. Kim K braided ponytail

Who says ponytails have to be kept loose? This braided ponytail gives us Kim Kardashian vibes and we’re here for it. Add an extra level of sleekness with an extreme side part, slicked down. Gather all your hair at the nape of the neck and tie it off. Then, braid the whole ponytail. If you feel like getting fancy, try a fishtail braid!

15. Fulani braid ponytail 

Fulani braids are a great protective hairstyle, while looking fab AF. To get the look, you’ll need to braid your hair toward the back of your head so the braids lay flat when you pull everything up into a ponytail. Take a couple of braids and wrap them around the base of the pony for an added bit of spice.

And now you know how to create sleek, sexy, and glamorous black ponytail updos for natural hair. Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!